‘Lights On, Doors Open’ New Stipend Program to Support Volunteer-led Museums in NSW
The New South Wales museum sector, particularly volunteer-led organisations, has faced significant challenges over the past four years due to a number of disruptive events. The devastating impact of bushfires, floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the struggles already faced by these organisations. Many have had to resort to fundraising to supplement their diminished incomes, often diverting attention and resources from maintaining high standards of museum best practice.
To alleviate the pressures experienced by volunteer-led museums and Aboriginal cultural spaces in NSW, the ‘Lights On, Doors Open’ stipend has been established. With funding totalling $226,000, this initiative by the NSW Government aims to provide financial support to cover essential expenses, such as rent and electricity bills, without relying on continuous fundraising efforts. By ensuring the lights stay on and the doors remain open, these organisations can devote more attention to collections, maintenance, and implementing best-practice strategies.
A total of 113 organisations will benefit from this funding, which is now open for applications.
The initiative will allow applicants to apply for grants of $2,000, which can be used for a range of expenses including amenities bills, small maintenance jobs, IT support, small marketing projects, and fees for service. The funding will be allocated in the order of eligible applications received until the available funds are exhausted.
As part of this program, recipients will be required to demonstrate how they have met specific benchmarks at the end of the stipend year. These benchmarks will align with the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries (Second edition, 2023) and aim to assist organisations in their daily operations, meet their responsibilities to stakeholders, attract support, and achieve their organisational objectives.
“We recognise the immense value and contributions of volunteer-led museums and Aboriginal cultural spaces in NSW,” said Minister for the Arts, Mr John Graham.
“Through the ‘Lights On, Doors Open’ program, we aim to support these organisations in maintaining their operations while also encouraging them to strive for excellence in meeting the National Standards for museums and galleries,” Mr Graham said.
This stipend program represents a significant opportunity for volunteer-led museums and Aboriginal cultural spaces in NSW to alleviate financial pressures and focus on their invaluable contributions to the community. By ensuring the lights stay on and the doors remain open, these organisations can continue to preserve our rich cultural heritage and engage the public with their unique collections.
‘Lights On, Doors Open’ is proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW
"We recognise the immense value and contributions of volunteer-led museums and Aboriginal cultural spaces in NSW," said Minister for the Arts, Mr John Graham.