The Entrepreneurs

Decolonise, decentralise and deartify: NIDA Melbourne talks to the tastemakers

  • Written by Lliane Clarke
From left: Angharad Wynne-Jones, Jasmeet Sahi, Erica McCalman and chair Simon Abrahams


 

Who decides what we see? Who decides what we don’t see? How accessible are open access festivals? How do we go beyond satisfying what our audiences expect to see? How do we talk to each other? NIDA brought the Melbourne arts community together last week at a NIDAnights roundtable to talk audience, curating, funding, festivals and fun.


Chairing the event was Simon Abrahams, Creative Director and CEO of Melbourne Fringe Festival, with Head of Participation at Arts Centre Melbourne Angharad Wynne-Jones, Next Wave Creative Producer Erica McCalman and Footscray Community Arts Centre Creative Producer Jasmeet Sahi.


The evening included intense discussion around the current state of the arts in Australia. NIDA also announced the call for expressions of interest for the NIDA Launchpad Residency​ with Brunswick Mechanics institute, and launched the Autumn | Winter season of NIDAnights.


The discussion ranged from the different approaches each producer and organisation took to curation and programming to the priorities they placed on keeping their programs accessible to the wider communities they serve.


Some highlights include:

Erica McCalman on the processes at Next Wave around reaching an indigenous audience : ‘Aboriginal people are an audience, but they are also so used to being ignored or even arrested when they go near a municipal building. We are testing out a methodology to work in different ways within first nations art, for example with touring theatre productions where we recognise that we work with a community liaison officer. It’s about being clever around who you bring into your organisation as a cultural gatekeeper. This is part of a larger methodology of reaching out to people who you want to have a relationship with, which includes people living with disability or LGBTI audiences. People who may have looked at your marketing and not seen an indication that they were ever invited to the event.’


Angharad Wynne-Jones on the concept of sustaining an audience: ‘The Arts Centre is not a community centre, that’s not how it is positioned. But at the same time when the majority of our audiences are white and middle aged, that’s not sustainable as a business model as that’s not reflective of who we are – 45% of people in Melbourne are born overseas. How do we listen to that reality? What sort of genuine relationships can we develop and how is that reflected in our programs? This is a significant issue particularly for the major cultural institutions. They have come out of a European model and a way of positioning art to an elite and a notion of quality and centralization. The area I am working in is how that shifts and changes. One strategy I am looking at is a small delicate relationship-building process called Our Place – how can we encourage communities who have felt excluded and unwelcome or intimidated and how we might develop a civic space that belongs to everyone.’


Jasmeet Sahi on decolonising content:  ‘At Footscray our artists and our audiences are the same people. I think that we have to first look within our own organisations in terms of decolonising the content  – who are the people inside the organisation? Who is the producer and who is the marketing coordinator? Unless we do that it is like trying to do plastic surgery on the wound when you haven’t cleaned up the wound itself. I think a producer needs to go to an event and look at the faces of the people there and look at what is being said. And then go back to the audience members and ask them – why did you come? What can we do better? We need to be making artwork that is not isolated from the community.’


Simon Abrahams on the role of cultural democracy : ‘Melbourne Fringe is about celebrating cultural democracy. I mean the idea of art for everyone. And no matter who you are in terms of race, sexuality, disability, political opinion, anyone can make a contribution to the cultural life of our city. We try and find ways to invite people to do that, and lower the barriers of access to enable people to take part and create context where people’s creativity or agency becomes possible.’


Final words from the esteemed panel on the future of tastemaking in our city: Decolonise, Decentralise and Deartify.


.

River Rafting New Zealand: First Timer’s…

For travelers in search of the ultimate adventure, of course river rafting has long been providing great thrills to adventurous individuals the world over. One of the top places on...

A Smarter and More Sustainable Way to Cl…

It’s estimated there could be thousands of illegal dump sites across the country that are potential health and environmental hazards. SoilCyclers Alison Price said they can be anywhere and cost communities...

FlexCareers appoints inaugural Head of G…

FlexCareers, the leading Australian technology platform and consulting business for progressive employers, has recently announced the appointment of Michael Tan to the position of Head of Growth and Marketing.   Michael...

5 Easy Motorhome Repair Fixes

Before you set out on any campervan journey, you are going to want to learn some basic repair scenarios so that you can be prepared for any minor problems that...

Slow and steady wins the race

Does the name of this article ring a bell in your ears? Do not surprise if it rings because we have shared the idea of a very old traditional tale...

Adinkra Designs

An Australian family have created an award-winning family business to help people in Africa. Gorgeous, sustainable, eco-friendly and ethically made homewares, nursery decor, bags, totes and dolls. Australia, 20th August...

Aussie Blockchain start-up AgUnity

Aussie Blockchain start-up ranks top 10 at global entrepreneur pitch in Beijing.  Aussie Blockchain start-up AgUnity rank top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32...

Crystalbrook Collection brings over 500 …

Crystalbrook Collection has launched its recruitment campaign to attract over 500 jobs to the region in the next 18 months across its three Cairns based hotels.   With the first property...

Regional midwife turned HCF Catalyst ent…

Edwina Sharrock, founder of the start-up Birth Beat and HCF Catalyst program participant, secured a life-changing offer on the season finale of Shark Tank last night. She shook hands on...

StartupAUS Report - Five most in demand …

  Australia, 26 July 2018: Five key roles have been identified as growth multipliers for Australia’s startup ecosystem, according to the Startup Talent Gap report released today by StartupAUS, Australia's peak national advocacy group for...

GAP Strike Gold with New Smart Technolog…

Australian company GAP Geophysics is finding immense success, following their introduction of the DIAS32 3DIP survey technology to the local market.   The innovative technology, provided through a joint-venture between GAP...

Where to Find Cheap Campervans

Just because you don’t have the money for a fancy, luxurious motorhome doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the road-tripping lifestyle. In fact, if you want to get on...

Selling Your Business - Why Hire Experie…

When you finally decide to call it quits and sell your business, it is essential to ensure that you get the most out of it. After all, you have invested...

JAR Aerospace Wins Digital Tranformation…

Sydney, Australia - 6 July 2018 - JAR Aerospace has taken home the grand prize at Cisco’s Start Challenge pitch event, winning a digital transformation worth $40,000 for their business.   The...

Best Marketing Campaigns and Promotions …

When the Word Cup is in full swing, it essentially dominates the attention spans of everyone who has even a passing interest in football, and countless others who don’t follow...

What you need to know before you open a …

In the past, foreign exchange was a market that was only accessible to corporations and institutions. With technological advancements and growth in the money market, today it is possible for...

Predict future trends through currency c…

Do you know many people predict the future trend of prices through currency correlations? The answer may not be known to you but smart traders know they can save their...

The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the…

Applications are now open for Professional Services Executive of the Year in  The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards.    Executive of the Year Awards video   The CEO Magazine is calling for all leaders in...

Applications are now open for Retail Exe…

The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards.   The CEO Magazine is calling for all retail professionals, who are able to demonstrate excellence within their role in the retail...

Fast growing e-retailer ONTHEGO strikes …

Mick Spencer, CEO and founder of ONTHEGO   ONTHEGO (OTG), a leading e-retailer of customised uniforms and sports apparel, has today announced that the  Workwear Group (WWG), a subsidiary of Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety, has acquired...

Applications now open for SBE Australia’…

Building upon last year’s success of the E3 program, SBE Australia have now opened up applications to all female founders     2017 SBE Australia E3 Program cohort   SYDNEY - 07 June 2018   Applications are...

Caltex Accelerator cohort announced

Caltex Australia is pleased to announce the 12 successful candidates for its inaugural Spark Accelerator program, to be delivered by Slingshot. Chosen from over 300 applicants, the inaugural Spark Accelerator...

Why a cheap logo is the most expensive t…

Three reasons why a cheap logo is the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy In the past few years, we’ve seen a staggering proliferation of online portals where logos are...

Poor visual communication affecting busi…

YOUR COMMUNICATIONS TO MILLENNIALS IS FAILING   New research reveals failing to focus on visual communication threatens productivity and engagement levels   Many Australian businesses are failing with their communications to the largest generation...