Project Info

What was this project about?Dr Kate Power chatting around a white table with one male and two non-binary people. Indoor plant and theatrical light in background. White coffee mug and small plates with cookies on the table.

“Creating Out Loud” was an action research project that aimed to support arts organizations and independent artists recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working closely with industry partners, Dr Kate Power developed a peer coaching program – co-designed with the arts and culture sector – to help rethink and rebuild business, artistic, and cultural practices.


“Creating Out Loud” built on and extended Kate’s previous research, which sought to understand what ‘sustainability’ means to the arts and culture sector.

It did this in three important ways:

  1. This project was co-developed with arts and culture industry partners from the very outset – both the idea for this project and the research design emerged from conversations with arts and culture leaders.
  2. This project has Kate co-locating with industry partners for 18-months, so that the program she develops is informed by the lived experiences of artists and arts managers.
  3. This project has produced a practical and freely-available peer-coaching tool to support recovery and revitalization of the arts and culture sector, following COVID-19.

Executive Summary

Read the Executive Summary to learn more about the project's findings and recommendations.

How long did the project run?

 “Creating Out Loud” was an 18-month research project, which ran between early 2021 and mid-2022, over four phases:

1. Development

The focus of this phase was to define the need for and parameters of an arts and culture peer coaching program.

This phase involved a sector-wide Needs Assessment Survey to identify existing barriers to collaboration, and gauge demand for, prior experiences with, and key topics to be addressed through arts and culture peer coaching.

2. Piloting and feasibility

Based on their extensive use in business, Working Out Loud Circles are considered a promising intervention, which were trialed by industry partners. Together with the sector-wide survey, these trials informed the development of a new peer coaching guide for the arts and culture sector.

3. Evaluation

In this phase, new Creating Out Loud Peer-Coaching Discussion Guides were piloted and evaluated by Australian artists and arts organizations.

  • Creating Out Loud Peer-Coaching Circles were scheduled at times that are convenient for participants.
  • Participation in Peer-Coaching Circles was voluntary and uncompensated, but participants were remunerated for time spent evaluating the Guide, via a Pre- and Post-Circle Survey and Focus Group.

4. Release

The Creating Out Loud Peer-Coaching Program will be made freely available and downloadable from this website, from July 2022.

Dr Power has trained a small team of Facilitators, who can deliver Creating Out Loud for government and other organisations looking to provide a facilitated program. Please contact Kate if you would like to explore that option.

Who supported it?

“Creating Out Loud” was funded by the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship (AQRIF) program, which brings academics together with “industry partners,” to work collaboratively on finding research-based solutions to benefit Queensland.

In 2020, the AQRIF funding round was re-purposed to focus on projects addressing the social, economic and health impacts of COVID-19.

Like Dr Power’s previous research into sustainability and the performing arts, “Creating Out Loud” formed part of The University of Queensland Business School’s Business Sustainability Initiative.

What outcomes were you looking into?

“Creating Out Loud” sought to foster capacity, collaboration, resilience, and well-being among artists and arts organizations by developing a Peer Coaching Guide that addresses key issues faced by the arts and culture sector.

Unlike traditional “top-down” mentoring programs – which can be expensive and difficult to access – the Creating out Loud Peer Coaching Guide will be made freely available on this website.

Why was this project needed?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland’s arts sector employed 80,000+ people, around 75% of whom lost employment due to restrictions on public gatherings. Independent artists and small-to-medium companies were hit particularly hard, necessitating an industry-wide approach to rebuilding capacity, including reconceptualizing business and artistic practices. Sustainable recovery and growth will depend heavily upon collaborative initiatives.

“Creating out Loud” responded to this need by developing a peer-coaching program to help build relationships, increase collaboration, and foster agility and innovation across the sector.