Images from CDN & related events

The Cultural Development Network is an independent non-profit organisation that links local government, communities, artists, researchers and related agencies. We are based in Melbourne, Australia. We advocate for the essential function of arts and cultural expression in the development of creative, healthy, engaged and sustainable communities. We support local government in its role of assisting and resourcing local communities to make and express their own culture.


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Arts Information Exchange

Live now! Arts Information Exchange is a centralised resource for queries about many aspects of the arts. It is designed to be usable by all arts workers to receive questions on the arts from across the local council area, the state or nationally. If you have a question or think you can provide the answers, the Arts Information Exchange is the place to go. You can post your questions anonymously and they go straight into the email inbox of experienced arts managers and artists to answer.

This is a free service you can offer your arts community and broader constituencies.

If you see this logo on a web page you will know that the organisation has people who are members of the exchange Advisors.

askinfoexchangeVisit and it will take you directly to the Exchange where you can enter your questions. The more you use the Exchange, and promote the link and the services, the greater response and value to the arts community.

Your questions are not only answered by knowledgeable people inside arts agencies, organisations, public institutions and artists but they are also distributed to the state-wide network of Advisors drawn from across all areas of the arts who can also contribute to the answer or comment. You can filter question topics from ‘collaboration’, ‘venues’, disability’, ‘events’ and ‘artists’ and many, more.

Become an arts Advisor!

It is easy to join the Arts Information Exchange as an Advisor and take the Exchange to your communities.
Step One: Go to
Step two: Go to the ‘Sign-up’ link in the top right-hand corner and register as an Advisor.
Step three: Complete registration, including the selection of postcodes of you council area (to filter questions)
Step four: Select the topics of interest that your have skills in answering.
Step five: Complete the Advisor information
Step six: promote the exchange and the logo link to your communities

It is that simple.

If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact CDN through:

2014 Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network Forum

Enhancing Cultural Wellbeing and Cultural Citizenship Through the Arts

October 30, 2014 at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

This event was presented by the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network with the Municipal Association of Victoria, the Cultural Development Network and Multicultural Arts Victoria, and hosted by City of Ballarat and supported by City of Melbourne, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Monash and Brimbank City Council.

ArnoldZableAcclaimed author Arnold Zable opened this year’s VLGMIN Forum by exploring the role of story and the arts in nurturing an inclusive, democratic society; based on local communities attuned to their diversity and the multitude of stories contained within them.

The program included a series of insightful breakout sessions led by researchers and local government and arts organisation professionals; looking into the how the arts can contribute to the development and delivery of policies which address Australian multicultural realities.

Key themes included;

  • Building partnerships between local government and culturally diverse communities
  • Ensuring equitable outcomes for people from culturally diverse communities
  • Determining community needs and getting effective outcomes
  • Using arts to address racism in our communities.

The Forum report will be available in the next CDN ebulletin.

Flyer: 2014 VLGMIN flyer
Program: 2014 VLGMIN program

2014 Cultural Planning Forums Across Victoria Wrap Up

MAV Logo 1

In July, the CDN team competed the final in our series of 15 forums on cultural development planning for local government. The last event in Melbourne on July 30 was followed by an information session for other stakeholders in the cultural planning process. Elected representatives, CEOs, senior managers, local leaders and local artists from across Victoria attended the event to hear from John Smithies, CDN’s Director, about the framework for cultural development planning that CDN and participants worked on together over the three month series. The engagement of councils in the series was very encouraging, with more than 50 of Victoria’s 79 councils participating over the period.

CDN thanks forum partner the Municipal Association of Victoria, through the Arts and Culture Committee for their support in development and presentation of the series. Cr. Angela Altair, from the City of Hobsons Bay and Deputy Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee, represented the committee at the final event, speaking informatively and passionately about cultural development activity for councils, including her own.

Most importantly we thank the five councils who hosted the forums: Corangamite Shire Council, Gannawarra Shire Council, Mitchell Shire Council, Latrobe City Council and Melbourne City Council. We also thank the speakers from around Victoria who shared their knowledge and expertise as part of this series. Arts Victoria, the major sponsor of the series through their support to CDN, were represented at the final event by Andrew Abbott, Director. Andrew offered this response after his participation:

These events took place in City of Melbourne’s new state of the art Library at the Dock, with many participants enjoying a tour of the library’s beautiful new facilities afterwards. Director of Community Development Linda Weatherson represented the City at the final event, discussing the priority given by City of Melbourne to cultural development and culture development planning. The City has recently released its new strategic document for 2014-2107.

Several products from the forum series are now available from the cultural development planning page on CDN’s website. This includes a booklet of notes from the forums, a report on cultural data and two bibliographies on cultural planning and evaluation. More details here.

Our team has enjoyed working with colleagues in this series, exchanging ideas and creating a shared framework for cultural planning.


 2014 Cultural Planning Forum in Kerang

 2014 Cultural Planning Forum in Kerang, Victoria