SMART ARTS | The Business of Creativity Gets Smart

look-at-us-networking-686x386A program to enhance the economic viability of Newcastle’s creatives & to encourage collaboration between creative minds.

Smart Arts is launching a series of professional development events in Newcastle after working successfully with the energetic Port Stephens creative community during the first half of the year. Two specialised workshops – ‘The Business of Being Creative’ and ‘Marketing for Creatives’ will provide some top tips in how to run and market a small creative business. The affordable workshops will be followed by a consultation with leaders and practitioners in the local arts sector around working together in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain environment. And afterwards there will, of course, be an opportunity to enjoy an end of year party!

The workshops are tailored exclusively to develop the business, marketing and social media skills of anyone working in the Creative Industries; filmmakers, writers, designers (graphic, jewellery etc.), fashion creators, visual artists, musicians, composers, dancers, performers.

The Smart Arts program is designed to give local artists and creatives the tools, connections and opportunities to establish and maintain themselves which in turn, supports a vibrant and sustainable sector in our local economy.

“Our arts and cultural community is such a positive and valuable contributor to Newcastle’s economic and cultural capital…we want to make sure it stays that way”, Christina Robberds, Director Octapod.



Friday 2 December

6 – 7.30pm

Catapult Dance Studio | 880 Hunter St, Newcastle West

A conversation about building the capacity of our creative community and working together in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain environment for artists and arts organisations.

Our speakers will discuss:

·         career advancement – and the ceiling that is placed on opportunity when organisations face constant turmoil from threats to funding
·         how to manage morale – and lack thereof
·         how to build resilience
·         finding optimism
·         resourcefulness and how to look outside the mainstream funding square
·         how arts leaders could benefit from stepping outside silos and gaining strength through collaborating and group mentoring
·         the value of an experienced mentor who has trodden the traps before you
·         conventional and unconventional training opportunities to build leadership and career advancement opportunities
·         Activism – how best to protest about funding cuts. Does kicking and screaming pay off in the end?

Speakers: Gina Fairley (Chair) Visual Arts, National Editor, ArtsHub
Jess Duncan, Program Manager, Beyond Empathy Moree
Gemma Parsons, Program Manager Beyond Empathy Illawarra
Cadi McCarthy, Director, Catapult Dance in Newcastle
Amy Hardingham, Co-Artistic Director, Tantrum Youth Arts, Newcastle.

This event is presented by Octapod and The Business Centre in partnership with SAMAG (Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group) as part of the Smart Arts program in Newcastle.

Followed by DRINKS AND NETWORKING | Cost: Drinks By donation  |  REGISTER

7.30pm til late
Let’s party! A chance to let your hair down or make some of those connections you’ve been meaning to make all year!




Wednesday 12 October

9.30am – 12.30pm
Hunter Design School | 67 Parry St, Newcastle West

A specialised workshop designed to build the business skills of creative people.


Tuesday 25 October

9.30am – 12.30pm

Pumphouse School of Design | 24 Greenway St, Wickham

A specialised workshop designed to build the marketing and social media skills of creative people.


Hunter Design School is a wheelchair accessible venue with an accessible toilet.
Pumphouse School of Design is a wheelchair accessible venue but does not have an accessible toilet.
Catapult Dance main space is wheelchair accessible but does not have an accessible toilet.

Smart Arts is a program supporting the creative industries in Newcastle and the Hunter region. The program aims to provide business and professional skills development as well as networking and collaboration opportunities for the Hunter region’s emerging and established artists, creative practitioners, arts and cultural professionals, managers and leaders.

The Smart Arts partnership between Octapod and The Business Centre delivered a successful program throughout 2015 in Newcastle in collaboration with The City of Newcastle and in the first half of 2016 in Port Stephens with the support of Port Stephens Council. Smart Arts partners work together to bring specialised skills and expertise to the program and work with local communities to understand their unique cultural and economic environment.

Smart Arts offers specialised arts and business development services and opportunities to creative individuals, organisations and businesses. All Smart Arts initiatives uniquely evolve from consultation with local creative sectors and respond to their ongoing business and cultural development needs.