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Melbourne Recital Centre raises $1 million target for its Local Artist Appeal

The generous support of our music-lover community has seen the Centre exceed its $1 million target for the 2021 Local Artist Appeal.

Announced today, Melbourne Recital Centre has successfully reached its ambitious $1 million target for the Local Artist Appeal, raising more than $1,030,000 in donations thanks to the generosity of our community.

Launched in 2021, Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Artist Appeal was a response to the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local music industry. As the music stopped, new revenue streams and financial support for artists needed to be developed. In 2021, the Centre set an ambitious fundraising target of $1 million to fund performance and commission fees, and support payments to artists whose performances at the Centre were canceled due to restrictions.

Ensuring a sustainable future for Victoria’s artist community remains a key objective of the Local Artist Appeal, with the fund also supporting the engagement of local artists to deliver Learning and Access programs to reach people of all ages and backgrounds across Victoria and creating additional employment and performance opportunities for local artists, including recording and digital broadcast opportunities.

The Local Artist Appeal campaign was launched thanks to the vision of a small group of Local Artist Benefactor donors, who came together to pledge more than $250,000 to get the ball rolling. The Centre extends its sincerest thanks to; Mrs Krystyna Campbell-Pretty AM, The Gailey Lazarus Foundation, Yvonne von Hartel AM, Robert Peck AM, Rachel Peck & Marten Peck of peckvonhartel architects, Linda Herd, Monica Lim & Konfir Kabo, The Peggy and Leslie Cranbourne Foundation, Lady Primrose Potter AC, Joy Selby Smith, and an anonymous donor for their visionary philanthropic leadership.

Alistaire Bowler, Head of Development at Melbourne Recital Centre said of reaching the ambitious target “We have been blown away by the generous support of the music-loving community. The past two years has been an exceptionally challenging time for independent musicians, as the Centre faced hundreds of postponements and cancelations. We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed to our appeal, ensuring that our artists were supported throughout the pandemic and that live music returns to our stages in 2022. This result is a true amplification of our audience’s appreciation and applause”.

“…our sincerest thanks to the incredible donors that have contributed the appeal. We are deeply grateful for the support offered by the Melbourne Recital Centre in this difficult time. This payment demonstrates that local artists are valued in the musical community and that has an enormous impact for us as an ensemble to continue our creative work. We look forward with hope and excitement to a time we may gather again and share in the joy of live performance.” – Laila Engle, Syzygy Ensemble.

The Local Artist Appeal achieved many milestones for the Centre’s philanthropic efforts, receiving support from more than 5,000 individual donors, many of whom were making their first ever gift to the Centre. The success of this campaign is due to the support of a broad cross-section of Victoria’s music-loving community.

Ensuring that the local artist community is supported remains a key priority for Melbourne Recital Centre, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the wider Victorian community.

To contribute to the Local Artist Appeal, visit