Formation of the Cultural Forum in 2012

The National Local Government Cultural Forum will study the role of CACD artists, how they strengthen and animate local communities and the influence and role of local government in growing arts participation. It will provide a clearing house for the arts activities that are shaping communities, their cultures and creativity and will learn from the experiences that over 500 councils can demonstrate providing a laboratory of CACD practice and for testing new ways of strengthening communities and improving health and wellbeing through the arts.

Structure and Rationale

The Cultural Forum comprises representatives from the eight Australian capital cities and the seven state and territory local government associations that will meet twice-yearly with CDN (Cultural Development Network), ALGA (Australian Local Government Association), Australia Council and Global Cities Research Institute (RMIT University) to set the medium to long-term objectives for local government cultural planning and the arts. Local government provides a line of sight into how the arts and other policies impact on the culture of communities. The best of these ideas would be shared through the Cultural Forum and contribute to informed advice for State and Commonwealth governments on the cultural impact of arts policies. Local government in Australia is the fastest growing government sector investing in arts, heritage and cultural development.  The 565 local governments in Australia represent unique environments where community arts and cultural development (CACD) practice are carried out in all of the art forms. Councils respond to their communities and the local conditions with a variety of arts programs and arts activities. This mix provides a unique opportunity for understanding the different dynamics of arts and cultural development in diverse settings. The Cultural Forum is supported by the Australia Council under its National Sector Development Initiative. In October 2012, Cultural Development Network (CDN) and Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) came together with the Australia Council for the Arts, Community Partnerships to form the National Local Government Cultural Forum.  CDN and ALGA will form an executive to manage the business of the Cultural Forum and CDN Board will provide governance oversight, secretariat and communications services.

The Context

Local government investment in arts, heritage and cultural development in 2010 was $1.2 billion or over 18% of the total national investment, and growing. (ABS, 2011) The global peak body for local government, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), released its Policy Statement on Culture in November 2010, endorsed by ALGA. OECD and UN recognition of the cultural dimension in the indicators of progress. The Commonwealth National Cultural Policy and its connection with local government. Specifically the Cultural Forum will: Increase the awareness and understanding of the community arts and cultural development sector and practice through support to local government cultural planning and development. Grow community arts and cultural development practice with councils to ensure that there are opportunities for individuals and communities to actively participate in excellent artistic practices. Provide support for the community arts and cultural development sector to present and promote in a responsive way that will impact on perceptions, policy and programs of local government.

Evaluation

The Global Cities Research Institute at RMIT is one of the leading centres on the integration of policies that impact on sustainability in cities and local governments and will be the evaluation partner for the Cultural Forum.  The GCRI will advise and assist in evaluating the performance of the Forum through an evaluation approach based on their existing methodologies and agreed to by the Cultural Forum and the Australia Council.

Members of the National Local Government Cultural Forum

Australia Council for the Arts, Community Partnerships www.australiacouncil.gov.au Cultural Development Network www.culturaldevelopment.net.au
Global Cities Research Institute (RMIT University) global-cities.info Ministry for the Arts, Attorney General’s Department http://arts.gov.au/about
Local Government Associations Capital Cities
Australian Local Government Association alga.asn.au Canberra City/ACT www.act.gov.au
Local Government Association of the Northern Territory www.lgant.asn.au Darwin City Council www.darwin.nt.gov.au
Local Government Association of Queensland www.darwin.nt.gov.au Brisbane City Council www.brisbane.qld.gov.au
Local Government Association of South Australia www.lga.sa.gov.au Adelaide City Council www.adelaidecitycouncil.com
Local Government NSW www.lgsa.org.au Sydney City Council www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
Local Government Association of Tasmania www.lgat.tas.gov.au Hobart City Council www.hobartcity.com.au
Municipal Association of Victoria www.mav.asn.au Melbourne City Council www.melbourne.vic.gov.au
WA Local Government Association www.walga.asn.au Perth City Council www.cityofperth.wa.gov.au

 

Terms of Reference

Contact: John Smithies, Director, Cultural Development Network john.smithies@culturaldevelopment.net.au or ph: +61 3 9925 0974

 

CDN     ALGA     Australia Council