marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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Cities: Are they YouTube or Hollywood?

May 22nd, 2013 28 Comments

This essay was commissioned for the May edition of Desktop Magazine. Illustration by Andrew Fairclough. Over the last few years, I’ve been involved in launching more than a hundred creative projects from artisans, makers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, publishers and creative entrepreneurs in empty buildings in Newcastle, through the scheme Renew Newcastle. Renew has worked with, inspired […]

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Renewing the new? Early reflections from Docklands Spaces

April 27th, 2013 7 Comments

Renew Australia has been working on a pilot project Docklands Spaces in Melbourne with partners including Places Victoria, The City of Melbourne, and MAB corporation. Docklands, unlike Newcastle or Adelaide, or some of the other places the Renew model has been obviously useful to date is not an old area that has fallen on hard times but […]

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A quick Renew Newcastle reader

February 2nd, 2011 2 Comments

MakeSpace – a Renew Newcastle project I’m on the road for about a month in the USA and Canada and meeting a lot of people who are interested in Renew Newcastle but don’t know too much about me, Newcastle, the project or its history. I thought i should try my best to put a few […]

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In praise of initiative – or why Bob Carr made me move to Melbourne

December 10th, 2010 5 Comments

Why i moved to Melbourne I HAVE described myself on more than a few occasions as a cultural refugee from New South Wales. Many young artists and creative types – some very talented and some obviously less so – left the state during the Carr years. Some went overseas, some went north and played a […]

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Cities of Initiative, cities as festivals, hammers and nails

October 18th, 2010 8 Comments

I’ve been meaning to write a long essay about this for a while but stumbled at figuring out exactly who would publish it. So brain dump follows… One of the things that my friend, collaborator, enabler, and founding Renew Newcastle board member Craig Allchin has pointed out to me many times is that is that i used […]

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Creators make culture not bureaucracies

August 31st, 2009 12 Comments

WHERE does culture actually come from? It’s a question that we don’t usually ask but it’s one with some major implications. We should ask it more often. Conversations with audiences, artists, creators and administrators have convinced me that our basic assumptions about culture are wrong. We mistake the major arts centres, theatres, festivals, galleries and […]

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Initiativism

August 25th, 2009 4 Comments

I’ve been using the word “initiativist” recently to define my philosophical approach to culture. I used the term in my lecture in Newcastle the other night and attempted to sneak it into my column in The Age this week but it was removed by an overzealous sub-editor probably on account of it not being a […]

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