Better World Arts
Better World Arts>In 1996 Carolyn Wilson created a joint venture between B W Trading and Kaltjiti Arts, one of the art centres in the isolated Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in the remote north-west corner of South Australia. B W Trading had been importing handicrafts from the Kashmir region since 1991. Having a strong interest in world arts and crafts, and constantly seeing the commonalities between people and artists across the world, the potential for combining the original art works from traditional Australian Aboriginal artists with the fine quality handicrafts from the remote Himalayan region of Kashmir was evident. Focusing on fine art instead of predictable commercialised Aboriginal images, a cross-cultural collaboration was born using the powerful images from the traditional artists of the APY Lands and the cultural craft heritage of the Kashmir region.
Better World Arts focuses on creating an empowering business model for the artists. Instead of using the usual licensing models, the artists, through their art centres can commission the production of their images onto products owned by their art centres. As well as the usual royalties a healthy and independent sustainable business is now owned by the artists. With the Better World Arts "Partnership" model the artists are paid royalties, so get the same benefit as with a licensed agreement, and also own a business which has a healthy and identified cash flow and profit flowing back into the art centre.
The Cross Cultural Projects give substantial and sustainable benefits to the participants. The goods sold give a steady income to the Aboriginal artists via royalties and a share in the profit, and the artisans who are contributors to the Project are employed in traditional activities that supplement rural incomes. This income is derived from work that is culturally enhancing, giving strength to traditional ways of life and creativity in both communities.
Better World Arts