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Victoria's Creative Industries Taskforce says: "Unleash your inner artist"

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While arts workers are still mulling over their semi-victory over the semi-demise of Senator George Brandis’s ill-fated “National Program for Excellence in the Arts” — and wondering if its replacement the “Catalyst” program for artistic “innovation” is any better — the Victorian Government continues to draw credit for its consultative approach to arts policy.
The Daniel Andrews government has just received a 40 page interim report from a “Taskforce” it set up in April charged with consulting with the “creative industries” (formerly known as “the arts”) to help develop Victoria’s first creative industries strategy, scheduled for announcement in late 2016.
Or, as the Taskforce’s chairperson, publisher Louise Adler put it, the fruits of her committee’s inquiries: “Will …encourage the citizens of Victoria to unleash their inner artists”.
The Taksforce commmitee of 10 arts experts, (that included performers Shaun Micallef and Eddie Perfect), spoke to 1000 people at workshops across the state and 225 written submissions were received. A dedicated website recorded 350 responses from 8,500 visitors. These numbers allow the government to claim in a press release that “the report draws on contributions from almost 10,000 members of Victoria’s cultural and creative industries and the broader public, as well as extensive research into local and international models”.
The report is a distillation of the views it has received, so inevitably it includes much that is seemingly obvious or self-evident.
Its “Key Findings” were:

“Creativity at the centre: a desire to see creative practice and creative industries embedded in and across all community life, and to see creativity understood, valued, widely practised and applied.
“Excellence and risk: that all creators aspire to ‘excellence’, but to make bold, original and innovative work artists must be allowed to take risks and occasionally fail.
“Collaboration: that greater collaboration across disciplines, and indeed, across industries is essential for the ecology of the sector, providing opportunities to produce new work, share resources and ideas and to create new partnerships with other sectors.
“Creative spaces: ‘hubs’, precincts and co-working spaces are widely supported, both in terms of what is created and how it is created, to facilitate collaboration and encourage risk-taking.
“Design thinking: that design thinking be valued and embedded across all sectors and projects, particularly given its close relationship with B2B services and its capacity to increase innovation and productivity across all industries.
“Education: clearer career pathways are needed from secondary school as well as tertiary education; arts education is important for both future practitioners and audiences; the education system must help equip students with creative and enterprise skills.
“Professional development: internships, mentorships and fellowships are important for emerging, mid-career and established practitioners.
“Entrepreneurial and business skills: these are important for a sustainable sector and strategies to increase them, or access to them, across all industries should be pursued.
“Diversity and inclusion: these should be at the heart of the new strategy, and the cultural and creative industries need to reflect the diverse lives of all Victorians and be accessible to all from both an employment and an audience perspective.
“Whole-of-government approach: a more cohesive and coordinated government approach across all its levels and departments is needed for the creative industries to flourish.
“Funding: major suggestions included a restructure of current funding mechanisms allowing for more diverse and experimental work; new funding sources and models; investing in new ideas, research and development – and investing in people and capabilities as much as physical infrastructure and assets.
“Advocacy: more coordinated and effective advocacy on behalf of Victoria’s cultural and creative industries to the Federal Government should occur on matters that fall within the federal sphere, such as tax laws and intellectual property rights.
“Aboriginal arts and culture: a strategy that increases the representation of Aboriginal arts and culture and improves access to it was strongly suggested. This includes greater professional development for Aboriginal creative practitioners, greater participation by Aboriginal practitioners in mainstream cultural organisations and dedicated Aboriginal events, organisations and activities.
“Social and cultural benefits: a new strategy should ecognise and support the profound social and cultural importance of the creative industries to Victorian communities (through improved health, participation, social inclusion and community cohesion).
“Measurement and data: better ways are needed to measure social and cultural value as well as improved access to comprehensive data and analysis by the sector.”
More specific recommendations were made including:
“Fellowships to enable creative practitioners to sustain and advance their careers at key points.
“A Commissioning Fund to generate landmark Victorian creative works.
“Increasing professional placements, on-the-job-training and secondment opportunities.
“Accelerator programs for creative and cultural entrepreneurs.
Co-working spaces and hubs that activate under-utilised spaces for creative use.
“Funding to enable Victorian talent to gain international exposure and build global networks.
The Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, said he will establish and chair a Creative Industries Council, as recommended in the report, to oversee the implementation of the government’s strategy.
The Taskforce’s recommendations are available for public comment at strategy.creative.vic.gov.au.

One response to “Victoria's Creative Industries Taskforce says: "Unleash your inner artist"

  1. This sounds good. Far better than Arts Qld which just believe pumping all the money into QAGOMA and the Cultural Centre is enough. However I would go even further and start to attempt to reduce the Monopoly the State Galleries and Government Art has over the suppossedly “excellence” end of the Arts. In Contemporary Art anything can and is called art if it is allowed into the Gallery/ Church of Art. This makes the decisions of a few crucial. BUT imagine a radical plan fro Australian Art where we finally break down the fake wall erected by High Art and allow a real free flow of truly mass taste in the High and vice versa. Australia could be a world leader, but sadly nothing like this will happen….sigh

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