The Ian Potter Foundation fuels Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine with transformative grant

Geelong Arts Centre The Open House photo by Peter FosterGeelong Arts Centre is thrilled to announce the receipt of a transformative grant from The Ian Potter Foundation to expand and enhance flagship development program, Creative Engine.

The significant grant, totalling $700,000 over four years, marks an important milestone in the centre’s journey to support emerging regional artists and creative growth within Geelong’s wider artistic communities.

“This partnership between Geelong Arts Centre and The Ian Potter Foundation underscores a shared commitment to advancing the arts and supporting artists on their creative journeys,” said Geelong Arts Centre CEO & Creative Director, Joel McGuinness.

“Together, we will harness the power of collaborating, experimentation, and imagination to continue to cultivate a flourishing arts scene that resonates with audiences far and wide.”

The Ian Potter Foundation grant will enable Geelong Arts Centre to expand the centre’s successful Creative Engine program by offering a range of new initiatives tailored to the needs of developing artists in the region.

“The Ian Potter Foundation values the transformative power of the arts in enriching communities and nurturing creative expression,” said The Ian Potter Foundation Chairman, Craig Drummond. “We are pleased to support the Geelong Arts Centre in its vision to empower regional artists to shape vibrant cultural landscapes that resonate beyond the stage into the broader community.”

With this infusion of support, the Creative Engine program is poised to continue to foster connections between artists, audiences, and industry leaders. As they embark on this transformative journey, Geelong Arts Centre is committed to cultivating a vibrant cultural landscape that reflects the diverse voices and experiences of the region.

Key components of the expanded program include:

Launchpad aims to create more pathways for artists to develop their professional practice by bridging the gap between creating new work and presenting it to audiences. Launchpad offers artists the opportunity to test and showcase their new work in a professional theatre setting, providing a platform for artistic experimentation and audience engagement in Geelong Arts Centre’s The Open House theatre. Launchpad applications are open now at:

Recognising the financial challenges faced by artists, the Associate Artists program will employ two artists per year. Through two 12-month part time contracts, selected artists will gain access to purpose-built studios, mentoring, and professional experience. This support is aimed at enabling the development of artistic practice, culminated by the creation of new works that reflect artist growth and exploration. The Associate Artists will also act as ambassadors for the centre as important leaders in the local sector.

This transformative initiative is designed to enhance the skills and craft of up to 15 artists from the Geelong and Bellarine regions. Through an intensive series of workshops and mentoring sessions, participants will connect with Geelong Arts Centre’s Programming Team, as well as leading industry mentors from both local and national contexts.

“We are deeply grateful to The Ian Potter Foundation for their visionary support of our Creative Engine program,” said Geelong Arts Centre Head of Programming, Penny McCabe. “With this grant, Geelong Arts Centre will be able to expand the reach and impact of our initiatives, empowering local artists to realise their full potential and enriching the cultural fabric of the region.”

Updates regarding Associate Artists and Artist Residency will be available soon at:

Image: Geelong Arts Centre: The Open House – photo by Peter Foster