Daphne Banyawarra from Ramingining, photo courtesy of Bula’bula Arts
What is an Art Centre?
Art Centres play an important role in maintaining and strengthening cultural practices. They operate as meeting places and offer opportunities for training, education, career pathways and enterprise.
They also play a vital economic role in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This economic aspect is crucial not only to the Indigenous art and craft industry, but also to the health of the communities generally. Art Centre sales are often the only externally generated source of income.
The strengthening and positioning of Art Centres will ensure that Australia’s Indigenous art sector continues to flourish and excel. The economic independence of communities will help ensure that people can continue to live on their homelands, resulting in the preservation of traditional practices, ceremonies, language, art and spirituality. Art Centres often provide many social benefits which are not directly related to the arts. These services include assistance with health and medical requirements, aged care services, family business, education, legal, transport and financial management issues.
Arts Centres also provide a safe and supportive environment for artists and their families. Providing services such as these contributes to the social and physical health of community members.
Art Centres are…
Places of creativity
Fostering the creation of contemporary fine art.
Cultural keeping places
Art Centres dutifully put aside works of old and deceased artists for future reference by family and other community members.
Repositories of cultural knowledge
Art Centres are digitally recording images and documentation for community access now and by future generations.
Places for cultural rejuvenation
Art Centres are places where communities can renew cultural values and traditional lore.
Places that empower people
They are places where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is valued in both worlds. Connection to country is maintained and strengthened. It is a place where communities can share their successes and engage with the wider community.
Employment and training facilities
Art Centres are a key provider of training and employment in Indigenous Communities. They are organisations that are Indigenous owned and operated, and generate income from outside of their communities. This means that they are not recirculating welfare payments.
Many short documentary films are produced under the auspice of Art Centres which serve to inform and educate the wider community about Indigenous culture.
Technological hubs in communities
Art Centres are often at the cutting edge of new technologies introduced through graphic design and multi-media.
Contributors to GDP
The 2007 Senate Inquiry, “Indigenous Arts – Securing the Future” identified that: ‘More recent estimates place the value of the Indigenous visual arts sector at $400- $500 million’.
Our Art Centre Members
The DAAF Foundation is owned and operated by a membership of more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres from across Australia.
Aboriginal Art Centre Hub Western Australia
Anindilyakwa Art & Culture
Arlpwe Art and Culture Centre
Arnhem, Northern and Kimberley Artists (ANKA)
Artists of Ampilatwatja
Bana Yirriji Arts & Cultural Centre
Bula’bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation
Desart (Peak Body)
Djilpin Arts – Ghunmarn Culture Centre
Elcho Island Arts
Gab Titui Cultural Centre
Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts
Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre
Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation
Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands
Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (Peak Body)
Injalak Arts & Crafts Association
Juluwarlu Art Group
Karungkarni Art & Culture
Kira Kiro Art Centre
Ku’arlu Mangga (Good Nest)
Larrakia Nation Arts
Lockhart River Arts
Mangkaja Art Resource Agency
Maningrida Arts & Culture
Mardbark Arts & Crafts
Maruku Arts and Crafts
Merrepen Arts Centre
Milingimbi Art & Culture
Mimi Aboriginal Arts & Crafts
Mirndiyan Gununa – MIART
Mungart Boodja Art Centre
Munupi Arts and Pirlangimpi Women’s Centre
Numbulwar Numburindi Arts
Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre
Pirlangimpi Women’s Centre
Pormpuraaw Arts & Cultural Centre
Spinifex Hill Artists
Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation
Tjanpi Desert Weavers
Umi Arts (Peak Body)
Utopia Art Centre
Walkatjara Art Centre
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts
Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation
Warmun Art Centre
Warnayaka Art and Cultural Aboriginal Corporation
Wik & Kugu Arts Centre
Wirnda Barna Artists Incorporated
Yarliyil Art Centre
Yinjaa-Barni Art Aboriginal Corporation