Hubs for Good collaboration supports the development of creative hubs across Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR — The British Council in Malaysia, Yayasan Sime Darby and the Cultural Centre, Universiti Malaya today launched the Hubs for Good programme and online platform to enhance the positive role that creative hubs play as key drivers and catalysts in transforming communities and cities in Malaysia. The programme, running over a period of three years, strives to support Malaysian creative hubs by creating awareness, building capacity, and connecting the creative sector.
Creative hubs are places, either physical or virtual, which bring creative people together. They are convenors, providing space and support for networking, business development and community engagement within the creative, cultural, and tech sectors.
‘The British Council has been working with over 800 creative hubs globally since 2014. We see hubs as playing an integral role in the growth of the creative economy, gathering and representing creative communities. Hubs have featured greatly in our programming – as partners, collaborators, producers, and researchers. We see hub managers as gateways and connectors, between public and private, grassroots and policy. We also see them as important leaders in the creative economy,’ said Sarah Deverall, Director Malaysia, British Council.
The Hubs for Good programme connects Malaysian creative hubs and hub leaders with each other and to various local stakeholders, who remain largely unaware of the positive impact creative hubs have on communities. It creates and provides dynamic, informative, and research-based resources that can advance the professional development of creative hub leaders and managers, which will allow them to better support hundreds of creative practitioners in Malaysia. The programme will create advocacy pathways for the development of creative hubs that support a more enabling environment for creative hubs to flourish and grow.
Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) plays a key role as co-funder of the three-year programme, enabling the project to double its scope and number of activities. YSD’s support aided one full scholarship and two partial scholarships of three research assistants working on research and the development of a Hubs for Good toolkit and digital platform.
‘YSD believes in the creation of more skilled Malaysians involved in the arts by increasing opportunities for arts education and empowerment towards sustainability. We hope that our support is enabling the participating hubs to thrive while building the capacity of other arts practitioners within their communities. We also aim to see them secure connections with regional hubs as well as local stakeholders, function more efficiently for positive impact, and become key drivers and catalysts for good.
‘We are also very excited about all the new initiatives, innovations and collaborations that will come out of these hub engagements. YSD hopes that this initiative will ultimately support the improvement of national policies in creative industries towards sustainability,’ said Dr Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive Officer, YSD.
As a research institution, Universiti Malaya sees this new knowledge provided through the scholarly endeavour can be a catalyst to change paradigms, to aid society in its development and in meeting new challenges as they come along especially in the area of Creative Economy.
‘We are glad that this collaboration has created a triangulation of skills and expertise by combining the strength in each of us, a local and an international establishment spearheading the arts and culture with an academic institution. We believe that this combination shall benefit the society at large by building human capacity and engaging the society closer through a digital platform,’ said Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hj. Hashim, Universiti Malaya Vice-Chancellor.
The Hubs for Good programme involves interrelated projects including country-wide mapping and research, a toolkit for the use of creative hub leaders and creative practitioners, a digital platform, and capacity building activities to address skill and knowledge needs of local creative hub leaders.
In March 2019, we gathered 16 creative hub leaders from all over the country for the first capacity training workshop facilitated by Gillian Easson of Creative Dundee. The leaders were guided through exercises to plan and articulate their hubs’ challenges, goals, and vision. The leaders also then participated in the Hubs for Good South East Asia Creative Hubs Forum, which involved creative hub leaders and speakers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK.
The programme recently launched five grants for creative hubs to undergo digital capacity building clinics and sharing sessions to other hubs. The clinics, consisting of social media, branding, communications, public relations, audience engagement and legal knowledge are currently ongoing.
The Hubs for Good digital platform is live at https://www.creativehubs.my/.
Hubs for Good covers five countries in South East Asia and supports creative hubs as key drivers and catalysts for good in cities. The programme focuses on enhancing the positive role of creative hubs in an urban context for socioeconomic and cultural change.