HYPERLOCAL now accepting EOIs from Victorian based artists!

HYPERLOCAL is a collaborative program between an artist or collective and four presenting partners across Melbourne – Abbotsford Convent (Abbotsford), Dancehouse (Carlton North), Darebin Arts (Northcote) and The Substation (Newport) – coordinated and produced by Performing Lines.

We are thrilled to invite artists to respond to the opportunity to work “hyperlocally” with us. This response could be a work which is new, re-imagined, physical, and/or virtual, developed in some spaces and presented in others – and everything beyond or in between.  This is a rare opportunity for experimentation and play, with a chance to engage with up to four unique audiences, communities and spaces.

As part of this opportunity, the successful artist(s) will be given time, space and resources towards the creation of a new performance work. This pilot program will explore new ways for artists and presenters to work collaboratively to generate experiences for our communities hyperlocally. It’s a new way of working and we are excited to see what manifests and how this might shape the future.

We are really open to how artists might approach this opportunity across our physical and digital contexts. We also know that the world has changed due to COVID and we will work with artists’ creative ideas as well as our own experiences about how our collaboration may have built-in flexibility to navigate any COVID related impacts. We will all work to navigate these together.

Working together we want to celebrate artist(s) across all our arts venues and communities and learn together about how this mode of “presenting” work impacts locality and community ecologies. It is a new frontier to which the artist(s) are central. Through this program we will endeavour to enliven our practice and our communities and deepen our “togetherness” rather than separateness.

What you get

  • An investment of $26,500.00 in realising your idea.
  • Space and support to develop and present your work at Dancehouse, Abbotsford Convent, Darebin Arts and The Substation, or any combination thereof.
  • Producing support from Performing Lines.
  • Production support including:
    • Production and tech support
    • Hire of venue production equipment (where available)

Key Selection Criteria

  • The proposal presents a compelling and innovative contemporary creative performance idea.
  • Provide a top-line budget. The concept is realistic in scale for the available funds.
  • Must be a Victorian based artist.

What you need to do

  • Develop a brand-new contemporary performance idea that incorporates the four venues in a creative and engaging way.
  • Present some form of outcome. There must be at least one public outcome to take place at Darebin Arts. This can take any shape you like and does not have to be your typical end of development showing. We encourage new, bold ideas!
  • Consider what access components should be factored into your new work as part of your development.
  • Attend check-in meetings at various intervals with the venue partners to provide project updates.
  • Document your work and process as part of your development so that it can be shared with the venue partners.
  • Participate in a project debrief with the presenting partners and Performing Lines.
  • Be open – it’s a brand new approach for all of us that could generate a new way of working!

How to apply

Max one-page written expression of interest about your idea and who else is involved. Please include separately a little bit about you (i.e. bio), a top-line budget and a rough timeline. Applicants with diverse experiences are encouraged to apply.

We want you to apply in the format that is easiest for you. If you have any specific access requirements, please get in touch with Natasha Phillips at

Please submit your application to no later than 20 September 2021.

Key Dates

  • EOI’s open: 30 August 2021
  • EOI’s close: 20 September 2021
  • *Notification: 1 October 2021
  • Creation period: To be determined by selected application and the venue partners (sometime in early 2022)

* Please note the notification date might be subject to change but we will keep you informed as much as possible.


What happens next

Once the EOI closes, applications will be reviewed by program leads from Dancehouse, Abbotsford Convent, Darebin Arts, The Substation and Performing Lines. Applicants will be assessed against the key selection criteria.

You will be notified about the outcome of your application no later than 1 October 2021 unless otherwise notified beforehand of any change.

Hyperlocal FAQ’s 


If I live in regional Victoria, can I apply?

Yes you can. We encourage any artists living in metro or regional Victoria to apply.  


Can I only apply with one project?

No, an applicant is welcome to submit more than one application for a different project.  


Will other confirmed financial support strengthen my application?

Other financial support will neither strengthen nor weaken when assessing your application. All applications will be assessed equally against the key selection criteria.  


Do we need to engage with all 4 venues as part of this opportunity?

You are asked to engage with all venues throughout the process at check-in intervals in the form of a meeting, but you can choose to engage with one, a combination, or all venues on a more practical level depending on what you want and what your project needs. But we are encouraging you to explore the concept of locality and how your idea can intercept with four sets of audiences to provide unique experiences. We are really interested to see how you would engage with the “hyper locality” nature and how your work can experiment with this concept.  


Is there a confirmed presentation as part of this opportunity?

No there is not. This commission is just to develop your idea that may lead to a presentation but that is to be determined between the venues along with the artist(s) and will be funding dependent. 


What kind of outcome do I need to present at Darebin Arts?

This does not mean a ready stage outcome or completed work. There just needs to be some form of public outcome at Darebin (at which venue will be determined between the artist(s) and Darebin). This could include a showing, a talk, a community dinner, or any other demonstration of the learnings and experience gained throughout the process. We are open to suggestions! 


Do I need to have an outcome at other venues?

This is up to you but it’s not a requirement. If you would like to test your idea across multiple venues, we would encourage this as this lends itself to the experiment of locality.  



What happens if COVID has an impact? 

The landscape of how we make work has changed. This is part of what we are aiming to find out together to see what is in fact the best way to navigate making work in a COVID impacted environment. We will have open and transparent conversations along the way, and you will be supported the whole time.


Does my idea need to be a brand-new work?

Not at all. This can be an existing idea, a re-imagined work that has had a presentation already or something brand new altogether. It can be physical only, digital only, or incorporate both. We are open to receiving projects at any stage of their journey that take any shape or form! 


How are the four venues involved?

Abbotsford Convent, Dancehouse, Darebin Arts and The Substation are the curatorial consortium that is steering the program through collaboration who will provide you with space, resources, and support. They also make up the assessing panel who will be reviewing all applications. 


What is Performing Line’s role?

Performing Lines are the coordinators and producers of the program and will provide the applicant with the producing support needed throughout the process. 


What is the timeline?

Refer to the “Key Dates” section for full details. Once the EOI closes, the curatorial panel will meet and review each application with an aim to inform the chosen applicant by 1 October. The period in which you will develop your idea will be sometime between January and June 2022. We will coordinate with you a time that suits you (and your team) and when there is availability in the venue/s. Any time is up for grabs pending space availabilities and COVID pending.  


What is a top-line budget?

A top-line budget means a snapshot of total costs you intend on spending the funds for, broken down into their specific categories such as wages + on costs, materials, equipment etc. It doesn’t need to be too detailed. We just want to understand how you want to spend those funds. 


Can I really submit any idea?

Yes! We are very excited for you to interpret and respond to this opportunity in a way that thrills and inspires you. There are no wrong ways to apply.  

Hyperlocal is a joint commissioning program with Abbotsford Convent, Dancehouse, Darebin Arts and The Substation, produced by Performing Lines. This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and The Besen Family Foundation.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.