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National Assistance Program for the Arts

May 7th, 2020

application to this initiative has now closed

A group of arts and culture philanthropists have come together to provide a $1.5 million support program for the COVID-19 affected arts sector.

The philanthropic community of Australian arts supporters recognises the challenges faced by our cultural sector in adopting the vital COVID-19-related precautions that we all must embrace to keep our loved ones safe.

We acknowledge and appreciate the commitments of all levels of government in their efforts to help support Australians through this difficult time. In supporting those efforts, the below group of philanthropists have collaborated to provide support to some artists and arts workers.

Philanthropy Australia’s Arts Funders Network is coordinating the distribution of philanthropic funds into the Australian arts sector, in partnership with Creative Partnerships Australia and the Australian Cultural Fund, in the form of a National Assistance Program for the Arts.

The program will distribute one-off grants of $1,000 each on the basis of need, experience, and talent. The alumni of the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship program will assess applications to the program.

In co-ordinating our efforts, we hope to provide immediate relief for some artists and arts workers experiencing hardship. We recognise that our recovery from this emergency will be long and we will be there, with our community, for the duration of that journey. We know the need in the community exceeds our capacity, but we will do what we can to help those who need it most.

Application to the program closed at midnight AEST on Sunday 10 May 2020. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in the week beginning 11 May 2020.

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the program can be found below.

Participating Philanthropists and Philanthropic Entities:

Andrew Myer AM & Kerry Gardner AM
Ann & Warwick Johnson
Berwyn Roberts & Jennifer Mackenzie
Carrillo Gantner AC and Ziyin Gantner
Creative Partnerships Australia
Darin Cooper Foundation
Day Family Foundation
Doc Ross Foundation
FWH Foundation
Inner North Community Foundation
James and Diana Ramsay Foundation
Kate and Stephen Shelmerdine Family Foundation
Kathryn Fagg AO
Kim Williams AM
Lindisfarne Foundation
Mandy and Edward Yencken & Family
Mark and Louise Nelson
Minderoo Foundation
Nunn Dimos Foundation
Philanthropy Australia
Robert Bishop
Sarah Myer and Baillieu Myer AC
Sidney Myer Fund
Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant AM
Spinifex Trust
Tim Fairfax AC
The Skrzynski Family Sky Foundation
Vallejo Gantner
Yulgilbar Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When will I find out if my application has been successful?
    Applicants will be advised by email on Friday, 15 May 2020.
  2. How many websites should I list in answer to the online presence question?
    Just one will suffice – your website if you are an artist or your LinkedIn if you are an arts worker.
  3. What if I don’t have a LinkedIn page?
    To apply to this program you need to be able to provide online evidence of your work history or creative practice. You can provide a link to any webpage which demonstrates your eligibility for these purposes.
  4. Can I submit support material or my resume alongside my application?
    In order to provide applicants with a quick response to their application, only the online evidence provided will be reviewed by the assessors.
  5. How many grants will be awarded?
    1,400 grants of $1,000 will be awarded.
  6. Will there be more grants awarded in the future?
    This initiative is designed as a one-off exercise to coordinate the distribution of philanthropic funds from around the country into the arts sector. There are a range of other initiatives available to artists and arts workers including:

    1. Australia Council
    2. Creative Victoria
    3. Arts Queensland
    4. Create New South Wales
    5. Support Act
    6. NAVA Artists Benevolent Fund
    7. Theatre Network Australia Independent Artists Fund
  7. How will the applications be assessed?
    Applications will be assessed by the Sidney Myer Creative Fellows with support from the Sidney Myer Fund team on the basis of need, experience and talent. You can read more about the Sidney Myer Creative Fellows here.
  8. Will the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship program be delivered this year?
    In light of the challenges facing Australia’s arts and cultural sector, the Sidney Myer Fund is reviewing each of its programs to ensure they are providing the most effective type of support at this time. An announcement on the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship program will be made in June.
  9. How can I find out about JobKeeper and JobSeeker?
    You can find information and stay up-to-date on the latest support offered by the federal Australian government here or by calling 13 28 46.

Homepage image: Indolombia performing at the 2020 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards. Photo by Fiona Hamilton.

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