In our second posting on arts patronage at work in the New Zealand art world we look at the Arts Foundation of New Zealand's Laureate Award. Each year the Arts Foundation hands out five $50,000 awards across art forms, including the visual arts.
The award is not open to application giving it a point of difference over many other art prizes in New Zealand. A panel of peers is appointed to select suitable awardees and the recipients receive an unexpected call inviting them to accept a no-strings-attached award of $50,000. They can choose to do whatever they like with it and they don't have to report back to the Foundation on how it was used.
The Arts Foundation administers a number of awards, including the New Generation Award (every two years five artists are awarded $25,000) and an annual Award for Patronage recognising exceptional contributions to the arts as patrons. The recipients of this award are given $20,000 to distribute to artists, arts projects and arts organisations and all recipients have chosen to add another $20,000 of their own taking the distributed funds up to $40,000.
The full repertoire of Arts Foundation Awards is financed through an endowment fund built up by large donations from benefactors and smaller ones from a growing base of supporters. The multiple benefactor/supporter entry points remove wealth as a necessary precondition of patronage and allow more people to experience the pleasure to be gained by supporting artists.
Disclosure: Starkwhite co-director John McCormack is a member of the College of Governors of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand
Image: European Hare by Peter Peryer, the Arts Foundation's first visual arts laureate. You can visit Peryer's blog here