A plan for making creative change

November 25, 2021 BY

Geelong Arts Centre is on the project steering committee for the Creative Industries Strategy. Photo: GEELONG ARTS CENTRE

A COLLABORATION of creative, cultural and advocacy organisations is pushing for the G21 region to be a magnet for the creative industries as the growing sector begins its recovery from pandemic lockdowns.

The region’s first Creative Industries Strategy, which has a focus on skills development, community engagement, increased investment, cultural tourism and digital access, was launched last week.

Titled “Making Change”, the strategy for the G21 region provides a five-year framework.

Project members Committee for Geelong, G21 Geelong Regional Alliance, Geelong Arts Centre, Geelong Gallery, Creative Geelong Inc, Platform Arts, Back to Back Theatre and Geelong Regional Library Corporation made financial contributions towards the strategy.

Project steering committee chair and Committee for Geelong chief executive officer Jennifer Cromarty said the strategy’s development process through Tony Grybowski & Associates included consultation with a broad range of stakeholders.

“During lockdown periods, many of us drew comfort and joy from reading books, purchasing artworks and well-designed product, watching movies and listening to music all the while knowing that these sectors were among the hardest hit.

“This strategy aims to address the impacts of COVID-19 and provide a roadmap to enable the region’s creative sector to embrace economic and social growth opportunities.”

The strategy’s vision is to foster a culture of collaboration and aspiration and to deliver a region of creative industries leadership and innovation connected to global networks.

It sets out a three-part mission:

  • Grow creative practice connected to place through formal training, peer networks and life-long learning
  • Nurture participation and engagement, and
  • Enable the development of bold and innovative products, experiences and services across the region.

The creative industries sector employs 8.1 per cent of the Australian workforce, with recent data showing that employment in the creative industries grew at three times the rate of the Australian workforce.

G21 chief executive officer Giulia Baggio said the G21 region had always had a substantial body of artists, musicians and creators of all types, and there were many new arrivals due to the great “COVID migration”.

“This strategy will help our creatives flourish, bringing together talent and ideas and establishing spaces to allow creativity of all kinds to take place at the centre of our communities.”

The Victorian Government, through Regional Development Victoria, was a key funding partner in the strategy’s development.

Geelong MP Christine Couzens officially launched the strategy last week.

“The Making Change Creative Industries Strategy recognises the growth and opportunity in the region’s creative industries sector, a sector that has been hit hard during the pandemic,” she said.

“I wish to congratulate the collaboration of eight local organisations who have driven this project to completion.”

The next step for the strategy is the formation of a taskforce to oversee implementation.

To read the strategy documents, head to the Committee for Geelong website.

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