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Promoting diversity of cultural expression in arts in Australia

Oct 01, 2015


The report looks at seven innovative artistic and cultural projects, showcasing the wide variety of initiatives which contribute to the dynamism and vibrancy of Australia’s diversity of cultural expressions. The seven case studies reveal three distinct approaches to promoting diversity of cultural expressions:

  1. The key aim in community-based approaches (Visible, Arab Film Festival) is to support minority groups, under-represented in the arts, to participate in cultural life. This can be either as artists (e.g. musicians) or audiences (e.g. film festival attendees). The focus here is on enhancing cultural democracy.
  2. In artist-mediated approaches (Edge of Elsewhere, Metaverse Makeovers, Translab) the emphasis is on the creativity of the artist in the generation of innovative work to extend the diversity of cultural expression. The focus here is on fostering cultural innovation.
  3. In industry-based approaches (ANKAAA, Kultour, black & write!) the initiative centres on organisational development to enhance the promotion of diversity of cultural expressions through advocacy, networking and capacity building. The focus here is on ascertaining cultural sustainability.

The case studies also revealed five principles of promoting diversity of cultural expressions through artistic practices of many kinds. The five principles are:

  1. Truly relevant and energetic creative work will come from working across cultures.
  2. Building cultural capabilities is best served by developing strong cross-cultural partnerships.
  3. Locating arts practices within ‘culture cycles’ will facilitate a broader understanding of the diverse forms of ‘value’ generated by cultural expressions.
  4. Inclusive and dialogical curatorial processes are a key means of enhancing diversity of cultural expressions.
  5. Supporting diversity of cultural expression will enhance art’s ability to resonate and make a difference.