Festivals, art and mentoring : disseminating knowledge, enhancing skills and developing networks in regional Victoria
Hede, Anne-Marie and Rentschler, Ruth 2005, Festivals, art and mentoring : disseminating knowledge, enhancing skills and developing networks in regional Victoria, in The impacts of events : proceedings of International Event Research Conference, Australian Centre for Event Management University of Technology, Lindfield, N.S.W., pp. 499-512.
Many regional festivals use art as a vehicle to engage with a broader cross-section of the community; highlight the artistic talent of their region; introduce art to their region; and to distinguish theirs from others. Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Victoria recently piloted a mentoring program, Directions, for regional festivals that indicated an interest in developing their artistic direction. Three experienced artistic directors were selected to participate in the program as mentors, and each of these mentored two festival directors whose festivals are located in Regional Victoria. The aim of this paper is to highlight the potential of mentoring within the context of festival management by exploring the outcomes of Directions. A case study approach is used, and although this limits the generalisability of the results to other festivals, the information gained provides insights into managing festivals within the context of artistic direction. A number of themes emerged from the study that appear to have broadened the perspective of 'art' in those festivals participating in the program. Furthermore, the program has highlighted that while festivals and artistic directors in regional locations experience varying degrees of isolation, they have a great deal of creativity and skill. Directions provided organisers of the festivals with the confidence to make decisions that enable them to capitalise on their extant creativity and skills. Festivals are then able to be marketed against their competitors with unique selling positions, which is important for sustainability. The results obtained through the evaluation of this pilot program provide Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Victoria opportunities to effectively assess the need for such programs for festivals in regional Victoria in the future.
Field of Research
150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services