Isla potters into dream job


A spontaneous grant application has seen a young Alice Springs artist potter their way into a dream job.

Isla Hooper was the recipient of a NXT Gen ARTS grant in 2021 and the 3 month placement has morphed into a permanent job at Central Craft.

The NXT Gen ARTS grants open again this week and Isla has urged people with a passion for art to apply.

“When I put my application in I really didn’t think too much of it but after a year and a half the grant has completely changed the trajectory of my life,” Isla said.

“The grant allowed me to experience everything that came with running an arts organisation.

“I learned that I love doing arts facilitating and running workshops and now I feel like I’m well on my way to a career that I’m so passionate about.”

NXT Gen ARTS grants provide $13,000 in funding for young people to get a start in the industry by doing a 3 month placement in an arts organisation.

During this time, Isla managed the organisation’s website, worked in the gift shop, drafted contracts and played a key role in the preparation for the Australian Ceramics Triennale, a national gathering of artists from across Australia and the world.

Director of Arts NT Georgia Thomas said the program was perfect for young people interested in pursuing a career in arts.

“This program provides a practical introduction into running an arts business by learning from established artists and sector professionals,” she said.

“The NT has a strong and proud tradition in the arts and this grant is about fostering our next generation to become our next arts and cultural leaders.”

Isla said there was no cost to apply but the rewards were potentially huge.

“Even if you are not 100% sure, it is only 3 months,” they said.

“If you hate it you still get some valuable experience under the belt and if you love it well then it changes your whole life.”

Grants are open to people aged 18 to 25 years. To apply for the NXT Gen ARTS grants, go to the Northern Territory Government website.

The following arts grants are also open on the Northern Territory Government website:

Portrait shot of Isla Hooper

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