Coproduction and Casula's Pacifica Program: Initial research findings

Kershaw,A 2015, Coproduction and Casula's Pacifica Program: Initial research findings, Deakin University.

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Title Coproduction and Casula's Pacifica Program: Initial research findings
Author(s) Kershaw,AORCID iD for Kershaw,A
Publication date 2015-03
Total pages 28
Publisher Deakin University
Keyword(s) Coproduction
Culturally diverse communities
Program evaluation
Summary This research takes Casula Powerhouse Art Centre’s Pacifica program as a case study to investigate the ways in which museum and galleries are involved in coproduction with culturally diverse communities. Coproduction is defined here as:Museum and gallery practice conducted jointly with communities or other external partiesThe benefits of coproduction are that it leads to more effective and efficient public services (including arts and cultural services) while also building the skills and capacity of the community. However coproduction is not easy, particularly because it requires public service providers and communities to work in ‘equal and reciprocal’ relationships.As an organisation with strong and strategic alliances to its governing body (Liverpool City Council), Casula brings a strong capacity for coproduction. Internally it has support and commitment to coproduction from across the organisation. The staff at Casula bring exceptional relational skills. The organisation’s capacity to coproduce draws heavily on their skills as cultural brokers and experience in community cultural development practice. The communities Casula works with bring strong cultural knowledge and practice, along with a desire to maintain and preserve these community resources. Casula’s coproduction work also meets external political needs for public services to deliver increased public value as well as a greater diversity in the profile of arts audiences.The key challenge for Casula Powerhouse’s coproduction work is the extent to which it aims for joint delivery of public services through ‘equal and reciprocal’ relationships with the community, or uses coproduction as a tool for community engagement and audience development. Advocates of coproduction in the public sector argue for its value as a means of delivering more effective and efficient public services while at the same time building the skills and capacity of local communities. A critical element of coproduction according to these writers and scholars is the development and delivery of public services through ‘equal and reciprocal’ relationships between providers and users.The value of coproduction for Casula Powerhouse and the Pacifica program is its use as a means of community engagement and audience development. Coproduction is a feature of the components of Pacifica that enable the participation of the community and provide entry points for audiences to engage with contemporary art. Evidence of this approach to coproduction can be seen in the dual ‘stakeholder’ and ‘audience’ role that the community have within the Pacifica program. The community is therefore both a contributor to Pacifica and a beneficiary of this work. The benefits Casula Powerhouse receives from the community’s involvement in Pacifica are greater public value of its work and stronger engagement with communities and audiences.Although coproduction may not be the focus of all aspects of Pacifica, the involvement of Pacific Islander communities in the program results in exhibitions and public programs that are not typical contemporary art gallery offerings. Pacifica is further evidence of Casula Powerhouse’s innovative and entrepreneurial approach to gallery practice. The use of coproduction also ensures Pacifica offers an authentic and distinctive gallery experience.
Field of Research 150499 Commercial Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 909999 Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category A6 Research report/technical paper
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