31 May
Darnley Island International Women’s Day morning tea.

Looking at Our Impact – how Arts Law makes a difference

We’ve been thinking about how our work impacts the people that we support.

Arts Law is a “for purpose” organisation. That means that making a difference is what we are here to do, and measuring that difference is a key part of knowing we’re “doing it right”. It’s not just about measuring service delivery stats, website hits and attendance figures although they all tell us we’re punching well above our weight. We know figures alone won’t tell the full story of our impact and so we ask artists to tell us about their experience. The stories of the people we help paint the full picture of what Arts Law’s work does for artists around Australia. Emma is one of those artists:

I sought advice from Arts Law because I was approached by a large retailer to license my work on their products. I had never had to create a contract before so it was a particularly daunting process. The lawyers explained everything to me clearly, using terminology I was able to understand, and taking me through each step of the contract. Following this, I have secured an agreement with the retailer for them to use my work to create a range of products. I would not have achieved this outcome without Arts Law’s support and guidance – and clear information. I have given Arts Law’s details to other artists who have required legal advice, knowing that it would be done professionally and with wonderful people. I am and will always be grateful for the support I have received as the results are actually life changing for me and my family.
Emma Stenhouse, Emerging Indigenous Artist in Warrnambool, Victoria 

The last few years have been particularly difficult for artists. The challenges and opportunities faced by artists in a rapidly changing digital environment are ever more present and we’re here to help them navigate that space with up to date information, like our new info sheet about NFT’s.

Despite the challenges of the last two years we have managed to do so much valuable work, thanks in no small part to our philanthropic support. Donations and philanthropic funding help us to significantly magnify our impact. Not only are we able to increase our capacity to get more lawyers on the phone and on out on the road but we are able to dedicate funds to projects we’ve identified as having the greatest impact.

New philanthropic partnerships and our Arts Law Allies have directly contributed to some of our recent achievements over the last few years. This is what that impact looks like in a snapshot:

  • Since 2020 we have given over 5300 legal advices to 3316 individual artists and arts organisations across Australia.
  • Arts Law Allies funded five outreach trips to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This work has been all the more important as recent travel restrictions have limited our ability to visit communities.
  • Since 2020 we’ve delivered over 150 wills to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists around Australia to ensure their rights and assets are protected for the future. Estate planning is important for artists because copyright lasts 70 years after the artist passes away. This makes it a valuable asset to pass onto family along with the estate. Allies contributed to writing 50 wills for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Our Wills Project has also been funded in WA by Impact100 WA and Qld by The Lionel & Yvonne Spencer Trust. Drafting just one will for an artist can help whole families and their community for years to come. In addition to the obvious financial benefit having a clear will in place saves families from the stress of dealing with intestacy.
  • Delivering education roadshows to artists throughout regional Australia. Our targeted legal education sessions give artists the tools to manage their arts practice and businesses, it has been even more crucial for artists to understand their rights as they face the consequences of the pandemic.
  • In 2021 we launched a new digital transformation project, ‘Arts Law for All’. We have worked with UX designers and developers guided by a human-centered design philosophy to develop a new Digital Strategy and website development.
    The Digital Strategy employs Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach that means we are continually making improvements to our digital platforms based on research and user feedback. Each stage of development will build on what we’ve learnt from the previous stage. The Arts Law website generates over 650,000 views a year, and ongoing development will make the experience more accessible, navigable and usable for our 320,000 users.

You can read more stories about how we empower artists here, or perhaps you’d like to read more about our impact and our goals in our 2021 Annual Report.

If you’d like to help us magnify our impact and reach more artists around Australia consider becoming an Arts Law Ally.