Session: The Relationship of the Arts to Cultural Sustainability

Cultural Sustainability Stream


Day 2, Parallel Session 2C: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16), Conference Room 2, Level 7, Room 8

Chair: Shanene Ditton (Griffith University)


Adriana Partal Cultural Impact Assessment: Using Art as a Measure of Cultural Impact

  • Presenter and main author: Adriana Partal (Cultural Development Network)
  • Abstract: Impact assessments are increasingly used to understand the change anticipated or created on communities and place as a result of specific interventions.  To date, these have largely focussed on economic, environmental or social impacts, in sectors such as public health, education or urban development. Despite culture being more frequently considered as a relevant domain of public policy and priorities for development, cultural impact assessment (CIA) is not yet a well established practice. It is not, for example, included as a category for assessment by the International Organisation for Impact Assessment. This presentation presents findings from a systematic review of the international literature on cultural impact assessment. This data indicates that sectors currently utilising cultural impact assessment are predominantly tourism, cultural heritage and indigenous issues, in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan or US. Common practices in CIA will be highlighted, for instance, the factors that drive CIA and the indicators used. Finally, an example will be presented of an idea that has not yet appeared in the academic literature: how art can be used as a measure of cultural impact.
  • About the presenter: Adriana, originally from Barcelona, is involved in research for the Cultural Development Network at the Global Cities Research Institute, RMIT University. The aim of the project in which she is involved is to produce an international literature review about Cultural Impact Assessment and to propose a suitable framework. She has been working at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt and for the European Commission in Berlin. Her research on the ‘Public Value of Culture’ won the Prize for Cultural Policies Research in Spain in 2010. Her interests lie in finding points of connection between high and popular culture through the Third Cultural Sector and analysing the intangible aspect of the value of culture. Adriana’s latest research focuses on the application of the concept of sustainability in the cultural domain.
Jade LillieJade LillieSteph VadjaSteph Vadja Community Cultural Development: Creating Sustainability

  • Presenters: Jade Lillie (main author, Footscray Community Arts Centre) and Steph Vadja (Ferment Collaborate)
  • Abstract: It is an unfortunate reality that communities continue to struggle for direct access to meaningful platforms through which everyday people can articulate needs and locally devised responses. Yet, what is sustainability without a cultural basis? How can we create a sustainable future without honoring and engaging people and communities in developing, preserving and growing cultural identity? Jade Lillie and Steph Vajda have been working in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Australia over the past decade with indigenous and non-indigenous communities. As community cultural development (CCD) practitioners, Steph and Jade have independently and collaboratively worked with communities to explore cultural, community and environmental sustainability. At the core, our approach to culture, community and development emerges from a belief that we can achieve sustainability objectives by properly understanding and valuing the intrinsic role that culture plays in every person’s life. Every person, at every level, is engaging in culture. CCD is far more than engagement in the arts. Communities have the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and networks and to address social issues creatively using local resources. They can lead the development of ideas and opportunities that will sustain themselves, culture, family, identity and in turn, the future.
  • Co-author: Steph Vadja (Ferment Collaborate)
  • About Jade: Jade Lillie is an experienced community cultural development practitioner, arts executive, educator and facilitator. She has worked extensively in regional and remote indigenous and non-indigenous communities, both nationally and internationally. Currently the CEO of Footscray Community Arts Centre, she has worked in government and non-government contexts including: Education Queensland, NT Department of Education and Training, Arts Queensland, SpeakOut (now known as Human Ventures) Brisbane City Council and Contact Inc. From 2010 – 2012, Jade was based in Thailand with Australian Volunteers International as an Arts Management Advisor, working with non-government organisations working with communities around human rights and trafficking issues.  In 2009 Jade was the recipient of the Kirk Robson Award recognising young cultural leaders.
  • About Steph: Steph Vajda is a facilitator, project manager, event producer, artist and social planner who has been facilitating cultural development projects in Australia for 12 years and in Sri Lanka for 2 years. Steph’s work is based on creative participatory processes that maximise involvement in decision making, planning, community building, local enterprise, organisational management, cultural exchange and access to governance. He specialises in the nexus between arts and cultural practices and decision making; a space he feels empowers creative, practical and innovative opportunities to meet the needs of diverse communities. Co-author of planning publications Kitchen Table Sustainability and SpeakOut, Steph has received twelve awards and is currently involved in establishing profit-for-purpose, collectively managed CCD organisation Ferment Collaborate.