Community Partnerships supports community arts and cultural development practice through a range of programs and initiatives.
Community arts and cultural development (CACD) practice encompasses collaborations between professional artists and communities based on a desire to achieve innovative artistic and cultural development outcomes.
Community Partnerships focuses its support in a number of specific areas which include regional Australia, disability, young people, cultural diversity, emerging communities, Indigenous people, remote Indigenous communities, and specific critical social and cultural issues requiring focused attention. Community Partnerships has developed a set of Guiding Principles which outline the core elements of community arts and cultural development projects.
Community Partnerships has pursued increased collaborations and partnerships with the artists and arts organisations from across other arts practice areas, that develop new ways of working through engaging community members as protagonists in the creation process.
Community Partnerships also has responsibility for delivering the Australia Council’s initiatives in the Arts and Education and in particular manages the Artists in Residence program through collaborations with the States and Territories. Read more
Image: Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE)
Urban Jungle, 2008.
As part of the Australia Council’s Community Partnerships funding program we would like to introduce the Career Pathways - Structured Mentorships category to provide funding for individuals, groups and/or organisations working in, or seeking to work in, the community arts and cultural development (CACD) sector.
This category was established following an extensive consultation with the CACD sector.
Learn more from CACD practitioners and their mentorship experiences by watching our video Experiential Collaborations.
The Australia Council wishes to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation on which this video was filmed.
Sally: who’s going to start
David: you start
Sally: I’m the elder
Title page: Experiential Collaborations: CACD Practitioners share their structured mentorship experiences
David: I think we were both working with very complex communities
Sally: we were
David: and quite damaged communities
David: um and it was finding someone who understood the experience of working with those communities, and the challenges of working with those communities but also the absolute delight of working with those communities, so it was this shared passion for this complex line of ah work
Sally: (nods in agreement) it was, it was exactly that and and because we we connected on that level we were able to nurture any doubt or um concerns about working in that area. Like um, it was like a debrief system but it wasn’t a debrief either because it was so true of us understanding and sharing um the experience that we were able to find that really wonderful connection with the communities we were working with and not have any anxieties about it really because we were sharing the experience all the time
David: mmm it was just honest
Sally: it was honest exactly and connection, it constantly comes back to that
Marline: the best thing about that the informalness of that structured mentorship was a um they wanted to share their communities, their knowledge and their networks with me
Tim: because it’s got to be a two way learning thing if you don’t have both people open and willing to work with each other and willing to learn from each other um and share time it’s going to fall on its… apex
Jodee: Knowledge is power and if you share the knowledge you know what steps to take and you kind of throw it out there and you’re supported and then you kind of keep going and then you kind of meet mentors along the way I think and then you kind of end up mentoring people too which is funny
Jeremy: I think a lot of it is about establishing boundaries up front and knowing the expectations of you as the mentor and them as the mentoree and really having a clear understanding about what it is both of you want out of this relationship. Um I think you know obviously burn out is such a huge factor, you know, in so many people’s lives in this sector, and I think, you know you need to be mindful of the fact that through mentoring that you need to be able to provide opportunities that provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need to understand this job you are doing right here and now but then you maybe wanting to have experience in another field that nourishes your creativity. You know as an administrator, you know personally being a lighting designer was something really important for me to have that creative outlet for me personally while I was being a arts manager or arts administrator. You know I think there’s that chance of really, um, to having a well rounded approach to any mentor relationships so you get different intersects of knowledge and practice and nourishment I guess from all sides
About the interviewees
Sally has been working in the Community Arts and Cultural Development sector for over 25 years. From 1985 Sally held the position of Community Cultural Development Artist at Arts Access Melbourne for a period of 11 years. During this time, Sally was also the Visual Arts Director and Designer for Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company in Melbourne. In 1996, Sally established the Artfful Dodgers Studio in Melbourne, a Jesuit Social Services program for at risk young people. In 2000, Sally received the Australia Council’s prestigious Ros Bower Award for her contribution and achievement in the field of community arts and cultural development. From 2003 – 2006, Sally was Community Cultural Development Projects Officer and Coordinator of the Rudder Project, an arts mentoring program provided to emerging artists interested in working with the Community Arts and Cultural Development model developed within the Artful Dodgers Studio. In 2006, Sally relocated to Tasmania and established the King Island Cultural Centre and Residency Program in partnership with the King Island Council. Sally is currently the Director of the Centre.
To be provided
Marline has a Bachelor of Media Studies, Post Grad. Dip. (LaTrobe University) and Post Grad. Small Companies and Community Theatre (NMIT). She has had over 10 years’ experience in youth theatre, previously Chairing the Platform Youth Theatre Board and was a Board Member of the Melbourne Workers Theatre Committee of Management. From 2006 - 2012 Marline worked at the Anti Racism Action Band (A.R.A.B.), as a Program Manager. In this role, Marline also worked across stage management, production, project management and producing on Yallah Hayat! tour, Hurriya! Ahlam, Tammarrud, Conjure, Northern Trax, . Marline is currently working for the City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces program and Independently as Creative Producer on a range of projects nationally and internationally. Marline developed events for Melbourne Arts Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Pan Event Entertainment, the Australia Day Committee, Federation Square and the City of Melbourne.
Tim is a proud Aboriginal man with bloodlines from the Muruwari Tribe in Northern NSW. Having graduated from NAISDA Dance College (1999-2002), Tim went on to dance with Bangarra Dance Theatre 2003-2006, performing nationally and internationally. Highlights include ‘Gathering’- a collaboration with the Australian Ballet, and international tours of ‘Bush’ to the USA, UK, Japan and New Zealand. Since 2007, Tim has been working in the Community Arts and Cultural Development sector as an administrator, producer, dance teacher and freelance dance artist. Freelance dance performances since 2007 include the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant Windsor UK (2012), I Am Eora Carriageworks (2012), Australia’s Next Top Model (2011), Baby Proms Sydney Opera House (2011), Australia Day Concert at the Domain Sydney (2010), ‘Woggan Ma Gule’ Australia Day Celebrations (2007, 2008, 2010), NATSIA Art Awards Darwin (2009), 58th FIFA Congress Sydney Opera House (2008) and various Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies.
Jodee is a performer, director, creative producer and translator. Her work spans across physical /visual theater, parades, short films, community cultural arts development, children’s theatre, circus and puppetry. Bilingual in Australian Sign Language and English, Jodee's family members are all Deaf except for her. As an advocate for the right to expression in sign language and access to information, she works with a wide cross section of people developing inclusive strategies for arts and community projects around the globe.
Jeremy studied Lighting Design at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, graduating in 1997. After starting his career in technical production, Jeremy transitioned to programme management of community arts and cultural development projects in 2001 working with companies including the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in Canada, AWESOME Arts Australia, the WA Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) and DADAA Inc. He currently works for Rio Tinto as Senior Advisor, Community Investment – working across the company’s product groups in Western Australia.
Creative Communities Case Studies
We have prepared a collection of case-studies of the projects developed under the Creative Communities Partnership Initiative.
You can view the case-studies by state - over 30 projects available.
Find out more
A DIGITAL DIVIDE? DIGITAL TOOLS IN CACD PRACTICEUsing digital media is increasingly popular in Community Arts and Cultural Development (CACD) practice. But is the increasing use of digital media in itself an innovation? Where does the balance of technology skills and storytelling sit best for community? Is it different at all to long standing methods of collaboration in the CACD sector?
Whilst the proliferation of digital tools has in many ways democratised the means of making, has it changed the way the CACD artists engage and work with communities? Have emphases shifted? Is there a presumption of skills-building in using technology as a means to sharing stories, and how does this impact upon existing power relationships between community participants and facilitators? Have the central notions of ‘participation’, ‘engagement’ and ‘shared space’ been transformed through the use of these tools?
The Australia Council asked five artists/arts organisations to reflect on the use of digital media in their own practices.
Latest News and Projects
Pioneering community and cultural artist Meme McDonald will be awarded the prestigious Ros Bower Award, worth $50,000, for an outstanding, life-long contribution to community arts and cultural development.
Community Partnerships sector plan
Read about our involvement with the sector, current issues, short and medium term goals and priorities for the sector here.
Lina Kastoumis, Program Officer
Email or call on (02) 9215 9367
Alissar Chidiac, Program Officer
Email or call on (02) 9215 9177
Maria Urbaez, Section Coordinator
Email or call on (02) 9215 9052
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