NAVA launches ‘Love Your Local’ toolkit to help artists engage with local government

Media release

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) today launches Love Your Local, a new toolkit designed to help artists, makers and designers engage with local government. It is a practical guide to working with Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to achieve creative and professional development goals and deliver on local council policy drivers.

'Love Your Local' explores the many different ways that artists can build win-win collaborations with LGAs, from grants and studio space to professional development, marketing and brokering relationships with businesses. It also advises on what councils need from artists and arts workers in return so they can deliver value to the communities they represent. 

NAVA Executive Director Penelope Benton said, ‘Local governments are among the strongest champions of the arts in Australia – and there are mutual benefits for artists collaborating with councils. This new toolkit provides tips, tricks, templates and tools for artists and the sector to build successful collaborations with their LGAs, and advocate for themselves with confidence.’

‘By making it easier for artists and arts workers to actively engage with their local government, we hope to see greater implementation of good practice initiatives and support for the visual arts, craft and design at the local level.’

LGAs provide almost half of all government funding for public galleries in Australia, while 66% of funding for regional galleries comes from local government. As their contribution to arts and culture grows, LGAs represent one of the more feasible avenues of public support for visual artists and craft practitioners.

Author of 'Love Your Local', Monique Choy said, 'Researching the toolkit was a real eye-opener for me in many ways. I didn't realise just how much government funding for the arts was provided by local governments - around a quarter. And with state and federal funding often focused on large arts organisations, local government is a hugely important supporter of independent artists and smaller arts organisations. I also didn't realise just how many different ways local governments work with artists, from grants to professional development, marketing to providing creative spaces. They do it because they know that artists provide huge benefits to local communities, tourism and business. Artists and local governments are just such a win-win collaboration. They're a match made in heaven!'

The toolkit is available for download as an accessible PDF on NAVA’s website:

NAVA wishes to thank the author, Monique Choy of Nettle Soup, accessible PDF designer Kathryn Collins of KC & the Graphics Bandwagon, and a great number of artists, arts workers and local governments for their support and assistance in the drafting of the toolkit.

This project has been assisted by Daniel Besen as part of NAVA’s Arts Day on the Hill program.

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Leya Reid

About NAVA

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) is a Membership organisation which brings together the many voices of the contemporary arts sector to improve fundamental conditions of work and practice. We do this through advocacy, education and the Code of Practice

Image: Laurel Nannup, First Contact, 2016. Five-metre tall cast aluminium sculpture, Perth’s Elizabeth Quay waterfront precinct. Commissioned for the Perth Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and coordinated by FORM and Urban Art Projects (UAP). Project managed and facilitated by FORM Building a State of Creativity. Photo by Robert Frith, Acorn Photo.

ID: Cropped photo of a five-metre tall cast aluminium sculpture of a bird against a bright blue cloudy sky. In the background on the left is the top of a metal bridge arch.