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What is an Art Centre?

DAAF Foundation is a not for profit organisation owned and governed by over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centre and Peak Body members from across the most remote regions of Australia.

These Art Centres are at the heart of their communities, and of all that the DAAF Foundation does.

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.

Daphne Banyawarra from Ramingining, photo courtesy of Bula’bula Arts

The strengthening of Art Centres will ensure that Australia’s Indigenous art sector continues to flourish and excel.

Art Centre sales play a vital economic role in remote communities, often being the only externally generated source of income. Economic independence helps ensure the agency for people to live on their homelands, continuing the preservation of traditional practices, ceremonies, language, art and spirituality.

Art Centres provide a safe and supportive environment for artists and their families, contributing to the social and physical health of the community. This often includes many social benefits from assistance with health and medical requirements, through to aged care services, family business, education, legal, transport and financial management issues.

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.

Technological hubs in communities

Art Centres are often at the cutting edge of new technologies introduced through graphic design and multi-media.

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.

 

Film Makers

Many short documentary films are produced under the auspice of Art Centres which serve to inform and educate the wider community about Indigenous culture.

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’.

2024 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Participating Art Centres

Our Art Centre Members

Artists on Country, Ulumbarru ranges in the distance. Image courtesy of Papunya Tjupi Arts

 

What Art Centes Do

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What Peak Bodies Do