Creative Industries Recovery Forum

Creative Industries Recovery Forum

Arts Northern Rivers has set the date for a creative gathering which will lay the foundations for a sector-led approach to recovery following the recent flood disaster in the region. 

The Northern Rivers region is home to some of the most diverse, vibrant arts communities in Australia with the highest concentration of creatives outside of metropolitan areas. It is these creatives and artists that have been at the centre of the identity and strength of the region. These artists have been decimated by the floods, losing studios, future income opportunities, equipment and collections. This has monumental impacts to the towns themselves, losing vibrancy, unique creative identity and an economic flow-on impact to the $20m estimated annual turnover for the creative industries in the region. 

With the devastating floods compounding onto two years of a global pandemic, this project addresses impacts of isolation, creative business atrophy and positive regional futures. With many creatives asking the question; “where to now?”, this Forum aims to bring the creative community together, revitalise cohorts and networks and support the Northern Rivers on its path towards a thriving future.

Immediately following the floods, our team lobbied state and federal Arts Ministers for awareness and funding support. Through this advocacy and our own fundraising campaign, within the first eight weeks of the disaster we delivered $220,000 in direct rapid response funding to individual flood affected creatives. 

Through this response, Arts Northern Rivers gained a sector wide snapshot of the direct impact, financial losses and damage from both independent creatives and organisations across the region. One of the insights we gained is the need for the creative industries to come together as a sector.

The overwhelming need emerging from this data was ‘connection’.

Our main objective of hosting the forum in response to this is to provide practical support for priority areas of the recovery of the creative industries to bolster the sustainable recovery and rebuild agenda of the entire region. As part of the medium-term flood recovery strategy, this two-day regional forum will bring together the creative industry to develop a future road map for longer term recovery.



  •       To spur the recovery of creative industries in the Northern Rivers and reveal self-sector strategies and opportunities at the local level through constructive dialogue between local government, business, and the creative community.
  •       To come together as a regional sector, to be the voices and activators of the next steps towards recovery; short, medium and long term, and develop an action led road map toward recovery. 



  •       The forum will be held over 2 days, with creative artists from all artforms coming together to design a recovery map for our regional creative industries sector in real time using Open Space methodology 
  •       The forum will be accessible, and trauma informed, bringing a range of mental health and community services together to form a safe space for relationship building and connection.
  •       The forum will capture data, recording crucial insights and key recommendations used to inform local arts and cultural policy across the region towards a resilient future. 

28 + 29 JULY


More information to follow.

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This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.