NAVA Grants

NAVA offers a range of grants, awards and scholarships to support and develop the work of professional practitioners. To find out more, or to apply, please browse the links below.

Installation view of 4 LCD screens
The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists recipient, Roberta Joy Rich, 'M/other Land' 2018, multi-channel video. Installation view, UNSW Galleries. Photo by Jessica Maurer 2019.

Carstairs Prize

The Carstairs Prize aims 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.

The prize is intended to contribute to artwork production costs to assist the successful applicant(s) to develop and present new work.

In recognition of the severe limitations in place due to physical distancing and the challenges this poses, we welcome proposals that consider the digital and virtual space as a valid and essential arena for collaborative artistic endeavour. Proposals may, but are not required to, explore collaborative arts practice in a time of pandemic and physical distancing.

Named after the Carstairs, the prize drew its name from an intriguing and eccentric blend of writers, poets, painters, pianists, and illustrators who immigrated to Australia from Fife, Scotland in the 19th century.

Funding Available: One individual or group will be awarded $10,000 + GST

Important Dates: Closes 25:59 AEST Sunday 17 October 2021

Artists' Benevolent Fund

Funds have run out – we desperately need your help...

With lots of artists under extra pressure from the impacts of COVID-19, demand for the Artists’ Benevolent Fund has grown dramatically.

The Fund is possible only with the kindness of our supporters. Please consider helping artists in need with an urgent donation, however small – and please share it with your friends and colleagues far and wide.

The renewed Artists’ Benevolent Fund hopes to provide modest but useful one-off financial 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.

The Fund may receive requests from:

  • Artists whose studios and/or entire bodies of work have been destroyed (e.g. as the result of fire, flood, storm, earthquake)
  • Artists who have 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 declared state or national emergency, such as losing a critical work opportunity as the result of an event or activity cancelled because of COVID-19.

This fund is not intended to support project costs such as artist fees, materials, equipment etc.

Note: Unfortunately the Artists’ Benevolent Fund has reached an exhaustion of funds, and has been paused pending further donations.


Supported by the City of Sydney, Department of South Australia, Creative Partnerships Australia, National Association for the Visual Arts, Art Month Sydney and Arnold Bloch Liebler.

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.

This scholarship provides assistance towards the cost of:

  • independent artistic research or practice such as studio rental, material or labour costs
  • professional development and education
  • presenting work in new ways
  • exhibiting work such as framing, space rental, promotion, artists' fees, freight, installation and documentation.

One individual or group is awarded up to $10,000 + GST.

Important Dates: Applications have closed for 2021

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The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators

An initiative to assist early career curators to develop their practice through overseas travel.

This scholarship provides assistance towards the cost of overseas travel to:

• undertake a residency, internship or mentorship (planned program with a professional curator)

• undertake a self-initiated curatorial project which may include establishing valuable contacts, conducting studio visits, and researching current international practices and exhibition programs with the aim of producing their own curatorial project.

Funding Available: One application will be awarded $8,000 + GST.

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

The Freedman Foundation logo

The Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship for Emerging Artists

Each year 4 x scholarships are 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.

Funding Available: Individual applicants are eligible to apply for funding of $8,000 + GST.

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


Previous year's terms and conditions are below.

The Freedman Foundation logo

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 young artists embarking on their career will find invaluable: fact sheets, check lists and tutorials, guides, expert information and advice, opportunities and discounts for courses and events.

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 nava@visualarts.net.au.

Please use this form to submit your acquittal for any NAVA Grant. NAVA requires acquittals to be submitted within three months of project completion. You must return an acquittal form to be eligible for future grants.

Become a Grant Donor

NAVA invites your tax exempt donation either toward one of our existing grants or to set up an entirely new program shaped to your ideas and for which we can offer naming rights.

Providing this kind of philanthropic support can be a source of great satisfaction in making a valuable contribution to supporting living Australian artists.

For more information or to discuss your ideas, please contact NAVA's General Manager, Penelope Benton via nava@visualarts.net.au.