Enhance Creativity in Australia

Posts Tagged ‘the arts

The National Cultural Policy was due for release at about the time of last May’s federal budget, but Simon Crean, Arts Minister has said he is waiting to secure funds, a spokesman for Mr Crean says he remains committed to launching it by the end of the year.

The Australian Major Performing Arts Group will seek assurance that the delayed National Cultural Policy at least will maintain funding in real terms, as the government attempts to pull back $2 billion in grants.

Harold Mitchell, chairman of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Art Exhibitions Australia says budgest are always under pressure but the government should not shy from its commitment to the arts.

“Government should remain supportive of the arts because it is so important, and (funding) is not at a very high level anyway, compared to many other things we do”

Goals of the National Cultural Policy are:




Matthew Westwood, Call for funds for cultural policy

National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper



Changing Education Paradigms, Sir Ken Robinson

Understanding the creative mind is certainly a very difficult and abstract topic. To simply put it, creativity is most easily considered in terms of outcomes, e.g. dramatic improvisation and artistic artefacts, but also innovative business ideas and scientific breakthroughs.

Creative thinking is a complex thought process that calls upon many different cognitive functions and and involves many many different regions distributed throughout the brain. There is no single part of our brain responsible for our creativity.

There are certainly no step-by-step instructions for having a good idea, yet multiple psychology reports suggest that our ability to think creatively is influenced by many things, including the environment in which we are surrounded by.

  • Creativity is often regarded as something that is purely spontaneous and less compliant to a teacher’s influence than skills such as planning, calculating and communicating. However, teachers can play a critical role in fostering creative thinking processes through the use of environment and strategy.
  • When we visualise, our brain activity can resemble that associated with real experience. This suggests visualisation is a potentially powerful educational tool. For example, enhancement of generative thinking can be achieved through visualising changes in context.
  • Creative thinking may depend on our ability to use a range of cognitive processes in different ways and crucially, to move between these ways as appropriate.


Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. Seriously, his talks are awe-inspiring, watch them here!

Dr Paul Howard-Jones, Fostering creative thinking: co-constructed insights from the neuroscience and education

Creative inspirations are often reported to emerge spontaneously, especially when we are not distracted or focusing on the problem at hand. Knowing how to generate these “insight moments” are an important component of creativity for better problem solving and innovative solutions.

It is known as the ‘eureka’ or ‘aha’ moment. Many ‘eureka’ moments are emerged at the unlikeliest of places, whether it be in the bathtub (for Archimedes the mathematician), or at a strip club (Richard Feynman was known to scribble equations there). It can be said that “Creativity is the residue of time wasted”.

A relaxed and positive mood enhances the brain activity required for the ‘aha’ moment to take place in our brain. Pleasure can play a big part in this process as it can enhance positive mood.

Evolution has developed areas in our brain with the purpose of providing us with a pleasurable sensation, what neuroscientists call the “reward circuit”. It is the Nucleus Accumbens, part of this circuit which provides the motivation and passion to what we want to do.

This chemical is called Dopamine (also known as the chemical of desire) is released when we enjoy or about to enjoy something. So we feel good!  It can be seen as a direct correlation between how pleasure affects our creative brain; that is, when we are happy and we feel good, our brains are more open and relaxed, which will in turn allow us to think more clearly and perhaps get that moment of insight.

As Daniel Pink states

“The future belongs to…creators and empathisers, pattern recognisers and meaning-makers. These people… will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”

Everyone has the capacity to be creative!


Check out the BrainArt Project, to spread the word about “Life Pleasures & the Brain” through various artistic forms, the project is about awaking, learning and balancing this aspect of our lives. Nurturing creativity through exploring our pleasures.

An interesting article on Eureka Moments by Silvis Damiano

Australian artists earn less than the general population and yet the number of artists does not fall.

Ever wonder about how many artists there are in Australia? What is the biggest group of artists? How much do artists earn? What challenges do Australian artists face?

Watch the insightful video below to get your answers!

Presented by the Australia Council for the Arts:


Persistence and passion are key to a successful artistic career!




Simon Crean (Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Arts) was interviewed on ABC National Radio Breakfast on 16th May 2012 about the National Cultural Policy before it was released and comments on the importance of the Arts, here are the main points I’ve gathered from the interview:

We’ve got to look afresh of how we reinforce our creative talents, our innovative talents. …It’s the arts that are a very important underpin for creativity and innovation.

It is a vast employment sector, the arts and creative industries is a faster growing sector than a manufacturing sector in terms of employment opportunities. It’s not just the people who perform, it’s the people behind the stage, the lighting the costume, the design, the marketing, all that goes with it…..

Why do we need a Cultural Policy anyway? Some might think that at the moment if the Government puts it’s dead hand into the culture, the worst will be for it so we should let these things grow organically and let the culture live off it’s own merits.

It doesn’t grow organically, it’s there but it’s got to be nurtured, it’s got to be promoted, it’s got to be challenged. We are home to the oldest living culture on earth and we’re welcomed the greatest diversity of cultures, that’s what makes Australia unique and some of Australia’s most exciting art forms, new art forms and expressions of ourselves, in our words, our stories are coming from that depth of culture.

I might also say that investment by government in the arts and creative industries produces a social dividend because it underpins our values inclusions of understanding and respect, and teamwork, all of those good things that are a part of the Australian ethos but there’s also an economic dividend because a more creative nation is also a more production nation. It drives innovation, it drives productivity and those are good things. Those are good things. That’s why government have to invest in the arts to reinforce that strength of culture that recognition of the indigenous role in our cultural expression but to also understand the biggest spinoffs.

With changes to Arts Funding, is there going to be more money?

Well, interestingly, despite the difficulties in this budget there wasn’t more money in this budget for the arts, there was a significant injection (and there was in last years budget too, the creative fellowships which we announced the first of yesterday were in last year’s budget), so we have put more money in… of course there are calls for more money and that’s difficult in the current circumstances…

But also where we’ve evolved too is more of a recognition by the private sector, the corporate and the philanthropists have the importance of investing in the arts, we’ve got to leverage their contributions. As well, we’ve got to try get better cooperation with the state governments but also local governments are investing heavily on the arts now because they understand it’s important in the regions in particular to liveability. So what’s happening now, it’s not just a question of commonwealth money here, it’s how we use additional money to leverage more investment in the arts and culture.

What are your thoughts on Simon Crean’s opinions? Do you agree or disagree with him?

There has been recent public debate over the value of art and culture as the Liberal Governments in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have cut arts funding from their budgets. The reason for this blog is to raise The Arts industry in Australia higher up on the agenda by promoting the importance of creativity.

So that being the case, this blog strives to raise awareness on sufficient Government support to stimulate the Arts and Enhance Creativity in Australia is here to reach out and engage communities to stimulate the imagination and creativity of Australia. At the same time promoting support for artistic organisations connecting creativity and the public.

Please feel free to engage by sharing your thoughts on anything related to the arts!

Enhance Creativity in Australia

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