• music
  • screen
  • design
  • fashion
  • aboriginal

28 June 2017

From mentoring Indigenous fashion designers to get their work to the runway, to supporting Australia's biggest outdoor gallery, to taking Victorian talent to the world – the first year of Victoria's Creative State strategy has created new opportunities across the state.

Creative State logo

Creative State is Victoria's first creative industries strategy and was launched in April last year, backed by $115m in new funding over four years. It is helping Victorians to build successful creative careers and businesses, extending creative experiences to all Victorians and growing the state's $23 billion creative economy.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, "This is the largest and most comprehensive investment by any government in the creativity of Victorians. This investment is creating jobs and opportunities for creative professionals and audiences across our state."

The progress of the four-year strategy is reported on a new website that outlines the status of the 40 Creative State actions. The report details the new programs that have been created, activities and achievements to date, and initiatives in development.

Highlights from the first year of Creative State include:

  • Successful Victorian trade missions and showcases in key international marketplaces across the arts, design, contemporary music, and digital games, resulting in exports and new business opportunities.
  • An additional $6 million provided to put 90 Victorian small to medium arts and cultural organisations on a more sustainable footing, including extending support to seven new organisations. Collectively these organisations employ around 2,300 people and reach an audience of over 6 million.
  • The launch of a new Creative Suburbs program, creating new opportunities for arts participation and skills development in outer metropolitan communities and filling a longstanding gap in cultural funding. Projects supported in the first round of this program will involve 271 professional artists, provide creative opportunities to 7,700 local participants and reach thousands more audience members in 2017.
  • The successful staging of White Night Ballarat and the designation of Bendigo and the surrounding region as the location of the first year-long Regional Centre for Culture program to take place in 2018. 
  • New programs for screen practitioners and businesses to build their skills, plan for growth and bring diverse stories to the screen, including dedicated leadership programs for women in the screen industries.
  • Melbourne's winning bids to be the partner city for Hong Kong Business of Design Week 2018, one of the largest global design industry events, and to host the 2018 Music Cities Convention.  
  • 350 representatives from across Victoria's creative and cultural sectors converged at the inaugural Creative State Summit.

In the last year, $2 million has been provided to individual artists and creative professionals across a range of programs – a 70 per cent increase from 2014/15. Eighty-four film, television and digital games projects have been supported, which are expected to create more than 7,500 job opportunities and generate a record $215 million for Victoria's economy.

The Victorian Parliament has also passed the Creative Victoria Act 2017 which enshrines support for Victoria's creative industries in legislation and recognises the importance of Aboriginal arts and culture to Victoria.

"We are proudly working with our creative community to roll out the strategy and ensure that will deliver economic, social and cultural dividends that will benefit all Victorians, " Minister Foley said.

The full Creative State progress report is available here