Who are the “Friends”?
1. The Friends have their origins in that number of determined citizens who formed a pressure group in the late 60s to ensure that the Arts Centre was built. The result was the fine building which we all enjoy today. To ensure that the Centre was advertised and used to the maximum extent the group decided to form the Fiends of the Gold Coast Arts centre ( or Community Arts Centre as it was called initially). That small group has now grown in number to over 2000 members. The Friends has the legal status of being a” Company limited by Guarantee and not having a share capital”. It is administered by a Board of Directors of ten, none of whom are paid or receive any remuneration.
Initiating the Gift Fund
2. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Centre in 2006 the Friends decided to take up a proposal of Jock McIlwain to enter a new area of support by introducing a Gift Fund.This fund was intended to support talented people from the Gold Coast who had been unable to reach their full potential through lack of funds. To do this the Friends had to amend their charter and apply to the Federal Government to be included on the list of approved Cultural Organisations which would allow them to seek tax deductible donations. Approval was received and the Gift Fund was launched formally on 18 December 2006. The launch was covered by TV and local newspapers and supported by the Mayor, Councillor Ron Clarke. To kick start the fund Beverly and Jock McIlwain made a very generous donation.
Management of the Gift Fund
3. Government regulations put great emphasis on effective management of charitable funds and the qualifications of the administrators.The Gift Fund is managed by a Management Committee appointed by the Board of the Friends.This Management Committee must have a majority of members who are “persons of responsibility” as defined in the regulations. In addition-for our Gift Fund- all members must be financial members of the Friends.
4. The regulations require that regular reports be forwarded for donations and grants and that the fund be audited annually. Also, changes to the composition of the Management Committee have to be reported.
5. A report of the activity of the Gift Fund is included annually in the Friends Annual Directors Statement.
6. The Management Committee meets as necessary to review investments, establish programmes, to interview applicants for grants and to agree what grants should be made.
Maintaining the Gift Fund
7. The funds of the Gift Fund have accumulated from tax deductible donations made by a number of citizens and members of the Friends. It is a Government requirement that all donations are unconditional and afford no benefit to the donor.It is hoped that the fund will continue to grow to enable the maximum number of young people to be helped. The funds are invested and grants are made generally from the accrued interest. Donations can be made by cheque, cash or credit card-cheques should be made payable to”The Friends of the Arts Centre,Gold Coast ,Gift Fund”. All donors will receive a tax deductible receipt.
Who Can Apply for a Grant
8. The Gift Fund is intended to assist talented artists who could benefit from additional training but are unable to afford the costs involved. The word “artist” covers all forms of visual and performing arts. While there are no limitations on age or gender it is expected that applicants will be young and close to embarking upon their chosen career or already established and wishing to advance their career. Applicants must be residents of Gold Coast City.
Applying for Grants
9. Notification for applications are posted in the local press, on local radio, TV and various journals. Applicants will be expected to prove their level of attainment in the field of the arts in which they are expecting to excel. They are required to give full details, including costs, of the course or tutelage they are seeking to attend and how they are going to fund these activities. Application Forms need to be completed and lodged by the advertised dates. The Management Committee will consider all applications and decide which applicants will be called for interview.
10. All applicants will be told of the outcome of their applications. If it is considered that no grant will be made the applicant will be told if a further application will be considered at a later date. The Management Committee will not enter into further correspondence concerning it’s decision.
11. In general applications will be accepted annually during June and July with interviews conducted in late August and grants announced in early September.
12. Where the Management Committee members consider that that they lack the technical knowledge to form an opinion they may consult an expert to make a recommendation. However, the final decision rests with the Management Committee.
13. Where there are a number of worthy applicants the Management committee may offer a lower amount than that sought to enable the best number of to be helped.
14. In general, grants will be paid directly to the establishment or individual providing the service sought by the applicant.
15. Successful applicants will be expected to report back to the Management Committee periodically and on completion of their course or study and make themselves available for publicity purposes.