Thursday, November 7, 2019

Making a living – building careers in creative and cultural futures

Making a living in the developing creative economy is no easy task. For a viable career, flexibility and creativity are crucial. For this a strategic outlook and a grasp of the major long-term forces shaping Australian creativity and culture is essential. To help foster this amongst emerging cultural sector practitioners, a new flagship course, a Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Futures, was launched at the University of Canberra in 2019, building on earlier experiments in aligning research and analysis with real world cultural sector experience.

A vast transformation of contemporary culture not seen since the breakdown of traditional arts and crafts in the industrial revolution is under way due to the impact of the digital and online environment. Not only artists, but also culture managers and cultural specialists today are confronted with radically different challenges and opportunities to those they faced in the 20th Century.

Dior exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2019.

In parallel with the traditional focus on the arts and arts funding, there has been growing interest in the broader area of the creative or cultural economy and the related, more commercial, creative industries. While the arts and culture sector cannot be reduced simply to economics, it would be a mistake if, for that reason, we ignored the fact that it plays an important economic role. The economic role parallels the broader social role it plays. What the two roles have in common is that both spring from the reality that creativity and culture are integral to everyday life and the essential activities that make it up.