Remarkable donation secures Foundation legacy

A remarkable $300,000 donation was presided over by two of Mackay’s longest serving mayors last Wednesday (August 5).

Mayor Greg Williamson accepted the donation on behalf of Artspace Mackay from the Artspace Mackay Foundation board and chairperson (and former mayor) Julie Boyd.

Ms Boyd said the funding would proudly aid the continued bursary support of young emerging artists from our region and provide ongoing support of the Libris Awards: The Australian Artists’ Book Prize.

She said due to COVID-19 and the reduction in income forecast for charities Australia wide, the Foundation had made the very difficult decision to close its doors.

“Our vision to advance the creative and cultural landscape of Mackay to enrich the lives of Mackay residents and future generations will endure with this donation,” Ms Boyd said.

Mayor Greg Williamson agreed.

“On behalf of council, I’d like to thank the Artspace Mackay Foundation board of directors (past and present), outgoing Foundation Executive Officer Melissa Broadhurst, donors, sponsors, corporate partners, members and volunteers for your contributions to Artspace Mackay over the last 15 years,” Cr Williamson said.

“You can rest assured that council, through Artspace Mackay, is committed to honouring the legacy of the Foundation and continuing the important work of investing in and growing the creative and cultural life of our region,” he said.

“The Hands On Bursary, which supports young, emerging artists from our region to pursue artistic careers will continue to be offered well into the future.”

The Artspace Mackay Foundation was established 15 years ago as a separate, independent entity whose mission was to strengthen financial support for Artspace Mackay by driving philanthropic fundraising activities.

The Foundation enabled several significant art acquisitions for the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection including works by Indigenous artist Danie Mellor, ceramicist Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and the acquisition of various artists’ books.