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What do we mean by ‘creative ecology'?

22 Jul 2019

As part of developing the Great South Coast Creative Industries Strategy we’re mapping the region’s creative ecology. It’s a process of looking at the artists and organisations that make up the creative sector, the relationships they have with the wider community, and the different types of impact they have on the region as a whole. The goal is to understand how the ecology works so the Strategy can best drive the sector’s growth.

This means we’ll be setting our sights as wide as possible, looking at established and emerging artists, purely creative practitioners and creative professionals, formal institutions and informal sub-cultures, mainstream and underground activities – and the audiences they serve. We also want to examine the venues where creative activities happen, but also the supporting spaces where artists socialise and interact. And we want to go beyond just economic indicators and look at the contribution the creative ecology makes to the health and vibrancy of the community.

We’re then going to give the Great South Coast’s creative ecology a health check by assessing:

  • The level of connection and engagement amongst the participants
  • Whether there are opportunities for growth
  • How important local audiences are
  • The extent to which experimentation is encouraged and supported
  • The availability of resources
  • Whether the contribution of the arts is recognised by the wider community, and
  • The depth of creative diversity

This framework comes from the Creative Ecologies, which is an ongoing project to understand what it takes to build thriving creative communities.

One of the key ways to contribute to the creative ecology mapping is to fill out the survey. We want to hear from everyone involved in the region’s ecology, whether they’re an artist, creative professional, arts worker, volunteer or an interested member of the community. Completing the survey will help build a detailed picture of the Great South Coast creative ecology. We’ll share the final report on this website in October.