AbaF support passes $20m

02/04/2008 - 22:00

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The Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) has passed a significant milestone, with the total amount of private sector support for the arts it has generated and facilitated passing $20 million.

AbaF support passes $20m

The Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) has passed a significant milestone, with the total amount of private sector support for the arts it has generated and facilitated passing $20 million.

 

The total is made up of $12.7 million in new business arts partnerships, $4.1 million worth of expertise through volunteering placements and $3.2 million in donations to the arts paid out as grants by AbaF.

 

Western Australia has made a significant contribution, especially since the organisation gained full time staffing in this state in 2004.

 

AbaF has generated $4.3 million in support for the arts in WA, with most of that coming in the form of partnerships.

 

AbaF’s performance will be subject to close scrutiny over the next few months after the federal government acted on an election promise to review its performance and evaluate whether it should be merged with the Australia Council.

 

National chair Terry Campbell said he looked forward to working with the government on the review.

 

In WA, the organisation has a new chair after Rio Tinto Iron Ore boss Sam Walsh succeeded retiring Alcoa Australia managing director Wayne Osborn.

 

In addition, AbaF has three new councillors in WA – incoming Alcoa boss Alan Cransberg, Marketforce’s John Driscoll, Patersons Securities’ Michael Manford and RAC’s Terry Agnew.

 

“The addition of these new councillors is testament to the strength of AbaF in WA,” AbaF WA manager Henry Boston said.

 

Mr Boston said chapter members needn’t know a lot about the arts in order to be a valuable asset.

 

“When Wayne Osborn was invited to join the chapter, he said that he was happy to join, but that he knew little about the arts,” he said.

 

“I said that this was fine, as he would be able to provide an advocacy role, a voice to the people that shows that the arts are important.” “And, as it turned out, he was being modest anyway, as he actually knows a lot more [about the arts] than he’d let on.” Mr Boston said he was hoping to boost partnerships by changing people’s perceptions of the concept of sponsorship.

 

“Rather than the attitude of ‘I’m in this for a specific benefit’ where a company gives its name in exchange for front row tickets and a glass of champagne, we want [businesses and arts organisations] to develop a more multi-layered relationship.” The organisation also facilitates a mentorship concept whereby business members offer pro-bono mentoring in not only the typical legal and accounting fields, but also areas such as marketing and networking.

 

Alongside this is a giving program, a device to allow individual artists and organisations who do not qualify as a charity to receive donations.

 

Mr Boston said that the organisation is important to WA.

 

“Culture and the arts are important because they are the glue that connects people in communities, therefore we need to find ways to grow and develop the arts,” he said.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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