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Practitioners’ Voices 2014

Castanet, in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre, presents

Practitioners’ Voices 2014 – A forum on dialogue and investigation across art forms by artists in community settings.

A two-day professional arts forum Practitioners Voices 2014 investigates artistic participation through artist led seminars, panels and an Open Space program. Practitioners’ Voices is a rare opportunity for Victorian artists working in community settings to converge, workshop, net-work and inspire each other.

Limited places available & bookings essential.

WHEN: Friday 4 April & Saturday 5 April, 9am – 6pm
VENUE: Footscray Community Arts Centre
 $100 Full/ $50 Concession. Includes the two day conference package, lunch, light refreshments and entertainment.Book online here.

Click the following link to download the first installment of the festival program: Practitioners Voice’s 2014 – EARLY PROGRAM

Please note: Full program to be updated closer to the event.

Panel sessions include:


Four leading community arts practitioners from different art forms try to define what makes community arts ‘good’ at a time when ‘Evaluation’ is the new buzz-word and the key to accessing increasingly limited funding sources. This involves engaging with complex questions such as:

  • Can community art be evaluated outside the confines of the context in which it occurs?
  • What is the basis on which status is afforded to certain evaluative methods over others?
  • Bourdieu’s seminal analysis of the value given to art sees it as based on the cultural capital of economic and intellectual elites – how does this critique apply in the field of community arts?
  • Do different communities, generations and cultures have their own aesthetics?

If we as practitioners are not clear in our own minds about the basis on which we judge our work, then others will do it for us, further marginalising the practitioner’s voice. This panel will be lively, relevant, rigorous and always open to robust dialogue.


Panel and Workshop

“We try things, and those experiments that work converge gradually into viable patterns that become strategies.”

H. Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning

“In essence, arts and cultural practice in community settings sees professional artists and communities collaborating to arrive at a breadth of artistic and cultural results. In many ways the practice is as experimental as it is developmental. How do artists create the opportunity to try out new ideas with communities and innovate? What is driving the experiment? Who’s responsible for the blueprint? What is required to allow space for experimentation that leads to innovation? If it fails, who is responsible? Does it matter? To what end do these experiments lead to innovation?


Panel and Workshop

How do Community Artists inspire, lead and follow communities and individuals through the external and internal forces pushing and pulling them?

Do Community Artists need to be leaders? If so what qualities do artists working with communities require? How does leadership and decision making shift around in a project? How do we negotiate the leadership and status structures of a wide range of organizations, cultures and contexts? Are there differing cultural, age, gender and ability expectations that define the qualities a leader requires? How do we inspire, lead and follow communities and individuals through the external and internal forces pushing and pulling them? What questions do we need to ask to determine future actions as leaders?

INTER-COLLABORATIONS – Connecting the spaces between us


What are the various inter-collaborative methods currently being practiced within the community arts sector? Gain an insight from practitioners who work across diverse artistic communities and interests.

The terms inter and collaboration are an essential understanding all community arts practitioners come to be aware of. As terms they have connotations of working together often between diverse interests and social and cultural groupings. But how do different practitioners operate in their particular circumstances such as inter-generationally, inter-culturally or inter-ability; and what collaborative means come about from working in such methods?

This panel breaks down the practicalities of working with diverse community groups and discusses what aspects may be relevant to a changing model of interactions, or if there actual is a model? Each of the panellists work in areas that require a thorough appreciation of the collaborative nature of interactions that directly informs the ways in which they work towards programming, producing and being in that moment.



The View From Here brings together some prominent professionals to respond to your questions on the multifaceted world of arts and community cultural development.
“You want to work as an artist and collaborate with communities? What are the opportunities out there? What is it you need to be aware of to practice in this field?
The View From Here brings together some prominent professionals to respond to your questions on the multifaceted world of arts and community cultural development.
This is a Q&A session. Email your (one) proposed question to andy.miller@dpc.vic.gov.au with “The View From Here” as the subject. Please include your name and postcode.”


1. Artwork by: Jacob Tolo

Presented in partnership with Vic Health, Castanet, Arts Victoria and Footscray Community Arts Centre.
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wheelchair accessible
The Forum will be held in a wheelchair accessible venue. The event will be Auslan interpreted and have an assistive listening system (hearing loop) in place. Please contact us if you require further assistance in meeting your access needs.
Ph: 03 9362 8888

Date & Times
  • 04 - 05 April 2014
    9am - 6pm
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Footscray Community Arts Centre