Funding Sustainability

Grants are important in supporting artists to spend more time on their art

According to Throsby and Zednik, an estimated 45 percent of artists applied for a grant, prize or other funding between 2004 and 2009, up from 41 percent between 1996 and 2001. Around two-thirds of artists that applied for funding were successful in their applications over the course of 5 years (65 percent success rate for applications).

Income maintenance was seen as the most important purpose of funding by 57 percent of artists, and a further 18 percent felt that the key purpose of funding for them was to support publication, showing or performance of new work.

A recent longitudinal study of early career artists suggested that grant funding may provide stability for artists to maintain the amount of time they spend on creative practice activity, with those artists who had not received any grants funding over the three years of the study showing the largest decreases in the time invested in their practice.

Artists highlighted a number of effects that receiving grants, prizes or other funding had on their creative practice:

  • Over half of artists that received funding felt that it gave them freedom from financial worries and allowed them to devote more time to their creative practice
  • Half felt that it gave them stimulus to continue their work
  • Four in ten artists said that it enabled them to travel overseas
  • 40 percent said that it helped with marketing and promoting their work