About Us


Desart is the non-profit peak industry body for over forty Central Australian Aboriginal art centres.

Art centre members are community-based enterprises, owned and managed by Aboriginal people in their communities. They provide economic, social and cultural benefits. Desart member’s represent approximately 8000 artists, from sixteen distinct language groups spread across the Central desert region of Australia. Based in Alice Springs, Desart has been providing support services for art centres for the last twenty years. Desart provides a united voice for art centres and delivers programs that support the maintenance of strong governance and business practices, in addition to providing opportunities to market and promote art. Desart provides a conduit for broad engagement with remote art centres and has developed a national reputation for being a strong advocate to Governments and the broader arts industry, highlighting the unique position Aboriginal art centres hold in the national arts and cultural landscape, their successes, needs and challenges .
Art centres are important community places. They are innovative and vibrant spaces where culture is kept strong, passed on between old and young, and places where Aboriginal people can share our arts and culture with the world.

Programs and services

Desart’s current programs include:
Aboriginal Artworkers’ program
Governance & HR Support
IT technical support
Professional development workshops
Art Centre recruitment
Induction Road Trips for new managers (North West and APY / Ngaanyatjarra Lands)
NT Art Centre Infrastructure Program
Member Service Register
Wills workshops (in partnership with Arts Law)
Photography and Digital Imaging Training

In addition Desart provides a range of other services:
Artists’ camps and regional meetings
On & off site support for individual Art Centres
Support with new Art Centre start ups
Market development (Desert Mob & international market development initiatives)
Advocacy (e.g. The Code of Conduct, policy development, additional funding sources etc.)
Support for Art Centres to participate in art markets in Alice Springs (including Desert Mob MarketPlace)
Production of quarterly newsletter for artists