Mangkaja Arts is a vibrant Aboriginal owned art centre located in the township of Fitzroy Crossing, 400 kilometres east of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It grew out of the Karrayili Adult Education Centre, with Mangkaja Arts established in 1983. Its member artists are from the differing language groups, the Bunuba and Gooniyandi, Walmajarri and Wangkajunga now living in the Fitzroy Valley.
Art centres face overwhelming operational workloads with insufficient resources. Managers are consumed in day to day operations and urgent priorities and needs. Sustainability requires a shift from short-term project focussed operations to improved business viability that is multi-year and ongoing. Creative Economy has been engaged over a long period time to provide strategic advice to the Board and management. This included providing advice on the contracting and commercial terms of collaboration with fashion label Gorman. This enabled both parties to overcome hesitation of exposure to potential cultural and commercial exploitation.
The Mangkaja x Gorman collaboration was successfully launched at the Darwin Art Fair Fashion Show and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. The agreement has resulted in a commercially successful range of fashion that provides returns to the Mangkaja artists and increased profile of their artistic works. The agreement ensures Mangkaja as an enterprise also receives revenues from this collaboration enabling it to improve sustainability.