Neerim South, through the Neerim District Progress Association, was one of five towns to receive a 2013 "Small Town Transformations" Arts grant of $350,000 from Regional Arts Victoria, open to small towns with a population up to 1500.
Through the grant, community programs provided opportunities to people of all ages to take part in arts activities. These included Artist in Residence School Projects, Community Workshops, a major Acquisitive Art Prize, and Community Art Prizes. Some of the art acquired through these projects will be used to enhance the town and district and attract visitors.
A major piece of public art, the "Neerim Bower" roadside sculpture was the visual centrepiece of this multi-focus celebration of the visual arts. The Bower, designed by three local artists, forms a 7 storey high sculptural gateway at the southern entrance to the town.
The ‘Inspired by Birds’ project was a catalyst for the economic and cultural enhancement of Neerim South.