Mary Elizabeth Luka is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Joint Program in Communication at Concordia University, where she is probing the meaning and potential of ‘creative citizenship,’ including the work of artists and creative producers in daily life. Her scholarly interests focus on production practices and creativity in cultural media production and more generally the creative and cultural industries, and the intriguing dynamics and networks generated at the intersection of the arts, broadcasting and digital production. Luka is an award-winning television and internet documentary producer-director, and culture sector consultant. http://moreartculturemediaplease.com.
Dissevering creative flow: resource management in Canadian cultural production
Understanding how resources and decision-making powers are devolved (or not) into the hands of pertinent cultural communities to stimulate artistic production in Canada speaks directly to inequitable distributions and the specifics of process to ameliorating inequities and driving creativity in this country. The comparison of three diverse processes where differential mobilities in the arts are mediated can provide a provocative interrogation of civic collaborations in the day-to-day exercise of cultural power and production. How do the specific flows of capital and power work in a particular time, geographic place and networked space? Common ground may be found through direct comparisons of three examples centred in Nova Scotia. Reflections on the first year of Arts Nova Scotia, the hybrid arts-council model legislated in 2012, highlights the theoretical nature of the transfer of decision-making power to artists within the province by benchmarking the sequence of protocols and practical negotiations required to transition from government department-run artist and arts-organization funding programs to an independent arts council, disentangling and re-entangling itself from already-existing networks of cultural production. This is compared to the dissevering, multi-sited annual processes required inside the public broadcaster to sustain the national, ten-year digital and television broadcast program, CBC ArtSpots. Finally, the thoroughly up-to-date, node-centred, networked flows of capital involving American connections, transnational audience appeals and non-profit perks from Canadian crowdfunding’s 21st-century best practices is probed for its offering of comparative exemplars. All three examples assert transparency in cultural community engagement, reflecting multi-level attempts to equalize flows of power and creative control.