The Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA) is the peak advocacy and support agency for Aboriginal artists working individually and through 48 remote Art Centres spread across a vast area of approximately 1 million square kilometers. ANKAAA serves four regions, including Arnhem Land, Darwin/Katherine, the Kimberley and the Tiwi Islands regions. Many of its 5000 members are internationally acclaimed artists and important community leaders.
ANKAAA has maintained a solid grassroots base since 1987 and its membership is looking far ahead. ANKAAA’s members desire ANKAAA to get stronger and serve the grandchildren. Members want to see the Indigenous arts industry grow so that their art can help secure viable livelihoods and enhance health and wellbeing of their communities. ANKAAA’s membership wants to see stronger Indigenous leadership, more economic benefits from an innovative and diverse Indigenous arts industry, while maintaining a balance between money story and keeping culture strong.
ANKAAA’s mission is to serve its members by working together to:
- Keep art, culture and country strong
- Support the development of strong and sustainable Art Centres
- Develop training and professional pathways for young people to learn
- Keep our voices strong and respected
- Support the continuing development of the Aboriginal Art Industry for our artists
This is achieved through working with members, Art Centres’ governing committees and staff in the following areas:
- Consultation (listening to members)
- Advocacy & Lobbying (talking up for members and Art Centres; protecting artists’ rights)
- Resourcing and supporting (helping and giving information)
- Training (teaching)
- Referral and networking (putting members in touch with each other and other organisations and resources)
- Marketing and Promotion (telling people about Art Centres and artists)
ANKAAA is led by a strong Indigenous Board and has strong relationships with community, government and industry partners. ANKAAA has six core work areas. These are training, day-to-day resourcing and supporting, referral and networking, advocacy and lobbying as well as marketing and promotion.
ANKAAA was first established in March 1987 as the Association of Northern Central Australian Aboriginal Artists (ANCAAA) by 16 Aboriginal owned and controlled community art and craft centres from NT, WA and SA. Its main function was to foster the Aboriginal arts industry for the benefit of its artists and organisations.
In 1992 the Central region incorporated to become Desart. At this time ANCAAA changed its name to ANKAAA by substituting Kimberley for Central. Today, ANKAAA represents up to 5,000 Artists from 48 Art Centres in the Tiwi Islands and the Darwin/Katherine, Kimberley, and Arnhem Land regions.