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Backing Indigenous Arts

Arts Queensland is a proud supporter of Indigenous artistic and cultural expression through the Queensland Government’s Backing Indigenous Arts (BIA) Initiative – a $12.6 million investment over four years (2015/16 – 2018/19)  to build sustainable and ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts industries.

Launched in 2007, Backing Indigenous Arts is a groundbreaking approach that supports artists from creation to market through an investment cycle that begins with art centres and individual grants and concludes with support for Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.  

Backing Indigenous Arts (2015/16 – 2018/19) supports:

  • Indigenous Art Centre network: 14 Indigenous art centres across Far North Queensland and representative body the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance (IACA) 
  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF): Australia’s premier Indigenous Art Fair, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is dedicated to supporting the careers of Queensland Indigenous artists by providing a platform for market exposure and income generation 
  • Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival: Biennial gathering in Cape York Peninsula, highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories and showcasing the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people 
  • Winds of Zenadth Cultural Festival: Biennial four-day festival to celebrate and preserve Torres Strait Islander language, art, song and dance
  • Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund (IRADF) program: a partnership between Arts Queensland and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities represented by 16 participating councils and organisations
  • Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts: a registered training organisation dedicated to the development of Indigenous performing artists developing the skills, expertise and practical experience necessary to succeed in the Australian performing arts industry.
  • Capacity building: working with the sector to develop skills and knowledge through workshops, mentoring, connector events and online tools

Funding for arts and cultural activity for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, organisations and collectives is available by applying to:

  • Queensland Arts Showcase Program - funding to deliver vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences for Queensland.

  • Individuals Fund – support for artists and cultural workers to participate in transformational professional and career development opportunities.

  • Playing Queensland Fund - support towards visual and performing arts touring expenses for tours throughout Queensland.