Advocacy, policy and action for an Australian arts sector that's ambitious and fair

Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs)

Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) generate opportunities for artists and curators to experiment, learn and share, through providing exhibition opportunities and developing social and creative networks that benefit artists and local communities. This section is designed to assist you in setting up your own ARI, or finding an existing ARI in your local area and getting involved.

ARI Models

What is an ARI?


Fontanelle, Adelaide SA

As the name suggests, Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) are developed, organised and operated primarily by artists. There are diverse models and approaches employed by Australian artist run initiatives. These can be distinguished in terms of their rationale, the duration of the project, different delivery approaches, and the overall structure of the ARI. An ARI may be a gallery, a multi-purpose space, a publication, a festival, or a series of projects.

Setting up an ARI

ARI Planning Checklist


NAVA's We Are Here (WAH) symposium 2011

  • is there a sufficient degree of interest in, and enthusiasm for, the proposed venture?
  • is there a strong team to work with and will everyone be willing to contribute the same level of time and commitment to the venture?
  • are there sufficient financial resources available?
  • is there peer and community support for the proposed venture?
  • if the venture will include a gallery space, will enough practitioners be willing to hire the space and will this cover estimated costs?
  • what is the time frame of the venture?
  • who will be designated to speak and/or act on behalf of the venture?

List of ARIs

Australian artist run initiatives

Alaska Projects

Alaska Projects, Level 2, Kings Cross Carpark

There are Artist Run Initiatives in regional and metropolitan areas in most Australian states and territories.

Why Flock?

Why Flock?

Why Flock? Photo credit: Colyn Huber - Lovegreen Photography

In October 2016, NAVA hosted an ARI symposium on models, governance and space in partnership with Cultural Services, Cairns Regional Council.

We Are Here (WAH)

We Are Here

In September 2011, NAVA presented a national symposium dedicated to Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) in partnership with Firstdraft.

Boxcopy: Run by Artists, for Artists


Boxcopy, Brisbane

Article by Rachael Haynes on one of the longest running artist run spaces in Brisbane.

The rise of maker spaces in Perth

Image: Courtesy MANY 6160. Photo: Dave Sharp.

Image: Courtesy MANY 6160. Photo: Dave Sharp.

Article by Anna Dunnill on the rise of independent makers and artists banding together to form new communal studios and artist run spaces including MANY 6160 and Success in Fremantle, Another ARI and Daphne.