British Council, DTI To Help Grow 15 Creative Hubs In The Philippines

Fifteen creative hub leaders from the Philippines have been selected to become a Creative Innovators Fellow. The programme aims to contribute to more sustainable and impact-led creative hubs that can better support the Philippines’ creative industries, thereby creating more inclusive cities and communities.

The selected Fellows, through their creative hubs, will support and help build their respective creative industries and communities. Hundreds of creative MSMEs and artists will benefit from the programme.

Eighty-four applicants from three key cities within the Philippines applied to a highly competitive open call launched by British Council, DTI and partners last June 2018. A selection panel composed of artists and creative industry leaders narrowed down the list, based on the creative hub’s potential to scale impact, long-term plans, and narrative, among others.

Fifteen Fellows working across creative industries will now undergo a professional development programme for over a year. The Fellowship will include a hub management training by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation; a study tour in the UK; a creative skills bootcamp by Thames International and foundation; mentoring sessions; and network-building activities within the Philippines and ASEAN.

Among them is Cherame Lopez from ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, Inc., a Cebu-based gallery, retail space, and training centre working with weaving communities in the craft sector. Lopez hopes to use her experience in the Fellowship to set up and formalise a PRD (Product Research & Design) Center, where continuous innovation and creativity can flourish alongside designers, thinkers and artisans.

Another selected Fellow is Emi Englis, from Artisanal Heritage Studies and Creative Enterprise Center, a training facility in Davao working with students, faculty, local designers, artisans and MSMEs across creative industries. Englis would like the hub to become a venue for culture-based design ideation and business incubation, moving up from a school-based to a community-wired creative entrepreneurship hub.

Meanwhile in the creative digital sector, Ian Tamara from Toon City Academy, a training facility based in Mandaluyong, hopes to train animators and transform the hub into a creative content development facility with the intent to share stories to an international audience.

Black Eyed Peas member and programme partner, Apl de Ap, explains ‘I’m an advocate of the creative industries because I am a direct product and beneficiary of the sector. Our creativity and potential can be maximised through training and education supported by creative hubs and investments.’

Creative hubs are organisations that provide space and support for product and professional development, networking, business sustainability and community engagement within the creative and cultural sectors. A global research by the British Council found that hubs are catalysts for innovation, inclusive growth in the creative economy, and positive change in cities. Examples include design studios, co-working spaces, makerspaces, fablabs and art collectives.

But the research also pointed out that creative hubs are often under-supported and under-appreciated by institutions and stakeholders. In addition, creative hub managers lack the necessary skills and business knowhow to sustain their hub and communicate their value in society.

The creative economy is worth 3 per cent of the world’s GDP and employs 29.5 billion people (CISAC, 2015). It makes up $12.5 billion or 7.34 per cent of the Philippines’ GDP from copyright-based industries such as design, literature, music, theatre, film, media, photography, software, visual arts, and advertising services (IPOPHIL, 2014), and employs almost 6 million workers in the sectors of. In the UK, it is the fastest growing sector, valued at $122 billion.

The selected Fellows will be introduced to the public this 28 August, 4PM, at the National Museum of Natural History, through the event, COMMUNITIES OF THE FUTURE.

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