Abstract: On contemplating this paper I found myself wondering what I should be talking about, or, more specifically, why I was floundering with its content. Steeped daily in the ‘authentic’ and possessing a naive sense that people will deal fairly, I have not given the problems much thought. It seems ironic, but the issue of authenticity is not one of great significance for us during our daily routine at Mangkaja Arts. The omnipresence of the debate surrounding these issues on the radio and television has not gone unnoticed in Mangkaja. Questions raised in the recent Four Corners program and the documentary titled Art from the Heart? are ones that we have discussed, but they do not impact on the artists to any great degree; and with that realisation, I am moved to ask why? Perhaps a brief overview of the operations of the art centres would be useful.