Signature of M: details of a great Australian fundraiser
09 Aug 2007
Signature of M

Signature of Sydney

The concept for the Signature series was piloted in Sydney between 2005 and
2006 with great success. More than 490 businesses sponsored the competition, which was won by Sydney artist Lynda Howitt with her artwork affectionately
known as The Sydney Kiss. Thousands of people visited the exhibition of the 25 semi-finalists, and more than $85,000 was raised for Make-a-Wish Foundation.

What is the prize pool?

Signature of M is the richest arts prize in the Southern Hemisphere, offering a
prize pool of $180,000, with $150,000 going to the winning artist. The remaining $30,000 is shared between the eleven runners up, with each receiving $2,700.
How many businesses are expected to participate?

More than 60 businesses (BEN TO CONFIRM) have already signed up to take part in Signature of M, with organisers expecting up to 1000 businesses to eventually participate in Signature of M.

Businesses already on board include Jetstar, Myer, ANZ, Crazy John, Kraft,
Melbourne Football Club, NAB, Seek and Amcor to name just a few. There are also plenty of smaller organisations, ranging from Rickett Point Fine Foods to

Three potential categories of business involvement mean businesses of all sizes can take part, with the standard sponsorship involving a contribution of $2200.

Businesses can continue to sign up until early September 2008, when the 12 finalists are selected and given the list of businesses to incorporate into their final artwork.

Participating businesses will be invited to attend business networking events and a gala night in October 2008 at which the winning artwork concept will be unveiled. The names or logos of all businesses will be incorporated into the winning artwork, and all businesses will receive a signed, numbered limited edition print of the artwork.

Who is eligible for the competition and what are the criteria?
To be eligible to enter Signature of M, applicants must be 18 years or older and have been an Australian resident for at least 12 months. All artists compete anonymously. Each artist can enter only one concept work. To enter, artists download the application form from and send it back by post.

All artworks must:

• incorporate the names or logos of the contributing businesses;

• be submitted anonymously;

• be capable of being reproduced in print;

• in graphic, painted, photographic or written format or any or all of these;

• be two dimensional; and

• be in one piece, attached on moulding board or any other material as a
flat panel.

Who will be on the judging panel?

The judging panel comprises:

• Marsha Thomson, Parliamentary Secretary, on behalf of
Premier John Brumby

• Andrew Demetriou, CEO, Australian Football League

• Eddie McGuire, President, Collingwood Football Club

• Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, National Gallery of Victoria

• Mal Walden, Newsreader, Channel 10

• Red Symons, Entertainer and Radio Host

• Alexi Glass, Managing Director, Gertrude Artspace

• Paul Bonnici, Creative Director, Myer

• Nigel Dawson, Creative Director, Grey Advertising

What will happen to the winning artwork?

The winning artwork and the eleven finalists will be auctioned at the gala
evening in October, with proceeds going to the AFL Foundation’s Ladder Project to help build a home for homless youth in inner Melbourne. Proceeds from the art competition and associated activities are expected to be in the measure of

What other cities are planned in the Signature series?

Melbourne is the international launch pad for a further 10 world cities: New
York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai, Rio and Tokyo.

What is the AFL Foundation and the Ladder Program?

As the national body responsible for Australia’s only indigenous sport, the AFL
recognises it has a responsibility to the broader community associated with Australian Football. The AFL Foundation has been established to undertake  initiatives to better the lives of disadvantaged members of the community. The Foundation is a proactive association designed to tackle a broad range of social problems.

The AFL Foundation is an independent organisation that relies on AFL staff,
players, coaches and umpires who all generously donate their time to be involved in a number of projects.
In 2008, the 150th anniversary year of the AFL, the AFL Foundation and the AFL Players' Association will commence construction of a purpose built facility for homeless youth in inner-suburban Melbourne. More than just a ‘roof over the head’ this shelter will provide a variety of opportunities for homeless youth to build relationships and gain skills to help them avoid homelessness and unemployment.

The home will offer programs designed to help young homeless people develop a strong foundation on which to build better life options, improved education opportunities and a future career. AFL players will be involved in mentoring residents of the house as well as working with them on demonstrating the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The players will also be actively involved in the management and operation of the house, supported by selected service providers with expertise in this area.

The project was driven by AFLPA executive members, Essendon's Mark Bolton
and Richmond's Joel Bowden, with the support of Derek Linsell of the AFL Foundation. In October 2006 the Victorian Government committed $3 million to the project.

Proceeds from the Signature of M art competition and associated activities will go to the AFL Foundation’s Ladder Project to help build the house. The proceeds are expected to be in the measure of $200,000.

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