FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has welcomed news of Australian Government support for an innovative indigenous arts project being run by UMI Arts in Cairns.
The Minister for the Arts, Senator George Brandis QC, has today announced funding for initiatives that will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists throughout Australia.
Funding of $242,000 will be provided to five projects through the 2014-15 Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) program which supports industry service organisations and Indigenous-owned art centres.
“$21,000 has been provided to UMI Arts Ltd in Cairns to help the organisation finalise and deliver a tailored tertiary education certificate in Indigenous visual arts industry work,” Mr Entsch said.
“UMI Arts has long been a really key supporter of local arts, with a fantastic range of artists and high quality works, as well as driving projects that foster growth and learning in Leichhardt.”
UMI Arts Executive Officer, Darrell Harris, said the organisation has a long-standing commitment to training Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people for meaningful employment in the Creative Industries, which includes Indigenous Art Centres within the national visual arts sector.
“The new Certificate II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts Industry Work is a new qualification that was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Arts and IBSA,” Mr Harris said.
“We are delighted that UMI Arts members will write the final electives that will allow national delivery of this new Vocational Education Training qualification.”
Senator Brandis added that Indigenous art centres are the source of some of Australia’s most dynamic visual art.
“They provide the infrastructure and access to relationships that allow artists to create new art, develop professional skills and connect to the commercial art market,” he said.
The funded initiatives also include technical training by Desart in the Northern Territory for Story Art Money, the art cataloguing and sales system used by over 60 Indigenous art centres nationally. The Arts Law Centre of Australia in New South Wales will deliver a tailored will-writing service through its Artists in the Black program, and the Papulankutja Artists in Western Australia will rebuild its fire-damaged gallery and art store.
The IVAIS program provides core funding to around 80 Indigenous-owned art centres and five service organisations that provide professional opportunities to over 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artists and 300 arts workers, most living in remote communities.
“Indigenous art centres are often the hub of remote communities and play a significant role in providing training, economic development, leadership and employment opportunities for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Senator Brandis said.
More information about the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support Program can be found on the Ministry for the Arts website.