presentation: Cities and Artists: developing cultural
category: Cultural Planning
This paper starts from the observation that there is a rising interest from artists to support and engage in international cultural co-operation initiatives and, at the same time, there is a rising trend in city led initiatives to support and promote international cultural co-operation – something that was once the domain of state governments.
Combining desk research, a survey of cities and interviews with selected experts, the main motivations in a selected number of European cities of cultural importance, to work internationally in areas of culture, are established. Unsurprisingly social cohesion, cultural tourism and marketing the city are highest on the agenda.
After establishing the motivation of cities to engage in cultural co-operation with partners abroad, this research identified different possible tools or measures that could be adopted by city councils for engaging in international cultural co-operation – these included:
- support for international tours of local artists
- competing for international cultural title
- promoting the image of an international in city in branding/marketing initiatives
- inviting international artists and guest stars
- connecting diasporas communities with homeland
- investment in new technologies for international artistic work
- investment in new technologies for marketing and access to local artists
- providing advise and information systems for local artists and arts institutions
- developing public/private strategies in international cultural co-operation
- co-ordinating between different public service departments
- providing cultural admin./management training courses with focus on international cultural co-operation
- consulting artists in key decisions
- city support for museum and gallery acquisitions
- engaging artists in local schools
Using a randomly ordered questionnaire the current tools being used by seven cities to engage in cultural co-operation projects was analysed. The paper discusses how effectively the cities studied are engaging with local artists in the endeavour to promote international co-operation initiatives in the cultural field.
From the sample of cities investigated it seems that in-house operations are the favoured measures and unsurprisingly, transferring responsibility and subsidies to artists to carry out cultural co-operation projects is extremely marginal – even in cities well established as “cultural cities”.
So what stops our cities engaging artists at the forefront of international cultural co-operation?
- Are artists a risk? Will they make a diplomatic error…?
- Are artists still seen in the old traditional sense of being a rebel against the status quo?
- Are artists not visionary enough? Do they not see themselves in the role of greater city strategies? Do they want to be part of the wider city strategies?
- Is it just a lack of understanding (not speaking the same language) between policy-makers and artists?
Finally, are these problems something that training and education could address?
The research finally reflects on what more could be done to engage cultural operators in international cultural co-operation initiatives. One of the main conclusions being that the current provision for the training and education of cultural operators and civil servants working in the cultural field is lacking. Further research is desirable in order to establish gaps and opportunities for new training and information initiatives that could meet the challenges of international cultural co-operation.
Cultural policy researcher, analyst, consultant and editor. IFACCA's European liaison officer and co-ordinator of ConnectCP. Co-author of a recent literature study into the external cultural policies of the EU member states. A research at the University of Girona and an international lecturer on strategies to engage cultural operators in national or locally led exterior cultural co-operation policies.
Diane Dodd is a freelance researcher, analyst, editor and consultant in the field of International cultural policy. She is currently employed by IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies) as a European liaison officer and to co-ordinate ConnectCP.
An international lecturer on strategies to engage cultural operators in national or locally led exterior cultural co-operation policies, she is currently conducting research at the University of Girona. In addition to this in 2006 she co-authored 'a Cultural Component as an integral part of the EU's Foriegn Policy?' (2006) - a study into the foreign cultural policies of the EU member states, Commissioned by the European Cultural Foundation and the Boekmanstichting.
Other consultancy work includes a close relationship with on-the-move.org - a portal supporting artists mobility in Europe, both as an acting editor and expert's meeting organiser. She has also worked as a consultant and editor for the LabForCulture Portal for cultural co-operation. Prior to this Diane co-ordinated the RECAP network of cultural documentation centres and CPRO - Cultural Policy Research On-line. Previously, she also worked as a consultant for the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) being responsible for organising their 10th anniversary conference in Barcelona and for the London School of Economics carrying out a European research project on New Media: Working Practices in the Electronic Arts.
Throughout this and during almost 10 years, she managed the secretariat of CIRCLE (Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe) with whom she still collaborates occasionally.
From 1995 - 2000 she was employed by INTERARTS Foundation (formerly Interarts Observatory) in Barcelona and amongst many other research projects she directed an EU funded regional development action-research project on employment generation possibilities in cultural heritage projects called EMPORION.