In June 2013, Vic Health, in partnership with Arts Victoria and Castanet, published a valuable guide exemplifying key ways the arts is of great benefit in and for communities. This is an important and interesting collaboration between the Health and Arts sectors.
Below is a summary that describes the importance of the Making Art With Communities: A Work Guide:
“Art helps us to explore and interpret our stories and, in turn, share discoveries and learn more about how other people see the world. Participation in arts activities expand our networks, strengthen our social bonds and bring our communities closer together – the foundations for mental wellbeing.” (http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/Publications/Social-connection/Making-Art-with-Communities-A-Work-Guide.aspx)
Topics covered include:
- Arts in the community
- Working with communities
- Working with artists
- Developing the project concept
- Managing the project
- Managing people
- Managing budgets and resources
- Managing events
- Completing the project.
Please click on this link for a PDF copy of the guide. It is worthwhile reading.
The State Library Queensland is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for their Playback Oral History Project in 2014.
Below is a very brief summary taken from the SLQ Website. For further information, please click on the applicable links.
As a result from the State Library of Queensland’s Digitisation and Access survey it has been noted that the sheer volume of material captured over time and stored on magnetic tape is becoming progressively challenging to store, access and maintain in preservation for the future.
The Playback Oral History project aims to: “…digitise, preserve and provide access to 200 hours of Queensland’s un-digitised oral history material currently held in public libraries and local communities throughout the state”.
Expressions of Interest are sought for the following:
“From public libraries, in partnership with their nearby local museum, archive, heritage organisation or community group to:
- identify twenty (20) hours of significant oral content from local collections for digitisation;
- participate in a 3-day training workshop;
- create and present new content using newly digitised oral history at a Heritage Tourism Symposium”.
A further description of this exciting project and contact details for Expressions of Interest can be found on the SLQ website, via this link.
Finally. The archive of the Co-creative Communities forum is now online here: http://digitalstorytelling.ci.qut.edu.au/index.php/events
Co-Creative Communities took place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square, Melbourne, on 8 November 2012.
The public forum brought together storytellers, broadcasters, filmmakers, artists, activists, cultural workers and researchers to discuss the challenges and opportunities that digital convergence and participatory media present for communities.
It was a cornerstone event in a research collaboration involving the Australia Council for the Arts, ACMI, Goolarri Media Enterprises, 31 Digital, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, and researchers from Creative Industries QUT, Curtin University and Swinburne University.
The online archive includes full recordings and transcripts from the day. Happy digging!
Applications have opened for the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award. This is the only award of its type, and is open “specifically those that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to using communication to transform and empower marginalised communities” (http://www.uq.edu.au/ccsc/csc-award)
If you or your organisation has made a significant contribution in some way, or you know of others that have, it is worthwhile applying for this award. Winners of the award receive a $2500 towards travel to the awards ceremony, that will also help promote the impact and highlight the importance that communication projects have in development efforts.
If you are interested, or know someone who is, please refer them to this link: 2014 CSC Award.
As part of the Co-Creative Communities forum last November, we also ran a project development lab. One of the highlights of the day was Uralla Story Sound Walk, a hybrid media project bringing together folk from oral history initiative The Story Project, and Uralla Arts, the local arts collective.
The Sound Walk represents the next stage of The Uralla Story Project, bringing the audio pieces already recorded out into the community in the form of a creative audio-tour you can access on your smart phone. It will let locals and visitors discover more about the tiny New South Wales town, its history and its community.
This is how the team describe the project:
Imagine you are walking around the centre of town with your mobile, and suddenly you hear music, then a voice starts telling you stories from the past. This idea is to bring Uralla stories alive in the street by creating a sound walk that you can listen to on your smart phone. The stories are told by Uralla locals, woven in with music, myths, poetry and sounds from local artists and writers. It’s a first in regional Australia.
The team behind Uralla Story Sound Walk have had a very busy time since we last saw them in November.
After wrangling additional Council and community support, and securing most of the funding, the last stage of the project looks ready for lift off.
If you like the, erm, sound of Uralla Story Sound Walk, then make sure you vote for their project at: http://www.heartofourcommunity.com.au
Andrew Parker from Uralla Arts says “Each vote gets us a $ amount and gets us closer to the project happening. I met yesterday with a regional tourism rep who is now interested in looking at a regional application of this project after Uralla gets up. This would really put the arts and artists in this region on the map. So it is all very exciting.”
It has been a few months since the last Twitter update, but many fantastic things have been happening around the world with community uses of co-creative media.
Upcoming conferences include the 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference in Ankara, Turkey from the 8-10th May. This is a large conference with a diverse array of digital storytelling research, exhibitions and displays. Click here to subscribe to the Twitter list for that conference.
Another international event coming up soon is the 8th Digital Storytelling Festival to be held in Wales on the 14th June.
Also, there is the interesting Laundromat Project tweeted by researcher, designer, artist and educator Pip Shea. Also, check out Pip’s free downloadable PDF booklets.
There is some really interesting research on Video4Change, and links to this work have been tweeted by researcher Dr. Tanya Notley. Definitely a link worth checking out. This is in addition to many great links from Witness, who are celebrating 20 years. The Human Rights Channel has also been nominated for a Webby.
Also worthwhile reading are the regular blog posts from the MIT Center for Civic Media, that has included blog posts about Engage Media and their work.
March saw a lot of tweeting from the Australian Arts community in relation to Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s 2013 national cultural policy. This is in addition to the future of digital radio, and government funding in the community broadcasting sector, that was also making an impact on Twitter that month. This campaign is ongoing. Make sure to visit the “Commit to Community Radio” page for further information.
These are just a few of the many things that have been happening around the world. Please make sure to keep following the @ozccmorg Twitter feed for regular updates.
It was a busy couple of months heading towards the Co-Creative Communities Forum in Melbourne last month. The forum was held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on the 8-9th November.
Co-Creative Communities was a successful forum with a wonderful and diverse group of Community Arts, Media and Community Cultural Development organisations taking part from all over Australia. It also produced a very busy forum Twitter feed from attendees and participants, full of commentary, insights, links and discussion as the panels presented various projects, ideas and initiatives. This ignited great discussion; both at the forum and online in other parts of the country.
Here is a link to some of that discussion that has been archived on Storify. It provides a brief overview of the narrative of the day. Plenty of discussions happened offline as well, and it was a very exciting and enriching forum.
Ben Eltham’s article about the Co-Creative Communities event was posted online, and provided a great summary of first day.
But please check out the Storify link for the extended Twitter story!
I’m pleased to be posting this on behalf of Pip Shea, a designer, artist and PhD student here at QUT whose work is closely aligned with our Community Uses of Co-Creative Media research project. Pip has been developing these booklets as an experiment in translation across academic and community contexts, and it’s fantastic to see the first of them out in the wild!
From Pip’s original post:
Appropriate Approaches to Online Community is the title of the first booklet in a series of critical guides I have been developing for community artists. It is an experiment that attempts to translate some of my PhD research findings. The booklet was inspired and informed by a period of fieldwork at CuriousWorks.
The guide explores multiple aspects of making online community networks, so that practitioners might develop appropriate Internet practices – network solutions that take the specific needs of individuals and communities in to consideration. The guide promotes critical approaches to online community building, to encourage the continuation of creative practices beyond community arts projects.
Get the PDF at the original post
Sam Gregory, the Program Director from leading human rights agency WITNESS will be talking on Melbourne’s RRR next week.
Sam is one of our guests at next week’s CoCreative Communities forum, and he’ll be speaking to Jacinta Parsons on RRR’s Detour program at 10.15 am (day light saving time), Wednesday 7 November.
You can tune in through their website:http://www.rrr.org.au/programs/streaming/
Find out what WITNESS have been up to lately, including their ambitious partnership with YouTube on the Human Rights Channel that launched mid 2012.
A couple of weeks ago I caught up in a coffee shop with Jennifer Lyons-Reid (Creative Director) and Carl Kuddell (Executive Producer) to chat about their company Change Media and their approach to co-creative media making. With wide-ranging combined experience in activism and documentary, Change Media operates as a small team, working with a variety of communities nationally and internationally, unfolding from the premise that if you ‘teach a community to film… they can show the whole world how to fish…’
Jen and Carl noted that ‘co-creative media’ is a term that is becoming increasingly popular, and is starting to replace other terms like ‘collaboration’. They prefer it in some ways because it reflects an active acknowledgment of the facilitation process, rather than the prevailing tendency to make facilitation invisible and insignificant. For some time they have been documenting ‘behind the scenes’ processes as a means of reflecting the involvement of the communities they’re working with. However, all too often, they found that auspicing institutions (often third party funders) would assume that the particular community in question was ‘exceptional’ and that other presumably less exceptional communities would not be as adept, expert, capable of producing a ‘professional’ end product etc. As a means of re-dressing this Jen and Carl are now looking for new ways to represent with transparency the process behind any product thereby re-inserting themselves into the end product.
I asked Jen and Carl what examples of best and worst practice in co-creative production came to mind – they spoke at length about the increasing level of ‘story theft’ that they see in many so-called ‘do-gooder’ initiatives. They had heard many anecdotes about filmmakers flying; working briefly with the community to deliver an end product that adequately fulfills the funding criteria but is not what the community actual wants. Often, after the event, the community feels even more disenfranchised, actually ‘ripped off’. Jen and Carl have written an opinion piece for the Australia Council called ‘Get off my Back’ that explores some of these ideas further. You can read it here.
In terms of facilitation process, Jen and Carl aspire to active listening that often involves ‘naming the elephant in the room’, discussing the power lines laid down between funders, facilitators, community and individuals etc… they see themselves as triggers or ‘pilot fish’ for ‘innovative disruption’. In any development process they believe it is important to ask ‘where is the centre?’ just as much as ‘what are our objectives?’ and ‘what are the deliverables?’. They see this as a means of going further than just dealing with lack of technical agency; they attempt to address personal agency by walking into a room believing that every single participant is capable of great art… and working with people through a process of actively negotiating facilitation, creation, production, distribution etc. They believe communities should first decide why they want to share their stories and with whom. In this way they see themselves as ‘agent provocateurs’ who inspire leadership skills rather than ‘offering’ empowerment.
Meeting with Jen and Carl was an inspiration… you can meet them and hear them speak at the forthcoming ‘Co-Creative Communities Forum’ at ACMI in Melbourne. Read more about their projects and process at their comprehensive website http://www.changemedia.net.au/