Australia Council’s First Nations Market Development Strategies
The Australia Council (Council), the Australian Government’s principal arts funding body, supports a number of First Nations market development strategies to enable the arts sector to provide local First Nations arts, performing arts and crafts to local, national and international markets.
These market development strategies include Council’s tri-nations exchange for First Nations artists and arts mediators, delivered in partnership with Creative New Zealand and the Canada Council for the Arts. This exchange brings together First Nations curators and performers to share knowledge, cultural practice and networks at significant international arts platforms such as the Venice Biennale, Australian Performing Arts Market and Documenta.
Council’s research program includes reports on audiences and markets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts, including the 2015 Building Audiences: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts report and the 2016 Showcasing Creativity: Programming and Presenting First Nations Performing Arts report. In 2017 Council has commenced the next research project Creating Art, which will examine the volume of art created and presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
The results expected were potential future exhibition collaborations, cultural exchanges, expanding networks and the sharing of knowledge between First Nations curators and performing arts practitioners. Many of the First Nations curators were able to share similarities in their work environment and devise solutions to overcome barriers to particular issues. The First Nations curators are also working on a proposal of a collaborative publication that highlights the history of First Nations curating in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The First Nations performing arts practitioners have established strong international networks and collaborations amounting to showcases at 2017 YIRRAMBOI festival in Melbourne and then the Original Peoples’ party spotlight event and First Nations pitching sessions at the 2018 Australian Performing Arts Market. There is also an ongoing discussion about a global First Nations strategy to support First Nations American performing arts sector in New York and the broader USA market.
- Approximately A$110,000 per annum from 2015-2017
- Approximately A$110,000 for Venice First Nations curatorial exchange 2017
The First Nations curators want to see this exchange program continued for another 3 years so this exchange, networking and collaborations can continue between Australian, New Zealander and Canadian First Nations curators. Similarly, the First Nations performing arts practitioners wish to continue these collaborative exchanges as they help to strengthen the First Nations arts sector and foster strong relationships to improve showcasing works nationally and internationally.