At Arts Centre Melbourne, we believe everyone has the right to experience the wonder of the arts, so we've developed a variety of programs designed to provide schools greater access to the arts.

"Our students have been in Australia for a very short time. A few of them arrived just two days before the excursion. Some of them come from rural areas and most of them have limited education. That is why performances in Arts Centre Melbourne so generously subsidised by the First Call Fund, are vital to the development of our students' social skills, cultural literacy and the civic spirit."

Teacher, Noble Park English Language School

The arts can broaden our experience, empathy and understanding of the world. International research shows arts participation can impact positively on:

  • social and personal development
  • attitude to learning
  • connectedness to community and family
  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • arts knowledge and skills
  • general competencies such as communicating, problem solving, planning, organisation and perseverance.*

Many schools face specific challenges that make a visit to Arts Centre Melbourne difficult. These schools are supported through a variety of initiatives and targeted programs.

Regional Schools – ArtsConnect9

ArtsConnect9 brings Year 9 students from regional Victoria to Melbourne for world-class arts experiences. An amazing range of curated full-day and individual cultural experiences are programmed that bring 30 cultural partners together under one banner to ignite students’ creativity and curiosity.

Accessible Music Program for Special Development Schools

Small groups from Melbourne’s Special Development Schools visit The Channel multiple times over a school term to participate in technology based music therapy sessions through our Accessible Music Program for schools. Content is tailored to maximise abilities, promote self-expression and improve communication. Activities are planned in conjunction with school staff utilising motivating and accessible music technology.

First Call Fund – Schools

Are you a teacher or principal who wants to foster creativity and curiosity among your students and broaden their experience? Then a visit to Arts Centre Melbourne is a must! If your school is facing barriers that make a visit difficult, the First Call Fund may be for you. Applications are accepted and assessed throughout the year.

*Research care of Dr Mary Ann Hunter (2005) Education and the Arts, Australia Council for the Arts.

Contact Details

ArtsConnect9 Experiences

Phone: (03) 9281 8582 or (03) 9281 8394
Fax: (03) 9281 8627

First Call Fund

Phone: (03) 9281 8582 or (03) 9281 8394
Fax: (03) 9281 8627

Accessible Music Program

Contact our Registered Music Therapists:

Phone: (03) 9281 8790

First Call Fund – Schools

The First Call Fund: How Arts Centre Melbourne strives to improve access to the arts for everyone.


Regional Year 9 students experience world-class art for $9 each.

Accessible Music Programs

Immersive music making for small groups of students from special development schools.

Frequently Asked Questions

The First Call Fund was created by Arts Centre Melbourne to help remove barriers that prevent Victorians from participating in the arts. The Fund provides support specifically to schools and community groups so they can experience the huge variety of live performances, workshops and other participatory events at Arts Centre Melbourne. It is available to any Victorian school or community group that meets the selection criteria.

Please note: While the First Call Fund exists for those who need it, we are not able to assess applications directly from individuals. Our First Call Fund relationships are built with schools and organisations that represent individuals and families and who access the Fund on their behalf. Find out more about the First Call Fund.

The Channel is Arts Centre Melbourne learning and participation venue. This exciting, spacious venue boasts high tech learning labs, a world class recording studio and vocal booth and a flexible multi-use space. Workshops and the Accessible Music Program take place at The Channel.

For information on how to get here please download & print our visitor's map prior to your visit.

For any other access questions, Arts Centre Melbourne's Disability Access Manager would love to chat with you during office hours on (03) 9281 8503.