Vibrant - Arts


  • To support first-rate artistic institutions and organisations in metropolitan and regional Australia which are distinctive in artistic achievement, imagination and innovation in fostering development across a sector or art form.
  • To support such institutions to host artists in high-calibre professional development and/or leadership opportunities of at least 12 months (e.g. fellowships, apprenticeships, mentorships, internships).

Round Information

Expression of Interest

Monday 19 October 2020
Friday 6 November 2020

For projects/travel after

30 April 2021

Grants Announced

late April 2021

Dancenorth A.R.T. Indigenous Cross-Artform Residency Artist Zane Saunders.
Image credit: Robert Crispe.


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.

Since establishment, the Foundation has made over 700 Arts grants and contributed over $58 million to the sector. 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.

Important to know

  • Speak with the Arts Program Manager before preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI).
  • Applications for this program area are considered once a year by the Board of Governors.
  • In general, the recommended minimum grant amount for institutions and organisations is $100,000 and these are usually considered as multi-year grants.
  • We encourage all organisations to apply regardless of their size; in the case of smaller organisations, the award can be for small amounts over multiple years.
  • Proposals that are collaborative and/or share knowledge with the broader sector are encouraged.
  • 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.  Please also refer to the Funding Principles section for further information.

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 early career Australian artists. The Cultural Trust provides support to individual artists to help them to undertake professional development opportunities, usually overseas.

Funding Objectives

A dynamic and well-resourced arts sector is central to a culturally rich, vibrant and innovative society. The Foundation is interested in enhancing the calibre and capacity of the arts sector and supporting excellent organisations to raise the bar of aspiration and achievement. 


  • To support first-rate artistic institutions and organisations in metropolitan and regional Australia which are distinctive in artistic achievement, imagination and innovation in fostering development across a sector or art form.
  • To support such institutions to host artists in high-calibre professional development and/or leadership opportunities of at least 12 months (e.g. fellowships, apprenticeships, mentorships, internships).


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.


 Specific Exclusions

The Foundation does not support Arts events (such as festivals or fairs), performances or exhibitions. This exclusion also applies to the development or production of works of art, where this is the primary purpose of the project.  

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 fund a chair or 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 up to three long-term goals for your project.

Technical long-term outcomes are:

  • Improved skill base
  • Increased quality or creative/artistic work
  • Preserved/enhanced culture
  • Early career artist/researcher receives ongoing funding/position
  • Stimulated creativity

Strategic long-terms outcomes are:

  • Improved financial sustainability/audience development
  • Improved international standing/recognition
  • Improved service system/sector collaboration

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 the 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.

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

Application Process

All applicants are required to speak with a Program Manager before preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI).

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: Speak with the relevant Program Manager before preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Step 3: Select 'Apply for a Grant' tab below. This tab will only appear when applications are open.

Step 4: You will then need to login by entering your username and password or create an account by clicking New Applicant?.

Step 5: 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 6: If your Expression of Interest is approved by the Program Manager, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Step 7: Complete your full application (Stage 2) online. We require all supporting documents to be submitted as part of the online application by 5:00 pm AEDST deadline on the closing date. 

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.

Not Currently Open for Applications

Feature Case Studies

  • SSO Fellowship Program addresses unmet needs

    The SSO Fellowship program provides the opportunity for young symphonic orchestral musicians to experience the unique and challenging life of a professional symphonic orchestral musician firsthand. 

    Sydney Symphony Orchestra
    SSO Fellowship Academy
    May 2014 - December 2016

    Read more

    ‘For 16 years, the SSO Fellowship has equipped young musicians with the tools they need to sustain long and fruitful careers as professional musicians. Participating in the program will not only ensure that these young musicians are job-ready and capable of winning positions in prestigious orchestras all over the world, but even more importantly lead them to become inspiring, imaginative and innovative artists who are able to transform lives through music. ’

    Roger Benedict
    Artistic Director

  • Investing in the vitality of Australian theatre

    In 2015, Theatre Works presented the inaugural Directors Lab: Melbourne, a professional development program for theatre directors, in partnership with the Melbourne Festival. It's success has led to it becoming an annual event.. 

    Theatre Works
    Directors Lab: Melbourne
    May 2016 - Nov 2017

    Read more

    ‘I think my practice can never be the same having experienced the Directors Lab. I feel I have never been surrounded by so many diverse minds, so many different ways of working, or ways of thinking, of not just theatre but also the world.’

    Participating director

  • 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.’


Support Australia's most innovative projects through a donation to The Ian Potter Foundation. Your donation will support projects that address areas of particular need or opportunity, managed by credible organisations with solid track records in their particular fields.

Sign up to e-Newsletter

Hey, it seems you"re using a browser that is a little past its time and our website might not be able to perform as it should. If you’d like to have the best experience on our website, you can easily find out about updating your browser here

dismiss this message