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This week is going to be really exciting because I am chairing a panel as part of Vibewire’s e-Festival of Ideas. For those of you not familiar with Vibewire, it’s an Australian youth media and arts organisation. Its flagship project is Vibewire.net, an online media portal for people under 30 featuring articles, blogs and forums. Other projects have included ElectionTracker, which sent young journalists around Australia on the campaign buses during the 2004 Federal Election; Interface, an anthology of critical thinking and ideas; sQuareOne, a Sydney community project incubator; and the Reelife Short Film Festival.

This week, though, it’s all about the e-Festival. The panel I’m chairing is called ‘The Creative Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: A How-To Guide for Young Artists’. Here’s the blurb:

Picasso once said “every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” For many young artists the problem is not simply how to nurture one’s talent or to find inspiration, but also how to fund the process. Vibewire is collaborating with talented people in the know to bring you The Creative Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, providing advice for young creatives on how to support one’s self in their industry of choice without burning out creatively or going bust financially. We’ll be looking at how to secure grants, how to reconcile your creative vision with a commercial reality, and what to do in those tough moments where inspiration is lacking and the bills are piling up. It will be an opportunity for you to learn from the mistakes and successes of people who have been there and done that.

Guests include musicians Laura Imbruglia and Gotye; Sonja Basic, General Manager of Propelarts, Western Australia’s peak body for youth arts; Leigh Mangin, manager of Carclew Youth Arts Centre‘s Arts and Education Program; fashion designer Natalie Wood; video installation artist Sam Smith; Alice Angus, artist and Co-Director of UK artist studio Proboscis; Alvin Tan, Artistic Director of Singaporean theatre company, The Necessary Stage; Melinda Bufton, careers consultant specialising in creative conundrums; and fashion blogger Gala Darling.

I will be talking to the panellists about how they stay motivated and avoid burnout, how they manage the business side of their work, sources of funding for artists and other Art of Work-type topics.

There will also be five other panels:

  • e-Participation: Fad or future?
  • 2018: New frontiers in digital arts
  • Reworking Feminism: What does gender equality mean in the 21st century?
  • Reaching Off the Screen: Film, audiences and social change
  • Are You Being Heard? Youth voices in local government

If you’ve got a burning question for one of the panellists, all you have to do to join the conversation is sign up for Vibewire.net membership here and hit the forums. Because it’s an online festival you can participate wherever you are in the world. I’d love to hear what you have to say, so sign up now!

The Vibewire e-Festival of Ideas will run from Tuesday 8 April to Saturday 12 April, Eastern Australian time.

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