Help the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation raise funds for the Artists in the Black program to protect the legal and cultural rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
The Arts Law Centre of Australia is the only independent national community legal centre for the arts. Their Artists in the Black program has a direct focus on assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
The work undertaken by the Artists in the Black program makes up 30-35% of Arts Law's caseload. It aims to:
- educate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and their communities on their rights and the legal issues surrounding the creation and distribution of art;
- advocate for artists whose intellectual property has been stolen or misappropriated;
- advise artists who are entering into commercial ventures such as licencing or sale agreements to ensure they are being remunerated fairly and that their art and culture is being respected and represented in its truest form; and
- develop a range of resources specifically to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
For the clients Artists in the Black works with, their creations are not only a source of income but also an expression of their culture; of which a breach can be emotionally devastating. It can also have a profoundly negative effect on their community and bring great shame to the artist and their family.
Sadly, the solicitors working with Artists in the Black have seen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists fall victim to a number of copyright and moral rights breaches, including the reproduction of artworks without the permission of the artist, withholding of royalties owed and the infringement of copyright by a Polish hotel interiors designer who claimed to be 'inspired' by the work of Artists in the Black Coordinator, Bibi Barba and her work, "Desert Flower".
Colin Biggers & Paisley has a strong connection to Arts Law and their Artists in the Black program. Through our pro bono program we have provided legal advice to individual artists and Aboriginal community-owned art centres across Australia. We are passionate about protecting the cultural and legal rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
In 2017, the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation raised more than $80,000 for the Artists in the Black program via the Top End Challenge, which saw a team of trekkers take on Kakadu National Park. The funds raised allowed Arts Law to employ a full time solicitor; increasing the Centre's capacity and, in turn, improving access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
There are two ways you can contribute:
- Get involved with Arts Law
This year a team of people from Colin Biggers & Paisley led by our Managing Partner, Nick Crennan, Director of Pro Bono and Responsible Business, Karen Iles and Arts Law's Chief Executive Officer, Robyn Ayres will be traveling to Central Australia and trekking in excess of 50km across Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Watarrka. The Artists in the Black Challenge includes multiple opportunities for cultural immersion and has been designed to support as many Aboriginal-owned businesses as possible.
Each participant on the Challenge has committed to raising at least $3,000 each for Arts Law's Artists in the Black program. It is the hope of the Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation that we can continue to support Arts Law Centre of Australia not only financially, but also by providing pro bono legal assistance and raising awareness of their work throughout our own networks.
Get involved with Arts Law
There are a number of ways you can support Arts Law on an ongoing basis. Subscribe to their newsletter, attend events and spread the word about their work via social media.