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Networking in Progress

Culturelink review, no.34/August 2001 - contents - imprint - archive

An African Observatory of Cultural Policies is in the Making

Some two dozen African cultural specialists met in Pretoria from 29 to 30 January 2001 to examine aspects related to the organization and structure of an Observatory in the light of the recommendations made at the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development held in Stockholm in 1998. After this preparatory encounter, a meeting was held in Cape Town on 7 and 8 May 2001 to put in place the necessary mechanisms for launching the project.

Starting next year, African cultural development and policies will be closely watched. The project for the creation of an African Observatory of Cultural Policies was the topic of the meeting hosted by UNESCO, with the collaboration of the OUA and the Ford Foundation, which brought together experts working in cultural cooperation structures at sub-regional and regional levels.

This meeting was part of the follow-up process to the Hanover Workshop (19-20 September 2000): 'Towards an international network of observatories of cultural policies', where it was suggested that the African Observatory be launched. (See 'Towards an International Network of Observatories on Cultural Policies', Final Report, Culturelink no. 32/November 2000, pp.35-43.)

The participants agreed that cultural policies should be considered in the context of other related policies and development strategies at local, regional and international levels. It was recommended that the observatory should act not only as a mechanism for recording but also as a cultural resource centre. Thus, it is expected to generate support for, and facilitate development in, the cultural sphere - all the while recognizing the diversity of the situations.

The observatory is to have an information management policy for its data bank. Efficient information organization and exchange should prevent overlaps and contradictions, which often arise in designing new organizations or initiatives in the field. It was also stressed that cultural policy analysis should focus on the effectiveness of policies at meeting the needs of society.

The Observatory's main objectives were outlined as follows:

  • To collect, maintain, analyse, disseminate and up-date information on cultural development and cultural life in Africa within a global context,
  • To serve as a knowledge-based policy analysis mechanism,
  • To assess policy development trends in order to establish early warning signs.

The expected results were also charted; they are:

  • Production and dissemination of new knowledge on key policy issues,
  • Better incorporation of culture into development programmes,
  • Greater sensitisation of decision makers, reflected in the incorporation of cultural policies into the development process,
  • The encouragement of states, as well as regional or sub-regional cooperation, in the updating of cultural policies,
  • Enhancement of cultural policy research,
  • Best practices should be documented and shared,
  • Cultural entrepreneurship should be stimulated,
  • Visibility of the arts and culture concerns will be enhanced,
  • Public opinion will be engaged.

The Cultural Observatory should have a credible, independent voice on the continent, and help articulate the needs of the cultural sector in the development process. It was noted, however, that the Observatory should equally address needs, uses and users.

The structure of the Observatory is envisioned to be that of an independent African professional organisation with an international non-governmental and non-partisan status. In principle, the Observatory would strive to be self-reliant and sustainable, developing strategic partnerships with relevant bodies in order to develop human, financial, technical and material resources.

UNESCO will have an active role in facilitating the establishment of the Cultural Observatory as an NGO with clearly defined roles. The African Observatory should be fully operational by 2002.

For more information, please contact: e-mail: D.Viejo@unesco.org

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United for Intercultural Action

The UNITED European Network against nationalism, racism and fascism and for the support of migrants and refugees saw the light of day in 1992 in the context of the fight against racism, nationalism, fascism, discrimination and asylum policy. The UNITED network brings together more than 500 organisations from 49 European countries working together - united in the greater antiracism network. They are actively engaged in the struggle against racism, fascism and nationalism, and they support immigrants and refugees, besides jointly developing action plans that they then put into practice.

The sister organisations are able, through the network, to meet and co-operate on certain projects, establishing a working relationship within the framework of the UNITED network. UNITED launches European campaigns involving 'action weeks', organises conferences aiming to enable the network's organisations to make concrete plans and discuss common strategies.

Every two months, UNITED publishes its Internationalism Calendar, which contains details about the campaigns, including dates and contact information. In addition, the network publishes the annual European Address Book Against Racism, containing the addresses of more than 1500 organisations active in this field. It also regularly distributes advertising materials produced by UNITED and associated organisations, such as posters or brochures designed to support the campaigns or fund-raising activities.

For more information, please contact: UNITED for Intercultural Action, Postbus 413, 1000 AK Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel.: (31) 20 683 47 78; fax: (31) 20 683 45 82; e-mail: united@united.non-profit.nl; http://www.united.non-profit.nl

(Source: The Interdependent no. 97/2001)

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European Consortium for Communications Research (ECCR)

The European Consortium for Communications Research (ECCR) was established as a network of representatives of institutions doing research on various aspects of communication and mass media in Europe, who wish to promote cooperation among European researchers and research groups. The Consortium is a non-profit association with the following aims:

  • To provide a forum where researchers and others involved in communication and information research can meet and exchange information and documentation about their work. Its disciplinary focus will be on media, (tele)communications and information research.
  • To encourage the development of research and systematic study, especially on subjects and areas where such work is not well developed.
  • To stimulate academic and intellectual interest in media and communications research, and to promote communication and cooperation among the Consortium members.
  • To co-ordinate information on communications research in Europe, with a view to establishing a database of ongoing research.
  • To encourage, support, and where possible publish, the work of junior scholars in Europe.
  • To take into account the different languages and cultures in Europe.
  • To develop links with relevant national and international communication organizations and with professional communication researchers working for commercial and regulatory institutions, both public and private.
  • To promote the interests of communication research within and between the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union; and
  • To collect and disseminate information concerning the professional position of communication researchers in the European region.

If you would like to apply for membership or are interested in more information, please contact: ECCR, P.O.Box 106, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium; tel.: +32-02-412-4278/47; fax: +32-02-412-4200; e-mail: freenet002@pi.be; http://home.pi.be/eccr/

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Comparative Studies in Arts and Art Education in a Global Perspective (CompArt)

Stichting CompArt (CompArt Foundation) originated in 1997, with the main aim to promote and implement (comparative) research into (performing) arts in Western and non-Western cultures. The objectives of CompArt are as follows:

  • In general, to promote, monitor, implement and/or make accessible (the results of comparative) research into (performing) arts in Western and non-Western cultures and to stimulate, publicise and/or make available media productions in relation to this subject.
  • More specifically, to disseminate information by way of (electronic) publications and media productions, to organize lectures and provide training and coaching in the field of the anthropology of (performing) arts.

CompArts' main activities are related to providing access to information on institutions and networks, as well as to publications by making these available (free of charge) to a wider audience. This is done in the conventional way by forwarding available print copies by postal mail or by making the text available via electronic mail and the internet. These publications may consist of research reports, scholarly texts (books, articles in professional journals, or conference papers), inventories of institutions and networks (addresses, aims and objectives, etc.), bibliographies and literature references.

CompArts' activities and running programmes have varied strongly over the last four years:

  • Book dissemination project (1998-2000): to provide Drama Departments, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, with learning materials.
  • Research undertaken by CompArt can take different shapes. It may consist of desk studies, field studies, literature studies, surveys.
  • Public activities
    Lectures and workshops at the higher educational level as well as participation in public platforms on issues like soaps, theatre anthropology, theatre for development;
  • Honorary assignments and consultancy in the field of 'culture and development' issues: membership of the Advisory Board of the Theatre Faculty of the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and of the National Fund for the Performing Arts (commission for multicultural projects).

Future activities: continuing research into 'culture and development' issues and the anthropology of (performing) arts (education); publication of books and articles, dissemination of research results; (promotion of) translations of texts in the aforementioned research domain; collection of relevant documentation and (audio-)visual materials; collection of information on libraries, persons, institutions, agencies and networks who have the intention to distinguish themselves in this field; staging of exhibitions; production of CDs on 'culture and development' issues and on the anthropology of (performing) arts.

CompArt is not a sponsoring agency and for that reason it does not administer any public or private funds to finance project initiatives. Within the Netherlands there are two specific funds dealing with 'culture and development' sponsorship. Both were initiated during the 1990s in line with the general Dutch policy in development cooperation. The organisations in question are the HIVOS Culture Fund (See pp. 18-21 in this issue.) and the Prince Claus Fund.

CompArt has strong working relations in the UK with Creative Exchange and the Centre for Development Communication (CDC), the School of Community and Performing Arts (King Alfred's University College Winchester). In the Netherlands it has strong ties with the Faculty of Theatre of the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and the PassePartout Foundation. In the rest of the world, through the HKU, it cooperates with the Cultural Identity, Art and Technology (ICAT) Programme in Costa Rica.

One of the most recent publications available from CompArt is the following report:
Paola Beck and Kees Epskamp (2000) Final report: Training needs analysis in the field of cultural management in South Africa, collaborative study produced by the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (P&DM) of the University of Witwatersrand and the Nuffic. Johannesburg / The Hague, P&DM / Nuffic.

To obtain the list of recent articles published through CompArt, please contact: CompArt, c/o Kaiserstraat 30a, 2311 GS Leiden, The Netherlands, tel.: 0-31-71-5140866; e-mail: kepskamp@zonnet.nl; http://www.signature.nl/compart/; http://www.compart-foundation.org

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The International Union of Ethnological and Anthropological Sciences

Commission on Policy and Practice

The Commission on Policy and Practice is one of the commissions within the International Union of Ethnological and Anthropological Sciences with the goal to encourage international communication and collaboration among professionals who influence policy making or apply any branch of anthropology to concrete situations. The Commission brings together groups of individuals from around the world who work in applied anthropology and policy making and who share common interests and concerns.

The work of this Commission is focussed on the advancement of understanding of applied and practising anthropology across all nations and regions or the world. They try to provide a worldwide forum through which applied and practicing anthropologists may consider and address issues of mutual interest, enhance communication and expand opportunities for cooperation and research among themselves.

Members of this Commission accept proposals from those interested in organizing sessions or workshops for the other regional and international meetings. They also participate in collaborative projects, such as joint publications, with other academic or professional organizations.

For more information, please contact: Anthropology in Policy and Practice, c/o CIESAS, Ju rez 87, Tlalpan, D.FF. 14000 Mexico, fax: (52) 5655 9718; e-mail: antropo.icaes@uia.mx

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The Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS)

The Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation - Hivos was founded in 1968 by the Dutch Humanistic movement. As a development organisation, Hivos stands for emancipation, democratisation and poverty alleviation in developing countries. For this purpose, financial and political support is given to over 800 local private organisations in more than 30 countries in Africa, Southeastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Hivos supports organizations that enable people to assert their rights and improve access to decision-making structures in society. Financial support is backed up, as much as possible, with organizational advice. Hivos confines its support to organizations that are secular, independent and non-governmental.

Local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs) play a key role in the process of social and economic development, as they can give disadvantaged and marginalised groups a voice so that their interests are represented in the local or national agenda. Hivos also supports networking and lobby organisations, operating at the national, regional or global level, to influence policy making and to effectively link up and exchange initiatives that strengthen the work in a particular sector.

Thematically, Hivos operates in the areas of economy and credit, culture and development, human rights, gender, women and development, and environment and sustainable development. Since 1999 Hivos gives special priority to providing its partners with access to ICT and the Internet. Expenditure in these sectors accounted for 85% of the total budget in 1999. For its economic and cultural programmes, Hivos has created special funds: the North-South Plan and the Hivos Culture Fund. For the realisation of its sectoral programmes, Hivos co-operates closely with Dutch social organisations, such as the Triodos Bank, the Fair Trade Organisation, the International Film Festival at Rotterdam, and the Dutch Aids Fund.

In 1999 Hivos spent 105.8 million guilders (approximately US$ 40 million) via its partner organizations in the South. The funds come from the Dutch government, the European Union, private institutions and private donors, and savers. About 60% of the Hivos budget is delegated to three regional offices in Zimbabwe, India and Costa Rica.

Culture and development: The Hivos Culture Fund

People share visions, dreams, fears and ideals about society through dance, music and theatre productions. Cultural activities and art convey ideas about traditions, change, innovation and development. Some manifestations meet expectations; others go against the tide. All are inspiring and invigorating and stimulate people to pursue and express their ideas. For Hivos, culture and the arts play an important part in the development of a democratic and pluralist society. They are above all channels of communication in the process of development and emancipation. They help to establish a climate in which opinions can be freely expressed. The imagination of artists can also promote development, for without imagination there is no vision of the future, no prospect of social change.

Encouraging art and cultural activities promotes social development and change. With this in mind, Hivos established the Hivos Culture Fund (HCF) in 1995. This Fund provides grants to partners in Africa, Southeastern Europe, Asia, the CIS and Latin America for independent and innovative initiatives in film, literature, theatre, dance, music and visual arts. The support is oriented towards production, distribution and education. Artistic quality, commitment, accessibility, innovation and integration into society are the five key concepts and criteria of the HCF. For the assessment of artistic quality, Hivos consults local and Dutch experts. Quality is a precondition, but equally important is the elucidation and criticism of social processes in an original manner. This applies also to initiatives that bring the arts closer to society and reach a broad public.

Support is furthermore given to innovative initiatives that without support would not get the chance they deserve. Finally, Hivos pays attention to aspects of organisational and management capacity of its partners.

For its culture programme, Hivos collaborates with Dutch organisations that have an international focus and can offer services or expertise that will benefit Southern artists. With some of these organisations Hivos has started a funding relationship, namely, with the Hubert Bals Fund (International Film Festival at Rotterdam), Poetry International, Rotterdam, and World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam.

Hivos in the Netherlands and in Europe

Hivos seeks to maintain public and political support for development co-operation in the Netherlands and in Europe. In the Netherlands, Hivos co-operates with other civic and community organisations wherever possible, both to broaden its base and to extend its expertise and radius of action in the South.

At the European level, Hivos co-ordinates its activities with organisations like Eurostep (for European development aid policy), Eurodad (for issues around debt and development), and IHEU, the international humanist network that fights religious and cultural intolerance.

Organization and incoming funds

Hivos has a highly decentralized structure for a part of its programmes. The Head Office in the Netherlands retains final responsibility, but the implementation of policies in various countries has been delegated to three Regional Offices. The office in Harare (Zimbabwe) serves Southern Africa, the office in San José (Costa Rica) implements Hivos's programmes in Central America, and the office in Bangalore is working for India. About 40% of the programme is handled by the Head Office in The Hague.

The Regional Offices are close to the 'field' and have at their disposal the expertise of the Hivos staff drawn from the region.

Reference

Buitron, I. (1997), La politica de la cultural de HIVOS. In: Cambio de epoca y produccion cultural desde Costa Rica, (ed. Jesus Oyamburu and Miguel Gonzalez), San José, Embajada de Espana / Centro Cultural Espanol.

Addresses

Hivos Head Office, Raamweg 16, 2596 HL Den Haag, The Netherlands; Tel.: +31 70 376.5500; Fax: +31 70 362.4600; E-mail: hivos@hivos.nl; http://www.hivos.nl

Regional Office Southern Africa, P.O.Box 2227, 20 Phillips Avenue, Belgravia, Harare/Zimbabwe; tel.: +263-4-706704/727197; fax: +263-4-791981; e-mail: hivos@harare.iafrica.com

Regional Office South Asia, Flat N'402, Eden Park, N'20, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore - 560001/India; tel.: + 91-80-2270367/2210514; fax: + 91-80-2270367; e-mail: hivos@hivos-india.org

Oficina regional America Central, Del centro commercial Plaza Mayor, 320 este, sobre el Boulevard Rohrmoser, Pavas, San José/Costa Rica; tel.: + 506-2310848; fax: + 506-2322974; e-mail: hivosro@hivos.or.cr

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The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT), India

It is an inherent truth that education has to be based on culture to make it more effective. The most important aspect of education is to satisfy the students' cognitive, emotional and spiritual needs, which can only be achieved when the study curriculum includes 'culture' as its base. Culture and education are not alien to each other. Both aim at improving the quality of life through the medium of academic study. So it is a vital responsibility of all nations to preserve, appreciate and develop their artistic and cultural heritage.

Keeping this as an objective for the past twenty years, the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) has been working in the field of linking education with culture. The CCRT uses various means to create an understanding and awareness among students of the plurality of the regional cultures of India and to integrate this knowledge with education. One of its main function is to conduct a variety of training programmes for in-service teachers drawn from all parts of the country. The training provides an understanding and appreciation of the philosophy, aesthetics and beauty of Indian art and culture and focuses on formulating methodologies for incorporating a cultural component in their curriculum teaching.

As an extension of its training programme, the CCRT also organizes workshops on different art activities, such as drama, music, narrative art forms, etc. This provides practical training and knowledge of diverse forms of Indian arts/ crafts to the teachers.

The Centre also organizes Extension and Community Feedback Programmes for students, which includes educational tours to monuments, museums, art galleries, craft centres, zoological parks and botanical gardens, camps on conservation of natural and cultural heritage, camps on learning crafts using low-cost, locally available resources. It also conducts lectures/demonstrations by crafts persons, artists and subject experts on various art forms in different schools. Such educational activities emphasize the need for the intellectual and aesthetic development of the students.

Since its inception, the CCRT has been collecting documentary resources in the form of colour slides, photographs, audio/video recordings and films on various aspects of Indian culture. The CCRT's documentation team conducts programmes in different parts of the country to revive and encourage the art and craft forms of India which can be used for the preparation of educational programmes for disseminating information about India's culture to the student-teacher community of India.

The Centre also prepares publications which facilitate an understanding and appreciation of different aspects of Indian art and culture. These publications also highlight the influence of nature on artistic expressions so as to create an understanding of the impact of ecology on cultural events.

One of the most important functions of the CCRT is to implement the cultural talent search scholarship scheme. The scheme provides scholarships to outstanding children in the age group of 10 to 14 years, studying either in recognized schools or belonging to families practising traditional performing or other arts to develop their talent in various cultural fields particularly in rare art forms.

For more information, please contact: Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India), Bahawalpur House, Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi - 110 001, India; tel.: 91 11 3383705, 3382249; fax: 91 11 3382757; e-mail: skdgccrt@del3.vsnl.net.in, ccrt@ccrtindia.com

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The Hungarian Institute for Culture

The Hungarian Institute for Culture has been carrying out its activities for more than half a century now. It is a background institution of national scope within the Ministry of National Cultural Heritage. Since its establishment, its basic function has been to provide consulting and services in the area of non-formal education throughout Hungary, supporting non-formal educational activities on the local and county levels, as well as in Budapest.

The Institute's areas of activities include:

  • the field of adult education (e.g., community development, socio-cultural helping work);
  • the field of the amateur arts (e.g., theatrical art, puppet play, choirs, music, dance, photography, film, fine arts);
  • the field of folk arts (e.g., weaving, embroidery, pottery, wood carving and 10 further smaller fields).
  • In all of the above mentioned fields, the Institute's activities include:
  • conducting research;
  • organising courses of (further) education;
  • performing examinations;
  • operating an information network (MMHIR);
  • organising festivals and conferences;
  • publishing books and periodicals;
  • operating a research library;
  • maintaining a (non-public) folk art museum and a collection of works of fine art by naive artists;
  • developing relations with the minorities and international relations.

The Institute analyses the activities of cultural centres and non-formal education centres, evaluates statistical data, sets and conducts empirical research on the transformation of the constitutional framework of cultural institutions (e.g., setting up models for the two main kinds of institutions - those financed by local government and those functioning as NGOs.).

For more information, please contact: Hungarian Institute for Culture, 1011 Budapest, Corvin tér 8. Hungary; Letters: 1251 Budapest, Pf. 33 Hungary, tel.: (36 1) 201 5053 or (36 1) 201 5782; fax: (36 1) 201 5764; e-mail: mmi@mmi.hu; http://www.mmi.hu/org/mmint

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International Intelligence on Culture

In the last two issues of the Culturelink Review (See Culturelink nos. 32/November 2000, p. 20, and 33/April 2001, p. 19.), we introduced briefly a dynamic new company - International Intelligence on Culture (IIC).

International Intelligence on Culture was established at the beginning of this year to bring together a multi-national group of experts to meet the developing needs of the cultural sector for policy intelligence, consultancy, research project management, information and training with an international dimension. Working with its Advisory Board of policy analysts, researchers and managers, the new company has collective experience of working in, or for, some 40 countries worldwide, and therefore provide an exceptional body of expertise in the cultural sector.

The staff of the IIC is based in London and Brussels, with the aim to follow policy developments, prospective legislation and funding programmes at the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and in countries across the world. Much of the information they gather is disseminated through a new subscriber service, International Cultural Compass, which offers instant e-mail alert, an e-mail/hard copy monthly journal, supported by a dedicated website.

International Intelligence on Culture provides consultancy services, advice and information, conducts research projects on various topics, and assists individuals and organisations in project management, setting up tailor-made workshops or support for university training. The IIC also administers the UK Committee of the European Cultural Foundation.

For more information, please contact: International Intelligence on Culture, 4 Baden place, Crosby Row, London SE1 1YW, United Kingdom; tel.: +44 (0)20 7403 7001/6454; fax: +44 (0)20 7403 2009; e-mail: development@intelCULTURE.org; http://www.intelCULTURE.org

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ONDA - Office National de Diffusion Artistique

ONDA, the National Office for Artistic Diffusion, was created in 1975 at the initiative of the French Ministry of Arts. Its mission is to encourage and support touring performances by artists, companies or institutions whose work lies within the scope of contemporary creation and new forms. ONDA works with performing arts whatever the field: theatre, dance, music, street performance, circus arts, whether French of foreign. ONDA has developed on the international level and has become a resource centre and a sought-after partner for those who wish to give an international input to their projects.

Just recently, ONDA published a document that presents the variety of its international activities and gives an overview of different projects, as well as other useful information about the organization's work.

For more information, please contact: ONDA, The National Office for Artistic Diffusion; 13 bis, rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France, tel.: +33 1 42 80 28 22; fax: +33 1 4874 16 03; e-mail: info@onda-international.com; http://www.onda-international.com

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Arts & Business

Arts & Business has a vision to help build communities by developing creative partnerships between business and the arts. Arts & Business was initially established by business people in 1976 and is principally funded by the subscriptions of its 350 corporate members, which include many of the UK's leading businesses as well as smaller companies. Business members receive a wide range of benefits enabling them to manage their arts involvement programmes more effectively. The benefits include advice and information, reference materials on sponsorship, taxation and best practices, plus priority access to detailed information from annual research programme. In addition, business members are invited to a comprehensive programme of events, seminars and conferences, and local and national awards. Originally focussing on arts sponsorship, A&B now promote a wider range of partnerships.

Arts & Business Programmes

  • Arts & Business explores how business can benefit from bringing the skills, values and experience of the arts into the workplace and to their workforce - information which can be found at the A&B web page under the title of Arts@Work. This includes research into the role of business and the arts in regeneration and social inclusion, the importance of the arts in business education, and convincing a new generation of business leaders of the value of the arts in promoting and developing creativity. In the future, another focus will be on the arts and science, including technology development and health issues.
  • Launched in April 2000, Arts & Business New Partners is an investment programme to help business to try something new with the arts. New Partners promotes the development of new, sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts. Business and arts partnerships which work together in two or more innovative ways may be eligible for cash from New Partners. Partnerships can involve, for example, an art collection or artist in residence, performances and exhibitions on site, staff volunteering projects, or arts-based training alongside traditional sponsorship.
  • Arts & Business brings practical and relevant business skills and expertise to the arts with the objective of improving the management capabilities of arts organisations and museums. Through the Arthur Andersen Skills Bank, business people can volunteer their skills to work with arts organisations on specific, objective-driven projects.
  • Through the NatWest Board Bank, Arts & Business has helped hundreds of arts organisations and museums to recruit talented new members to their boards. Arts & Business holds a register of volunteers who are fully trained in the disciplines of board membership. Arts organisations are also trained in the skills required to make the most of their board. Arts & Business makes considerable efforts to match business volunteers with suitable arts organisations and ensures that placements have every chance of success.
  • The Development Forum exists to promote communication, provide a platform for debate and raise the status of the arts development profession. It provides an opportunity for arts organisations and museums to be in regular contact with Arts & Business, keep up-to-date with fund-raising news and network with other arts organisations.

In addition, Arts & Business has published numerous publications that are essential reading for sponsorship and marketing managers, arts professionals and development workers, fund-raisers and students.

For more information, please contact: Arts & Business, Nutmeg House, 60 Gainsford Street, Butler's Wharf, London SE1 2NY, United Kingdom, tel.: 020 7378 8143; fax: 020 7407 7527; e-mail: head.office@AandB.org.uk or visit their web site at http://www.AandB.org.uk

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Decun Culture Institute

The main issue that the Decun Culture Institute concerns itself with is to forecast the cultural situation in the world and its development.

Decun has formulated a systematic cultural theory and developed the world cultural situation model, a cultural survey questionnaire, and methods of analysis. Decun is further studying the effective force or factors that affect the world cultural situation.

For more information, please contact: Decun Culture Institute, No. 1234, Yan an Road (W), Shanghai, China, 200052, tel.: +86-21-62803800, +86-21-62806433; fax: +86-21-62808502; e-mail: shdecun@mail2.online.sh.cn

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Establishment of the SADC Culture Trust Fund

1. Preamble

People-centred development is culture-centred development

The Sector for Culture, Information and Sport was established in 1992 to provide the SADC with a socio-cultural dimension that would help 'ensure peoples' involvement in the process of regional integration and development'. As enshrined in the SADC Treaty, 'strengthening and consolidating the long standing historical, social and cultural affinities and links among the people of the region' was sine qua non of meaningful regional integration. This is complemented by the SADC Sector for Culture, Information and Sport policy, which puts emphasis on the fact that the old social and cultural barriers characterised by fear, suspicion and hatred between neighbours must be replaced by a social and cultural order which envisages the people of the SADC as one.

Moreover, UNESCO - concerned with the value of culture - observed that culture should no longer be seen as a 'secondary subset of human reality but as a central ingredient of the quality of life, an overarching dimension that is essential, not just to the preservation of human dignity, but also to governance, citizenship, social cohesion and creativity'. Indeed, culture is now being recognised by the multilateral institutions like the World Bank as an alternative tool for 'building development solutions on local forms of social interchange, values, traditions and knowledge' that reinforce the social fabric rather than economic solutions that for decades ignored this cultural dimension of development. In recognition of the above, and as a process of implementing the Stockholm Plan of Action on cultural policies for development, the SADC Inter-Ministerial Conference on the Place and Role of Culture in SADC Regional Integration Agenda, held in Maputo, Mozambique (27th to 30th November 2000), adopted a recommendation on the establishment of the SADC Culture Trust Fund.

A workshop on the establishment of the SADC Culture Trust Fund was held in Cape Town, South Africa, 9-10 May 2001.

2. Rationale for the SADC Culture Trust Fund

From its inception in 1992, the SADC Sector for Culture, Information and Sport recognised the tremendous potential for culture to contribute to regional integration and interaction, peace and understanding, and to the economic development of the region. Employment creation and income generating capacity of the cultural sector, and the potential of regional trade in cultural products not yet fully tapped were also recognised. Further, the cultural sector has over the years greatly appreciated the need for exploiting the enormous intellectual resource of the region as a basis for innovation and competitiveness in the global market place.

Constraints that have been encountered in the regional efforts to involve artists and cultural entrepreneurs at grassroots level have, in the main, been due to the non-existence of a facility to catalyse the production of cultural products at that level. Such a facility would also facilitate the regional promotion of products as a doorway to the opening up of viable regional and international markets. It is in this regard, therefore, that the SADC Culture Trust Fund is being established.

3. Vision

The SADC Culture Trust Fund envisions a dynamic culture enabling integration, peace and development in the SADC.

4. Mission

The mission of the SADC Culture Trust Fund is to promote empowerment, exchange and cultural revival of communities through capacity building and viable utilisation of cultural resources and diversity.

5. Objectives

There are overall and specific objectives.

5.1. Overall Objectives

The overall objectives of the SADC Culture Trust Fund are as follows:

  • Funding of regional cultural projects by providing grants,
  • Capacity building of regional cultural institutions and groups,
  • Granting of cultural awards,
  • Promotion and funding of cultural exchanges,
  • Mobilisation of financial resources for the SADC Culture Trust Fund.

5.2. Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the SADC Culture Trust Fund are the following:

  • Promotion and funding of SADC cultural exchanges through regional projects of cultural performance tours and exhibitions; scholarships and study grants within the SADC and allied institutions,
  • Promotion of centres of excellence in research, training and production of innovative cultural products,
  • Promotion of regional markets for cultural products,
  • Promotion and funding of SADC arts and culture festivals,
  • Promotion and funding of regional and international cultural promotion campaigns,
  • Promotion of regional heritage sites, including culture and arts, to enhance tourism,
  • Funding of research and documentation of culture,
  • Development of strategic partnerships with cultural institutions within the region as a strategy of promoting the human resource base and centres of innovation,
  • Establishment and funding of SADC Culture Awards.

6. Guiding Principles

The SADC Culture Trust Fund is established on the following guiding principles:

  • The Fund shall be regional in scope;
  • The Fund shall constitute an independent public institution which is non-political and non-partisan;
  • The Fund shall be guided by the principle of transparency;
  • The fund shall cater for the needs of the SADC governments, private institutions, civil societies, as well as groups of cultural professionals;
  • The Fund shall be a demand-driven funding facility that awards grants on competitive principles;
  • The fund shall aggregate financial and other resources;
  • The Fund shall support regional cultural development initiatives that:
    • Strengthen capacities;
    • Promote cultural pluralism, artistic quality and renewal;
    • Promote dialogue, exchange and cooperation among the peoples of the SADC;
    • Increase public access to debate, appreciation and awareness of culture;
    • Promote democracy, human rights, gender equality and freedom of expression;
  • The Trust Fund shall be autonomous and led by a Board with members of recognised high integrity.

For further information, please contact: SADC Sector for Culture, Information and Sport, Maputo, Mozambique, tel.: 258 1 497944; fax: 258 1 492285/ 258 1 497943.

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The Royaumont Foundation

Founded in 1964 by the art patrons Henry and Isabel Goüin, the Royaumont Foundation is the owner of the abbey it occupies. Royaumont is France's leading private cultural foundation and a member of the Association of Cultural Meeting Centres, as well as of the European Network of Cultural Centres based in places of historical interest (See pp. 41-43 in this issue.).

The Foundation gives priority to disciplines, trends and issues in which innovation is particularly important. It accommodates artists, musicians and researchers all the year round. The Voice Centre helps provide vocational training for young singers and supports the creation of new vocal works. The European Centre for Research and Interpretation of Medieval Music (CERIMM) seeks to revive the musical repertoire of the Middle Ages. The Poetry and Translation Centre is largely devoted to the work of contemporary poets from all over the world, with particular stress on translation and composition. The Library offers writers' residencies and workshops for schools. Mention should also be made of the residencies, probably unique of their kind in France, that Royaumont provides for the musical ensembles - Ensemble Organum and Il Seminario Musicale.

Royaumont's artistic programmes are presented to the public in the form of concerts held each year at the abbey during the Royaumont Music Season, poetry readings, works published by Editions Créaphis, and exhibitions or shows in which the building itself is associated with a work of contemporary art.

The Foundation is open all year round to residential seminars, symposiums and prestige events organized by outside partners.

To obtain more information, please contact: Francis Maréchal, Fondation Royaumont, 95270 Asnières-sur-Oise, France, tel.: +33 1 01 30 35 59 00; fax: +33 1 01 30 35 39 45; http://www.royaumont.com