Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support Program
The Australian Government’s Department of Communications and the Arts’ Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) program’s objectives are to support a professional, viable and ethical industry that features strong participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as the continued exhibition, critique and collection of Indigenous visual art nationally and internationally. This measure aligns with the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap strategy, which aims to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ensure that all Australians have access to the same opportunities.
Some of Australia’s most dynamic and critically-acclaimed visual art is produced in Indigenous-owned and governed art centres. These centres provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain, safeguard and develop their cultural expressions, develop professional practices and skills, engage in the nation’s economy and be part of the internationally-renowned Indigenous visual arts movement. Such art centres are often at the heart of community life, and can be central to the social and economic wellbeing of remote communities.
In 2017-18, the IVAIS program provided around A$20 million to 91 organisations across seven of Australia’s states and territories, including to around 80 Indigenous-owned art centres.
Art centres provide the infrastructure and relationships that allow artists to create new art, generate income, develop professional skills and connect to the commercial art market through partnerships with dealers and galleries, online sales and marketing strategies.
As community-owned organisations, art centres are responsive to local needs. While their primary purpose is to support professional art practice, they also play an important role in enhancing social cohesion, promoting respect for traditional knowledge, ensuring the transmission of culture, and providing economic and leadership opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. More information is available at www.arts.gov.au/ivais.
The expected outcomes through the implementation of the IVAIS program are:
- A professional, viable and ethical Indigenous visual arts industry that features strong participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- The continued exhibition, critique, purchase and collection of Indigenous visual art nationally and internationally.
A$20 million annually
The measure was implemented in 1992 and evaluation is ongoing. The IVAIS program is meeting its objectives by supporting a critically acclaimed Indigenous visual arts industry that has high-levels of participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. IVAIS funding contributes to the operations of more than 80 Indigenous-owned art centres, as well as a number of service organisations, marketing events and regional hubs. Of the 91 IVAIS-funded organisations, 78 are Indigenous owned and governed. At a national level, IVAIS supports around 7,000 artists and provides professional opportunities for over 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders arts workers.