A dynamic and well-resourced Arts sector is central to a culturally-rich and vibrant society. The Foundation is interested in building the calibre and capacity of Arts organisations and supporting them to raise the bar of aspiration and achievement.


'Genesis' - WA Ballet / Fly By Night Club - 12th August 2009


For The Ian Potter Foundation, supporting a vibrant and thriving Arts sector is a key focus. Through our Arts program area we aim to help build the calibre and capacity of Australia’s arts organisations and support them to raise the bar of aspiration and achievement in the sector. We seek to foster appreciation of the arts and to develop opportunities for greater access to the arts, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Support for the Arts has been a feature of the Foundation’s funding since it was established in 1964.  Sir Ian Potter was deeply involved in the visual and performing Arts, and with Dr H.C ‘Nugget’ Coombs, he established the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. In turn, the Trust created The Australian Ballet and the Australian Opera and supported many individuals and organisations working in the arts.

Today, the Foundation seeks to support Australian cultural institutions and organisations which are distinctive in artistic achievement, imagination and innovation, and programs that work strategically to help such organisations reach their goals. At a local level, the Foundation seeks to extend cultural opportunities to regional centres and encourage the development of arts programs throughout Australia’s varied and vibrant communities.

Since establishment, the Foundation has made over 700 Arts grants and contributed over $40 million to the sector, including an $8 million grant (over four years) to The Australian Ballet in 2009 and $15 million in 2001 to establish the Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia .

Details of individual Arts grants can be found in our Grants Database. Potential applicants should also refer to the Funding Objectives section for more information about current funding priorities.

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust

The Foundation’s commitment to the arts is also expressed through The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, a separate legal entity which makes grants to exceptionally talented Australian artists. The Cultural Trust provides support to individual artists to help them to undertake further studies or professional development opportunities, usually overseas.

Funding Objectives

A dynamic and well-resourced arts sector is central to a culturally-rich and vibrant society. The Foundation is interested in building the calibre and capacity of arts organisations and supporting them to raise the bar of aspiration and achievement. We look for well-considered programs that work strategically to achieve this. The Foundation also seeks to foster appreciation for the arts and facilitate accessibility for all Australians.


  • To support cultural institutions and organisations in Australia which are distinctive in artistic achievement, imagination and innovation.
  • To extend cultural opportunities to regional centres, and encourage the development of arts programs at a local level.

Applicants are required to speak with a Program Manager if submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a grant of more than $100,000.

The Ian Potter Foundation rarely awards the full amount of any project.  Please ensure that you have alternative providers of funding, and that your application clearly considers any possible grant  from the Foundation in this context.  We are unlikely to fund 100% of a project cost.

Please also refer to the Funding Principles section for further information.


The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

 Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions for the Arts program area before go through the 'Apply for a Grant' process on the website.


The Foundation does not support performances, exhibitions or festivals.

General Exclusions

Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding:
• Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration
• Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision
• Capital or endowment funds established to provide a corpus for institutions
• Research for undergraduate, masters or doctoral students
• Auspicing* is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project
• Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia**
• Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted
• Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation

Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation's guidelines. The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.

** Geographical constraints on grants
The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.

Outcomes & Metrics

It is the aim of the Foundation that the projects it funds will have long-term impact beyond immediate key performance indicators and outputs. In your Arts application, you will be asked to select between two and five long-term goals for your project.

Long-term outcomes are:

  • Improved financial sustainability
  • Infrastructure development
  • Improved operational capacity/capability
  • Increased knowledge base
  • Improved skill base
  • Creative collaboration/exchange
  • Audience development
  • Increase quality of creative/artistic work
  • Works produced/presented
  • Access to creative/educational programs

In your final report, you will be asked how you progressed on your long-term outcomes. It’s helpful to select your metrics early on, so you can begin to collect information about your success as soon as your project begins. Some suggested metrics can be found in Arts Outcomes & Metrics guide.

Application Process

Grant requests for Arts are considered via a two-step Expression of Interest process. You can preview the EoI information you will be required to submit.

To improve your chance of success, check out : Tips &Hints, FAQs, Grants Database

Application Process

The online application can only be accessed when a funding round is open.

Step 1: Read ALL the information on this program area page to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and program area objectives before you begin.

Step 2: Select 'Apply for a Grant' tab below. This tab will only appear when applications are open.

Step 3: You will then need to login by entering your username and password or create an account by clicking New Applicant?.

Step 4: Complete the Eligibility Quiz. If you meet eligibility requirements, you will proceed to the Expression of Interest online form.

After you save and close you can re-access your Expression of Interest via the My Account Icon minilink using your username and password. 

Step 5: If your Expression of Interest is approved by the Program Manager, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Step 6: Complete your application (Stage 2). Ensure your application is submitted by 5pm EST on the closing date.

We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5pm EST deadline on the closing date. Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.

What happens next?

All grant applications are considered by the Board of Governors at the Foundation’s board meetings, which are held three times a year in April, August & December.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application by phone or email.

Apply for a Grant

Next Funding Round

Next Round

Round 1, 2017

Applications open November 7 2016

Applications in the Arts program area will not open in Round 2, 2016.  The next round opens in November 2016. Find out why here.

Expression of Interest

Open: Monday 7 November 2016
Close: Friday 9 December 2016

Feature Case Studies

  • Melbourne Jazz Festival Master Class

    The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) is Australia’s foremost jazz festival bringing together talented jazz musicians from all over the world. The 2012 festival was a great success, delivering a seven per cent increase on 2011 box office revenue which, combined with a box office surplus, made it the most successful festival in MIJF’s 15 year history. In keeping with the Foundation’s aim to encourage excellence we supported the change in programming strategy that helped deliver this result. The festival now has a working financial surplus and a diverse group of funders and partners.

    Melbourne Jazz Limited
    2012 Melbourne Jazz festival Masterclass Series
    April 2012 - June 2012

    Read more

    ‘A highlight for many festival-goers, these events are essential in the professional development of emerging and established musicians, and make an enormous contribution to Australia’s creative communities.’

    Melbourne International Jazz Festival

  • Propel Youth Arts

    Amplifier  aims to improve the arts business skills of young and emerging artists and arts workers in WA.

    Propel Youth Arts Inc. WA
    September 2012

    Read more

    ‘The Amplifier published guide is a more cost-effective way of sharing valuable career and professional development information to enfranchise young, emerging artists.’


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