Have your say about the Discussion Paper
Central to BMCAN’s mission is the decision to identify and celebrate those members of our creative arts community who provide the leadership at the community level that enables the Greater Blue Mountains to shine as a prominent regional centre of the creative arts with its galleries, events, markets and festivals.
To that end BMCAN created the Creative Arts Leadership Program which strives to communicate the fact that leadership in the creative arts sector matters. This sector has emerged as an important part of sustaining community wellbeing and economic vitality at the national, regional and local level. It is a major contributor to the national and regional tourism sectors and underpins the international reputation of Australia’s capital cities, each with their own unique creative artsbranded events, with a notable contribution to both the Adelaide and Hobart economies.
Culminating for 2 years running in the Creative Arts Leadership Awards the BMCAN initiated program has quickly earned the respect of many stakeholders in the Arts community but has also had it's share of contraversy. In an attempt at transparency in the continuing development the programs founder, Barbara Lepani has written a detailed exploration of the programs base concepts and invited interested parties to contribute thoughts and ideas in this discussion forum.
I'm looking forward to feedback on the Discussion Paper, which was written by me, and approved by the 2020 CALA Committee. Members are Julie Ankers (chair and writing), Shane Porteous (performing arts), Freedom Wilson (visual arts and artisans), Leanne Tobin (Indigenous Arts), Christine Wheeler (music), Sean O'Keefe (photography, film & video) and Sharon Howard of Gang Gang Gallery, Lithgow (art galleries and venues). On behalf of BMCAN, I continue to provide the Secretariat.
Last year there was some controversy over the awards as many folk did not understand the difference between leadership, as discussed in this Paper, and being a 'leading' artist, in terms of individual arts practice. For example, how could someone who is not a musician get the music leadership award—well because she is a music promoter who creates the possibility for numerous musicians to perform at live music events in the Blue Mountains region. Hopefully the range of awards for 2020 will also help to provide greater clarity and transparency, and the nomination forms will help people put forward those important members of our creative arts community who demonstrate the leadership we all need in a myriad of ways. As we've seen the COVID-19 pandemic has knocked the creative arts sector for six. We will need considerable leadership and advocacy to help this sector get going again once the physical distancing measures are relaxed, and event and gigs can start up again. But we know unemployment will cut deep and many people will struggle for how many months this lasts and the recovery takes. And we all know the creative arts, in all their forms, are vital for human wellbeing and sense of community, not to forget beauty, humour, drama and thought provocation.
So please, in this time of hibernation, get on the keyboard and give us your thoughts.