Forum asks: What exactly do the arts do for us?

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Keynote speaker Kate Fielding
EXPERTS and practitioners in health, economics, culture and the arts will gather at the Canberra Theatre Centre Canberra next week to ask the question: “What exactly do the arts do for us?”

The Arts Value Forum is being jointly convened by arts advocacy body The Childers Group and the Cultural Facilities Corporation on Wednesday, July 26, and will be opened by the head of the ACT Public Service, Kathy Leigh.

The forum’s keynote speaker is Kate Fielding from Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the chair of Regional Arts Australia and a board member of the Australia Council, who is also an experienced company director, writer and “social change hairdresser”. Her opening speech will be on the subject: “Talking with strangers (who are actually friends): making the case for arts and culture”.

“It is an invigorating time as we see the impact of a new generation of arts and cultural leaders,” Fielding says.

“Our eyes are opening to the full diversity of contemporary Australian culture; regionally, nationally and internationally.”

The impressive line-up of speakers in plenary and parallel sessions includes Minister for the Arts and Community Events, Gordon Ramsay, Kareena Arthy, the new head of the ACT Government’s Enterprise Canberra, visual artist and writer Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, CraftACT CEO Rachel Coghlan and philosopher Desmond Manderson.

Childers Group member Dianna Nixon predicts that participants will “walk away with fresh insight into how to speak with their audiences and customers, with their funding body, sponsors and neighbours – to convey clearly what it is they do, and how their work in the arts adds value to society”.

The Arts Value Forum, at the Canberra Theatre Centre 12.30pm-6pm, Wednesday, July 26. Full program details at and bookings to 




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Helen Musa
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