Australia Council for the Arts

The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.   The Ewing and George Paton Gallery Archive contains applications and Annual Reports to the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council from the years 1973-1990.   The first Australia Council grant round was held in 1973 and the Ewing received $3,000 towards its 1974 program.    Generous funding was received every year from the Australia Council until 1989.  The funding received had increased to $14,000 by 1989.  Recipients of grants were required to provide a grant acquittal report at the end of their funded activity, this greatly improved the quality of documentation for exhibitions from 1974 onwards and preserving the history of the galleries’ activities that are now accessible through University of Melbourne Archives. The reports on  the Ewing and George Paton Galleries’ exhibition and related activities programmes include catalogues, invitations, posters, photographs, reviews, publications and more.

The Australia Council for the Arts continues to offer a broad range of grants for Australian artists and arts organisations.  In 2010–11, they invested over $163 million in artists and arts organisations to support Australian artists in making art for Australian and international audiences.  West Space, a Melbourne based non-profit artist-led gallery was fortunate to secure the Visual Arts Key Organisations Multi-Year 2012-2015 grant for $200,450.00.  West Space relocated to a substantially larger space in a more central location in mid 2011, enabling them to radically expand their artistic programming.  This funding no doubt has contributed to West Space reducing exhibition fees by 25% in 2013.  West Space have a long-held ambition for the organisation to remove fees,  and see this as an exciting step towards their goal.

As a result of the relationship between the Ewing and George Paton Galleries and the Australia Council for the Arts, the archive holds many records documenting this interaction.  These include: correspondence, reports, programmes and more.

Through the financial assistance and support of the Australia Council for the Arts, many artists and art organisations are able to operate, develop and flourish, reaching new audiences and contributing to the progressive arts and culture sector both within Australia and internationally.

University of Melbourne George Paton Gallery collection 1990.0144

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