Diversity Arts Australia has been working with Arts Front on an artist-led project to imagine our way into a more inclusive future. The four-year project supports artists to take a lead in shaping the future of culture and the arts in Australia. It’s an inspiring chance to set our imaginations free from the confines of current systems and brainstorm ways to make our visions a reality.
What is Futuring?
Our futuring has taken the form of workshops where we bring artists, organisation and creative sector influencers together in collaborative brainstorming looking at questions such as:
- alternative sources of arts funding
- power, decision-making and gate-keeping in the arts
- the kinds of stories that we tell
- arts and activism
- colonisation and decolonisation
- our lack of a nuanced language with which to discuss ‘diversity’ and ‘CALD arts’
- monocultural representations of Australia across art forms
- inclusivity and exclusivity
- centralised vs decentralised government
Stories from the Future
In 2019, a workshop series to imagine a future where cultural diversity is present at every level in the arts will be held in NSW, SA, ACT and WA with some places for people from other states! Sydney University’s Dr Remy Low, Lecturer from the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, will be a workshop facilitator.
Arts Front 2030
We joined Arts Front 2030 in Footscray, Victoria, on 25 November 2016 for a three-day national gathering of 200 artists, thinkers and change agents from across the country and led the diversity working group, with support from Frontyard, inviting the 36 participants to imagine what a decolonised culturally diverse arts landscape will look like in 2030 and to develop strategies to get us there. We asked: What protocols would we have that we ask the whole sector to uphold? Ensuring acknowledgement and respect for people of different abilities, people of colour, cultural diversity, gender diversity, age diversity etc? One result was our ‘press release from the future’.
In preparation for the Melbourne event, DARTS and Frontyard held a workshop in Parramatta, NSW, on 7 November 2016, where we asked 16 people from diverse arts, community and cultural development backgrounds to step into the future to try to imagine how our arts and cultural landscape will look in the year 2030. Discussion ranged from alternative sources of arts funding to inclusivity vs exclusivity and the limitations of our current language.
DARTS will continue this work in more locations, developing and sharing futuring techniques, commissioning artists to develop their futuring ideas, and using arts as triggers for discussion and planning on how to bring a more culturally diverse future into fruition.