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UC partners with Canberra creatives for online festival

Elly Mackay

1 September 2020: The Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra will partner with Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN), Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Lightbulb to deliver the second Festival of Creativity.

Launching on 3 September, the Festival will encourage Canberrans to explore how creativity can disrupt the status quo, break down old habits, and reimagine what’s possible.

It will be made up of four virtual sessions held over the month of September, each focusing on a different area of the creative realm.

The first session will be hosted by Faculty of Arts and Design academics Professor Ross Gibson and Assistant Professor Denise Thwaites, and is entitled How to use Stories to Create Plans in Messy Situations.

“It’s great to connect with organisations such as CBRIN, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres, and The Difference to explore the different ways creativity shapes our work,” said Dr Thwaites.

“Creativity manifests in a myriad of ways, so looking beyond our particular silos can help enrich our understanding of the impact it has in communities.”

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design Professor Jason Bainbridge said the collaboration between the University and other Canberra businesses further strengthens ties with the Canberra community.

“FAD has long been a central part of ACT’s creative community – and we always welcome any opportunity to bring academia, industry, and community together,” Professor Bainbridge said.

“Working alongside our partners in the Festival of Creativity gives us all a terrific opportunity to explore the benefits of creative practice and play with an even broader and more diverse audience.”

He said that the Festival reiterates the message that creativity and the arts should not be forgotten in the midst of dealing with and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If there is anything that 2020 has demonstrated, it’s how important creativity can be in dealing with times of crisis and change, which makes this festival more timely than ever.”

Founding partners PwC and UC’s Faculty of Arts and Design hosted the Festival for the first time in 2019. They are excited to have joined forces with CBRIN and Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres in 2020 to ensure that the concept continues to grow.

“The sessions offered over the next four weeks are set to be mind-expanding, fun, and incredibly useful,” said Dr Barbara Walsh, Associate Dean of International and Work Integrated Learning.

Speaking to how the Festival came to be, Dr Walsh said that it was always a team effort.

“We met with PwC early last year to brainstorm ideas and ways that we could involve our creative staff and students to explore the social, economic, and cultural benefits of creative practice. Since then the Festival and the partnership has expanded and we’re delighted to be part of this talented team.”

Dr Walsh hopes that attendees will come away from the sessions feeling inspired.

“We hope that participants leave with new ways of looking at their worlds and an understanding of how they can harness the power of creativity to disrupt the status quo!”

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Festival of Creativity 2020: Creative Disruption’.

Festival of Creativity sessions are free, and open to all. Find out more and register here to secure your place.