My latest project is a bit different. It takes me into new territory well outside of my comfort zone. I have committed to research at QUT that will unpack my 30 years professional experience and turn it into a resource, or toolkit, to help emerging cultural producers in the intermediation and brokerage of cross sector partnerships.
Over the years my trade mark 3C projects have contributed to community wellbeing throughout Australia and New Zealand/Aotearoa, employed scores of creative professionals and generated several million dollars in corporate investment and government funding. It is now time to reflect on that and the professional methodology that I developed around it.
This historical moment is an uncertain one for the arts sector in terms of its authority, its relevance and its sustainability. But at the same time, there has never been a greater demand for creative skills or potential for new ways of working and alternative models of partnership with the social and economic sectors. And yet the discourse around sustainability remains fixated, stuck upon patronage and philanthropy: conceptions from the last century, and the one before that.
So my research will explore the role of the intermediary in bringing creativity to bear on community engagement and corporate social investment. How can creative brokerage be developed as a professional practice and how might this help the arts move beyond those modernist stereotypes that position artists as supplicants for benefaction, into more empowered relations with business and communities?