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Philanthropic community delivers National Assistance Program for the Arts

May 07th, 2020

A group of arts and culture philanthropists have come together to provide a $1.4 million support program for the COVID-19 affected arts sector via a one-off National Assistance Program for the Arts.

The program, developed by Philanthropy Australia’s Arts Funders Network, will coordinate the distribution of philanthropic funds into the Australian arts sector via the one-off program as one-off grants of $1,000 each on the basis of need, experience, and talent.

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,” said Neal Harvey, Chair of the Philanthropy Australia Arts Funder Network.

“In supporting those efforts, the below group of philanthropists have collaborated to provide support to some artists and arts workers who might not be able to access already-announced support initiatives. 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.”

“The Australian cultural sector has been acutely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with artists, performers and organisations across Australia struggling to stay afloat in these unprecedented circumstances,” said Philanthropy Australia CEO, Sarah Davies.

“Philanthropy has a unique and critical role to play in times like these, giving strategically and collectively to support the efforts of community and government to generate positive outcomes.

“The National Assistance Program for the Arts is a brilliant example of collective philanthropy in action, with philanthropic funders and entities coming together at this critical time to support the cultural sector.”

The philanthropists listed below will distribute $1.4 million to artists and arts workers:

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
Kathryn Fagg AO
Kim Williams AM
Lindisfarne Foundation
Minderoo Foundation
Nunn Dimos Foundation
Robert Bishop
Sarah Myer and Baillieu Myer AC
Sidney Myer Fund
Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant AM
Spinifex Trust
Stephen Shelmerdine AM and Kate Shelmerdine                                                        
Tim Fairfax AC
The Skrzynski Family Sky Foundation
Yulgilbar Foundation

Applications to the program will open at 9.00am AEST on Thursday 7 May 2020 and close 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.

For more information about the National Assistance Program for the Arts, please visit

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