Inner-west arts organisations have marked a five-year partnership milestone by gifting their insight to others.

Arts West, an alliance of seven Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay arts organisations, has launched a guide to collaboration in the arts and culture sector. The alliance hopes the guide will help other arts organisations get the most out of working together.

Arts West: Collaboration in Practice explores the formation of Arts West, the alliance’s structure and processes, and how collaboration is sustained.

The guide reveals insights taken from the five-year formal collaboration between 100 Story Building, cohealth Arts Generator, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Snuff Puppets, Western Edge Youth Arts, Women’s Circus and The Substation.

Women’s Circus executive director Devon Taylor said the Footscray-based arts organisation has gained a number of benefits from being part of the alliance.

“It does require time and effort, but it has provided tangible things like professional development and things we wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to have,” she said.

“The intangibles are a sense of community connection with other arts organisations – it has helped develop a really vibrant and rich cultural base here in the west.”

Ms Devon said the member groups share not only a common geography in being based in and around Footscray, but also a strong focus on community engagement.

She said the guide contained lessons and valuable insights for other organisations wishing to undertake a similar project, sharing the highs and lows of the journey to date.

The partnership was supported by Creative Victoria, Gandel Philanthropy and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Arts West: Collaboration in Practice is available for download via