Editorial: Naturally global: Tertiary creative arts in an international context.

Writing in The Huffington Post,  John M Eger, Director of the Creative Economy Initiative at San Diego State University said:

“art serves so superbly as a universal language — as a means toward understanding the history, culture, and values of other peoples. As human beings build virtual bridges into unknown cultural territory — and there learn, share dreams, and creatively work together—mankind will know itself as citizens of a rich and truly global society.” (1)

Creative art is global. It ignores national borders to share ideas, concerns and possibilities with societies, and other artists, irrespective of geographic location. 

We understand the fears of our colleagues in the US as they wait to hear the fate of their national arts (and education) funding programs; we sympathise with academics and artists in the UK and Europe as they grapple with the potential impact of Brexit and, closer to home, as we sigh at the national preoccupation with global league tables,  we marvel at how connections with international students and colleagues can enrich our perceptions of the world.

As researchers it is our responsibility to further international discovery, and as educators, to open the door to the global world even further for the next generation of creative artists.  In this edition of NiTRO we explore how tertiary arts is making our world less ‘foreign’ and more familiar.

Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, from the London College of Fashion, outlines how the Global Classroom is bringing students from London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam together in a global classroom to bring an international mindset to their studies;

University of Newcastle Vice Chancellor Caroline McMillen focuses on the recent transformation of the university’s ‘boutique’ program in Natural History illustration to MOOC making it available for a global audience; 

Dan Bendrups (La Trobe) draws upon a Samoan-New Zealand concept of edgewalking to consider the sometimes fraught balance of academia and art as he shares a recent Indonesian creative research collaboration; 

Margaret Baguley (USQ) and Georgina Barton (Griffith) report on a new publication on the World Alliance for Arts Education Brisbane Summit, which was made even more special by an accompanying commissioned artwork by Peter Muraay Djeripi Mulcahy;

Herman Van Eyken (Griffith) discusses the global association of film and television schools CILECT and updates on its recent Australian congress in which some of the world’s finest film makers and educators grappled with the challenges of ethics and aesthetics in film;

James Newitt, (UTAS) shows how the Tasmanian College of the Arts connects its international engagement activities in an integrated framework that benefits local staff, students and cultural institutions as well as international collaborators.

Andrew Tetzlaff (RMIT) explores the deeper connections that emerge, for artist, artworks and audiences, from artist-in-residence and exchange programs.

This edition also features DDCA’s new Deputy President Clive Barstow as he makes his debut welcome to NiTRO readers.


(1)  Eger, J (2011, 1 November) Art Is a Universal Language. The Huffington Post.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-m-eger/if-art-is-a-universal-lan_b_806787.html