Edition 23

Essentially Creative


When Prime Minister Kevin Rudd included the arts and creativity in the 2020 Summit it was more than political window-dressing with famous faces. It was a sign that artists, actors, writers, musicians and others engaged in the creative economy were being taken seriously.

Essentially Creative draws on the insights and debates aired at the Summit to present a bold new agenda. It argues that the arts, creativity, innovation and cultural policy deserve a place at the centre of the national agenda and suggests ways this might be realised.

The arts can no longer be regarded as decorative indulgences. More than ever they define who were are and how we are seen. The skill, dedication and commitment required to produce enduring works of art needs to be celebrated and rewarded. The creativity which inspires those who produce and enjoy these works needs to be nurtured and encouraged.

Helen O’Neil ‘s lead essay argues that it is time to develop a new approach which goes beyond cultural nationalism. She draws on history and new research about the importance of the arts in national identity, economics and education, to suggest the way Australia could be transformed by truly valuing the arts and creativity.

Frank Moorhouse presents a manifesto for the imagination in an age of internet-induced anxiety, Nicholas Jose argues for renewed cultural diplomacy and Robyn Archer proposes a new way of thinking about risk. Other essays, memoirs and reports by some of the best artists and writers in the country bring this transformation to life.


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