The Art of Application

45 – 60 minutes plus questions 
(90 minutes with sequential translation)
optional PowerPoint
the lecture can be broken down for sequential translation

Alasdair Foster explores the strategies and psychology that can put you ahead in the competitive processes of applying for grants or securing representation with a gallery. More broadly he talks about ways to bring your work to the attention of decision-makers and some of the pitfalls to beware of along the way.

This lecture introduces a four-point process for developing a proposal to a foundation or approaching a gallerist. It harnesses, rethinks and repurposes the skills of the artist to create effective application strategies that can be applied in across many cultural and national contexts. The lecture can be broken down for sequential translation.

Alasdair Foster is a cultural development consultant based in Sydney. He has 20 years’ experience heading up national arts organisations and over 35 years’ experience of the not-for-profit cultural sector. He has worked on both sides of the funding process, successfully securing significant grants for the organisations and projects he has led, and serving on the selection panels that assess applications for funding and sponsorship.


“Alasdair Foster provided a wealth of information crucial to successfully transitioning from art and design school into the professional world. Our graduate students said that it was the highlight lecture of the year.”

Associate Professor Simone Douglas, Director MFA Fine Arts Program, School of Arts, Media & Technology, Parsons The New School for Design, New York

“Alasdair Foster has his eye on the ‘big picture’ at all times … [with an] almost uncanny ability to identify and nurture relationships on both a practical and philosophical basis.”

Grant Jackson, Head of Treasury and Investments – al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

“Insightful and extremely informative … the kind of lecture I wish I’d heard earlier in my career. Alasdair Foster is an excellent communicator, offers an expert opinion and ‘keeps it real’ yet inspiring.”

Wayne Wilson-Wong, artist, New Zealand

“Alasdair Foster’s style is clear, informative and coherent; his straightforward delivery is well suited to sequential translation.”

Liu Xiaoxia, Director of International Programs, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China


The Art of Application

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  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.