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I hope you are keeping well in these turbulent times. I’m writing to you today to let you know what has been happening with Arts Project Australia over the past few weeks and to ask for your help to ensure that our artists remain supported in developing their art practice during this time of isolation. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride since COVID19 entered our lives and, in order to keep our artists and staff safe and to comply with social distancing measures, APA has been required to completely rethink our delivery model – moving our studio services and gallery online. In doing this, we are truly embodying our manifesto and “mapping our own future”.This has been exciting – but very challenging!


Our studio closed on 16 March – initially due to one of our artists being tested for COVID19 (he was negative) – and our gallery closed shortly thereafter due to government restrictions. Given this, we had to quickly recalibrate our programs in order to continue to deliver studio services to as many artists as possible, as well as promote their artwork through our gallery website and social media channels. As always, our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our artists and staff and maintaining their strong connection during this time of isolation is more important than ever. To meet these challenges, we quickly developed the “APA Satellite Arts” program. Our new APA Satellite Arts program has been highly successful so far. It has seen deliveries of art materials to artists in their homes, and online facilitated art sessions with individuals and small groups throughout the week. Despite some early technical issues, most artists are responding enthusiastically to the engagement with our staff, and the connections with their peers, albeit remotely. 

We plan to recommence our Studio Program in a live format as soon as possible. But we hope to continue to build on what we’re learning about remote delivery during this isolation period and  we are excited about the opportunity that APA Satellite Arts has for the longer-term future. Through APA Satellite Arts, we are building our ability to connect with artists across Melbourne and throughout Australia, including in regional and remote areas. By continuing to offer our Satellite Arts program on an ongoing basis (post this COVID19-period), artists who physically cannot attend our studio program will be able to engage with our talented staff for digital coaching and mentoring – a wonderful way to share our practice and broaden our impact.

Despite this initial success, we still face many challenges moving forward. Our gallery will remain closed for the remainder of 2020, as when we are able to recommence our physical studio program again, we will need to maintain strict social distancing and hygiene protocols to ensure the health and safety of artists and staff. This will mean using the gallery as a temporary studio space and discouraging external visitation for a while. Our planned accessibility renovation will be postponed until 2021. Equally disappointing is the cancellation of so many external exhibitions and projects in which we are involved for the foreseeable future – including Melbourne Art Fair, Spring 1883 and our touring show FEM-Affinity (which is currently in hibernation at Benalla Art Gallery).  These are obviously great promotion and sales vehicles for our artists and it’s very unfortunate that they won’t get this exposure.

Additionally, most of our income (70%) is derived from NDIS payments, which have been impacted greatly due to our decrease in the delivery of services. We have now lost 6 weeks of NDIS income, and until we can return the studio to full operations these losses will continue. APA Satellite Arts will generate income, but nothing like the quantum required to maintain the viability of our organisation into the future. And sadly, we are ineligible for any State Government support for COVID19 affected organisations.

And that’s why I’m reaching out to you today. I understand and appreciate that everyone is coping with their own stressors regarding work, business, family, health and uncertainty. But, amongst all of the chaos our mission must continue – we owe it to our artists. At APA, we are determined to ride out the COVID19 tsunami, to continue to support artists in their practice during these challenging times and, with your help, to emerge a stronger and more resilient organisation in the future. Your tax-deductible gift will assist us in continuing to support our artists during this isolation period and help develop and grow APA Satellite Arts, which we believe could be a gamechanger moving forward. By donating to APA you are supporting an organisation which has always aimed high and continues to advocate for the inclusion of artists with intellectual disabilities in the broader contemporary art sector.

Any donation, large or small, makes a real difference as we embark on Mapping Our Own Future!  Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions about Arts Project Australia and our work. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Sue Roff – Executive Director 


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Artist Simeon Dicks at the 2018 group exhibition opening 'The Art of Living', curated by Rhys Lee at Arts Project Australia.

Artist Simeon Dicks at the 2018 group exhibition opening ‘The Art of Living’, curated by Rhys Lee at Arts Project Australia.


You may prefer to make a credit card donation over the phone – please ring any of our friendly staff on (03) 9482 4484 who will be happy to assist. You can also make a donation by direct deposit to our account (please put your name in the direct deposit information):

Account Name: Arts Project Australia Inc
BSB: 063-138
Account No.: 1008 4602

Monthly Donor Program

Arts Project has a Monthly Donor program so you can spread your donation across the whole year with automatic monthly donations coming out of your nominated credit card, making it easier for you to support us.  Just download the form or contact Sandy who can set this up easily and securely for you.

If your preference is to send a cheque please post to:
Arts Project Australia
24 High Street Northcote
Victoria Australia 3070
Please include your name and address so we can post your tax deductible receipt to you. 

Bobby Kyriakopoulos, Grand Prix, 2014 inkjet print on paper, 29 x 46 cm, BKDP14-0004 1/1

Bobby Kyriakopoulos, Grand Prix, 2014
inkjet print on paper, 29 x 46 cm, BKDP14-0004 1/1

Bequest Program

If you are interested in leaving a bequest to Arts Project Australia please click here for more information. A bequest can be large or small. We would love to speak with you about your wishes so that we can make sure that you are properly acknowledged and thanked for your generosity.

Arts Project Australia gallery and studio are currently closed. Collection of online artwork purchases by appointment.