Arts Infinity Lab

Building skills for artists and arts workers as part of ACT’s COVID-19 recovery and resilience

We co-created and delivered a program for local artists and arts workers to build skills in storytelling and prototyping, and boost their creative and economic opportunities.

Building skills for artists and arts workers as part of ACT’s COVID-19 recovery and resilience
  • An accessible and carefully designed open application process to select a diverse cohort of artists and arts-workers

  • A program co-created by participants, during which they built strong practice networks across artistic disciplines with other professionals

  • A contained and repeatable framework to deliver improved communications, marketing and storytelling skills for artists and arts workers

  • A process for participants to design, test and learn through delivery of bespoke pilot projects

The connections made between artists and arts workers provided for an invaluable post-COVID-19 environment supporting wellbeing, re-engaging in creative practice and enriching perspectives and ideas. Canberra’s creative industries and arts sector are unique and valued by our community. It’s wonderful to see such a diversity of artists and creative works supported through this program.

Minister for the Arts

Leading creative recovery

COVID-19 devastated the arts sector in Australia. The ACT Government’s Chief Minister’s Directorate engaged Paper Giant to design and develop a storytelling initiative as part of its broader Creative Recovery and Resilience Program for the arts.

We scoped, co-created and delivered the Arts Infinity Lab: a collaborative learning experience for ten ACT-based artists and arts workers. The program empowered participants to communicate their work and their artistic processes more effectively to existing and new audiences, especially through storytelling and social media.

To promote the program, Paper Giant designed an accessible open application process, ran information sessions, and engaged with culturally-diverse communities. After selecting participants, we launched an online community co-creation hub that allowed them to engage with Lab activities and each other. Program material was delivered to participants over a series of six 3-hour online workshops.

Expression of interest marketing collateral for participant recruitment

Expression of interest marketing collateral for participant recruitment

Supporting diversity in participation

The ten ACT-based artists and arts workers we selected in collaboration with ArtsACT to engage in the program included participants who were culturally and linguistically diverse, who live with disability, who were under 25, and who identify as LGBTQIA+. To help enable this diversity of participation, participants received financial support to take part in the Arts Infinity Lab.

Paper Giant guided these artists through a process of creating a vision, setting goals, defining audiences, and telling their story in ways they might not have considered before. We engaged communication industry professionals to deliver specialised content and training in digital tools and storytelling as arts practice.

Selection of artist biographies


Testing and experimenting

As part of the program, the participants created their own pilot projects. These pilots enabled each artist to experiment with digital marketing tools and methods of audience engagement. They designed, executed and reported on their individual pilot projects—putting their learning into practice. For some, this involved re-engaging with social media on their own terms and in new ways. For others it involved trying new channels for storytelling, or adapting how they presented their own story of artistic practice.

As one participant said, “(The Lab) gave me the tools and resources to learn how to market and present myself in a way that felt genuine to me.”

Artist reflection on the Creative Recovery and Resilience Program

A robust and repeatable framework

Due to ongoing COVID-related disruptions in the ACT, we delivered much of the program online. This provided accessibility benefits and greater opportunity for participants to join activities while they were outside the ACT or from practice venues, without compromising anyone’s physical safety.

Beyond the impact for individual participants, the Arts Infinity Lab provides a contained and repeatable framework to bring together new communities of artistic practice, and a structured process to work with them to improve their storytelling.

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Paper Giant

Paper Giant acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation, the Ngunnawal and Bundjalung people as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our offices are located.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country on which we meet and work throughout Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over the land has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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