NAVA Grants

Artists' Benevolent Fund

N.B. The Artists' Benevolent Fund currently has limited funds. If you would like to contribute please consider donating via the 'Donate' button below.

The Artists’ Benevolent Fund makes funds available for visual arts practice recovery after disaster or emergency.

The Artists’ Benevolent Fund hopes to provide modest but useful one-off financial artistic practice assistance to Australian visual artists in crisis as a result of fire, flood, storm, serious illness, major accident, declared state or national emergencies, or some other unexpected catastrophic experience.

It is not intended that the Fund should be used as a means of coping with current financial needs, to pay outstanding debts or to fund a project. Rather, the aim of the fund is to support artists to pay living costs, studio costs, medical costs, or disaster recovery/repair costs, in order that artists may regain capacity to practice art.

The Fund might receive requests from:

  • Artists whose studios and/or entire bodies of work have recently been destroyed (e.g. as the result of fire, flood, storm, earthquake)
  • Artists who have recently suffered a major injury in their studio 
  • Artists suffering illnesses that impact on their ability to maintain their artistic practice 
  • Artists severely impacted in their practice by a recently declared state or national emergency.

Funding available

The Artists’ Benevolent Fund will offer eligible artists a one-off payment of $2,000 to provide immediate assistance following a disaster or catastrophic event in their lives. Applications will be assessed at the beginning of each month. Pending the capacity of the Fund, the panel may consider larger amounts as appropriate to the need of the beneficiary. 

Ignition Prize

The NAVA Ignition Prize for Professional Practice is awarded to a graduating student from university art and design schools that are ACUADS (Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools) members. One prize is offered to a student who achieved the highest marks in their professional practice unit or who academic staff feel would be most deserving of the benefits offered by the prize - a one year NAVA Premium Membership package. The Premium Membership includes access to resources which artists embarking on their career will find invaluable: fact sheets, check lists and tutorials, guides, industry information and advice, opportunities and discounts for magazines and museum entry.

By offering the prize, NAVA supports graduates and alerts them to the benefits available via their professional association. Joining with their peers gives emerging artists a sense of continuing inclusion in the Australian visual arts community.

If you would like to offer the Ignition Prize to your students, please contact NAVA on


Grant funders and donors often require that a recipient is incorporated, is a charity, or has DGR endorsement. Auspicing allows artists and groups to access the tax concessions and protections of the auspicing organisation. When using an auspice arrangement, the auspicee will be carrying out the project ‘under the auspices of’ the incorporated organisation – the auspicor. 

NAVA is a Deductible Gift Recipient under Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. 

To seek auspicing support from NAVA, contact us directly via before applying for funding.


NAVA used to offer a small range of grants and scholarships with funds donated through trusts and foundations, some bequests and devolved funding from the Australia Council, and Create NSW. 

Australian Artists’ Grant

The Australian Artists’ Grant was a NAVA initiative, made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court AC and the Australia Council for the Arts. The grant provided artists with assistance towards the costs public presentation of visual and media arts, crafts and design.

Carstairs Grant

The Carstairs Grant was funded by a private donor and aimed to support socially engaged art projects that embrace participatory and collaborative experiences, bring participants into active dialogue with the artist/s in order to involve audiences beyond the art community.

MPavilion/Art Monthly Australia Writing Award

MPavilion’s unique annual architecture commission and design event for Melbourne in partnership with Art Monthly Australasia, and the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) offered an innovative writing award to explore the flourishing field of interdisciplinary practice within art and design.

NSW Artists’ Grant

The NSW Artists’ Grant was supported with devolved funding from Create NSW to assist professional visual and media arts, craft and design practitioners residing in NSW to produce, present and promote their work throughout NSW, interstate and overseas.

Sainsbury Sculpture Grant

The Sainsbury Sculpture Grant was established in memory of Madeline Olive Taylor through her estate, to provide financial support for emerging Australian artists and groups working in sculpture and/or installation to further their professional skills.

Visual Arts Fellowship

The Visual Arts Fellowship was funded through the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and administered by NAVA. Two $20,000 fellowships were awarded to exceptional mid-career Australian visual and media arts, craft and design practitioners to undertake a self directed program of professional development.

Windmill Trust Scholarship for Regional NSW Artists

Established in 1997 in memory of the artist Penny Meagher, the emphasis of the Windmill Trust Scholarship is to support professional artists from regional NSW to develop and or present their work.

The scholarship is now administered by Regional Arts NSW.

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The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators

The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators was an initiative to assist early career curators to develop their practice through overseas travel.

The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators was suspended due to the travel restrictions currently in place to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists

Each year four scholarships were awarded to young early career artists to assist with the cost of overseas travel to:

• undertake formal study or

• undertake a residency or mentorship (planned program with a professional artist) or

• undertake informal study for a planned research project.

The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Emerging Artists was suspended due to the travel restrictions currently in place to reduce the impact of COVID-19. 

The Freedman Foundation logo