- Our Story
Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) is an independent creative precinct in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It’s a place for artistic vibrancy, new work, big ideas and important conversations.
Our programs focus on the nexus between creativity and social justice. We platform and prioritise the voices of artists from Indigenous, migrant and refugee, disability and LGBTQIA+ communities. Our year-round program offers unique performances, exhibitions, collaborative art workshops and community events.
FCAC is a place like no other. Our precinct boasts heritage buildings, industrial design, lush greenery and breathtaking city views by the Maribyrnong River. There is public art and things to see and do in our unique spaces. We are also a venue for hire, and are a registered NDIS provider.
As an independent charity, we rely on the generosity of our supporters. If you would like to donate, click here.
First Nations Context
The key to understanding FCAC’s future is grounded in the story of our past. FCAC values the ongoing legacies of the people who drove social, political and cultural change in the West, and recognises the rich history of both FCAC and Melbourne’s West.
“In the past Aboriginal people lived, worked, played sport, had meetings and performed in Melbourne’s west. Today this is still happening, and we are still here…
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were always part of the industry in the west. People were part of the Aboriginal movement, but many were also workers, maintaining their Aboriginal identity. In the west, we were part of the industries, and the people who supported the establishment of FCAC also supported Aboriginal people’s rights. This is our shared history.”
– Elder in Residence, Uncle Larry Walsh.
FCAC was established in 1974 by artists, unionists and other community activists with a clear agenda of access for all. This group of founders successfully advocated for state and federal funding to establish an arts centre responsive to the social and cultural needs of Footscray’s marginalised and disadvantaged communities.
At the time, community arts centres were unique in Australia and extraordinary for Melbourne’s Western suburbs – a region that was lacking in basic infrastructure, transport systems and recreation facilities.
Following World War II, Footscray experienced an influx of large numbers of migrants. Continued migration over the last 60 years means the West remains one of the most culturally diverse areas in Victoria.
Today, FCAC makes a significant contribution to the Australian cultural footprint with 105 new works created at FCAC in 2018 and average visitation of 90,000 per year since 2015.
FCAC is a contemporary arts centre grounded in Melbourne’s Western suburbs that engages with the critical challenges facing our communities through local, national and international dialogue.
Our communities shape, lead and drive a vibrant artistic and cultural program creating cultural change and shaping contemporary Australian identity.
FCAC plays a vital role in the Australian and international cultural landscape generating open and inclusive contemporary creative spaces that nurture, develop and platform underrepresented artistic and community voices.
Our vision is that all communities are valued as makers of culture.
Our Values and Goals
FCAC influences the national cultural landscape by boldly championing equality: equality in opportunity, recognition and cultural influence; embracing equality across our Board, staff, artistic program and business.
FCAC embraces artistic risk-taking and the dismantling of established boundaries within the creative industries sector to ensure it is reflective of our communities of focus. We will tackle challenges creatively and conduct conversations with generosity.
FCAC employs best-practice community arts and cultural development methodologies through a genuine spirit of collaboration with our communities of focus, artists and partners. We lead the arts sector by employing this best-practice methodology as an arts venue that serves as a model for others to emulate.
The founding principle, ‘access for all’, has remained at the heart of FCAC’s evolution over 46 years. FCAC provides a culturally inviting and physically safe space for sharing in artistic provocation, critique and stimulating engagements. We listen to our communities to implement genuine accessibility across FCAC’s programs and venue.
FCAC’s operations encompass all aspects of environmental and business sustainability to ensure long-term viability as a community cultural asset.
Keen to learn more about FCAC? Contact us for a guided tour.
1. Opening night of Due West Arts Festival, 2019. Photograph by Jacinta Keefe.
2. Wominjeka, 2018. Photograph by Gianna Rizzo.