Philanthropist reinvigorates Artists’ Fund with 10-year vision

Media Release

Image: Alex Seton, Small Obstacle, 2020, stone, edition of 50. Photo by Maja Baska.

Philanthropist Brett Kelly, NAVA and Art Month Sydney have joined together to reinvigorate the Artists’ Benevolent Fund with a 10-year plan that will provide critical support for Australian artists and the art community.

Brett Kelly’s generous donation of $50,000 over a 10-year period sparked the creation of ClubB50, which invites willing and able Australian art lovers to commit to donating $5,000 a year for 10 years. The funds collected will go to the Artists’ Benevolent Fund, which was initially established by Bret Flugelman in 1989, and re-established in 2020. 

The purpose of the Benevolent Fund is to support artists who have been impacted by current states of emergency. With recent events such as the devastating bushfires, floods, and now COVID-19, ClubB50 could not have come at a better time.

Brett Kelly is the Founder, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Kelly+Partners Chartered Accountants, who are the principal sponsors of Art Month Sydney. A passionate philanthropist, Kelly was excited to throw his support behind the Artist’s Benevolent Fund.

“Particularly in these difficult times, artists should not be forgotten and left behind,” states Kelly. “We must continue to support those who have the ability to help us see a world we cannot see, and by doing so affect that important, fundamental sense of self. I am pleased to help ClubB50 in their efforts to make a difference.”

Committed patrons of ClubB50 will each receive an original artwork by Alex Seton, an internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist best known for his work in marble. 

As well as the ClubB50 initiative, Australians are invited to donate what they can by visiting   Donations will start from $20 and are tax-deductible. Every donation will make a difference.

Esther Anatolitis, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), says, “After our devastating fires and storms, and now the coronavirus, the nation’s cultural life is shutting down, and many artists are seeing months’ or years’ worth of work vanish.

“Artists create our future. We need them strong and ready when we all start to emerge from this debilitating disruption to our lives. And yet artists are among the lowest paid professionals in Australia, which means their practice is less likely to be able to survive and thrive through a crisis.

“Artists need our help like never before. That’s why the National Association for the Visual Arts has united with Art Month Sydney to bring back the Artists’ Benevolent Fund. With thanks to Brett’s leadership, Alex’s generosity, and with your help, ClubB50 will generate much-needed long-term funding support,” she continues.

The funds raised will be distributed to eligible artists in the form of one-off payments to provide immediate assistance following a disaster. In order to be eligible for the grant, the money must be put towards the impact of a current emergency. The application process will be straightforward, respecting the pressures on artists at this time.

Media enquiries and interviews:

Leya Reid

Advocacy and Communications Manager