Brian Rudman`s opinion piece in the NZ Herald
Arts plan? It's wishful candy floss
Council's blueprint reveals little planning, no action ... and a fairly selective view of the city's cultural life. read more...
2/ CREATIVE LEADERSHIP: Auckland`s responsibility in relation to the wider NZ creative economy
3/ CREATIVE BUSINESS MODEL Wealth generation for individual creatives as well as business practices
4/ CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES 10 ideas to help grow the industry
5/ CREATIVE GENERATIONS Passing on skills between generations, continuity and wellbeing.
Like many I was drawn to the creative industries from a young age, I have had a 33 year career so far, its been hard work often a 7 day week with 8-15 hour days. Like many creators its more than just a job.
My career can be summarised as combining art , craft, design and business. It gives me the freedom to do what I like and pursue any creative path I wish to pursue without having to rely on funding, critics, contacts or anyone else to give me ‘permission’ to be creative.
Sometimes it doesn`t always work, business isn`t always transparent, there are politics in the art world which if not dealt with can effect income, opportunities and sometimes crush creative passions.
Wealth is what gives me this creative freedom and this is an opportunity I wish to see in our wider creative community.
I agree with the overall of aims of making the Creative Industries being a partner in the economic wealth of Auckland`s and therefore the wider NZ economy.
The strategy for achieving that outcome differs in many ways. I see the current model and proposed strategies, failing to deliver wealth and opportunity to a wide section of the creative community and looks towards maintaining the current financial and creative limits.
Evidence can be found in the earnings and expectations for income, productivity and simply the need to require funding to for many creative endeavours.
The creative industries in Auckland should not be directed to delivering a style agenda as set out by the Arts and Culture council strategies, this is in danger of generating nothing more than a souvenir industry or a new hierarchy of artists based on who their parents are.
Auckland should be known for is creative entrepreneurial opportunities. This should only be defined by the Creative Sector as they create and definitely not to a Council driven and predefined outcome.
Smaller towns once thrived in New Zealand before opportunities, employment and the bright lights encouraged people to leave, this left small communities struggling to be sustainable leading to more pressure on the bigger centres especially Auckland.
It would in Auckland`s best long term interest to help the redevelop these towns to attract residents, visitors and tourists and take some of the pressure off Auckland.
In many situations this outcome is more achievable than some of the huge infrastructure costs currently required.
Making Auckland the worlds most liveable place should not be at the expense of other New Zealand towns and places. This includes Events as well as Cultural institutions.
The proposed South Auckland Museum would presumably contain the best of Auckland Museum and Tepapa if it achieves the aims, it begs the question why go to places outside of Auckland.
At best it will diminish the importance of other places like Rotorua and other smaller towns cultural institutions, robbing them of their economic opportunities.
The International Cow Parade, a perfect fit for Hamilton and a great opportunity for Waikato Tourism as well as Artists. It was taken by Auckland after much work by Waikato in securing the project, simply by offering more money.
Just because Auckland can take it doesn`t mean we should
CREATIVE BUSINESS MODEL
The arts sector needs new business models as many people are either unable to get work or are on less than minimum wage.
The current situations do not consider the business of creatives and in some cases the business models are exploitive.
This includes being required to work for nothing to gain experience or simply exposure.
Many artist have at times been expected to donate work for fundraising projects.
This in turn creates dependence on sponsorship and funding , which has insufficient funds for the majority of projects creating a hit and miss situation for many creatives.
While it is tempting to use a cut and paste solutions from overseas, New Zealand has unique requirements which should be developed here, with Council and NGO consulting the Creative Entrepreneurial Sector as well as organisations that depend on funding.
I would like to see the new tools to measure economic benefits that utilises the creative industry, this often considers engagement, hospitality, retail and tourism while ignoring the costs that the creative sector give for next to nothing or for free.
Example: WOW one of the most prestigious events in NZ was uplifted from Nelson with little to show for its support over the years. This is measured by the Wellington council for its mulitimillion dollar benefits to their local economy. While ignoring the cost to the creative industry. Approx 1 million dollars is donated each year by costume designers ( based on the number of designers and estimated value of materials and labour) for which there are a handful of winners.
Prestige for participating or feel good factor is not Bankable.
Increase the application of creative skills into industry, minimise obstacles and let Creatives get on with their careers.
· Create a major design show similar in scope to NZ Fashion week and the Big Design Market in Melbourne
· Establish Design Craft and Cultural Centre. Similar in scope to the Object design centre in Sydney.
Guided by a board who are responsible for the overall objectives of the Museum, Art Gallery, MOTAT and
· Remove restrictive bylaws and fees for creative Industries projects
· Discount rates for premises on a variable scale
· All council sponsored and funded retail outlets to be 100% NZ Made.
· Artist Job Search centre. Full time art positions as well as part time work to fit in with artists timetables etc.
· Create new protocols for reporting, measuring and rating creativity away from the influence of
funding agencies, critics or organisations.
· A transparent selection process for all publicly funded projects.
· Public tender process for all Public Artworks and Artwork on council controlled properties
· Rent stabilisation for artist workshops, exhibition spaces etc
While many initiatives focus on youth there are also other groups who have unique issues, they require different solutions and are no less important. This includes Toddlers, School age, Youth, Graduates, Mid career, Late career, Retired and Aged.
Engaging, celebrating and passing on the craft develops skills, opportunity, knowledge and therefore wealth. It can be seen in the success of the European design houses as each generation has passed on these skills onto their descendants from an early age through to training and business.
We have people who need apprentices and assistants to do larger projects, others in late careers are starting to suffer the effects of RSI or industrial type diseases but have knowledge and skills accumulated over a life time of successes and failures.
This can be passed on if given the chance, some things can`t be taught academically but can be learnt through guidance, observation and patience
Another issue which is of growing concern is the health and wellbeing of our elderly Creatives who have been unable to earn the same as many other professionals. Many are able to produce work long after people in other industries have retired. Adequately managed they can still earn an income, but they need some assistance.
It is not good enough for an entire sector of society to have to rely on funding to subsist and survive, which is open to corruption, black listing or relegated to the backrooms. The Creative Sector is responsible for multi million dollar benefits to the economy without getting much in return. Put the Creative Sector onto a commercial footing and share the wealth as in any standard business model otherwise its just exploitation.
I would like to see Auckland strategy for the Arts and Culture take a wider view from an Auckland centric to a wider New Zealand focus. As the largest city our role should be one of leadership to create new and expand opportunities not take the best at the expense of smaller places and towns.
An Auckland strategy that is inclusive of everyone, wherever they came from, where Creatives can participate equally in the economy. Where politics or personal preferences by an individual or organisation doesn`t hinder or damage or direct a creative career.
Give the Creative Sector the tools and opportunities and so we can create our own wealth and pursue our own creative directions and that is how we can create a vibrant Arts and Culture for Auckland.
Owner/ designer CHAN ANDREASSEND www.chanandreassend.co.nz
Director of The Arts Menagerie www.theartsmenagerie.org