Making meaning, making money: directions for the arts and cultural industries in the creative age

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  • This article was downloaded by: [DUT Library]On: 06 October 2014, At: 07:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: MortimerHouse, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Australian PlannerPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rapl20

    Making meaning, making money: directions for thearts and cultural industries in the creative ageRichard Hu aa University of CanberraPublished online: 03 Mar 2011.

    To cite this article: Richard Hu (2011) Making meaning, making money: directions for the arts and cultural industries inthe creative age, Australian Planner, 48:1, 64-65, DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2011.530591

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  • policy shift in 20072008 towards lowering develop-ment density in pursuit of a better living environ-

    ment. This chapter provides a detailed description of

    the development of Hong Kongs high-rise housing

    policy from the early 1990s to the present, charting the

    shift over this period from an emphasis on aesthetics

    to contemporary concerns with amenity, design and

    eco-density, expressed especially in the experimental

    LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) Park

    development in Tseung Kwan O New Town.Overall, this is not an especially coherent collec-

    tion. There is a clear divide between the technical

    chapters and those that attempt a broader assessment

    of the potentials and pitfalls of the compact city and

    of the policy challenges in pursuing sustainability

    through high rise buildings. It would be a daunting

    task to write a concluding essay that draws together

    the themes and lessons of the 22 chapters in this book

    and, perhaps wisely, the editor has chosen not to

    attempt this. Different chapters will interest different

    readers to varying degrees but I suspect that there

    will be few with the motivation or stamina to read it

    from cover to cover. Its interest for the majority of

    Australian readers may well lie in bringing to their

    attention some unfamiliar case studies and the very

    different connotations that the compact city notion

    has in the large, high-density, high-rise cities of China

    and other Asian megacities.

    Stephen Hamnett

    University of South Australia

    Email: Steve.hamnett@unisa.edu.au

    # 2011, Stephen Hamnett

    Making meaning, making money: directions for the

    arts and cultural industries in the creative age, by Lisa

    Andersen and Kate Oakley, Newcastle upon Tyne,

    UK, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, 272 pp.,

    34.99, ISBN(10) 1-4438-0065-1; ISBN(13) 978-1-4438-

    0065-5

    Creative is now a planning buzzword globally.

    When I was reading the book Making meaning,

    making money to prepare for this book review, the

    newest issues of Journal of planning education and

    research (2010, volume 29, issue 3) and Cities (2010,

    volume 27, special edition) both published on similar

    topics of creativity, culture, arts and their implica-

    tions for urban and community development. Since

    Richard Florida popularised the creative concept by

    putting old wine (creative) in a new bottle (3 Ts:

    talent, technology, tolerance) (Florida, 2002, 2005),

    the creative debate has been incorporating creative

    city, economic development, urban regeneration,

    urban branding, arts and public space, social inclu-sion, and so on.

    The edited book, Making meaning, making moneyis an Australian version of the global creative debate.The authors are a group of creative researchers,consultants, activists, academics and practitionerswho are either Australia-based or Australia-related.The creative issues discussed are mostly in theAustralian context except for two UK and US caseswhich, however, have implications for creative indus-try development in rural Australian areas. Theoriginality of this collection was inspired by Floridascreative class and the UKs creative industriespolicies. However, by differentiating from the pre-decessors that were focused on wealth and competi-tiveness, this collection is focused on a moreintegrated explanation of the cultural, economic andsocial policy dimensions of the arts and culturalindustries, alongside building understanding of howindividual (or intrinsic) experiences of the arts con-tribute to personal imagination and public dreaming(Andersen and Oakley, 2008, p. ix). Centred on thetheme of bringing creative debate closer to the centreof policies and decisions of regional development, thiscollection is divided into four parts, which representfour different angles and scales to address the theme.

    Part I looks at the contemporary cultural policydebate in Australia as well as some cultural policies inUK and the world. In Chapter 1, David Throsbytraces the shifting ambits of cultural policies inAustralia and examines the changes and challengesin post-2007 to ascertain whether they are sufficientto constitute a new movement in Australias culturalpolicy it is still too early to make such a judgementfor him. Throsby reiterates his advocacy for abottom-up approach to cultural policy to feed intothe national debate and points to a few areas forfuture cultural policy consideration. Kate Oakleyprovides cultural policymaking evidences in theUKs New Labour agenda for creative industries,which are of particular relevance to Australias post-2007 Labor government. In Chapter 3, Chris Gibsonraises his concern about Australias current culturalpolicy direction in which arts and creativity be-come a means of market-led development in a ra-ther uncreative framework. Gibson stresses thatAustralian policy makers could be more open toauthentic ideas from our own places and people inaddition to benefiting from outside ideas and inspira-tions in principle. In Chapter 4, Christopher Maddenprovides an overview of cultural polices around theworld and considers their possible lessons forAustralia.

    The three chapters in Part II are on topics ofaccess, education and innovation. In Chapter 5,

    64 Book Reviews

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  • Pamille Berg argues that creative making as a socialpractice can increasingly become a pacemakerwithin our society and artists and participants havethe power of creative making in support of peoplescommunal heart-held beliefs, lives and endeavours.Anne Bamfords discussion in Chapter 6 is on artseducation. Bamford stresses the overwhelmingimportance of the arts in peoples lives and arguesfor innovation in arts education the arts ineducation are more than what is in art galleries orconcert halls; the arts are symbolic and universal and thus an arts rich education plays an importantrole in communication skills, critical thinking andinnovation. In Chapter 7, Tony Moore provides anartistic angle to examine the art in an age ofanxiety and asserts that anxiety can be good for art.

    Part III introduces three case studies of culturesroles in regional development. Two of the case studies(Chapters 8 and 10) are about the practices ofplanning cultural industries to develop rural areasin Montana, USA, and the Highlands of Scotland &Islands, UK, respectively by John Barsness andJeremy Sim. They are not necessarily success storiesthat can easily be transplanted into different politicaland economic settings, but they do provide a fewcommon normative principles planners can learn.Cathy Henkels case study of the Northern RiversRegion of NSW is an illuminating one in theAustralian context, in which she discusses how aninflux of creative workers and flourishing creativeindustries helped stimulate the regional developmentby exploiting global networks in a digital age. Itshould be noted that the three creative successstories are in remote or rural regions, which is asignificant supplement to the mainstream creativediscourse that is mostly on urban and metropolitanareas.

    Part IV discusses the role of culture in communitydevelopment and its social value. In Chapter 11,Martin Mulligan calls for attention to communityarts and its role in community life in global-localchallenges, and argues that it is time to reflect sincecommunity arts are the forgotten sector of the arts inAustralia. Eva Cox, in Chapter 12, proposes a set ofmeasures to assess the social values of arts as a socialgood, based on the soft data of feelings, effectsand links between people. This is to broadenthe appreciation of the arts by adding the social/ethical measure of arts to the existing concep-tions of economic value and cultural aesthetic. InChapter 13, Deborah Mills attempts to define linksbetween citizen values and the arts and argues thatgovernment cultural policies must be sensitive andaware of their cultural consequences. Mills lamentsmissed opportunities for cultural policy and proposes

    a set of principles that constitute a new language ofAustralias cultural policy. Mills further distinguishesbetween the instrumental role (arts as a tool) and thetransformative role of arts. In the final chapter,Chapter 14, Paul Brown integrates Mills call forthe transformative role of arts with the conceptof community cultural development (CCD),through which the creative arts can be a site for theproduction of knowledge about complex social,economic and environmental matters. Brown stressesthat Australian cultural policy, if there is to be one,should acknowledge the transformative role of thearts and support CCD. His argument is that CCD,with its benefit for making links, sending messages,engendering trust and making knowledge, helpsresolve the problematic relationship between diversegovernance structure and centralised government(Brown, 2008, p. 240).

    This book is aimed at providing an Australianversion of the global creative buzz and contributingto the Creative Australia debate. It discusses crea-tive issues and cases that are authentic in theAustralian context and calls for a new set oflanguages regarding Australian cultural policy. Thisbook adds unique value to the discussed topic with itsdiversity in angles and depth in content. I would liketo recommend this book for academics and practi-tioners of creative industries, urban and regionalplanners, community advocates, cultural policy ma-kers, arts consultants, and students of these disci-plines.

    References

    Andersen, L. and Oakley, K. eds. 2008. Making meaning,making money: directions for the arts and culturalindustries in the creative age. Newcastle upon Tyne,UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

    Brown, P., 2008. Knowledge, power and cultural policy:social understanding through community culturaldevelopment. In: L. Andersen and K. Oakley, eds.

    Making meaning, making money: directions for the artsand cultural industries in the creative age. Newcastleupon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

    Florida, R., 2002. The rise of the creative class: and how itstransforming work, leisure, community and everydaylife. New York: Basic Books.

    Florida, R., 2005. The flight of creative class: the new global

    competition for talent. 1st edn. New York: HarperBusiness.

    Richard HuUniversity of Canberra

    Email:richard.hu@canberra.edu.au# 2011, Richard Hu

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