Art invigorates NT communities 


The Northern Territory’s multi-million-dollar Indigenous arts industry will come under the spotlight at a symposium in Alice Springs on October 1.

The free, one-day Charles Darwin Symposium - Art works:  Communities thrive - will provide an opportunity to debate and challenge popular perceptions and issues surrounding Indigenous arts.

More than 100 people are expected to attend the event at which they will hear from some of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists, and proponents of Indigenous arts.

During the past 30 years Indigenous arts have achieved extraordinary success in terms of the multi-million-dollar industry that has developed.

But how is success defined? Is it just record prices achieved at auction? Or do the arts play an important role in building social cohesion, cultural capital and business enterprise shared by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?

The symposium will address these questions through the themes:

• The contribution of the arts to social cohesion: What works and why.
• Crossing boundaries: The role of the arts in schools, art centres, festivals and tourism.
• The intersection between the arts education and government policy.
• Future directions.

The symposium, hosted by Charles Darwin University and the NT Government, will feature the Director, Research School of Humanities at Australian National University, Professor Howard Morphy, and the NT Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage, Alison Anderson.

The Charles Darwin Symposium complements two other arts-based events in Alice Springs including the 2008 Desert Mob Symposium and Art at the Heart, a national conference of Regional Arts Australia.

Charles Darwin symposia encourage lively and informed debate on issues of importance to all Territorians.

Public comment and opinion are valued at the event with many opportunities provided to question and critique the experts.

The event will be held on Wednesday, October 1 at the Centralian Senior Secondary College Building, Charles Darwin University, Alice Springs.

Attendance is free and open to all members of the public, with prior online registration at:

For more information contact: or telephone: 08 8946 6202