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First Peoples

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The Art Economies Value Chain (AEVC) project was commissioned by the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC-REP) and supported by Southern Cross University and Curtin University. The AEVC research seeks to understand the production and sale of visual art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote and very remote Australia to domestic and international art businesses. The project aims to enable change and inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and art businesses about art production and the art value chain. The research took the form of a value chain study. It was developed partly in response to a 2007 Senate Inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art sector (Commonwealth of Australia 2007). The Inquiry concluded that there were limited data on the scope and scale of Aboriginal art production. The CRC-REP incorporated the recommendations to improve the quality and integrity of data about the sector into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Economies project. The project’s literature review (Acker et al. 2013) found that the available data focused on the secondary market; therefore, a research project was developed to understand the whole value chain with a particular emphasis on the production and primary sale of art from Art Centres. This project then undertook to gather data from the supply and demand sides of the primary market, to quantify how many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres and private art businesses are trading in Australia, the volume and value of what they produce, and what the impacts are of these data. Throughout 2013, we collected data from 87 Art Centres across Australia and we surveyed 136 art businesses between February and July 2013. The results were grouped into different time periods: some datasets were available only for parts of these time spans, while other data were available outside of these spans.  The analysis of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual art value chain has been divided into four reports and this overarching synthesis. Each report focuses on important economic, social and trade issues in the art value chain.

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