Minderoo Foundation is launching an industry-leading Artist Fund for independent artists to explore, develop and create new work in Western Australia.
The fund is an annual program of grants and residencies aimed at fostering creative talent in Western Australia. Mid-career artists across all art forms are invited to apply now to develop new works and advance their professional practice.
Each year, Minderoo Foundation will distribute up to six $25,000 grants and up to four artist residencies at either Forrest Hall in Crawley or Minderoo Station in WA’s Pilbara valued at $10,000 each.
In an Australian first, artists who are primary carers will also be eligible for additional funding to contribute to the costs of childcare.
The fund also includes components that acknowledge the challenges faced by independent artists, including a two-stage application process, a small financial incentive for artists selected to progress to the second stage, and additional funding for successful applicants to professionally document their projects.
The arts sector, and in particular independent artists, were hard hit last year due to the impact of COVID-19. In response, in April 2020 Minderoo Foundation fast-tracked a series of grants for WA artists to create new works for the benefit of the WA community. The grants were overwhelmingly successful and inspired the new Minderoo Foundation Artist Fund.
Minderoo Foundation co-chair Nicola Forrest AO is a passionate supporter of the arts and culture sector.
“Arts has the power to change the world. Creativity is not just a buzz word or a ‘nice to have’, it is a core skill of a 21st century economy and is key to innovation,” Mrs Forrest said.
“The Minderoo Foundation Artist Fund lifts the standard for recognising our artistic workforce as the vital centre of our cultural and creative economy.
“As we recover from COVID-19, it is more important than ever to prioritise the arts sector to ensure it is increasingly resilient for the next generation.
“Independent artists are the lifeblood of a thriving arts industry, and they need sustainable career pathways.”
Mararo Wangai, an independent artist Minderoo Foundation supported in 2020, said the funding gave him and his team the freedom to explore new ideas.
“As an independent artist I’m so aware of how quickly you can dig yourself into a financial hole when you’re doing work that you love.
“The Minderoo funding assisted us greatly. It’s so rare that artists are given the opportunity just to explore and develop work.
Expressions of interest for this year’s Artist Fund are now open, and selected applicants are expected to be announced in July.
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with eight key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.