Leadership in the Creative Arts—Discussion Paper

BMCAN Board Director, Barbara Lepani, established the Greater Blue Mountains 2019 CALA Committee drawing on expertise across the different art forms, to oversee the 2019 Greater Blue Mountains Creative Arts Leaders Awards process, calling for nominations across the community and different art forms. The Committee was comprised of Tony Bond (visual arts), Julie Ankers (artisans), Amy Sambrooke (writing), Peter Long (music) and Maggie Davis (performing arts, film & video)   To assess the 42 nominations received, the Committee established an independent Selection Panel who comprised Ian Milliss, Justin Morrisey, David Gaunt, Michael Smith, Shane Porteous and Joanne McGowan, for the individual art awards, and a group of three: Graham Tribe, Julie Ankers and Tim Jones who chose the winner of the creative arts organisational award.
The 2019 Award winners, celebrated at the Greater Blue Mountains Creative Arts Leaders Award at Hotel Mountain Heritage on 24 October, were Freedom Wilson (visual arts), Sondi (artisans), Carol Major & Margaret Hamilton (writing), Charity Mirow (music), the Budyarimaba project team from Katoomba High School (film & video), and Modern Art Projects Blue Mountains (organisation).  The event was supported and sponsored by Hotel Mountain Heritage, Bendigo Bank, The Carrington, Fairmont Resort, ARTHouse, Radio Blue Mountains, Tony Bond, Theo Poulos, Dryridge Estate, the Hon Trish Doyle MP and the Hon Susan Templeman MP.

Download the ‘Discussion Paper’ below to find out more about the thinking behind the creation and the running of the 2019 Creative Arts Leaders Awards.

Any feedback on the Discussion Paper is welcome.  Send your comments directly to the author: 


After receiving her award, Freedom Wilson sent this message to BMCAN: ``I was absolutely thrilled to receive the Visual Arts award last Thursday night! Thank you so much for your support of all the wonderful and generous creatives in our community, who work so hard, bringing vibrancy and energy to this magnificent place. Myself, like so many other local artists put a lot of time into applying unsuccessfully for grants/competitions, and it was just so affirming to receive this award from the community that I love!
Following feedback about the event via a survey monkey and consultation with key stakeholders, on behalf of BMCAN Barbara Lepani has produced a Discussion Paper “Leadership in the Creative Arts” to clarify what is meant by leadership in the context of the Awards.  She suggests: “Leadership in the creative arts is different to the demonstration of individual artistic excellence in a chosen field.  It is strongly linked to the idea of animateurship—the ability to initiate and ‘make things happen’ through events, organisational development and mentorship.”  
Drawing on cited references and the leadership foci of the Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW, the Discussion Paper explores the qualities of leadership required in community-based creative arts leaders, the foundational importance of Australia’s indigenous artistic heritage, and identifies new markets and opportunities for the creative arts in contemporary society.  The Discussion Paper will inform the work of the 2020 CALA Committee which is currently being established, and is expected to meet for the first time in early February 2020.

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