Wesfarmers has been a leading supporter of arts for more than four decades. Our partnerships with a diverse range of premier arts and cultural organisations in Western Australia and nationally reflect our belief in the vital contribution that the arts make to vibrant communities in which creativity and innovation flourish. This year, we stood by our arts partners during the COVID-19 crisis, providing significant, targeted support to keep artists employed when performances were suspended and galleries were closed.
During the year, we provided more than $4.5 million in support of the activities of 14 leading arts organisations, including the National Gallery of Australia, Perth Festival, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, West Australian Ballet, West Australian Opera, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Black Swan Theatre Company, Awesome Children’s Festival, Form Contemporary Craft and Design, Co3 Contemporary Dance and Yirra Yaakin Aboriginal Theatre as well as the Western Australian tours of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare Company and Musica Viva Australia.
Alongside our arts support program, the Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art reflects the diversity of creative Australia through the work of our country’s defining artists. During the year, we shared works from our collection with museums and galleries across Australia and online via Instagram and the Wesfarmers Art Collection app, which is available free from the App Store. A highlight of the Wesfarmers Collection is our holding of more than 300 premier works of art by Indigenous artists, reflecting the rich diversity of Indigenous culture in Australia. As part of our commitment to celebrating the work of living Australian Indigenous artists on the world stage, we are sharing our Indigenous collection with the international community in the forthcoming exhibition Everpresent: The Art of Australia’s First Peoples showcasing more than 130 years of Indigenous art from 1887 to the present. Drawn from the Wesfarmers Collection and our arts partner, the National Gallery of Australia, the exhibition is scheduled to begin its international tour at the National Gallery of Singapore in May 2022 then travel through China in 2022 and 2023.