While COVID-19 presented many challenges for event holders, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) took the shock of having to cancel its in-person art fair as an opportunity to pivot with an online offering. DAAFF’s digital platform connects audiences around the world with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives, while creating wider community awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in innovative ways. The online component dramatically increased DAAFF’s reach and generated significant sales of $3.1 million in 2021.
DAAFF’s pivot to online was also recognised nationally by Austrade in 2020 as a business who demonstrated resilience due to the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020.
The annual event brings together and showcases the work of over 2000 artists from more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Centres. DAAFF enables arts buyers to purchase art directly from Aboriginal artists. In 2019, the physical fair had an economic impact of $13.2 million in the Northern Territory. Over the past 7 years, DAAF has generated more than $17.3 million in sales for art centres - 100% of which was returned to Aboriginal communities.