Melbourne Art Fair Indigenous Art Centre Program recipient of the Australian Government RISE Fund

Melbourne Art Foundation today announces that the Melbourne Art Fair Indigenous Art Centre Program (IACP) is the recipient of $199,950 in funding from the Australian Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.

The Melbourne Art Fair Indigenous Art Centre Program is an initiative that will support the participation of Indigenous-owned Art Centres at Melbourne Art Fair with the express aim to promote Indigenous contemporary artists, in addition to providing economic benefits, employment opportunities, access and capacity building support for communities. Melbourne Art Fair is excited to be partnering with Indigenous not-for-profit Agency Projects to deliver this program.

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, announces Melbourne Art Foundation as one of 63 leading organisations to share in $20M, as the RISE Fund continues to provide immediate funding to support during an especially difficult period for the sector.

Melbourne Art Foundation CEO and Fair Director, Maree Di Pasquale, says “This funding demonstrates the value of the Indigenous Art Centre Program and the recognition of the Melbourne Art Foundation as a systemically significant Australian arts organisations in its relentless advocacy for living artists.

This program will provide unrivalled opportunities for Art Centres whose reliance on cultural tourism for artwork exhibition and sales has been greatly impacted by COVID-19. It will contribute to a high-quality platform for Australian contemporary art and respond to the increasing national interest and explosive global movement in collecting Indigenous Australian artists.”

Agency Projects CEO Kade McDonald agrees, “We have been overwhelmed with the response from Art Centres with regards to this program, indicating the need and long-term value of this initiative. We are thrilled that RISE will enable five art centres to participate in this vibrant program – providing a remarkable opportunity for Indigenous artists. Importantly, this initiative will help build the capacity of participating artists, art centres and arts workers, and we are thrilled to be a partner and have no doubt it will be a revered opportunity for years to come.”

The Melbourne Art Fair Indigenous Art Centre Program is supported by the Australian Government Office for the Arts, Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund and the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) Program. It will provide a fully funded exhibition package for five Indigenous Art Centres to participate within Melbourne Art Fair 2022, along with capacity building workshops, a grants program for the creation of new work, and an online / onsite public program to connect audiences with artists living on Country.

Chris Saines CNZM, Creative Economy Taskforce member and Director of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), said the RISE Fund is providing essential support for getting shows back on the road.

This funding is providing much-needed hope and confidence for the arts and entertainment sector to plan and deliver projects across the nation, providing momentum to recover from the pandemic and sustaining livelihoods,” Mr Saines said.

Melbourne Art Fair returns in the Victorian summer 17-20 February 2022 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to present solo presentations and works of scale and significance from 50 of the region’s leading contemporary art galleries and Art Centres. 


Image: Warlayirti Artists @warlayirti_artists | Photographer: Emily Bell