CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT Lisa Rudd has spent the past 20 years exploring the concepts of cultural development; what is does it fit within the concepts of community safety, community based art projects and how it can be used to connect communities.

In Lisa's eyes art is only one element of culture although many people tend to believe that "art is culture".

So what is culture if it is not "just art"?  Culture is a system of building identity.  Lisa likes to look at it in its simplest form; culture is anything that contributes to making a person (or a community) who they are.  This may include many things: family, friends, environment, disease, politics, food, religion, sport, art, community, transport, money, war, civil disorder, employment, education...the list goes on and on.

It is very interesting just to stop, reflect and think about your own personal culture...what makes you who you are? What elements of your culture do you want to celebrate, share or build on? Are there elements that you want to develop or change?

So when people talk about "Cultural Development" the question needs to be it possible to "develop" culture?  Lisa prefers to think of cultural development more as a term that relates to exploring, acknowledging, affirming, nurturing, protecting, questioning and celebrating culture. 

Art can be a useful tool to utilise in the facilitation, exploration, recording and presentation of these processes.

COMMUNITY CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT    CCD is broader and rather than focusing on particular cultural groups it seeks to bring different cultures from within a community together to strengthen their sense of connectedness & belonging and to gain a sense of collective identity.  CCD encourages and promotes participation in cultural life and can be utilised to explore, identify and promote positive social change.

CCD provides a means by which people can interact, explore and share their culture with others - this can lead to a deeper understanding and harmony within communities. 

Community arts is a wonderful way to bring people together. Lisa Rudd's perspective is to expand on this and bring cultures together not just through art but also through the inclusion and celebration of other elements of their cultures; for example - environment, history, food and family just to name a few.  For community based art projects to be truly reflective & encompassing of the cultures it seeks to explore, understand & represent it must branch out and include other elements of the cultures of that community.


Lisa's is interested in exploring cultures and communities and the concepts of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). 

Asset Based Community Development differs from needs based community development in that it focuses primarily on honing and leveraging existing strengths within a community rather than focusing on community deficiencies. 

Lisa believes that communities can be empowered by focusing on positive beliefs that already exist within a community and that solutions to a community problems already exist within a community‚Äôs assets.

ABCD Principals: 

1. Everyone has gifts: each person in a community has something to contribute

2. Relationships build a community: people must be connected in order for sustainable community development to take place

3. People at the center: People should be viewed as activators - not just recipients - in development

4. Leaders involve others: community development is strongest when it involves a broad base of community action

5. People care: challenge notions of "apathy" by listening to people's interests

7. Listen: decisions should come from conversations where people are heard

8. Ask: asking for ideas is more sustainable than giving solutions  



Through her work Lisa has presented two forums in association with the Cultural Development Network.

"Meet, Meld, Merge - Art Bringing Communities Together" a forum where individuals from many sectors of a rural community came together to explore the culture of their communities and how they could utilise the arts to the benefit of their community.  This forum resulted in the creation of community art project "Toil Art" - more information on this can be found on the community art page of this website.

Meet, Meld, Merge II - Art Bring Communities Together - a Bushfire Recovery Project. This forum supported people and communities as they sought ways to reconnect, recover and rebuild after the devastating events of the Black Saturday Bushfire.  The forum provided an opportunity for people to think about the impact of the fires on themselves, their communities and their culture.  They explored and shared the ways in which they had utilised the arts as recovery tools and also identified possible future ways in which they could use the arts to benefit themselves and their communities. 


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