Don't let 'Artists in the Black' fall in the funding black hole
5 April 2017: KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter has written to the Federal Attorney-General calling for additional Government funding for the Arts Law Centre of Australia for their Indigenous artists service, ‘Artists in the Black’.
“The service is currently underfunded by approximately $250,000 based on the level of services provided in 2016.
“Artists in the Black provides free culturally appropriate specialist resources which support and strengthen the Indigenous arts sector, focussing on helping artists to avoid exploitation and secure a sustainable income from their arts and culture and protect their Indigenous Culture and Intellectual Property.
“It is the only service of this kind in Australia and an important service for the Indigenous arts community,” Mr Katter said.
Artists in the Black is one of the few Community Legal Centres which is National. The service is funded directly from the Attorney-General’s Department. The Attorney-General’s Department is 66 per cent of the funding for Artists in the Black. Without this funding the Artists in the Black service is not viable.
“We understand the core funding for this service comes from two Commonwealth agencies which have end dates of 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2020.
“It is important the funding to support Artists in the Black continue past their current funding end dates to ensure these highly regarded and well-utilised services continue,” Mr Katter said.
Working with the Arts Law Centre of Australia, The Indigenous Art Code and Indigenous Artists, in February 2017 Mr Katter introduced the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Exploitation of Indigenous Culture) Bill 2017, to make it illegal to sell fake, foreign imports in Australia.
It is reported that up to 80 per cent of tourist shops and markets sold ‘Aboriginal style’ souvenirs, with some using products imported from Indonesia. Under Australia’s Competition and Consumer laws it is not illegal for ‘Aboriginal Style’ imports to be sold, so long as they do not claim to be authentic and have a label stating where they are made.
“Artists in the Black and the Arts Law Centre of Australia are doing a wonderful job for Australia.
“We hope funding can continue to be provided to support this important service,” Mr Katter appealed.