Giving circle and new corporate donors help Adelaide Biennial raise $1.2 million

Generosity, 10 January 2018

South Australia’s flagship contemporary art exhibition secures 37% increase in donations over 2016, thanks to continued support from The Balnaves Foundation, the generosity of new business donors and an expansion of its giving circle program.

The Art Gallery of South Australia has raised $1.2 million for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial, up by 37%  over the previous event in 2016, after securing a new corporate partner and increasing donations to its Adelaide Biennial Ambassadors giving circle program.

The theme for the 2018 exhibition is Divided Worlds, with the event running from March 3 to June 3 2018 as part of the Adelaide Festival.

While AGSA declined to provide a specific breakdown of donations, the gallery has secured a new corporate partner in South Australian kitchen, laundry and home entertainment retailer Spartan Electrical, in its first major donation to the arts.

Spartan joins a list of long-term corporate supporters of the event including accounting firm EY, specialist investigative litigation practice Lipman Karas and winery Yalumba Family Vignerons.

The gallery also secured a 30% increase in donations through its Adelaide Biennial Ambassadors giving circle program over 2016. Established by AGSA in 2014, the program allows individual donors to support artists and commission new works of art.

The new donors are joined by long-time gallery supporter The Balnaves Foundation, which has been named the principal donor for the fourth consecutive exhibition.

In a statement, The Balnaves Foundation’s founder Neil Balnaves AO said his organisation is committed to investing in the country’s creative capital.

“We hope our renewed partnership with Adelaide Biennial not only encourages participation and appreciation of contemporary Australian art but also instills confidence in other organisations and individuals to support Australian art,” Balnaves said.

Art Gallery of South Australia Director Nick Mitzevich said it is heartening to see such strong support for the Adelaide Biennial in the lead-up to the exhibition’s 30th anniversary in 2020.

“This ever-increasing momentum demonstrates that the Adelaide Biennial is more relevant than ever and that it plays an important role in providing Australia’s contemporary artists with the opportunity and context to be ambitious and innovative,” Mitzevich said.