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About Us


To encourage participation in the Arts by promoting opportunities for the social cultural benefit of the residents of Riverton, the surrounding District, and also to the area.


The core business of the Riverton Community Arts Centre is to provide a quality innovative art space in Riverton.

The Arts Centre is more than a 'commercial' dealer gallery. We need to be viable to be sustainable but our objective is to increase participation in the arts; individual projects/exhibitions may or may not be commercially viable.
We are an economic driver in Riverton. Several local business people have commented 'you know when the Arts Centre is open,' or 'when there is an opening on'. It is reflected in general foot traffic and sales.
Commission income and performance ticket sales provide a significant part of our income. Capital needs and the balance of the operating budget are funded from grants.
The Arts sector has seen a significant period of growth in the last few years, due to a supportive environment and a growing economy. More people are participating in the arts and are also prepared to buy quality art.


The formation of the Riverton Community Arts Centre Charitable Trust followed an approach from Steve Canny of the Southland District Council. During the year 2000 a group of volunteers met informally for the next few months to put together an 'Arts Centre'.
A trust was formed, premises obtained and an initial exhibition programe developed. The Riverton Arts Centre opened with its first exhibition in December, 2000. Over 100 artists took the opportunity to submit 300 works for the exhibition. The level of the response demonstrated to the Trustees showed the potential of the Riverton Arts Centre concept.
During the first few months of 2001, the Arts Centre was managed by a volunteer working committee of the Trust. It soon became evident that the day to day management of the Riverton Arts Centre was beyond a volunteer committee, principally due to the lack of volunteers, and time required.

In September 2001, Marion Lyons was appointed as the first Project Co-ordinator, funded by the Comunity Employment Group. Alana Reid took over the role in September, 2002, followed by Fay Condon who held the position as Co-ordinator for the next two and a half years. In early 2008, the position of Co-ordinator became available again, and the committee decided to split the role into two - Jo Grimwood, since resigned, and Lisa Grace as Project Co-ordinator, with Gaye Larsen as Gallery Assistant, with a vision of opening the gallery every day of the week, under the sponsorship of The Community Trust of Southland. Dianne Robinson took over the Co-ordinator role in November 2011, with Jo Grimwood returning in the assistant role during 2012. Emma Coppin who began as Gallery Assistant and Film Society Coordinator in late 2012 has currently taken up the role as Gallery Coordinator from her predecessor, Dianne Robinson.

The Arts Centre continues to grow its audience. Sales vary widely due to a variety of factors: the popularity of the artist, the nature of the work, its affordability, and exhibiting timing all affect sales. As our reputation has grown, so has the level of audience expectation. The Arts Centre needs to continue to provide a challenging programe and develop an infrastructure to meet this growth and events.

The Riverton Arts Centre has developed a unique venue, with a growing reputation for innovative exhibitions and events. The space is a virtual blank canvas for visual and performing arts.

Community Trust of Southland Creative Communities NZ Southland District