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Arts Connect 9

A unique offer for Year 9 regional students to experience Melbourne's cultural precinct.

ArtsConnect9 is a Victorian Government initiative that provides regional Year 9 students with the opportunity to experience first-hand the array of world-class arts and cultural activities and institutions in Melbourne. Now in its 20th year, the program has introduced over 100,000 Victorian students to Melbourne’s theatres, galleries, museums and libraries, by reducing the barriers that regional schools face in participating in the city’s rich cultural landscape.

ArtsConnect9 alleviates the burden of travel costs to and from Melbourne’s CBD, and provides subsidised entry to a range of dynamic and exciting programs. All Year 9 students in regional Victoria are entitled to one ArtsConnect9 experience per year.

For $9 per student (teachers complimentary) you may choose one of the following experiences:

  • Full Day – embark upon a full day arts experience
  • Performance – see a live drama, music, dance, comedy or circus performance
  • Performance Plus – see a performance and do one other activity from the Plus Program
  • Independent Journey – select any two activities (exhibitions, workshops, screenings and tours) from the Plus Program


Arts Centre Melbourne has been managing and delivering the program on behalf of the participating organisations since its inception.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Phone: (03) 9281 8784

Step 1: ArtsConnect9 brochure

The ArtsConnect9 brochure is a handy guide to all of the arts and cultural experiences on offer to your students.

The brochure is sent to all regional schools in Victoria, and is also available in PDF format.

Step 2: Terms & Conditions

Please review the ArtsConnect9 Terms & Conditions before submitting your booking.

In particular, please note that cancellation fees may apply to some ArtsConnect9 bookings.

Schools are expected to pay for ArtsConnect9 excursions prior to the excursion day. Please keep this in mind when confirming your attendance numbers, as we are unable to provide a refund for students who are absent on the day.

Step 3: Booking form

Please complete the booking form and return it to Arts Centre Melbourne.


NB: You must include your own email address on this paperwork. Email is our primary and most efficient form of communication regarding important information about your booking.

Step 4: Travel reimbursement

ArtsConnect9 covers all costs incurred travelling both to and from Melbourne. Read the Travel Reimbursement form carefully.

Please complete the Travel Reimbursement form and return it to Arts Centre Melbourne along with the following documentation:

  1. An invoice from the bus company or V-Line
  2. An invoice from your school for the amount being claimed (GST excluded)

A Full Day Experience provides your Year 9 group with the opportunity to embark on a curated arts-based experience for the whole day.

Dates and times may vary for each activity, however Full Day Experiences usually run to school hours (approximately 9:30am to 3:30pm). Full Day Experiences are very popular, so be sure to submit your booking forms early to avoid disappointment.

The Full Day Experience package is a stand-alone event in the ArtsConnect9 program. Unfortunately, Plus Experiences or Performances cannot be added to your excursion.

View the complete ArtsConnect9 program. Full Day Experiences information is available on pages 7 to 16.

The ArtsConnect9 program offers a range of performances in the Melbourne Arts Precinct for Year 9 students. Drama, music, dance, comedy and circus performances are available throughout the year at Arts Centre Melbourne, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Recital Centre.

You may also like to choose an additional activity from the Plus Experiences to create a Performance Plus excursion.

Please keep in mind, if you’re on a school camp the Plus Experience is not required to take place on the same day as the Performance.

View the complete ArtsConnect9 program. Performances information is available on pages 19 to 34.

A Plus Experience is a shorter activity – 1 to 3 hours in duration – which can be booked as a stand-alone activity, an Independent Journey (two Plus Experiences) or Performance Plus (one Plus Experience and one Performance).

Plus Experiences fall into four categories; Exhibitions, Workshops, Screenings and Tours. These activities take place in some of Melbourne’s most respected and well-known arts and cultural institutions, including ACMI, Chunky Move, Fed Square, Melbourne Recital Centre, Malthouse Theatre, NGV, State Library Victoria, and many more.

Please keep in mind, if you’re on a school camp, Plus Experience activities are not required to take place on the same day.

View the complete ArtsConnect9 program. Full Day Experiences information is available on pages 37 to 60.


  • Start planning early. These programs are very popular and will sell out. You should aim to have your booking form to us at least one month before your excursion date.
  • Be flexible. Have some alternative dates or activities up your sleeve just in case we are unable to accommodate your group on your preferred date.
  • Add AC9 to the Booklist. Add the $9 per student cost of an ArtsConnect9 excursion to the Year 9 Booklist. This will help guarantee attendance.
  • Lock in your numbers. Get student payment and permission forms back early to assist in locking in final numbers by the due date on the confirmation paperwork. Please keep in mind, that AC9 expects payment for your booking before the excursion date.
  • Don’t try to fit too much to your day. Keep in mind:
    • Realistic arrival and departure times (to and from Melbourne)
    • Travel times between venues
    • Lunch breaks
    • Exhaustion levels and expectations on the students
  • Speak with your colleagues. There are some great cross-curricular opportunities provided by the ArtsConnect9 program. AC9 is not exclusive to Arts students, it is available to all Year 9’s, and can really complement your curriculum and be useful in whole school planning and deepening student engagement.
  • Check your emails. This is our primary source of communication.


  • Provide a mobile phone contact for the day and keep your mobile on!
  • Print out and bring along the confirmation paperwork. You may need to present this for entry at some venues.
  • Please aim to arrive at least 15-minutes prior to the start time of your experience at the venue specified on your itinerary.
  • Participate. Get involved. Jump in and enjoy the day with your students.


  • Integrate the AC9 experience into the Year 9 curriculum.
  • Remember to submit your Travel Claim form, invoice and documents.

  • Have a look through the brochure and choose your activities
  • Print off a booking form – you will find this form on the ‘Bookings’ tab
  • Fax or email the completed form back to us (see form for details)
  • You will receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your booking
  • Once all the details are locked in with program partners you will receive confirmation paperwork. This is confirmation paperwork will need to be signed, amended (as necessary) and returned by the due date. All amended details and confirmed numbers are final.

Please keep in mind that these programs are popular and may have sold out on the date you requested. It is a good idea to have some back up dates and / or activities as we may not be able to accommodate your first choices.

If you have a very complicated booking, it would be worth sending us an email or giving us a call to clarify the information provided on the booking form.

Of course you can!

ArtsConnect9 is a great resource for regional schools heading to Melbourne for camps. Provided you book into AC9 activities as part of your camp we can work with you.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you are creating a Performance Plus or Independent Journey Experience, you can spread out the activities a couple of days. There is no need to do all the ArtsConnect9 activities on the one day. This is really helpful for school camps.
  • ArtsConnect9 will cover the cost of transport to and from Melbourne only. We cannot reimburse travel within Melbourne during your stay nor any accommodation costs (including accommodation for the bus driver). Please get in touch if you have any queries about travel reimbursements.


There are a few options here:

  • Many schools split large groups of Year 9s into smaller, more manageable groups for the day.
  • One brave school is bringing in the full 250 strong Year 9 cohort on the same day. This group has been broken into ten groups of 25 students and each group is getting a different experience through the ArtsConnect9 program. This sort of booking is complicated and takes a lot of planning – please get in touch early if you are considering this option.
  • OR we can find activities that accept larger groups (for example Street Art and Laneway Tours, IMAX and performances at Arts Centre Melbourne) and have all the students experience the same activity at the same time.
  • OR we can roll groups through the same activities throughout the day.

There are many ways we can assist you with larger groups however you must book early!


Please do not be put off by any “minimum numbers” on ArtsConnect9 activities. If you are from a small school that cannot meet that minimum requirement, ArtsConnect9 will cover that cost. It will still only cost the school $9 per student.

Get in touch to discuss your needs.

Arts Centre Melbourne manages the ArtsConnect9 program – we liaise with all the program partners and venues and make the bookings on your behalf. As you can imagine, we do not have instant access to all these booking systems and have to wait to receive confirmation of your requested date.

Once we receive confirmation from a partner we will get in touch with you.

Please ensure you provide an email address as this is our preferred method of communication throughout all stages of the ArtsConnect9 booking.

Yes. If you are looking for an evening performance or event for your Year 9 students we can help. Please give us a call, or drop us an email, to discuss options.

IMAX, Malthouse Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne all offer evening events that could be suitable for your group.

We will invoice your school and require payment before your excursion in order to secure your booking. Therefor we need confirmation of final numbers two weeks prior to your excursion date.

Please ensure you give yourself plenty of time to get permission slips and money from your students before the excursion. We cannot provide refunds for students’ absences on the day of the excursion.

Every Year 9 student in a regional or rural Victorian school is entitled to one ArtsConnect9 experience per year. However your school may take up the offer more than once a year.

You can choose to bring all the Year 9s in at once or you can bring smaller groups in throughout the year. Whatever works best for your school!

To claim reimbursement you will need to complete the Travel Claim Form (see ‘Bookings’ tab) and return this to us (details on form) along with:

  • Tax Invoice from your school to Arts Centre Melbourne with NO GST included (AC9 does not reimburse GST)
  • Copy of the bus invoice or V/Line receipt. Quotations are not accepted.

ArtsConnect9 can only reimburse travel to and from Melbourne. We cannot reimburse the travel undertaken whilst in Melbourne using myki cards.

However, we are aware that V-Lines are increasingly using myki technology for their ticketing. If this is the case, and your students used myki cards to get in and out of Melbourne, please get in touch to discuss how reimbursement will be made. Usually we will expect a letter from your school principal to confirm the amount paid on travel to and from Melbourne.