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Art & social change



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What is the point of art? Can it exist for its own sake – as a form of creative expression, entertainment and enjoyment? Or do artists have a responsibility to do more with it?

Some artists use their work to agitate for change, whether it’s challenging commercialism, protesting governments, raising awareness of issues like climate change, or bringing communities together.

Others believe that art doesn’t need to justify its existence – it just needs to be good art.

Our panel of artists will look at how art can best be used for social change. Hosted by Jade Lillie.

Presented in association with Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Art & us

The nature and meaning of art has been hotly debated for centuries, but in this new series for 2014, the Wheeler Centre explores the impact of art in a variety of contexts. We look at how artistic practice fits in to the many diverse aspects of everyday life, as well as how its context has a direct effect on the realms of inspiration and creation.


Jade Lillie

Jade Lillie is an experienced community cultural development practitioner, arts executive, educator and facilitator. For over a decade, Jade has been developing her practice and philosophy around the belief that arts and cultural development, underpinned by sound engagement and social justice framew... Read more

Megan Evans

Megan Evans is a visual artist working as a professional artist for 30 years, doing everything from large-scale murals in the early 80s to my own exhibitions. More recently, she divides her time between working three days a week as a curator in a suburban gallery showing contemporary art, and being ... Read more

Patrice Naiambana

Patrice Naiambana is an interdisciplinary performer-creator and works interculturally: from playing lead roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC, and Channel 4, to bringing Shakespeare to the elderly and long-term unemployed in Birmingham, to running creative development programs for artists a... Read more

Tariro Mavondo

Tariro, whose name means hope, is a Zimbabwean born multi-disciplinary artist raised in Narrm/Melbourne. Tariro’s body and breadth of work spans across multiple storytelling disciplines- acting, performance poetry, spoken word, writing, movement, directing, consultation and facilitation. Tariro is... Read more


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176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.