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Friends of Araluen

The Friends of Araluen and Araluen Arts Centre work together to generate inspiring and entertaining experiences for the wider Alice Springs community.

The Friends of Araluen seek to:

  • Stimulate and sustain public involvement in the Araluen Arts Centre
  • Foster the practice, study and appreciation of the Arts in the Alice Springs community
  • Raise funds so gifts can be made to and accepted on behalf of the Araluen Arts Centre
  • Provide an annual Community Grant that artists of the Central Australian community can apply for 
  • Lobby Government or Organisations for the benefit of the Araluen Arts Centre.

The benefits of becoming a member of the Friends of Araluen include voting rights and an ability to provide direct feedback to the Araluen Arts Centre on programming and ongoing event and facility development. 

By working together, the Friends of Araluen and the Araluen Arts Centre management aim to develop further joint initiatives that continue to provide benefits to members and the wider Alice Springs community and generate inspiring and entertaining experiences at the Araluen Arts Centre. 

The Friends of Araluen was formed at a public meeting on February 11, 1976.

Its primary objective was to secure land known as Araluen in perpetuity, for the purpose of creating a Cultural Centre that supported and encouraged community participation in the Arts and Crafts.

The land, formerly the town airport, was purchased by the Commonwealth Government once the airport was de-licensed and Connellan Airways moved operations to the present airport site. 

Concerned residents opposed plans for a medium-density residential development of the site, stressing the need for both an open space and a cultural centre for the growing community. 

With limited funds and determination the association lobbied hard and were unwavering in their objectives. With the change of rule to self Government, the Friends of Araluen worked with the Territory Covernment so that the transfer of land from Commonwealth Government ownership was affected and planning of the Araluen Cultural Centre was initiated. 

At the Araluen Opening Festival in 1984, the Director wrote: 

“The festival celebrates over a decade of one of the most successful grassroots movements in the history of the arts in Australia. It celebrates the culmination of a community and professional process which has created the new Araluen Arts Centre.”

Under a Centenary of Federation Grant, the Friends of Araluen were able to assist the Araluen Cultural Centre to construct a third gallery in order to display the Araluen Art Collection. 

The Friends of Araluen continues to support the Araluen Arts Centre today with a strong focus on supporting the local arts community, such as helping the Araluen Arts Centre purchase a critical work from this year’s Alice Prize by local artist J9 Stanton.

For further information on the Friends of Araluen Association, please send us an email.

Sign up as an Araluen Arts Centre Member and remember to tick the box to become a member of the Friends of Araluen Association.


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