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Creativity, culture and community in Armadale: A journey of cultural development in local government

Cope, Jon (2020) Creativity, culture and community in Armadale: A journey of cultural development in local government. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The symbiotic relationship between creativity, culture and community is a valuable resource for community development. Facilitating individual and collective creative community endeavour is at the core of community cultural development. It can lead to greater cultural expression, increased social connection, improved community wellbeing, and a stronger sense of community spirit, identity and pride. This thesis examines the practice of cultural development at the City of Armadale between 2014 and 2016, drawing on primary fieldwork observation, documented film evidence and secondary literary research, to determine the value of cultural development practice as a method of community development for local government. The thesis examines terminology and the context of community cultural development at the City of Armadale and the application of Asset-Based Community Development principles. It describes and analyses three key community projects during the relevant period: i) the Armadale Hills Open Studio Arts Trail, ii) the Armadale Arts Festival and iii) the Music in the Mall initiative. It shares the feedback from residents on the value of cultural development in their community, specifically in relation to developing a sense of community, social connection, community wellbeing and building perceptions of prosperity. It reflects on the key features of empowering creativity, building authentic relationships and genuine community involvement that aided the cultural development practice at the City of Armadale. The research proposes that by applying cultural development methods of fostering authentic relationships with local citizens, listening respectfully to their collective aspirations, encouraging local community connections, seeking alignment of creative community ideas and initiatives with the City’s corporate community plans, guiding the energy of self-determined community projects to accomplish mutually beneficial goals, and permitting local participants to develop their own cultural destiny, creates an excellent dynamic for building stronger culturally vibrant communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences
Supervisor(s): Palmer, David
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