NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

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Spotlight on NIDA's Development: The Vital Role of Supporters

As a not-for-profit organisation, NIDA is always looking for support to continue to provide students with the absolute best in teaching and technology and to help bring their creativity to life. Lisa Hamilton, NIDA's Head of Development, shares the excitement of contributing to NIDA's training and education through fundraising for scholarships and tell us more about why the diverse Development activities are vital for NIDA's growth, the motivations driving individual donors, and the reasons behind corporate partnerships.

How long have you worked for NIDA in the development area and what is exciting about it?

I have proudly served as the Head of Development at NIDA for the past four years, returning with a strong connection as an alumni of the Technical Production Course. The opportunity to contribute to NIDA's training and education, particularly in the realm of fundraising for training and scholarships, has been incredibly inspiring.

What are the different Development activities and why are they important for NIDA?

NIDA’sDevelopment activities are diverse and crucial for the growth of NIDA. One noteworthy initiative is the NIDA Behind the Scenes program, an annual giving program that allows donors to connect with the NIDA community while supporting its world-class education. Donations exceeding $1,200 grant access to exclusive events, such as student productions and offsite theatre nights featuring NIDA alumni, fostering a sense of community among performing arts enthusiasts.

Additionally, our annual fundraiser, RAISE THE CURTAIN, is a key event, raising funds for scholarships and productions. It serves as a unique opportunity for the NIDA community to come together and experience outstanding performances by students and alumni. The funds raised contribute to various areas, including student scholarships, productions, and training and education projects.

Who are and what are the motivations of individual donors?

The NIDA community has wonderful individual donors as well as trusts and foundations who are passionate about NIDA. They are motivated by the desire to support the future of performing arts, particularly through scholarships that help students with financial needs attend NIDA. By doing so, donors contribute to broadening access to the arts within the community. Donors also enjoy participating in events, witnessing student and alumni performances, and aligning themselves with the excellence and creativity associated with NIDA and the performing arts.

What are the main reasons corporate sponsors would like to partner with NIDA?

NIDA has a range of corporate sponsors and partnersthat we grow every year. These organisations seek to align their brand with the prestige and creativity associated with NIDA and the performing arts. Their support not only emphasises a commitment to future storytellers in the arts and entertainment industry but also signifies a deep dedication to enriching Australian culture.

How many scholarships have you distributed for the 2024 intake and why is this important?

In 2024, NIDA will distribute 112 scholarships, amounting to over $1.1 million—a substantial increase from previous years. These scholarships are vital in providing financial assistance to talented individuals who may face barriers in pursuing a creative arts education.  NIDA’s courses are full time and very demanding, meaning that students are really unable to support themselves with part time work. Also,as Australia’s national centre for excellence in the dramatic arts, we attract students from around the country. Travel to Sydney and accommodation costs can be prohibitive for many, so scholarships enable a more diverse group to study at NIDA. This is important as we seek to ensure our graduates reflect the diverse make up of Australian society.

What are the important upcoming Development events?

Looking ahead, our upcoming Development events include Behind the Scenes supporter nights in June and October, offering pre-show drinks and the opportunity to witness shows created by NIDA students, tutors, and professional directors. Additionally, the annual fundraising dinner, Raise the Curtain, promises an entertaining evening on Wednesday 8 May, complete with silent and live auctions to support NIDA's initiatives.

How to become a donor or a sponsor, is there a minimum amount?

For those interested in becoming donors or sponsors, any donation over $1,200 grants access to the Behind the Scenes program for a donor and a guest for 12 months. NIDA also welcomes tax-deductible gifts over $2 from individual supporters, trusts and foundations. Corporate sponsorship starts at around $10,000 annual contribution, and our development team is eager to engage with organisations interested in sponsoring to further discuss the available opportunities. Your support ensures the continued success and growth of NIDA, fostering creativity and excellence in the performing arts.

The annual funraising event RAISE THE CURTAIN will be held on Wednesday 8 May 2024, bookings are open. More info here.

An alumni of NIDA's Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Technical Production, Lisa Hamilton has worked for various theatre companies as general manager including Ensemble Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company and Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image. She studied at University of Technology, Sydney, graduating with a Masters in Arts Administration and taught arts administration at NIDA and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Association (NAISDA).  She established her agency, Lisa Hamilton Management for actors and creatives, and managed music artists with BMG music. Lisa went on to oversee the philanthropy programs at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for 13 years, where she developed her passion for contemporary art. In December 2019, she returned to NIDA as Head of Development, raising funds for scholarships and NIDA’s training.

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