Initial submission to the Productivity Commission Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and Crafts study

Initial submission to the Productivity Commission Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and Crafts study Hearing

  • Author(s): Woods, Kaely
  • Published: 2021
  • Publisher: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University

Abstract: The broad role that remote art centres play in community life and the benefits that brings was highlighted in ‘The art & craft centre story’ (Wright & Morphy 2000 see for example p.41 of Volume Two, Volume Three). This research involved on a survey of 39 Aboriginal community art centres in remote Australia. It found that special projects, including artist development projects, health and education projects and cultural support activities, generate sociocultural benefits to the artists, the community and other stakeholders. However, these special projects require subsidy and may adversely affect the economic viability of the art centres. The Art Economies Value Chain project commissioned by the CRC for Remote Economic Participation undertook a broadly based survey of remote art centres to clarify the value chain and primary art market for these centres (Acker & Woodhead 2014; Woodhead 2014; Woodhead & Acker 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). While recognising that many remote art centres provide social and welfare services, that project focused on their role in the commercial art market. The most recent parliamentary inquiry explored issues related to authenticity of First Nations arts and crafts and the impact of inauthentic products (HORSCIA (House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs) 2018). The first recommendation in this report, that ‘the Productivity Commission conducts a comprehensive inquiry into the value and structure of the current market for First Nations art and crafts’, reflects the long-recognised limitations of data available related to this sector. While the terms of reference for this current Productivity Commission study focus on the markets, it is important to consider the value, or worth, of the art and craft sector outside the market, particularly to First Nations people. This submission will focus on these aspects and flag possible approaches to quantifying these non-market values so that they can be incorporated in a more comprehensive assessment of the value of the First Nations arts and craft sector.

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Suggested Citation
Woods, Kaely, 2021, Initial submission to the Productivity Commission Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Visual Arts and Crafts study, Hearing, viewed 02 July 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=29138.

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