Wonderland in Alice 


Creativity and community came under scrutiny in Alice Springs at Charles Darwin University’s first symposium on the new creative industries that have emerged in recent years.

The two-day Creative Citizenship symposium saw artists and academics discuss the use of new technology to create art, the funding of new art forms and the benefits of encouraging local communities to tap into their creative potential.

International guest Eddie Berg, founder of a multi-media arts centre in Liverpool, England, explained one of his most imaginative schemes—the creation of a webcasting channel among the elderly residents of Liverpool’s once-decaying tower blocks.

His Tenantspin project encouraged the residents to exploit their latent creativity, helped by a group of Danish artists working in new media technology.

Australian speakers, many of them from the new creative industries faculties in universities, discussed the implications of this new knowledge base for the future of the arts and the economy.

The panel discussions and keynote speeches were interspersed with musical interludes designed to highlight the enjoyment of community involvement in the arts.

Alice Springs’ own children’s string orchestra under the guidance of teacher and violinist Jane Coleman performed during the lunch-hour of the first day.

They were followed at the end of the day by the premiere performance of Darwin composer Cathy Applegate’s chamber music work Rhapsody for a Painted Desert.

The music was specially commissioned by Charles Darwin University to celebrate the symposium.