For 30 years, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust has encouraged and supported the diversity and excellence of Australian artists.

The Trust's support for Australian artists is directed through various programs developed in response to the specific needs of artists in different career stages or art forms.   

Funding has and continues to take the form of grants, fellowships, and commissions.

A record of the Trust's awards, spanning from our first grants in June 1993 to the present, is archived in our Grants Database. 

Grants Database

Use our database to explore the grants and commissions awarded throughout our 30-year history.

Emerging Artist Grants

The Trust's first grants were approved in June 1993 and marked the beginning of our main funding program, Emerging Artist Grants.

The Emerging Artist Grants program offers grants of up to $15,000 to support emerging and early-career artists, practising in all art forms and disciplines, to take up structured professional development and networking opportunities, usually overseas.

Today, over 1850 artists spanning almost every art form have been supported through the program. 

Performance artists wearing plastic jumpsuits and talking in a microphone.

'Please Leave (a message)', co-created by grantee Dana McMillan as part of the collective ClusterFlux.
Featuring performers (L-R) Linda van Egmond, Chris Whyte, Miray Sidhom and Jack Hilton.

Emerging Performers Fellowships

In 2023, the Trust partnered with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) to establish the Ian Potter Emerging Performers Fellowship Program

The program will see two fellowships awarded annually from 2024–2028 (10 fellowships in total) to support outstanding ANAM alumni who demonstrate a commitment to developing an independent creative practice. 

Commissions & Acquisitions

In the 1980s, The Ian Potter Foundation supported a series of Sculpture Acquisitions to assist Australian sculptors and acquire works of excellence for the NGV.

In 1999, the Trust revived this idea through a program of significant Arts Commissions.

Through the Arts Commissions program, the Trust has funded two commission series, one for music composition and one for moving image works. Each commission series offered major awards to individual artists for the creation of specific works in a particular art form.

Instillation of moving image artwork Darling Darling. A man stand before a projected image of the Murray-Darling basin.

Darling Darling by Gabriella Hirst, IPMIC 2020 Premiere at ACMI. Image: Phoebe Powell.

Music Commissions

The Ian Potter Music Commission (1999–2009) was established to help spotlight the composition of new Australian music, an area that lacked profile and investment yet deserves to hold a central role in our cultural and artistic landscape.

The commissions aimed to reward creative excellence, vision and ideas with the opportunity to develop, create and perform new works.

A joint initiative of the Trust and ACMI, IPMIC supported mid-career artists in producing ambitious new works and aimed to cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary moving image art in Australian audiences.