A progress update on Marnin Studio

SVA is supporting Marnin Studio to become a sustainable arts enterprise, strengthening the identity and well-being of the women in Fitzroy Valley.

In May this year, SVA initiated a three year venture partnership with Marnin Studio, an Indigenous women’s arts enterprise based in Fitzroy Crossing. The partnership is focused on building the sustainability of the social enterprise and helping to increase the impact that it is creating for the women of Fitzroy Crossing and their families.

SVA’s venture philanthropy support is providing Marnin Studio with a unique combination of:

  • Funding: $100,000 per annum for three years
  • Capacity Building: Mentorship and hands-on support with building the Studio’s business into a viable social enterprise
  • Pro bono Support: Access to professionals for industry expertise in areas of IT systems, legal contracting, market research and retail consulting
  • Evidence: Support with measuring and reporting the impact for the women, their families and the Fitzroy Valley community

Our capacity building support over the three year partnership is taking a staged approach as follows:

  • Year 1: Professionalise the Studio’s systems and operations
  • Year 2: Explore new partnerships and opportunities
  • Year 3: Expand and grow the Studio’s sales and operations

Since the partnership commenced in May, our pro bono partners have provided Marnin Studio with in-kind support of around $45,000. This support has involved:

  • King & Wood Mallesons working with the Studio to develop legal contracts for key stakeholders and partners, including consignment and wholesale agreements, licensing agreements and employment agreements
  • CT Group Solutions helping to develop an integrated IT systems for sales, reporting and inventory management processes
  • Azure Consulting helping the Studio to conduct a market scan and develop consistent product development and pricing strategies

Over the past few months, we have also been working with the Studio’s management team to develop a measurement framework for assessing and communicating the impact of their programs. The first step has involved developing a clear ‘program logic’ for the Studio’s activities and the resulting outcomes and impact.

The process highlighted that Marnin Studio is leveraging strong connections to country, culture and family to strengthen well-being, community engagement and local economies and in doing so, is working to create greater life potential for the women, their families and their communities.

With a clear understanding of the outcomes that the Studio is driving, we are now working to develop and integrate measurement systems into their Studio practices. It is an exciting and evolving piece of work that we look forward to continuing to share and hope to leverage for other cultural-based Indigenous enterprises.