Social Impact Manifesto

The challenge we’re addressing

Our vision is a society enriched and empowered by art.

Now, more than ever in a socially distant post-pandemic era, we need human-centric ways to connect people. For us, we turn to the power of art. More than just a decoration on a wall, art represents culture and stories, it enables a diversity of emotions, connects communities, and fundamentally represents our humanity.

Quantitatively, in 2019, the World Health Organisation released a broad-sweeping study of hundreds of studies from around the world demonstrating the positive impact art has on our health and wellbeing.

But for us to benefit from art, we need a thriving artist community. In Australia, funding for the arts and for artists have been hit hard. If we’re to preserve this aspect of our society and culture, and to benefit from the impact of art, we need to find new ways to support it sustainably.

Our Social Impact Approach

We started ColourSpace because we want to make a meaningful change in the way people engage with art, for audiences and creators alike. We wanted to completely rethink how people access and engage art, how artists are supported, and how this can be achieved in a sustainable manner.

In short, we do things a little differently. And as a social enterprise, we also do impact differently too.

We recognise that profit and revenue share is important, but we believe that genuine impact comes from building long term, sustainable systems that continue to evolve and adapt. This means empowering people with capability, capacity, and skills.

Thus, in addition to our revenue share model that supports local artists, our social impact approach focuses on helping one group (aligned with our areas of focus) build their capability over a longer term period.

The groups we support:

  • Have some sort of alignment with art or use art programs to deliver their impact, and
  • Support communities that experience some form of social, physical, or economic disadvantage.

The process we will undertake for all groups we choose to work with are:

  1. Understand their areas of impact
  2. Identify areas of capability building to help achieve that impact, and set targets
  3. Create a project plan of work to be undertaken, that take into consideration ColourSpace’s resources and network of supporters
  4. Provide regular updates to all stakeholders involved
  5. All engagements will nominally run for a year, after which we’ll assess the impact against the targets identified in step 2

Our chosen beneficiary

For FY2021-22, ColourSpace has chosen to work with Baluk Arts, an urban Aboriginal community arts centre making waves in the art world. Based in Mornington, Victoria. Baluk supports artistic, career and audience development for visual artists of the Bayside, Peninsula and greater Melbourne.

Baluk is a local Boonwurrung word meaning ‘many or group of people’ and this reflects the diversity of their artists and their work. Their emerging and established artists hail from all over Australia and their art expresses their identity and cultural heritage in a contemporary context.

Through Baluk Arts, family groups and members of the stolen generation have reconnected with their culture and express their histories through strong artistic practice to support their cultural and creative wellbeing. Baluk Arts encourages community development, youth leadership, participation and interaction, and Indigenous governance through innovative arts practice.

Our ongoing legacy

This is about creating something bigger than all of us. Thus, all of our capability building work we undertake will be shared as an open-source resource with the community.

We will release all de-identified and non-commercially-sensitive tools, templates, and methodologies we create into the Creative Commons space right here on this page, so that others can also help create an impact.

If you have any questions on our impact model, please get in touch via impact@cs.gallery.