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ccd processes

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Ccd practice is characterised by community involvement at every level: in the management of the project; in development of the creative ideas; and in the creation of the art work. It is a collaborative process where the community and artists are equal contributors.
Sometimes it's about solving problems creatively. Sometimes it's about celebrating creatively. Sometimes it's about using the arts to make us see things a little differently. There are no set models as such; and the processes used will reflect what it's trying to achieve.
Ccd processes might include:

    • Naming and identification (of issues, values, visions, criteria for success, links, opportunities)
    • Planning and research (of solutions, directions, approaches)
    • Skills development (for art production, working collaboratively, managing projects)
    • Monitoring and evaluation (of progress, group processes, outcomes)
    • Resource development (of funding, partnerships, networks, information, expertise)
    • Audience development (for advocacy, promotion, awareness-raising)

Community determination at all of these levels is ideal. Skills development will be built in so that communities are able to manage, as far as possible, their own processes. Although mastery of artform production, project management or group skills may not always be an outcome, many of the skills developed in a ccd project or program are transferable life skills.

  Projects and programs

Projects have beginnings and endings. They may be linked to other projects, or into programs, but they have their own aims and objectives, and they have clear and measurable outcomes.

Projects may occur as a response to an issue identified by community, and may only be useful as long as the issue remains, or they may be part of a wider context for change that has discreet stages or elements within it.

Programs are longer-term activities that are either ongoing, or repetitive. For instance, a program of skills development may follow the same procedure year after year, but the participants change. Organisations responsible for the development and delivery of programs are often established organisations with reputations for achieving good outcomes with program participants.

Sometimes, projects are funded as short-term activities to test their viability as longer-term programs, or to see how changes develop and where the next level of links can be made.

Sometimes, projects would be better as programs, but the resources cannot be found to sustain the changes as they occur. Because ccd work challenges, raises awareness and facilitates self-determined processes, it has the potential to ‘stir the dust' and care must be taken to identify how change can be sustained when the project has finished.

Project examples

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It is in the nature of ccd work to find and build connections, therefore ccd programs and projects involve multiple partnerships. Sometimes these are simple: an organisation, an artsworker, a community. Sometimes, the network is extensive and complex, involving many organisations and professionals across disciplines, different sources of funding for different stages, diverse communities, local government… managing these activities requires a dedicated team and much consultation, although collaboration may only occur at certain points.

All partnerships depend on a mutual benefit: funding bodies have their criteria which projects must fulfil; private sponsorship exchanges cash for advertising; communities exchange skills and develop shared resources.

The work of building the relationships is sometimes just as beneficial as the outcomes of the partnership – many skills are involved as communities learn to name their goals, consult and make decisions collectively, consider other values and analyse their own continuing relationships to their networks.

Project examples

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  Funding and resourcing

Funding maze

© Barbary O'Brien

The work of ccd needs resources: people, information, places, money, community and local support… the list is long. Where does it come from? Federal, state and local government funding agencies are a major source. The private sector is also a source of support, through sponsorship contracts, philanthropic interest, and through donation of goods or services.

Because ccd is a multi-disciplinary practice, there are a number of approaches when seeking resources and support for ccd activity. For instance, a project may encompass art production, community-building and cultural planning – arts funding is clearly an option, but so is local government support and possibly a partnership with a community-based agency in the area.

Some funding agencies recognise ccd as a legitimate way to achieve community development and health and wellbeing outcomes. Arts agencies that recognise this may have a special allocation for ccd projects and programs, rather than funding the work through artform areas, which often looks at artistic outcomes alone.

Local government is often in a good position to support ccd projects and programs as it has the capacity to span and coordinate outcomes in many spheres of activity – community development and community support programs and cultural planning and action – as well as having access to a variety of community resources, agencies and groups.

Project examples

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  Sustainable practice

One of the greatest challenges for ccd is sustaining the benefits gained through participation in its programs and projects. Often, funding is limited to a one-off project – but what happens to the exciting outcomes generated during the project? Outcomes may be tangible; perhaps an artwork is produced. Outcomes may be more ephemeral: connections, new awareness's, feelings of achievements, skills and ideas… how can these outcomes be sustained?

Is it the work of ccd to ensure that benefits such as these are rooted in sustainable practices, or at least have connections with other community-based services that are in a position to work with the changes? Partnerships arrangements may help facilitate sustainability of outcomes. Programs that work over longer time frames have a continuity advantage, but projects are in a position to make new connections and try out partnerships. Perhaps the answer is in the way that we see ccd work – not just as a field of activity, but as an operating approach that positions itself across disciplines.

Project examples

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  Find out more…

Australia Council Community Cultural Development Board
The community cultural development gospel according to the Australia Council. Grant information, plus criteria, What's new, Board members, staff contacts, frequently asked questions about CCD, and some handy links.

Fuel 4 Arts
You can do CCD until your blue in the face but if nobody sees it, hears about it or comes to your gig you may as well not have done it. Get on to this site for a huge range of arts marketing tools and ideas. Includes professional development; high octane marketing resources; online community for arts marketeers, managers & artists; hot tips; stats and trends; reports and papers; and case studies; links; publications; and guest specialists. The catch is you have to sign up for membership and it's free. Now, what are you waiting for?

Australian Business Arts Foundation
ABAF aims to increase private sector support for arts and culture and encourage reflection on what it is to be Australian.

Commonwealth community grants site.

Effective Change
Evaluating Community Arts and Community Wellbeing an evaluation guide for community arts practitioners

ArtSAAustralia Council


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CAN SA Inc is assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and by the South Australian Government through Arts SA.

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