Creating Queensland, creative communities partnership - major Brisbane festival & Australia Council for the Arts

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Creating Queensland, creative communities partnership - major Brisbane festival & Australia Council for the Arts

Queensland University of Technology
  • 190499 Performing Arts And Creative Writing Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Community Arts
  • Community Cultural Development
  • Brisbane Festival


In March 2010, Brisbane Festival commissioned a Research Team, led by Dr Bree Hadley and Dr Sandra Gattenhof, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, to conduct an evaluation of the Creating Queensland program, a new Creative Communities partnership between Brisbane Festival and the Australia Council for the Arts. This Final Report reviews and reports on the effectiveness of the program gathered during three phases throughout 2010: Phase 1, in which the research team analysed Brisbane Festival’s pre-existing data on the Creating Queensland events in 2009; Phase 2, in which the research team designed a new suite of instruments to gather data from producers, producing partners, artists and attendees involved in the Creating Queensland events in 2010; and Phase 3, in which the research team used content analysis of the narratives emerging in the data to establish how Brisbane Festival has adopted processes, activities or engagement protocols to operate as catalysts that produce experiences with specific impacts on individuals and communities. The Final Report finds that the Creating Queensland events concentrate on developing specific experiences for those involved – usually associated with storytelling, showcasing, and the valorisation or re-valorisation of neglected or forgotten cultural forms – in order to give communities a voice. It finds that the events prioritise accessibility – usually associated with allowing specific local communities or local artists to present material that is meaningful to them – and inclusivity – usually associated with using connections with producing partners (such as the Multicultural Development Association) to bring more and more people into the program. It finds that the events have a capacity-building effect, which allows local communities to increase their capacity to launch their own ideas, initiatives or events, allows individuals to increase their employability, or allows communities and individuals to increase their visibility within mainstream cultural practices and infrastructure. The Final Report further finds that Brisbane Festival has, throughout its years of commitment to community programming, developed specific techniques to enable events in the Creating Queensland program to have these effects, that these can be tracked, and, as a result, deployed or redeployed both by Brisbane Festival and other community arts organisations in the development of effective community arts programs. The data demonstrates that Creating Queensland is, by and large, having the desired effect on communities – people are actually participating, presenting work, and increasing their personal, professional and social skills in various ways, and this is valued by all stakeholders. The data also demonstrates that, as would be expected with any community arts program – particularly programs of this size and complexity – there are areas in which Creating Queensland is functioning exceptionally well and areas in which continuous improvement processes should be continued. Areas of excellence relate to Brisbane Festival’s longstanding commitment to community arts, and active community participation in the arts, as well as its ability to create well-known and loved programs that use effective techniques to have a positive impact on communities. Areas for improvement relate to Brisbane Festival’s potential to benefit from the following: clarifying relationships between community participants and professionals; increasing mentoring relationships between these groups; consolidating the discourses it uses to describe event aims across strategic, production, and publicity documents across the years; and re-considering the number of small events inside the larger Creating Queensland program.

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