Kicking 2022 off with a new partnership with Commonwealth Private

21 January 2022

The Helpmann Academy and Commonwealth Private are thrilled to announce a new partnership for 2022 that will support and develop the next generation of exceptional creative talent in South Australia.

The arts industry has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. This partnership will see emerging creatives supported when and where they need it most. Through this new partnership, Commonwealth Private will present a new award at the 2022 Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition and help grow the Helpmann Academy Elevate Mentorship program.

The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition has a long history of launching the careers of South Australia’s up-and-coming visual artists – with many going on to receive further funding, awards, and scholarships, and exhibit their work nationally and internationally. Exhibiting artists at this year’s exhibition will be eligible for 18 awards valued at over $71,000. These awards will be announced on the opening night. Helpmann Academy are delighted that the Undergraduate Award for Excellence – valued at $7,500 – will be supported by Commonwealth Private in 2022.

The Undergraduate Award for Excellence award provides an outstanding emerging creative with vital support and funding to develop their creative career in bold and exciting ways. Recent past recipients of this award include Kate Bohunnis and Sam Gold, who have both gone on to win further prestigious awards. Kate Bohunnis won the Ramsay Art Prize, one of the most lucrative awards for artists under 40 in the country and Sam Gold was awarded one of only five places in the annual Primavera 2021: Young Australian Artists showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

The Helpmann Academy Elevate Mentorship program is one of the Helpmann Academy’s cornerstone opportunities for emerging creatives as they start the process of building a career in the arts. The program pairs emerging creatives with industry leaders to assist in the development of creative and business goals. This program continues to add to the ecology of the arts community, as we emerge from the pandemic, by providing creatives with an income and emerging artists with access to new knowledge and skills.

As part of their support for the Helpmann Academy, Commonwealth Private will match donations for the Elevate Mentorship program up to $20,000 and provide an opportunity for their teams to fund a mentorship program for the emerging project curator for the Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition. In 2022 the Project Curator is Lucy Zola, a multidisciplinary artist and a graduate from the University of South Australia. This targeted support and focus on emerging creatives in the arts community is vital for the ongoing success of the program.

CEO of the Helpmann Academy, Jane MacFarlane says she is thrilled to welcome Commonwealth Private into the Helpmann Academy community of supporters.

“The Helpmann Academy Graduate Awards and the Elevate Mentorship program are two of our marquee offerings for emerging creatives. At a time when our community has met with many setbacks, this funding will provide opportunities and reassurance for up-and-coming creatives and their futures. These opportunities really do provide a springboard for developing creatives to build bold and successful careers. We are so thrilled that Commonwealth Private have come onboard to support and champion these vital programs in 2022.”

Robyn Saranah, General Manager Commonwealth Private commented: “We are delighted our new partnership with the Helpmann Academy will help build a brighter future rich in the arts for our customers and the wider community. Commonwealth Private’s goal is for our support to provide a direct boost to the emerging creatives who win our Undergraduate Award for Excellence and our mentorship program. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for our teams to help support the launch someone’s career or practice in the arts. We are excited about what 2022 and beyond will bring for the Helpmann Academy.”

The Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition 2022
Thursday 18 February to Saturday 19 March 2022
Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00am – 4:00pm
ACE Open
Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace
Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide

Elevate Mentorship Program – Mentorships Round 1
Opens week commencing 7 February 2022
Closes Friday 1 April 2022 at 11:59pm ACST
Visit for key dates and information.

Image: L-R Cassandra Crawford, Executive Director, Commonwealth Private SA, Lucy Zola, 2022 Project Curator and Jane MacFarlane, Chief Executive Officer, Helpmann Academy, photo by Sonia Mir.