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Biennale of Sydney announces Neilson Foundation as Principal Patron

Posted on 26 November 2014 in Media Releases, News
Philip Beesley, Hylozoic Series: Sibyl, 2012. Installation view of the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) at Cockatoo Island. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Sebastian Kriete

The Biennale of Sydney and the Neilson Foundation today announced a landmark funding partnership that provides a fantastic boost for the largest and most significant contemporary visual arts event in the Asia–Pacific region ahead of its 20th staging in 2016.

Download the media release PDF.

In welcoming the Neilson Foundation donation, Biennale of Sydney Chairman Phillip Keir said, ‘The partnership represents the largest single donation received from a private foundation in the Biennale’s 41-year history and has been formally recognised with the Neilson Foundation becoming the Biennale of Sydney’s inaugural Principal Patron. We thank them for their commitment and passion for the arts.’

Mr Kerr Neilson of the Neilson Foundation said, ‘The Biennale of Sydney is Australia’s pre-eminent independent contemporary art event and we are delighted to be a major partner in its future. We were driven to step up our contribution because the Biennale provides an important international platform for contemporary art and supports the exploration of new ideas and venues, including the internationally recognised Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. We hope this donation will encourage others to join us in giving generously to the Biennale.’

The Neilson Foundation provides financial assistance to a range of organisations in Australia and has supported the Biennale of Sydney since 2010.

Phillip Keir said, ‘Throughout its history, the Biennale has been fortunate to receive support from many generous individuals, most notably from Franco Belgiorno-Nettis and the Belgiorno-Nettis family. The Neilson Foundation’s donation provides a solid start for our ongoing fundraising activities towards 2016.’

Danielle Earp, Chief Executive Officer (Acting) said, ‘The incredible contribution provided by the Neilson Foundation is a testament to the passion and vision of Kerr, Judith, Paris and Beau. We are extremely grateful for their endorsement of the creative vision that underpins the Biennale of Sydney, and for the vital support we receive from all of our private supporters, corporate sponsors, cultural funders and government partners.’

The 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016) will be curated by Stephanie Rosenthal and presented from
18 March – 5 June 2016. Ms Rosenthal has been touring prospective new festival venues and meeting with curatorial collaborators in Sydney this week.

Download the media release PDF.