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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Artstart to give artists a head start

Media release
18 September 2009

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Australian Arts graduates will now be able to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help build their art businesses thanks to the launch of the ArtStart initiative, Arts Minister Peter Garrett said today.

Mr Garrett said the grants program, administered by the Australian Council for the Arts, will enable arts graduates to establish a business or to gain employment as an artist.

“ArtStart is a terrific initiative that meets an urgent need, offering artists assistance to establish their practice early in their careers.

“We know the transition from training to professional practice can be challenging and ArtStart offers an early career opportunity for artists to think carefully about how best to set up their practice.

“ArtStart will respond to artists' needs through a competitive grants process that promotes and rewards artistic excellence, helping lay solid foundations for the next generation of Australian artists.

“Importantly, the commencement of ArtStart today also delivers on a key election commitment.”

Details of the operation of the scheme and online application forms are available at: 

Mr Garrett said applicants must have graduated from accredited artists training in the last three years to apply. Potential applicants will need a viable business plan outlining how a grant will help develop their business skills, acquire space or equipment/tools, assist with marketing and promotion or other appropriate skills.

All applications will be assessed against the selection criteria by a panel of peers with expertise in artform practice, arts training and small business management.

ArtStart reflects the Australia Council’s new strategic priority to build stronger careers for artists.

Commonwealth of Australia