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Archie Barry, previous Midsumma Futures participant, in Hypnic (2017), performance approximately 4min. Photograph Credit: Vanessa Godden

Call out for emerging queer artists and culture-makers


Applications close at midnight, Monday 27 August 2018.

Midsumma Futures 2018 - 2019 is a nine-month development and mentoring program for early-career artists and culture-makers, kicking off in October 2018 and running until May 2019. 

This program provides a queer context in which participants can develop their practice, and includes access to professional mentoring, and workshops with likeminded (or radically different-minded) peers.

Now in its second year, Midsumma Futures provides the opportunity for today's generation of early-career artists to advance their career, deepen their practice, gain exposure and lead the future of queer culture.

For 30 years Midsumma has been fertile ground for queer culture-makers, forging careers for some of Australia’s most respected cultural and artistic voices.

Click the tabs below to find out more.

Read plain English version of this information.

Who is the program for?

Midsumma Futures brings together a diverse range of emerging cultural practitioners, creating a unique space for the intersection of ideas and modes of practice. Artists from across disciplines as well as producers, socially engaged practitioners, community leaders, thinkers and culture-makers of any kind are encouraged to apply.

This program is for people who identify as queer or LGBTQIA+ in some way. We strongly encourage applications from artists who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, living with disability or come from a culturally or linguistically diverse background.

Only a small group of participants (up to 10) will be accepted into the program.

What do you get out of it?

Midsumma Futures consists of three components:

  • Four dynamic workshops that will challenge, invigorate and strengthen your practice through peer-to-peer exchange as well as presentations and activities delivered by established practitioners. Workshop themes will address the intersection of contemporary practice with queer history, the role of queer cultural practice now, sustainable practice, self care and tools to talk about your work. Other content of the workshops will be devised in response to the needs of successful participants. Past workshops led by Helen Razer, Lara Thoms, Nic Holas, Jacob Boehme, Rowan Oliver, Alison Bennett, Debris Facility, Jade Lillie, Tony Ayres, Simona Castricum and more.
  • A mentorship with an established practitioner. You can apply with a confirmed mentor attached to your application OR you can ask Midsumma to match you with a mentor upon successful entry into the program. Midsumma has a diverse network of local, national and international industry professionals - we'll work closely with participants to match them with a mentor who has the appropriate lived and professional experience. Mentorships will kick-off in Oct 2018 and run through to May 2019. Mentors will be paid $800 for the equivalent of 10 hours of mentorship.
  • Engagement with Midsumma Festival. You'll be given a VIP pass to Midsumma Festival 2019 to experience the intersection of ideas, events and artists that only a context like Midsumma Festival can provide. And if you want to produce an event as part of Midsumma Festival 2019 or 2020, your registration fee will be refunded upon successful entry into the program, and Midsumma will provide ongoing production advice for your event.

The emphasis of this program is on developing practice, so you're not expected to produce an outcome as part of your involvement in Midsumma Futures.

Criteria and selection process

The assessment panel will be looking for how your application matches the following key criteria:

  • Clarity and timeliness: Is it the right time for a mentorship in your practice? Are you clear about what you intend to get out of this program and a mentorship?
  • Impact: What impact would this program have on your practice?
  • Commitment: Are you able to commit to the workshops and hours required for the mentorship?

The Selection Panel is made up of a diverse range of industry professionals and Midsumma staff.


  • Applications close: Monday 27 August 2018, midnight
  • Successful applicants announced: Late September 2018
  • Workshop #1: Friday 19 - Saturday 20 October 2018 (2 days): 9:30am – 6pm, plus evening activities
  • Mentorships Commence: October 2018
  • Workshop #2: Friday 7 - Saturday 8 December 2018: 9:30am - 6pm, plus evening activities
  • Midsumma Festival 2019: 20 January to 10 February 2019 (three weeks; participants expected to attend a minimum of three events)
  • Workshop #3: Wednesday 30 January 2019: A shorter workshop during Midsumma Festival, aproximately 2 hours. Time TBC
  • Workshop #4: Friday 5 – Saturday 6 April 2019 (2 days): 9:30am – 6pm, plus evening activities
  • Mentorships Conclude: May 2019


Midsumma is committed to making our programs accessible to all people. Please let us know if you have any access requirements and would like assistance.

Introductory Auslan video: Watch here.

Introductory Audio description: Listen here.

Easy English version: Read here.

Alternative format applications: If writing is a barrier for you, you can respond to the main section of the application (part B) via audio recording or video. If appropriate, use Auslan in your application video (we'll arrange to get it professionally interpreted for the selection panel). Apply by alternative format here.

Talk to us: If you would like to discuss your access requirements, please contact our friendly staff.
Call 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
Midsumma is National Relay Service ready: contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours.


Registrations to be part of the Midsumma 2018-2019 Midsumma Futures program have now closed.

Ready to Apply? Read the following to help you prepare your application:

  • Application Drafting and Editing. You can edit your application. Once you have submitted your application form, you will be emailed a link back to the form allowing you to make changes until Monday 27 August 2018 at midnight.
  • Support Material. It is important to provide materials that support the content of your application. This may be a letter of support, examples of past projects and documentation that demonstrates projects that you are about to embark on. You can provide a maximum or three (3) pieces of support material and they must be provided as URLs (e.g. As links to your Dropbox account or website).
  • Prepare your CV or bio. Maximum one page. You can copy and paste your bio/CV into your application or provide a weblink.
  • Check the criteria. See the "Criteria and selection process" tab above.
  • Speak to Midsumma's friendly staff. We strongly encourage you to discuss your application before applying.
    Call 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].
    Midsumma is National Relay Service ready: contact the National Relay Service on 133 677 or via, then ask for 03 9296 6600 during business hours.

Apply online here


Can I apply as a group?

Yes. Ensembles, artist run initiatives and small groups working together on a project can apply. However, there are some points to consider:

  • A maximum of three group members can attend the workshops (preferably the same group members for each workshop).
  • The entire group would be matched with a mentor; each group member would not receive their own individual mentor.
  • Please nominate one group member to lead all communications with the mentor and Midsumma.

What's required of my mentor?

Your mentor is required to:

  • Attend an introductory/briefing meeting with yourself and a Midsumma staff member (1 hour) in October 2018.
  • Attend a debrief with yourself and a Midsumma staff member (1 hour) in May 2019.
  • Commit to 10 hours of interaction with their mentee. Mentors are paid a one-off fee of $800 – this fee was calculated according to NAVA standards of $80 per hour for 10 hours.

Does my mentor need to live in the same city as me?

No. The mentorship can take place online and/or over the phone. Midsumma does not contribute towards travel costs.

How do I know if I'm the right fit for the program?

You are right for this program if you:

  • Are in the first 10 years of your practice.
  • Identify as queer or LGBTQIA+ in some way.
  • Want to develop your practice through mentorship, engagement with new ideas and interaction with peers from across disciplines.

Still unsure? Contact Midsumma on 03 9296 6600 or email [email protected].

Can I be mentored by a group?

Yes. Please note, individual group members would not be paid a fee each; the entire group would receive $800 for 10 hours of interaction. If you are planning on being mentored by a group, please discuss with Midsumma staff.

Do I have to have a project that I'm working on?

No. There is no expected outcome as part of this program. However, you will potentially get more out of the experience if you are simultaneously working on a project during the program.

I live outside of Melbourne, will Midsumma cover my travel costs to workshops?

No, Midsumma is unable to pay for travel or accommodation costs.


Sponsor: Stomping GroundsStomping Ground Brewing Co is a neighbourhood brewery​ ​in Collingwood bringing people together over a great beer.​ In the summer of 2018, they released a special beer to raise essential funds for the Midsumma Futures program.
This program is made possible with their generous support.

  • Dan Murphy's
  • AGL
  • Jetstar
  • City of Melbourne
  • Corrs
  • PwC
  • NAB