Communities of a New Future was a three-part series of online conversations for creative hubs. It explored opportunities and challenges brought about by the global pandemic. Held from May to July 2020, the webinar was a partnership between the British Council and Thames International, supported by Adobo Magazine, DTI-Design Center of the Philippines, Whiteboard Journal and Kakiseni.
We connected 500 creative hubs from 34 countries globally. Through participating in our online forums, the creative hubs shared their short-, medium- and long-term transformative solutions for creative hubs. Hub leaders and creative practitioners joined the discussions on:
- exploring the various ways in which hubs and creative communities respond to the current pandemic and crisis
- rethinking how we work, give value and create meaningful interactions with our communities as well as learning about the skills and mindset needed to make digital transformation happen
- taking a broader perspective on the attempt to anticipate the future of cultural engagement, the opportunities and challenges these changes will have on creative hubs and their communities.
Communities of a New Future featured speakers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and United Kingdom such as Creative Cardiff’s Sara Pepper, Thames International’s TJ Parpan and Penang Art District’s Stephanie Kee. They shared their insights on how different parts of the world are responding to Covid-19. Here are the key learnings from the three-part forum:
- Mental health, well-being and professional support were at the core of the responses of creative hubs. They supported artists in providing essential services to front liners and developed programmes that can be implemented at home.
- The transition is difficult for both the cultural sector and its audiences as hubs faced the challenges of online engagement. In the digital arena, accessibility, innovation and collaboration are critical in creating new ways of working and reaching new audiences.
- Data is increasingly becoming critical to the hubs’ sustainability. Data should be used not only to improve efficiency, but also to show compassion to the community especially during this time. It is important that government leaders develop a culture where a data-driven mindset can flourish.
Learning and resources
We have put together resources from the forum which compiled insights, surveys and other practical information on sustainability of hubs. Through these, we hope to continue mutual learning, exchange of ideas and future collaborations among hub leaders.