Help disadvantaged young people find their voice

Black tablecloths carefully draped over banquet tables, glassware sparkling beneath the constellation of lights above and vibrant floral centrepieces turned just so – The Pavilion was ready for its guests.

The 2018 winter Ovation fundraising gala dinner at Arts Centre Melbourne was a night of celebration, elegance and philanthropy.

As guests began to arrive, resplendent in black ties, tuxedos and gowns, the Pavilion served as the perfect backdrop for such a sophisticated event. From the lighting design to the fine cuisine carefully crafted by Arts Centre Melbourne’s catering team, every element worked together to create an unforgettable experience.

At each table gathered some of the community’s most passionate advocates for the arts. Advocates who believe in the power of making the arts accessible to all, and preserving and sharing its story.

Guests witnessed the transformative nature of performance and movement, as esteemed performers graced the stage during the night. The Curious Quartet played moving pieces of music written by young composers, linked to the incredibly popular play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Talented Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist, Mojo Juju, demonstrated her powerful storytelling in performing a song from her theatrical work, Native Tongue. Dancers from Stephanie Lake Company filled the space with a selected piece from Colossus. Both Mojo Juju and Stephanie Lake know firsthand the value of philanthropy in the arts. It was through the philanthropic Take Over! commissions program at Arts Centre Melbourne that they were able to fully develop their works and realise their creative vision.

Arts Centre Melbourne has a long-standing and much-celebrated tradition of philanthropy. We are one of Victoria’s many publicly funded institutions, yet only 25% of our revenue is tax payer funded. This core funding allows us to maintain our facilities and keep the doors open. It’s largely through philanthropy and patronage that this revered and iconic institution is able to reach so far into the community and transform so many lives.

Through four key pillars of philanthropic support, Arts Centre Melbourne is able to celebrate the arts – past, present and future.

Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and selfless donors, audiences from remote locations or disadvantaged backgrounds, or those living with a disability, are able to come and experience Arts Centre Melbourne, both in front of the stage and behind. Art and performance inspires creativity, empathy and expression – three attributes that are best absorbed tangibly, beyond a screen or page.

It’s impossible to say what ripple effect this support has, and how it transforms individuals and entire communities. Perhaps it’ll inspire a child to grow up to become a creator. A creator who, through the help of Arts Centre Melbourne funding, is able to fully realise their potential and create art that inspires and moves its audience. It’s also through philanthropic funding that these stories and history of art and performance is able to be preserved and shared. Through collections both physical and digital, curiosity and understanding is sparked in those young and old.

Therein lies the greatest attribute of philanthropy, in any respect. It’s the potential, sometimes measurable, sometimes not, that motivates and inspires. The potential to transform an individual's experience, or life, through greater accessibility and education.

If you’d like to become involved, Arts Centre Melbourne has developed a new philanthropy package for events which incorporates a donation. Our team will work with you to create a memorable experience for your guests, which includes arranging a member of Arts Centre Melbourne’s philanthropy team to talk about philanthropy.

Host your event inside one of Melbourne’s most iconic and beautiful venues, while also helping to build a creative and prosperous community through the performing arts.

To enquire about hosting your memorable events at any one of Arts Centre Melbourne’s spaces, please call the Conferences, Meetings and Events team on (03) 9281 8350 or email

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