The Ignite Career Fund judging panel for 2017, from left: artist Marian Crawford, publisher Joel Naoum and poet Jill Jones.

On 5 May our esteemed Career Fund judging panel met to discuss and review applications to the March round of the Ignite grants program.

Supporting individuals working in the writing, publishing and visual art sectors, the Ignite Career Fund is a Copyright Agency Cultural Fund initiative that develops skills and helps to progress the careers of emerging creators and publishers.

This year saw an increase in the number of applications submitted for Ignite funding, with 68 applications submitted to the March round, and the panellists had their work cut out for them to select the finalists.

“It is wonderful to see applications across such a diverse range of activities,” said Cultural Fund and Reading Australia Officer Nicola Evans. “So many of these projects have sparked lively discussions amongst the panel, and we’re thrilled at the variety of opportunities Ignite will be able to support in 2017.”

Engaging with new technologies across both artistic and publishing projects was a strong theme noted by the judges. Visual artist Marian Crawford said, “It is exciting to be able to support emerging creators that are truly innovative in challenging and improving upon traditional practice in their fields.”

Poet Jill Jones concurred, “Seeing so many applicants that are hoping to engage on a global level with their work is also something we’ve been impressed by.”

The Ignite Career Fund grants, valued at $5000, are offered twice a year to individuals. Typically applicants seek support to undertake training relevant to their professional practice, cover costs associated with professional workshops and courses, or engage in mentored learning opportunities.

“Throughout my career I have received grant funding that made all the difference and opened doors to important opportunities for me,” said publisher Joel Naoum. “It is a great feeling to be able to contribute to a program like the Ignite Career Fund that strives to support emerging creators and publishers in that same way.”

Recipients for the March 2017 Ignite Funding are due to be announced in the coming weeks.

The next round for the Ignite Career Fund opens in late May and closes on 17 August.