“We Win Only When We Are Ready to Cooperate”, a Discussion on the Creative Industries

Under the leadership of cultural experts cultural managers tried to formulate a roadmap for the development of creative Ukraine.

Who sets the rules of the game in the creative industries market?

The so-called pioneers. These are people, companies, who came to the market when it was only starting to develop, and they often include advertising agencies, IT companies. Key agents of influence were also listed: entrepreneurs (all those who can invest), the state, international foundations and institutions, market players (referring to all those who actually come up with ideas).

Challenges and obstacles

One of the first is the lack of good management in the creative industry sphere and management training. Traditionally, this is poor communication between the state, civil society and creative sector. The other one is centralisation of culture. After all, just as before, all the main events take place in big cities. Another challenge is the lack of legislative motivation (on the part of the state, incentive tools are necessary to motivate people to invest and develop the cultural sector).

What offers new opportunities?

  • Establishing cultural relations with other countries

  • Creating new jobs in the creative industries

  • Improving Ukraine’s image in the world through the development of cultural and creative industries

  • Cooperation with other sectors of the economy

The potential of the creative sphere, promoting and advocating culture

There is a need for new values and guidelines. Ukraine is not seeing broad social demand. This means that there are narrowly focused initiatives, but demand for them should exist not only among representatives of the creative industries, but also among those who consume their products. Managers are certain that potential also lies in the development of the creative sectors in small towns, promoting culture as a business and modernising education.

One of the participants of the discussion, cultural activist, co-founder of the Congress of Cultural Activists Olena Pravylo is convinced that Ukraine has powerful agents of change: “Ukraine has many grassroots initiatives. In Kramatorsk or Slovyansk young people sometimes know much more than in Kyiv. They are highly motivated. And receive more funds from international donors. Activists in the west of Ukraine, who are closer to Poland, Hungary and other European countries, take part more in competitions and grants. Central Ukraine is a little rundown. For example, the town of Pereyaslav, which has more than 20 museums. But who knows about that? There are good projects, such as “CITY CODE”, which is a long-term programme to form the creative economy and create the conditions for sustainable development of small cities. In Kherson, there will be pitching for social action projects, where local NGOs will present their local projects. Today, people who want to change something are important, even if they don’t have an education. Some people make the products, others promote them, and different ones sell them. But we win only when we are united.”

What should be done first?

Activists groups created their own action plan. Firstly, communities should be organised, to unite all stakeholders in culture and creative industries. Then problems should be determined and analysed, and search for solutions to them with the help of international experience, involving foreign experts.

And of course, subsequently, search for funding, grants, crowdfunding, attracting partners, business environment, creation of micro projects.

Future popularisation and advocacy of cultural sphere and the creative industries

The important steps in development are research in the cultural field, data collection, organisation of lectures, open universities, online courses, competitions and other forms of support.

Cristina Farinha, cultural expert, independent consultant for the Ministry of Culture of Portugal and member of the European Commission on Education and Culture helped with selecting the required strategies and tools during the discussion. We will soon present her research that she prepared for the EU Culture and Creativity Programme.

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