Showcasing Creativity: Programming and Presenting First Nations Performing Arts
Showcasing Creativity reports on the level and types of First Nations performing arts programming in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals; the presenting of works to audiences; and the motivations and obstacles for presenters and producers.
It aims to promote and inform discussion about what is needed to achieve a culturally ambitious nation that cherishes First Nations arts.
What is in the report?
Showcasing Creativity provides an opportunity and evidence base for the broader arts sector to examine decision making processes about programming, presenting and marketing First Nations works to Australian audiences.
National mapping of the programs of 135 Australian presenters found that First Nations performing arts are under-represented in Australia’s mainstream venues and festivals. They comprised around 2% of the almost 6000 works programmed in 2015 seasons.
There is a need to build sector capacity for cross-cultural engagement both ways; between mainstream presenters, and First Nations artists and communities.
Through this research, presenters and producers called for:
- proactive initiatives, long-term planning and support to build First Nations representation across the sector and in programming; and
- personal, organisational and sector-wide leadership and commitment to an important two-way cultural conversation.
Download the Showcasing Creativity summary fact sheet
Download the Showcasing Creativity report
Download the Accessible version
Download the media release
Showcasing Creativity is the latest study in a series commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts with the aim of connecting more Australians to First Nations arts experiences and increasing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Related resources and initiatives
Hear Ilbijerri's Artistic Director Rachael Maza discuss the Showcasing Creativity research on Radio National's AWAYE! program – Performance anxiety: why venues don't stage Indigenous theatre
Indigenous Cultural Protocols and the Arts – A book of case studies by Terri Janke and Company that are based around the Australia Council’s protocols. The case studies represent best practice when working with Indigenous Australians on arts projects.
Protocols for working with Indigenous artists – Australia Council’s protocol guides.
Performing Lines Indigenous community engagement pilot evaluation – an evaluation by Denise Wilson and Tandi Williams, of the Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator role.
Performing Arts Touring Needs Analysis – this report on an APACA survey of performing art centres’ touring needs, and other resources can be downloaded from the APACA website.
Community Relevance Guide - the Australia Council for the Arts developed the Community Relevance Guide to support arts organisations to create meaningful connections with communities.
Artistic Vibrancy – an e-book by the Australia Council for the Arts that provides a way for organisations to talk about artistic impact.
Artists in the Black – a rich source of information from Arts Law on a range of issues including Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP).
Promoting diversity of cultural expression in arts in Australia – a case study report by Phillip Marr and Ien Ang.
UK Case study on Engaging Black and Minority Ethnic audiences– a UK case study by Plenty Productions with findings applicable to community engagement in Australia.
Community Engagement - The Basics
Speakers: Jade Lillie, Narelle Lewis, Denise Wilson
Getting it Right: Cultural Protocols for Presenting Work
Showcasing Creativity - Presenting First Nations Work
The Australia Council will continue to build on this list of resources – watch this space.