New $100,000 Generations Fellowship open to contemporary musicians

In a new industry partnership, Powerhouse Museum is calling for early career musicians to apply for a suite of Fellowships that pairs mentoring with financial support.

In a new industry partnership, the Powerhouse Museum, Create NSW and Australian music management and touring company, Astral People are calling for early career contemporary artists, music producers, songwriters and composers residing in NSW to apply for a new Fellowship opportunity that will pair mentoring with financial support.

Valued at $100,000, the Generations Fellowships announced by the Minister for the Arts Don Harwin this week, will support three solo artists or groups, to carry out six-months of professional development during 2020-21. The Fellowships are designed to connect artists with established industry experts, support intergenerational knowledge and create career pathways within the music industry.

Minister Harwin said this new fellowship will nurture artist development while boosting exposure both in Australia and internationally.

‘With the help of some of our largest cultural organisations, we’re building on existing talent, teaming emerging creatives with peers and leaders and even finding new creative spaces to build the careers of NSW creatives who I’ve no doubt will go on to garner international acclaim,’ the Minister said.

Lisa Havilah, Chief Executive, Powerhouse Museum, told ArtsHub: ‘This is an exciting new $100,000 investment into contemporary music.’

‘Our institution has a really important role to support practicing artists across the creative industries and across into science and technology – we want to play an active role.’

Lisa Havilah.‘We have a well-established and growing music collection at the Powerhouse Museum, a key part of its growth is our role in supporting living artists, their career development and how we carry forward their practice,’ Havilah continued.

Matched funding of $40,000 each from Create NSW and the Powerhouse Museum will be boosted by additional in-kind support of $20,000 from Astral People.

Astral People co-founder and director Vichara Edirisinghe said: ‘Having had the pleasure of nurturing both local and international talent from intro-level acts to those that sell thousands of tickets across the country, the idea of growing talent through this opportunity is a really exciting prospect for us.’

For more than eight years, Astral People has carved out a niche in Australia’s music landscape as an innovative, multi-faceted company specialising in Artist Management, Touring and Events, Publishing and as a Record Label.

‘Industry mentors, contacts and networking are essential in this business and we’re proud to offer our support to help the selected Fellows gain valuable insight into key areas of the music industry,’ Edirisinghe continued.

The Powerhouse Museum is one of the few collecting institutions that embrace both sound and music.

‘We really want to expand our collecting of the music industry – not just instruments and objects, but also archives and legacies,’ said Havilah. ‘We are interested in making that history visible, and one way to do that is by supporting live music.’

Havilah said she was excited to welcome these early career musicians into the museum, to have them here creating new work alongside our creative industry residents.

‘It’s going to bring an incredible energy. I see this support as another pathway for young artists moving into establishing their careers – and at the Powerhouse Museum we want to have a stake in supporting that,’ Havilah said.

The Generations Fellowships have been geared to support contemporary musicians living in NSW.

Each of the three successful artists or groups, will be provided with $25,000 in financial support, a studio space at the Powerhouse Museum (Ultimo) or Museums Discovery Centre (Castle Hill), and industry mentoring and networking facilitated by Astral People.

While the Fellowship is not age-specific, it is pitched to early career musicians.

It is a rare moment for a young creative to be offered industry mentorship paired with financial support – the kickstart that could take their career to the next level.

‘Creating new opportunities that pair early career artists with the experience and networks they need to succeed will help us to develop and celebrate an incredible new pipeline of talent across NSW,’ said Create NSW Partnerships and Policy Director, Alex Bowen.

She added that the Fellowship was about upskilling practitioners through valuable experience.

‘We’re committed to investing in the talent of tomorrow, and this exciting new partnership will share the valuable insight and experience of industry leaders, opening up doors and opportunities for our Fellows across the State, country and internationally.

Applications to the Generations Fellowship are now open, and close Monday 16 December at 5pm AEST.

Visit to apply.

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina