Culture and Community Researchers’ Network, August 2011

Emma Blomkamp, Emma Blomkamp, PhD candidate, VCAM and University of Auckland,
The political context of cultural indicators: evidence and values in democratic governance

Kim Dunphy, PhD candidate, International and Community Development, Deakin University
Understanding outcomes of participatory arts: a framework for evaluation

Marnie Badham, PhD student at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships in the Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne.
‘Naming the World’ as representation: a relational approach in socially-engaged arts and cultural indicators


Towards a Conceptual Handshake: bringing together theory, policy and practice of cultural indicators

This event featured three unique perspectives from the burgeoning field of cultural indicators. From UNESCO’s benchmarks for cultural freedoms, comparison of LGA cultural provision, to community arts evaluation – diverse approaches to quantifying cultural value exist. Responding to Colin Mercer’s (2002) call for conceptual and policy ‘handshakes’, our speakers drew on their doctoral research to progress the dialogue about cultural measurement, aiming to enhance the knowledge base for cultural policy, planning and development.

Chaired by Dr. Lachlan MacDowall, Research Coordinator, Centre for Cultural Partnerships, VCAM.

The political context of cultural indicators: evidence and values in democratic governance, Emma Blomkamp

‘What’s measured matters’ is a common assumption in the development and application of indicator frameworks. My presentation considers reasons for the ‘cult of measurement’ in contemporary governance by exploring the political and strategic use of cultural indicators within the broader context of evidence-based policy and democratic accountability.

Emma Blomkamp is currently researching knowledge and indicator frameworks in municipal cultural policy as part of her joint PhD with the University of Auckland’s Department of Political Studies and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Cultural Partnerships.

Download Emma’s Presentation & Reference List

Understanding outcomes of participatory arts: a framework for evaluation, Kim Dunphy

This presentation introduces a framework for evaluation of participatory arts activities. It takes a multi-­dimensional approach, providing a method for considering cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes of such programs, using Hawkes’ four pillar model that considers cultural vitality, social equity, economic viability and environmental responsibility as equally important aspects of sustainable communities. It is proposed as useful for government, (national, state and local), non-­government and community organisations as well as individual artists and arts workers, who seek to understand the implications of their work.

Kim Dunphy is Program Manager of the Cultural Development Network, where she works to promote the cultural vitality of local communities. She is also undertaking her PhD at Deakin University, investigating ‘the role of participatory arts in social change in East Timor’.

Download Kim’s Presentation & Reference List

‘Naming the World’ as representation: a relational approach in socially-engaged arts and cultural indicators, Marnie Badham

A relational approach to representational practice (in socially-­‐engaged art and cultural indicators) offers meaningful ways for communities to ‘name the world’. Resisting hierarchies of cultural value, this thesis uses Freirean pedagogy to argue firstly, culture is the social production of meaning and secondly, meaning is located within place-­‐based contexts. Two practice-­‐led case studies on local cultural indicators are explored: the Community Pulse in Port Phillip, Australia and in North Central, Regina, deemed Canada’s Worst Neighbourhood. Conclusions bring together ethical and aesthetic concerns with implications for multiple representational fields in art and politics.

Marnie Badham Originally from Canada, Marnie is an artist, researcher, and cultural planner. Her participatory and creative research places multiple community stakeholders in dialogue regarding local social issues through engagement in socially-engaged art.

Download Marnie’s Presentation & Reference List

CCRN Flyer August 2011

2011 Program – the Culture & Community Researchers’ Network