My City's Still Breathing

Jon Hawkes

Making Sense Together

1. Public policy making is profoundly improved by applying a cultural perspective to ALL activities.

2. The most important priority in the development of arts policy is the facilitation of widespread, active and collaborative arts-making in communities.

The public planning sector has been awash with new ‘paradigms’ for at least a decade.  For all their variety, they share common concerns: sustainability, equity, engagement and wellbeing.  These paradigms also share an appreciation of the cause of community decline: Disconnectedness - the breakdown of a shared sense of purpose, the attenuation of a sense of belonging to groups that are living and preparing for the future together, the increase in isolation.

It is in addressing this issue that culture can be extremely valuable.

One of the most useful ways of looking at culture is to think of it as describing the ways that we make sense of our lives together, or in more formal terms, as the social production of meaning.

Jon Hawkes presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Jon Hawkes Cultural Policy Analyst
Melbourne, Australia
Making sense together Biography

Jon Hawkes

Sometime circus strongman, underground press editor, lighthouse keeper and bookseller, Jon is the author of the groundbreaking The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: culture’s essential role in public planning (Common Ground, 01) and is one of Australia's leading commentators on cultural policy.  ‘Fourth pillar thinking’ has spread worldwide, with Jon making presentations in the USA, Canada, Spain and New Zealand.

He is the Resident Cultural Analyst with the Cultural Development Network of Victoria and has been Director of Community Music Victoria (01-08), a Fellow of the Community Cultural Development Board (Australia Council) (04-05), Director of the Australian Centre of the International Theatre Institute (91-98), Director of the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council (82-87) and was a founding member of Circus Oz and the Australian Performing Group (Pram Factory).

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