What makes a
creative community?

How is it
connected?

What does it need
to thrive?

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What this is about

Creative Ecologies is a collaborative investigation into what makes Australia’s creative landscapes tick. The aim is to understand what it takes to build thriving creative communities and then develop tools to foster their growth. The first stage was a survey of cultural practitioners and policymakers from across Australia. The findings will be presented and discussed at Artlands Victoria in October 2018.

Understanding creative environments

Healthy creative ecologies are a good thing. But how are they identified? What do they look like? What are their constituent parts? How are they connected and what drives their activity? What environments promote them? By exploring these questions we can better understand what is needed to build successful and sustainable creative ecologies that provide value to the community.

Going beyond economic indicators

Arts and culture are generally accepted as public goods, but there is no consensus on how they should be valued. Most of the indicators used to measure creative exertion are economic – numbers of jobs created, tickets sold or contributions to GDP. This captures the monetary value, but what about the other benefits, like health and wellbeing, community resilience and happiness? Is creative activity merely a means to achieve these goals or an end in itself? What are the unintended consequences of valuing creative activity in monetary terms alone? Creative Ecologies seeks to expand the ways we value creative exertion in our society.

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About the project

Creative Ecologies is an initiative of Future Tense, delivered in partnership with Artlands Victoria, RMIT University, Ludowyk Evaluation and Clear. Email creative-ecologies@futuretense.com.au to contact the project.