Arts Facilitation and Creative Community Culture: A Study of Queensland Arts Council
Richards, Michael John (2005) Arts Facilitation and Creative Community Culture: A Study of Queensland Arts Council. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.
This thesis adopts a Cultural Industries framework to examine how Queensland's arts
council network has, through the provision of arts products and services, contributed
to the vitality, health and sustainability of Queensland's regional communities. It
charts the history of the network, its configuration and impact since 1961, with
particular focus on the years 2001 - 2004, envisages future trends, and provides an
analysis of key issues which may be used to guide future policies and programs.
Analysis is guided by a Cultural Industries understanding of the arts embedded in
everyday life, and views the arts as a range of activities which, by virtue of their
aesthetic and symbolic dimensions, enhance human existence through their impact
on both the quality and style of human life. Benefits include enhanced leisure and
entertainment options, and educational, social, health, personal growth, and
economic outcomes, and other indirect benefits which enrich environment and
Queensland Arts Council (QAC) and its network of branches has been a dominant
factor in the evolution of Queensland's cultural environment since the middle of the
20th century. Across the state, branches became the public face of the arts, drove
cultural agendas, initiated and managed activities, advised governments, wrote
cultural policies, lobbied, raised funds and laboured to realise cultural facilities and
In the early years of the 21st century, QAC operates within a complex, competitive
and rapidly changing environment in which orthodox views of development,
oriented in terms of a left / right, or bottom up / top down dichotomy, are breaking
down, and new convergent models emerge. These new models recognise synergies
between artistic, social, economic and political agendas, and unite and energise them
in the realm of civil society. QAC is responding by refocusing policies and programs
to embrace these new models and by developing new modes of community
engagement and arts facilitation.
In 1999, a major restructure of the arts council network saw suffragan branches
become autonomous Local Arts Councils (LACs), analogous to local Cultural
Industry support organisations. The resulting network of affiliated LACs provides a
potentially highly effective mechanism for the delivery of arts related products and
services, the decentralisation of cultural production, and the nurturing across the state
of Creative Community Cultures which equip communities, more than any other
single asset, to survive and prosper through an era of unsettling and relentless
Historical, demographic, behavioural (participation), and attitudinal data are
combined to provide a picture of arts councils in seven case study sites, and across
the network. Typical arts council members are characterised as omnivorous cultural
consumers and members of a knowledge class, and the leadership of dedicated
community minded people is identified as the single most critical factor determining
the extent of an LAC's activities and its impact on community.
Analysis of key issues leads to formulation of eight observations, discussed with
reference to QAC and LACs, which might guide navigation in the regional arts field.
These observations are then reformulated as Eight Principles Of Effective Regional
Arts Facilitation, which provide a framework against which we might evaluate arts
policy and practice.
Impact and interest:
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|Item Type:||QUT Thesis (PhD)|
|Supervisor:||Wissler, Rodney, Spurgeon, Christina, & Frame, Arthur|
|Keywords:||Civil Society, Community Arts, Community Cultural Development, Community Revitalisation, Community Engagement, Creative Class, Creative Industries, Cultural Policy, Excellence, Elite(s), Knowledge Class, Meritocracy, Regional Arts|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty|
|Institution:||Queensland University of Technology|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright Michael John Richards|
|Deposited On:||03 Dec 2008 03:55|
|Last Modified:||28 Oct 2011 19:42|
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