The Learning Network is now live

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Learning Network For Creatives Launches

15 May 2024

Artists and creatives across Aotearoa can now access a range of free resources, learning modules and interviews, as well as a new digital community. Find out how to be involved.

The gates have been opened, the barriers broken down - and all artists are invited to become part of The Big Idea's latest career-boosting initiative.

The debut of the Learning Network (15 May) unleashes a platform to inspire, educate and uplift the creative community with a special online event.

Since it was announced at the end of April, hundreds have signed up to be part of the new network - a revolutionary virtual hub designed to empower artists and creatives of all levels.  

From 9am Wednesday 15 May, the Learning Network kicks off with a special launch event, as videos are released throughout the day.

It’s the first wave of content and resources designed and delivered by successful creatives to give you the tools you need to take your career to the next level - whether that’s the first step or finding a way to benefit an already established one.

Set to transform the landscape of creative education and collaboration, the Learning Network is primed to become the ultimate destination for business and career growth in the arts. 

It's based around four pillars:

  • Learning modules - advice from experts on core topics 
  • Interviews - learn from you peers as we dive into the minds of some outstanding Aotearoa creatives 
  • Digital community - a space where you can connect with other creatives, ask questions, learn and share
  • Resources - leading arts organisations generously sharing their toolkits, research and advice to strengthen our sector 

Launch day videos

It's an impressive day one line-up - featuring a list of extraordinary creatives minds and leaders, including the debut of the Learning Network's first two Learning Modules.

Dina Jezdic - Roadmap to Success 

Dina has directed The Big Idea's mentoring and learning programmes. She is a creative, a writer and a highly experienced and trusted mentor. In this module, she lays out the importance of a vision, roadmap and essential skills.

Dominic Hoey - Selling Yourself 

A poet, novelist, publisher and youth educator, Dominic covers topics like handling rejection and setbacks, ways to promote yourself, the value and tips on international residencies and the key points of writing your bio. 

As well as the Learning Modules, some groundbreaking Aotearoa creatives give an open, honest and informative insights into their own career journeys.


Interviewed by experienced broadcasters Sacha McNeil and Sanele Chadwick, the opening day quartet cover a range of genres - offering useful hacks, no matter your creative leaning.

Hayley King is the talented woman behind FLOX - her trademark of native birds, ferns, and flower-stencilled motifs has turned Haus of Flox into a worldwide brand that celebrates Aotearoa’s environmental taonga (treasures) in vibrant colours.

Husband & wife duo Lissy & Rudi Robinson-Cole use their creative energies to explore maatauranga Maaori & whakapapa through collaborative crocheted sculptural forms.

An internationally acclaimed creative mind, Sarah Foster-Sproull is a Senior Lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland and choreographer in Residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet. 

Henry Hargreaves is a self-taught Brooklyn-based artist and photographer who grew up in Christchurch. Henry has shot for Ralph Lauren, NY Magazine, GQ, National Geographic, Boucheron, and The New York Times, with his works showcased worldwide.

Launch day is just the start. Over the next few months, more videos will drop on a weekly basis - with all content available for free and available on demand at 

The way forward 

The Learning Network, supported by Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage's Cultural Regeneration Fund, is a big step in the evolution of The Big Idea.

"Our vision is clear," states Annie Ackerman, TBI Chief Executive. "We aim to create a vibrant, inclusive platform that not only serves as a pivotal resource for learning and development but also fosters a dynamic digital community where creatives can thrive in today’s challenging, fast-changing landscape. 

The Learning Network is where creativity meets opportunity on a scale never seen before in our community.

“With so many creatives working to expand their audience, increase their income and looking to global marketplaces, our aim is to establish a hub where all can share what they are doing in this space – and what works.”  

Expanding beyond provincial borders

Delivering mentoring and development programmes is nothing new for The Big Idea - but the Learning Network takes it to new heights.

The platform is built from the successful foundation of TBI’s Toipoto initiative, which has helped alter the creative outlooks for hundreds of Tāmaki Makaurau-based artists.

But now we're breaking free from geographical limitations, with the Learning Network available to creatives across Aotearoa - and beyond.

Our constant interactions with the creative community and surveys have shown the desire for more to access resources to benefit artistic careers. From seasoned professionals to emerging talents in regional locations previously out of reach, the Learning Network is set to broaden their impact significantly.

"We’ve listened to the needs and aspirations of our community, and we’re responding with a platform that transcends traditional boundaries," Ackerman explains.  

"Whether you're in the heart of a bustling city or a remote location, the Learning Network brings the future of creative learning to your fingertips."

So strap in for a day of creative learning and insights, spread the word to your creatively-minded peers, friends and whānau - and become part of the movement!

To discover more about the Learning Network and to join the revolution in creative learning, visit