Creative Regions Lab

Filed : Local and industry news .

Charles Sturt University: Redefining creative activity in regional Australia.

Associate Professor Margaret Woodward, the acting Executive Dean of the CSU Faculty of Arts, said the Creative Regions Lab is an interdisciplinary initiative of the Faculty of Arts which aims to redefine creative activity in regional Australia through research, teaching and consultative projects.

“If Australia is to secure a vibrant economic future in regional, rural and remote regions, then innovative creative industries are needed to enrich and sustain unique communities across the country,” Professor Woodward said.

“The Creative Regions Lab will explore the relationship between creativity, innovation, and regional living, and will redefine regional creative industries.

“The Creative Regions Lab will be a dynamic supplement to all aspects of regional life. It will provide educational opportunities with long-term strategies for inland living, demonstrate the cultural and economic significance of creativity and innovation to regional business sectors and institutions, and position inland Australia as a place for ideas with cultural capabilities and entrepreneurial skills.

“The aim is for the Creative Regions Lab to not only play an entrepreneurial role, but to influence policy development through its research. It will play a central role in the uptake and application of digital technologies, and will provide robust interdisciplinary research in order to understand and use the enablers of creative activity in regional Australia.”
In order to redefine creative industries in regional Australia, the Creative Regions Lab aims to expand the definition of creative activity to include the creative interface between agriculture and national and international markets (Agri-tivity), and the integration of technologically advanced agriculture and manufacturing with high value services (Agri-services).

Professor Woodward said the Creative Regions Lab will align with national priorities in research, education, innovation and creative activity by keeping cultures strong, engaging with communities and empowering the young; transforming existing industries; increasing access to education for Indigenous, remote and regional students; and contributing to our understanding of our region and the world.

“The Creative Regions Lab has no building or centre but is a research cluster with a web presence,” Professor Woodward said. “It is in its early stages, although the research activity has been going on for some time. Its participants include interdisciplinary academic staff and higher degree research students whose projects focus on creative activity in regional places, which includes projects about creative industries in regional places, as well as creative activity ‘from’ the regions. It will grow through projects, aims to attract external funding, will undertake consultancies, establish links with communities, networks and stakeholders, and through a series of events (seminars, workshops, visiting speakers) will become a focus for regional creative activity.

“Geographically, the focus on research in creative industries has had a metropolitan bias towards sizeable cities, ex-industrial powerhouses, or cities of global stature, and northern hemisphere cities in the industrialised West. The Creative Regions Lab aims to redress metropolitan-focused research by concentrating on the link between regions and creativity in order to create a more inclusive creative industries discourse and generate a better understanding of the economic and social benefits of this activity to regional and agriculturally-dependent communities.”

For more information about the Creative Regions Lab visit the website 
Contact Associate Professor Margaret Woodward by emailing mwoodward@csu.edu.au or Professor Craig Bremnercbremner@csu.edu.au.

Charles Sturt University is a funding partner of Arts OutWest.
Arts OutWest executive officer Tracey Callinan, who is currently undertaking a Phd through CSu looking at the creative industries in regional Australia, is a research student with Creative Regions Lab.

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