Yarra Valley Arts (YAVA)

Community Arts & Cultural Development

Organisation Capacity Building

Yarra Valley Arts wants to build its organisational capacity so that the immense potential of its many artists & volunteers can be realised, resulting in social, cultural and economic growth for the Yarra Valley.

Days Left

Artists and arts lovers across the Yarra Valley region of Victoria have banded together to create a Gallery & Arts Hub in Healesville which aspires to become the community-based cultural heartbeat of this part of the country. It’s for all art forms and will have a wide-lens focus across ‘The Arts’ both inside our premises and on the streets and in the towns across the Yarra Valley.

We have strong volunteer support but currently have limited funds only for 1 employee and overhead costs for the premises at 252 Maroondah Highway Healesville, which the Margaret Lawrence Bequest (MLB) is supporting.

Yarra Valley Arts and MLB are seeking philanthropic supporters and partners to help build the capacity of YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub to reach its potential.

Our ‘promise’ is an authentic local arts and artists experience, combined with inspiring national and international invited artists to exhibit, perform, engage, educate and generally enjoy their time with us.

Yarra Valley Arts is a broad based regional arts organisation that has survived on volunteer involvement for over 30 years with no ‘home base’ or paid employee prior to February 2019. We now have one philanthropic donor who has generously provided base-level working capital to cover the costs of leasing a property, employment costs for a part-time position and limited marketing and communication costs for a 3-year period. We have many volunteers but need a focussed capacity building program to survive and thrive.

We are starting to generate some funds from commission on the sale of local artists work (20% commission only being charged at the outset) and from fees from workshops and events. However, In order to build our organisational capacity and develop YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub we need additional funds to employ staff; buy equipment; deliver an organisational culture and leadership program; run an artist’s residency program; and implement a comprehensive marketing program.

Donations will allow us to (i) build the capacities of individuals to enable attendance of artists and supporters to an Arts Marketing Program delivered in the region at YAVA by the University of Melbourne (ii) extend our salary budget to secure our gallery director full-time and add part-time hours for a volunteer coordinator and a communications & development officer, (iii) purchase necessary equipment and furnishings, (iv) build organisational culture and leadership by paying for some professional educators to lead seminars and discussion groups on governance and leadership, and, (v) resource a small Networks and Partnership program of Artists residency exchanges.

YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub is a new community-based contemporary creative space in Healesville, Victoria.. It evolved from the voluntary efforts of Yarra Valley Arts members (with a 30 year history) who successfully raised funds in early 2019 to lease a central location to show their works and to also attract high profile artists from outside the region to exhibit with local artists. YAVA opened it’s first Exhibition of 7 local artists on May 9th to some critical acclaim..

The space is an ‘Arts Hub” from which a wide range of artistic forms can be experiencedin the future – music, performance, art classes, multi-media, soirees, lectures, classes, dinners etc…

In its short life YAVA has become so successful that there is an urgent need to build the capacity of the organisation to manage the growth and the opportunities.


Jan Cochrane-Harry


Clair Bremner


Leigh Harry


jenny reddin