Engaging more Victorians in cultural and creative endeavour
The principle of universal access underpins this strategy and the government's aspirations for Victoria's creative and cultural life.
All Victorians have the right to a creative and culturally fulfilling life and the opportunity to reap the benefits of participating in a vibrant culture, of living in a vibrant area and enjoying a wide array of inspiring experiences.
Regardless of cultural background, age, gender or ability, regardless of where they live or what they earn, all Victorians are entitled to see themselves reflected in our cultural life – on our screens and stages, in our music, literature and art.
All Victorians should have opportunities to shape our creative identity and creative industries, be it as artists, technicians, administrators, board members and industry leaders or as audiences and active community participants.
Victoria already has a multitude of cultural venues and facilities across the state, and a full calendar of festivals of all sizes and types throughout many metropolitan and regional areas. But there is work to be done to make these accessible to all, to build audiences and deepen engagement, to deliver opportunities for employment and economic development, and to ensure that opportunities to participate in the creative industries are maximised across the state.
Local governments are among the state's biggest supporters of arts and culture and play a critical role in building access to, and increasing participation in, cultural and creative activities. We will strengthen our partnerships with local government to deliver significant economic, social and cultural outcomes for all Victorians.
The rollout of the Victorian Government's 2015 $20 million regional arts package is building the capacity of regional galleries and performing arts centres, stimulating more, and more ambitious, regional touring and increasing and diversifying community participation.
New actions under Creative State, worth $32.15 million over four years, are improving access to, and participation in, cultural activities, increasing availability of cultural experiences across the state, and promoting accessibility and diversity in employment and the production and consumption of arts and culture.
Learn about the progress of Creative State Actions 20-28 to see how we are increasing opportunities for Victorians to access and participate in quality creative opportunities and experiences across the state.
Support to ensure that government-funded creative industries organisations have appropriate access, diversity and inclusion plans as well as the requisite training to improve workforce diversity and engender greater diversity in programming and participation. The program will be delivered in partnership with peak organisations such as Arts Access Victoria, and with the advice of Aboriginal Victoria and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.
Collaboration with a wide representation of creative organisations, practitioners and communities is critical to the development of this action. Following initial consultation in late 2016 with key government departments, Creative Victoria brought together a range of creative industries stakeholders in May 2017 for an intensive co-design workshop.
The workshop aimed to identify ideas, approaches and strategies to effectively drive diversity and inclusion throughout Victoria's creative industries, and explore the most effective mechanisms for their delivery. Participants included artists, community members and representatives from arts organisations, peak bodies and government.
Specific areas of priority included career and professional development; audiences; programming, content generation and curation; and workplaces.
This is informing the design of a new diversity and inclusion program to be delivered from 2018.
A program to increase cultural programming in outer suburban areas. Working in partnership with local councils, the program will build on local creative strengths to maximise participation and relevance. It will complement existing arts and culture programs focused on regional communities to ensure access and cultural participation for all Victorians.
The Creative Suburbs program was launched in 2016, with the first round of projects announced in December. The program supports outer metropolitan councils to undertake new initiatives that give locals opportunities to get involved in high-quality arts and creative experiences. Funding is available for both one-off projects and programs that run for up to two years.
The program is targeted at 16 outer metropolitan areas and aims to complement and extend existing activity.
Nine councils received funding totalling $850,000 in the program's first round for projects involving some of Victoria's best known arts organisations and artists. These include:
- Brimbank City Council for a puppetry festival that aims to engage with the local Vietnamese community. It will include works made with community members, a new work by professional artists, industry development sessions and community participation opportunities.
- City of Whittlesea for a dance project with Ausdance Victoria and the Inaugural Dance Affair. Four targeted high-growth communities will participate in dance workshops and local performances, culminating in a half-day festival of public performances.
- Yarra Ranges Shire Council for a project that pairs international company Gap Filler with five local contemporary artists to uncover unique stories, and connect people and public spaces through a series of creative interventions.
- City of Greater Dandenong for (Sub)Urban Studio, a capacity building and performance project that will match culturally diverse community members with artistic partners such as Chunky Move, Multicultural Arts Victoria and Melbourne Writers Festival.
- Frankston City Council for an arts incubator program at Frankston Arts Centre which will support local artists and creative practitioners to build their capacity through masterclasses and mentorships.
The first round of projects is expected to involve 271 artists, provide creative opportunities to 7,700 local participants and reach thousands more audience members in 2017. Applications have been received for the program's second round.
Les Medusas cluster at the foyer of The Drum Threatre to launch (Sub)urban Studio. Photo: Carla Gottgens
Enhancement of Bendigo as a regional focus for the arts by supporting the creation of new landmark works, hosting a national arts and culture conference, developing community participation programs that celebrate multicultural communities and establishing a creative industries hub.
This action recognises Bendigo's current strengths in arts and culture and seeks to build on – and complement – these over a four year period. It is linked to Action 26: Regional Centre for Culture, which will see Bendigo and the surrounding region become the focus of a year-long celebration of art, culture and community in 2018.
This package includes a number of elements currently in development which will be delivered during 2018 and beyond:
- Creation of new landmark works – negotiations are underway to commission major new performance works to be presented as part of the Regional Centre for Culture program.
- Hosting a national arts and culture conference – Bendigo will host the Artlands national conference in 2018, delivered by Regional Arts Victoria.
- Developing community participation programs that celebrate multicultural communities –Multicultural Arts Victoria has been engaged to deliver a three-year Emerge program which will include both artist development opportunities and public events focused on Bendigo's culturally diverse communities. Support has also been provided for Enlighten, a projection festival and associated program of workshops and development activities for young people to commence in 2017 and culminate during the Regional Centre for Culture program in 2018.
- Establishing a creative industries hub – independent research and stakeholder consultation has been undertaken in Bendigo to assess local need, demand and opportunity for a creative industries hub and to identify potential models. This has involved members of Bendigo creative industries (across performing arts, broadcasting, literature, film, visual arts and crafts, galleries, design, architecture and music), local education providers, the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners of the land, existing co-working spaces and local government. Work is underway to secure a location, and consultation and engagement with the local creative sector continues and will help shape the hub's program and activities.
Support to establish a new architecturally-inspiring art museum at Shepparton's Victoria Park Lake that will radically increase access to historic and contemporary art collections for local, national and international visitors, as well as provide opportunities for increased participation for the local community. The Victorian Government commitment of $10 million relies on local government investment and contributions from the Commonwealth and philanthropic sources.
With local, state and federal government funding secured, as well as philanthropic contributions, the project to establish a new Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) is underway.
Internationally-acclaimed Melbourne architects Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) have been selected for the project, following an architectural design competition run by Greater Shepparton City Council. The council received 88 responses from architectural teams from across the country which were shortlisted to five. More than 1,400 submissions were received from the community in response to the shortlisted designs and these were considered by the competition's expert jury.
DCM's winning 'small and tall' design was described by the jury as a 'beacon in the landscape' that would create 'an expressive, innovative, contemporary and exciting SAM that works well with its immediate and greater environmental, social and cultural contexts'. Construction is expected to commence in 2018 and take two years to complete.
Development of a major new performing arts centre in Traralgon which will to serve the broader Latrobe Valley. The project, which is co-funded by the local council and relies on Commonwealth funding, will include a creative industries training facility and capacity to present outdoor events and festivals. The precinct will significantly increase access to, and participation in, creative activity for local communities and build career pathways into the creative industries for the next generations of residents.
Funding has now been confirmed from all levels of government for this project which will include:
- a new 750-seat theatre and multi-purpose studio
- the redevelopment of the existing Latrobe Performing Arts Centre into a digital hub and creative industries educational and vocational training facility
- significant upgrades to the external precinct to facilitate major events and festivals.
Latrobe City has developed a design brief for the project and the tender process is underway to select the architectural team. Stakeholder consultation is also underway, including meetings to progress the development of additional car parking near the venue.
Designs and plans will be developed throughout 2017 and early 2018 with construction expected to commence in mid-2018. The precinct is scheduled to open in mid-2020.
A regional White Night in 2017 to build on the success of the Melbourne event and share the cultural, tourism, social and economic benefits more broadly.
Ballarat won the bid to host the first regional White Night, an all-night celebration of arts, culture and creativity. White Night Ballarat was held on Saturday 4 March 2017 and drew an estimated crowd of 40,000 people.
Locals and visitors filled Sturt and Lydiard streets navigating their way through the streets and exploring the adjoining laneways and buildings. More than 45 free events, including projections, exhibitions, street performances, film, music and dance, delighted and thrilled audiences throughout the night.
Highlights from the program included:
- More Than 1 Nation by The Electric Canvas in collaboration with local Aboriginal art collective, Pitcha Makin Fellas, a unique collaboration that saw the stunning patterns and colours of the Pitcha Makin Fellas' paintings, cut-outs and stamps transposed onto the former Bank of NSW building.
- Crate Expectations, a playful robotic sculpture by Cake industries which rolled through the streets of Ballarat seeking out and responding to audiences throughout the night.
- Neon Angel Wings by Carla O'Brien, an outstretched span of angel wings featuring 'feathers' made from LED Neon Flex that appeared to be hovering in space.
Following the success of its inaugural year, a second White Night Ballarat will take place on Saturday 17 March 2018.
Establishment of Victoria's first Regional Centre for Culture program in 2018, including the development of grassroots community participation projects combined with opportunities to engage with some of Victoria's most respected creative organisations and agencies, in a year-long celebration of arts, culture and community.
The location of Victoria's first Regional Centre for Culture program was announced in February 2017, comprising the City of Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Hepburn Shires.
This area has been named the first Regional Centre for Culture because of its significant reputation in the arts and strong local creative community.
Inspired by an EU 'Capital of Culture' initiative, the Regional Centre for Culture will support a year-long program of arts and community activities in the region that engage local people and attract tourism. Celebrating and boosting local cultural projects and events, the program will also feature specially commissioned artworks, activities and community-based projects by local artists as well as leading Victorian creative practitioners. Also see Action 22: Bendigo arts and design.
The four shires that share in the Regional Centre for Culture designation represent the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung. Local Aboriginal artists and community representatives along with local councils, arts and cultural organisations and other local stakeholders continue to feed into the planning and programming of the Regional Centre for Culture.
The first Regional Centre for Culture events to be announced include Artlands 2018, a national conference and five-day festival dedicated to regional arts presented by Regional Arts Victoria in Bendigo and Castlemaine, and Enlighten, a projection festival and associated program of workshops and development activities for young people.
In July 2017, experienced Australian arts producers Jo Porter and Elizabeth Walsh were appointed to lead the delivery of the 2018 program, working in collaboration and partnership with the local communities. The producers undertook a series of 'town hall' meetings across the designated region as part of their research and consultation process.
A dedicated grants program was established at Creative Victoria to support local creative practitioners, organisations and community groups for projects to be presented as part of the 2018 Regional Centre for Culture program. In addition, there was an open expression of interest process for the commissioning of significant new works inspired by the region to premiere in Bendigo during 2018.
The Regional Centre Culture program was launched in late 2018 and official kicked off in Bendigo on Valentine's Day 2018 with an free public event, Love Letters to the Heart of Victoria.
Development of a shared data platform to support services that improve collection, analysis and presentation of cultural and event information for audiences and organisations in the creative industries. The platform and initial business case will be developed in consultation with audience groups and organisations that hold the data and will drive new creative services and responses.
Creative Victoria consulted with a range of arts sector stakeholders and data experts to understand the needs and capabilities of arts organisations with relation to the collection and use of data, and the opportunities shared access to data could create.
Following a series of co-design workshops, an opportunity and appetite emerged for Victoria festivals to develop a platform for sharing data. A cohort of 15 Victorian festivals have opted into a pilot project, working with Creative Victoria and data experts.
Preliminary work has included one-on-one data assessment meetings, privacy assessments of participants' websites and the development of a code of conduct.
Festivals face operational challenges, such as increasing costs and competition for audiences, securing the best content and raising revenue. An independent review will take a fresh look at the role, delivery and operation of Victoria's festivals and community events and make recommendations on how to maintain a high quality, engaging, diverse and accessible, state-wide program to meet contemporary and future needs.
An independent review of Victoria's offering of creative and cultural festivals is underway and will be completed in mid-2017.
This review will:
- describe and map the current Victorian festivals environment
- estimate the value of festivals to the state
- examine the current role of festivals and the contribution festivals make to Victoria
- assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the festivals sector, including comparisons with interstate and international benchmarks
- recommend actions that will improve the operations and sustainability of Victorian festivals and grow their contribution to the state.
Over 400 festivals across the state were invited to contribute to the review, with participation from festival directors, creative directors, managers, organisers and administrators. The review will provide government with a comprehensive picture of the current festivals landscape in Victoria and will inform future investment.