Applied Arts and Regional Communities is a group that delivers arts-based research and services that grow creative, healthy and resilient regional communities. The AARC team collaborates across sectors and all levels of government to build local creative capacity and demonstrate and deploy the value of art and creativity in developing, revitalising and connecting regional communities.
Our goal is to deliver research and practical solutions that support economic growth, cultural vitality, and wellbeing outcomes across rural, regional and remote Australia. To achieve this, AARC takes a holistic approach to the creative arts in communities. We work across artistic disciplines and with a broad range of partners to implement and evaluate programs that develop local skills and connect the arts meaningfully with health, tourism, education, local government and community development. Through collaborative projects and processes AARC contributes to strengthening and sustaining regional arts sectors for community-wide benefit.
No Dramas: participatory action research using applied theatre in regional Queensland to enable youth-led communication on health and justice priorities
Social media is an under-utilised resource for the delivery of health and justice information to young people in Central Queensland. Through a participatory action research applied theatre project we developed short-form videos for platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
68 young people include 4 actors and a videographer were co-researchers in the project. The resulting TikTok clips are gaining more views and likes everyday
The College of Law, Criminology and Justice
Funding from Queensland government through the Department of Science and the environment
Project Lead Dr Linda Lorenza
An examination of primary teacher, student and parent experiences of arts learning online during COVID-19 lockdown
This study aims to demonstrate that arts learning improves primary-aged students’ well-being and self-esteem, can reduce stress and anxiety, and develops students’ socialization skills. In this research we ask the students and the teachers about their online and comparable face-to-face arts learning experiences. We will also ask parents/caregivers about what they observed in their child’s online learning experience during the lockdown periods.
The findings of this study will inform the development of digital case study exemplars of ‘best practice’ arts learning online and face-to-face to be made available online for teachers to review and selectively apply in their own school contexts.
The study will have a national impact as it will identify, explore and evaluate the perspectives of online arts learning experiences reported by primary-aged students, their teachers and their parents/caregivers from across Australia
University of Technology, Sydney
University of Southern Queensland
University of Melbourne
University of Canberra
Queensland University of Technology
Project Lead Dr Linda Lorenza
Heart of our Identity: Whitsunday Arts, Cultural and Heritage Plan (WACH Plan)
The Whitsunday Regional Council is developing an Arts, Cultural and Heritage Plan and community feedback, visions and ideas have been gathered (through a series of informal community forums, industry forums and brainstorming sessions) to inform the region’s 2023 –2028 Arts and Cultural and Heritage Plan. CQUniversity was awarded a contract to undertake community consultation and professional development to inform the development of the Plan, which is due for release in 2023. Using an arts-led engagement methodology across four phases, the team has developed a five year plan responding to community needs, priorities, and opportunities.
The team consulted with over 250 artists, creatives, practitioners, and local groups and business as well as delivering industry relevant professional development opportunities alongside the community consultation process. The plan will inform local policy and community activity within the Whitsunday region until 2028, and contributes to CQUniversity’s remit as a Regional Arts Services Network provider [perhaps link here to the RASN page, if possible?]
Whitsunday Regional Council (funding body)
Project Leads: Wanda Bennett and Dr Liz Ellison
Project Team: Kaylene Butler, Karen Newman, Lara Russell, Morph Consulting (Stu Watters and Ant McKenna), Patty Preece
Creative Business Champions ++ 2022
The Creative Business Champions program delivered online mentoring for artists, artsworkers, and arts organisations across Queensland between June and November 2022. The CBC+ program was supported by the Regional Arts Services Network (RASN), an initiative of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. It included three elements: an online creative and cultural business mentoring program, a bespoke First Nations online platform to support arts business growth (with Tagai Management Consultants), and the development and delivery of a suite of seven online arts business micro-credentials.
The program employed 15 Creative Business Champions to provide six months of mentoring across 41 local government areas within Queensland. and nearly 17% of the program participants identified as First Nations. Mentees in the program identified improved focus and clarity for their arts business and/or career.
Arts Queensland (funding body), Tagai Management Consultants, CQU’s Centre for Professional Development
Project Lead: Dr Liz Ellison
Project Research Team: Patty Preece, Bobby Harreveld, Vicki Saunders, Linda Lorenza, John Rolfe, Alex Russell as well as Ant McKenna, Alex McCallum, Deborah Power, Ali Hickling, and Luz Stanton.