12 tips for artists from ACF donors

Supporters of the ACF share advice for artists and their philosophy towards donating to the arts.

  1. “Important for me is receiving a personal message of thanks at the time of donation – and it’s something I prioritise if I’m fundraising for something myself. It’s always nice to receive an update on how the money was used, or how their project went!” — Katie Yap
  2. “Generally, I go for projects that are led by artists who do not have access to traditional creative pathways and performance platforms.” — Gaele Sobott
  3. “A clear and confident ask goes a very long way. I don’t need the 1000 word spiel that explains the theoretical basis of your practice. I need to know WHO you are (although hopefully I already do), WHAT your project is, WHY it’s important right now (to you, to the world), and WHAT you need from me.” — Stephanie Lyall
  4. “For me to donate, I need to be a strong supporter of the work and the creative team’s artistic vision for the work.” — Matthew Briggs
  5. My gifts are very humble in value I just give what I can afford which is usually only $20 but I find the gesture of support is good too, and if it is a project I am going to enjoy as a viewer then its even better value.” — Elvis Richardson
  6. Supporting artists in their creative process enable them to share their stories with us all and move and inspire us.” — Hans Henkell
  7. “Quality, sincerity, feasibility are all important. Good strategy – making the most of things, expanding the quality of our community’s (musical) environment – is important; personal commitment and integrity.” — Brian Benjamin
  8. “Sometimes I think we discuss arts as a luxury outside of everyday life. But the arts are central to who we are – the stories we watch on telly, the clothes we wear, how our kids are educated, how we spend our evenings and weekends. Our most famous built structure houses the arts and more people go to Australian art galleries in a single year than attend AFL matches. Like sport, the arts are a nation-building exercise. We should all support that.” — Benjamin Law
  9. “There also has to be a more personal approach and finding some empathy with their endeavours.  So firstly, I would try to understand the degree of commitment they have to their art form; secondly, what personal resources they have available to achieve a successful outcome for that project; and finally what they feel they would contribute to our artistic heritage (and thus make me feel my contribution was a result of good judgment).” — John D Smyth
  10. “There are always young and aspiring artists right in front of us who may not get to develop into mature artists because they haven’t enough funds. And who in the world can say they have not been impassioned and transformed by an artist in some way?” — Darren Spowart
  11. “I am attracted to original, unique ideas; I respond well when I see the progression from an idea to a reality. Not just in words but in tangible results. I have coached hairdressers to enter awards and, like artists, writing isn’t always their strength. Clear, concise communication is essential as well as face-to-face. I would like to meet them, watch their body language, their expressions, listen to them, even via an online YouTube interview/pitch. Humour goes a long way with me too. Then tell me what you need. Don’t waste my time.” — Alyson Schoer
  12. “The process of development of any professional career is difficult enough, but the journey for the artist, and for the most obvious of reasons, is one of the toughest. The talented artists, as in any walk of life, should be nurtured to achieve their true potential.” — Paul Guest OAM QC