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.

Latest News:

The 6th National Local Government Cultural Forum, Adelaide, 5th November 2015

This month CDN held the sixth National Local Government Cultural Forum, hosted by the City of Adelaide. This program works towards stronger cultural development practice in local government across Australia and invites members to do this with a national perspective. Representatives from Australia’s capital cities, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Commonwealth Ministry for the Arts and the Australian Local Government Association met to develop their strategic plan for current and future work of the program. The Cultural Forum commenced in 2013 for a three year term and will continue in 2016-2018 thanks to support from the Australia Council for the Arts. A communique reporting details of the meeting will be available from CDN’s website in the coming weeks.


New publication out now: ‘Making Culture Count: the Politics of Cultural Measurement’

Edited by Lachlan MacDowall, Marnie Badham, Emma Blomkamp and Kim Dunphy.

Edited by CDN Research Program Manager and colleagues from the Victorian College of the Arts Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Making Culture Count brings together diverse perspectives from scholars, policy-makers and creative practitioners to explore the burgeoning field of cultural measurement and its implications. The publication was inspired by CDN and VCA-CCP’s conference of the same name in 2012. The book is now available through Palgrave MacMillan. Read more about : Making Culture Counts

New entry-level employment trainee program for the Creative Sector

ArtsReady equips young Australians with the experience and qualifications necessary to make a meaningful and ongoing contribution to the arts and creative industries. The program links trainees with partner organisations to deliver quality workplace experiences and industry recognised qualifications, while providing support every step of the way as trainees build a career.

More information

Public Pedagogies Conference, Victoria University, 12 – 13 November 2015

CDN is supporting the upcoming conference ‘Turning Learning Inside Out’ run by the new Public Pedagogies Institute. The conference will focus on teaching and learning that takes place outside formal educational institutions. These include arts, community engagement, public history, as well as public institutions like museums, libraries, neighbourhood houses and community centres.


CDN’s draft Schema of Outcomes shared at the International Evaluation Conference, 7-9 September 2015

CDN contributed to the recent Australasian Evaluation Society Conference in Melbourne, with Dr Kim Dunphy making a poster presentation on CDN’s draft schema of outcomes for cultural engagement.


New research presentation: Outcomes of urban place-making projects: a holistic assessment

Recently presented at the conference Rethinking the Region and Regionalism in Australasia: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century“, this presentation discusses the intersection between cultural and urban development, drawing on concepts of place and place-making. By approaching cultural initiatives as places and a planning process as a place-making process, the research demonstrates how the two fields of cultural and urban development intersect and invites us to consider how proper assessment of cultural initiatives could benefit planning processes. (more…)

New Article on our ‘Arts Central’ Project in Central Goldfields Shire

A review of the Arts Central project was undertaken in Making Arts Central in a Regional Australian Community, recently published in the Global Compact Cities Programme’s latest ‘Cities for the Future’.  In the article Cynthia Lam, a Research Officer from RMIT University explores how the Central Goldfields Shire is trailing a new approach to economic and social revitalisation, by encouraging organisations across all sectors to embrace the arts. To read the full article or to request a copy click here.