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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.40/August 2003 - contents - imprint - archive

Culture-Gates

The transnational project Culture-Gates: Exposing Professional Gate-keeping Processes in Music and New Media Arts was undertaken by ERICarts in partnership with Mediacult (Vienna), Finn-EKVIT (Helsinki), the Zentrum für Kulturforschung (Bonn), and the Observatorio das Actividades Culturais (Lisboa) (See Culturelink no. 39/April 2003, p. 13.). The results are available on http://www.culturegates.info.

Culture-Gates was a 15-month study for the European Union to investigate gate-keeping systems in cultural labour markets and the impact that gate-keepers have on the career development of women working in the fields of music and new media arts.

The website combines information on the results, recommendations, partners and sponsors from 'Culture-Gates' and two previous projects on women in arts and media across Europe, co-ordinated by ERICarts: Pyramid or Pillars. Unveiling the Status of Women in Arts and Media Professions across Europe (See Culturelink no. 33/April 2001, pp. 119-120.), also sponsored by the European Commission under its Equal Opportunities Programme, and Women in Cultural Policies, a study prepared for the UNESCO Conference on Culture and Development in 1998.

The outcome of the project is available as a book publication. If you are interested in receiving a hard copy, please send a short mail to info@ericarts.org

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A Study Survey of the Economic Potential of the Creative Industries in Vienna

The Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, Mediacult and WIFO have been commissioned by the Vienna City Council Department 27, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and the Vienna Film Fund to carry out a study on the importance and dynamics of the creative industries in Vienna. The Vienna location represents an increasingly important area for the creative industries, both nationally and internationally. The fields of music, museums and theatre in particular, but also architecture and design, the audio-visual sphere and multimedia, are extensively internationally networked.

This study, to be completed by the end of 2003, will for the first time provide a complete overview of the creative industries in Vienna. The study covers the market - innovation - and the job potential of the enterprises in the creative industries in Vienna along value-creation chains, and describes the interactions between cultural institutions and the ancillary area with many often small businesses active in this field.

The structural analysis will be carried out in the following branches: musicology, architecture, publishing and literature, the audiovisual field, fine arts, graphic arts, fashion, design, software, multimedia, print media, performing arts and entertainment, museums, libraries, and galleries.

Five of these areas - musicology, graphic arts, fashion and design, and multimedia and the audio-visual field - will be the subject of a cluster potential analysis on the basis of an enterprise survey. This overall analysis will present not only the economic market - innovation - and the employment potential of the enterprises but also the upstream and downstream ancillary areas. The training and research sectors will also be incorporated. On the basis of a strengths-weaknesses analysis in these subsidiary markets, recommendations will be presented on future requirements and development opportunities, as well as the existing market deficits and weak points. The study thereby represents a basis for future cultural and creative industries reports to the Vienna City Council.

For further information, please contact: Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, Veronika Ratzenböck (project coordination), tel.: +43-1-535 27 05; e-mail: office@kulturdokumentation.org or visit the website at: http://www.creativeindustries.at/

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DigiCULT's 2002 Report

The DigiCULT project is a support measure within the Information Society Technologies Programme, which provides a technology watch mechanism for the cultural and scientific sector. In order to encourage an early take up of new technological developments, DigiCULT produces and disseminates reports, newsletters, thematic issues, and Technology Watch reports.

DigiCULT's 2002 report entitled Technological Landscape for Tomorrow's Cultural Economy investigates the technological issues that cultural heritage institutions need to address. The report draw attention to several challenges that cultural institutions in Europe are facing, including:

  • the need to provide access to the riches of Europe's cultural heritage by enabling interoperability between its various sectors;
  • the need to build tools and systems to tackle an increasing volume of material needing to be digitised and maintained in accessible form;
  • the need to address the technological, intellectual, legal and economic problems related to archiving and long-term preservation of cultural heritage content;
  • the need to unlock cultural heritage resources by offering personalised, interactive and stimulating hybrid environments and shared spaces to foster the construction of cultural heritage content;
  • the need to enable professionals from different sectors and users to actively participate in creating enriched environments for cultural heritage services by building collaborative tools and systems for non-technical users.

Three out of the planned seven Thematic Issues have been published so far:

  • Integrity and Authenticity of Digital Objects, August 2002
  • Digital Asset Management Systems for the Cultural and Scientific Heritage Sector, December 2002
  • Towards a Semantic Web for Heritage Resources, May 2003

The Thematic Issues aim to provide a forum where experts can express opinions on the benefits and risks of adopting selected technologies in the cultural heritage sector.

The Technology Watch Reports aim to identify and describe technologies that are either not currently used in the heritage sector or are underutilised. The reports will provide a technical analysis of a particular technology examined, a description of its benefits, and explanation of how it could be used. The Technology Watch Report 1 introduces the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), the Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS), Smart Labels and Tags, Virtual Reality and Display Technologies, and Games Technologies. The Report demonstrates the relevance of those technologies to the cultural heritage sector.

The mentioned publications are available both in paper and electronic editions and can be downloaded or requested from the DigiCULT secretariat.

For more information, please visit: www.digicult.info or www.cordis.lu/ist/ka3/digicult/home.html

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Using Arts, Culture and Music Information as a Good Medium to Promote Cultural Diversity

What the Musa Heritage Gallery in Cameroon is doing at the local level
by Peter Musa, Director of the Musa Heritage Gallery, Cameroon

(Musa Heritage Gallery is a member of the Culturelink Network)

Today, the traditional museum with a permanent or changing exhibition has - more than ever before - the enormous and challenging task of continuing to attract visitors. This is so because there are so many other attractions on offer for our modern generation. Such attractions include sporting activities, festivals, cinemas, night clubs, theatre, Internet surfing, computer or video games, to name just a few.

Faced with this global trend, museums are developing new strategies to continue to attract visitors to their premises and their exhibitions. The Musa Heritage Gallery was established in 1996 as a museum with a focus on the promotion of the arts and crafts of Cameroon's Western Grassfields. Once the museum took off, we realised that we could not depend only on the permanent exhibition as a means of attracting visitors to the museum. We looked at many factors that hinder people from visiting the permanent collection.

After considering several possibilities of making our museum a more vibrant place, we finally decided to create a resource facility on arts, culture and music as a way of developing our audience. Well-aware of the fact that we are living in the cyber age, we still cannot ignore printed publications. The Musa Heritage Gallery highly values printed materials and has therefore embarked on creating a resource centre composed mainly of printed information. Our resource facility could later-on be linked to the Internet, which is quite expensive for the ordinary Cameroonian, and many do not even know how to use the computer, not to mention the Internet!

We started the project in 1998 and at present we subscribe to over 100 printed magazines from all over the world covering the afore-mentioned fields. In other words, the Musa Heritage Gallery places arts, culture and music publications covering almost every cultural or linguistic region of the world within the reach of the population of Kumbo, where the Musa Heritage Gallery is located. We are opening up new horizons and enabling our local people to enjoy the virtues of cultural diversity through arts, culture and music publications.

Let us look practically at how we are promoting cultural diversity through our publications. In the area of visual and performing arts we have publications which deal with general information on the above-mentioned sectors in the respective countries from where the publications are acquired. Publications are available presenting -

  • profiles of artists, their works, exhibitions, etc.
  • theatre troupes, plays, events, etc.
  • musical scores, biographical information on composers and their recordings, etc.

People in Kumbo read about Aboriginal artists and their works in Australia and Canada. They are also able to read about how Germany looks at the Moslem world. What is happening in the world of theatre and music. How the Commonwealth and Francophonie are contributing towards arts, culture and music in their member countries. The role of the United Nations, UNESCO, and other promoters of cultural diversity. Read about Korean arts and short stories from there, etc. Yes, this is an experience of the world we live in through printed publications.

To the Musa Heritage Gallery, this represents a transformation of our artistic and cultural heritage institution and at the same time a promotion of the world's cultural diversity through our numerous resources. This implies that, through our endeavours, the local population of Kumbo are able to read about the type of artwork produced in other African, American, Asian or European countries. They also read about literature, theatre and languages of their contemporaries elsewhere and about music from other cultures and regions.

We are also gradually developing a Music Information Centre with a rich collection of CDs from across the globe. These materials are all meant to bring the people of Kumbo closer to their counterparts in other countries, thus promoting cultural diversity. Music knows no boundaries, it is universal and it brings hope, heals, entertains and relaxes our mind. Music is, in short, a very good medium to promote cultural diversity, and the Musa Heritage Gallery makes a good use of it. We plan to have some of the CDs broadcast by our local radio stations, such as those acquired from the New Zealand Music Trust and the Contemporary Music Centre in Ireland.

The information materials we hold at the Musa Heritage Gallery could play an important role in furthering the artistic, cultural and musical life of Kumbo. All that is needed is continued usage of the materials by the local population. Generally, the people in this town are not quite so keen on artistic production as their neighbours in other places of the Cameroon Grassfields, like in Oku, Foumban, or Ndop plains.

Our rich holdings of information materials from all over the world serves to expose the people of Kumbo town to forms of artistic, cultural and musical expression, thereby creating in them a love for the world's peoples and their creative and intellectual achievements. Through our endeavours, Kumbo may one day turn into a new centre of art for Cameroonians. Cultural diversity is a good example of learning which we propagate in our resources.

Cultural diversity should be encouraged in our different projects and in our daily endeavours. We should not minimise what we are doing to promote it. It may make all the difference in the person with whom we work or interact. We are not using materials from other cultures to change the people of Kumbo. Instead, the materials are being used to give them the opportunity to learn from other peoples and cultures. Through this learning process, a lot of artistic, cultural and musical development is bound to arise within the community. Today, we have African Museums in almost all the continents. Why don't we also learn from other cultures?

Our initiative to promote cultural diversity through artistic, cultural and musical information should in the future create greater consciousness within our local community of the need to protect and promote cultural diversity within Kumbo itself, where it is fast changing from a monolistic settlement of mainly the Nso' people of Cameroon into a modern town with people from all over Cameroon and with an influx of many long and short term expatriates working with the Churches, in Church organisations and local and international NGOs.

Today, Kumbo has a population which is predominantly Christian and Moslem. Cultural diversity is practised to a great extent, but when it comes to inter-marriages there are usually differences. With the continued usage of our information resources, the public of Kumbo will be better informed on the importance of 'co-existence and tolerance', which, for me, ties in with cultural diversity.

Finally, we believe in a reciprocal system of collaboration with organisations supporting our work with donations of publications and music CDs. If we could secure funding from any source, we would want to publish information about Cameroonian Art and Artists for dissemination abroad. We are also very much interested in producing recordings of Cameroonian folk songs or music, which could also be sent abroad to organisations with whom we collaborate. This would be a great achievement for us as far as promoting cultural diversity is concerned. Cameroon has a lot to offer, considering that in Cameroon we have two official languages (English and French) and over 200 ethnic groups. Cultural diversity to me means Cameroon. We are an example.

Peter Musa can be contacted by e-mail at: musape@yahoo.com, or by regular mail: Musa Heritage Gallery, P.O.Box 21, Kumbo-Nso, NWP, Cameroon, tel.: +237 753 69 70; http://www.btinternet.com/~mulamba

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The Cultural Management Institute, Canada

The Centre for Cultural Management at the University of Waterloo (Ontario) is offering an online professional development opportunity for managers in cultural organizations. The Cultural Management Institute (CMI) is a recently founded, virtual 'school' for professional arts and heritage managers, available exclusively over the world wide web. With the generous support of private and public sponsors, it is a unique benchmark on how a life-long learning environment for cultural managers should be offered: with a conceptual structure and easy-to-use interface.

For more information, please visit: http://ccm.uwaterloo.ca

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Swedish Agenda for Culture 2003-2006

The Swedish Ministry of Culture has issued its Agenda for Culture 2003-2006, which emphasizes the concept of culture for everyone as an imperative and fundamental element of citizens' rights. This is at the core of Sweden's cultural policy.

The traditional areas of cultural policy are the cultural heritage and various forms of art. Over a period of many years, national and regional institutions have been built up to preserve and pass on the Swedish cultural heritage and to develop and disseminate drama, music, works of art, and dance. Various types of support systems and mechanisms to safeguard the rights of artists have been created to enable different kinds of cultural workers to devote themselves to their art. This cultural 'infrastructure' of institutions/distribution channels and professional artists is also one of the fundamental preconditions for enabling culture to reach large numbers of people and to involve them in it.

During the crisis years of the 1990s, cultural policy was primarily focused on maintaining this cultural infrastructure, supporting existing institutions and cultural activities, so that they could survive and focus on the future. With the cultural policy agenda 2003-2006, the Swedish cultural policy is entering into a period in which the majority of proposals, reforms and political efforts will have a very clear direction: to reach as many as possible of those people who today, for different reasons, are excluded. Economic policy instruments and different approaches and new forms of activities will be important elements in the task of making cultural life in Sweden accessible to even more people. It is a long-term programme designed to increase involvement and participation in culture, in a close dialogue with actors from within the cultural sector.

In the field of cultural heritage, the reform consists in the free entry system, which is one of the most important breakthroughs in the field. It is hoped that it will lead to a broad discussion not only about the right to meet, extend one's knowledge and make use of cultural heritage, but also about the need for non-commercial public spaces.

Art for children is also one of the priorities of this agenda, which is intended to improve the activities in municipal and cultural schools; to improve the ability of pre-schools to meet the cultural requirements; to promote fiction and non-fiction in the classroom; to give children and young people special priority in connection with the free entry reform of museums; and to initiate a review of the children's culture in Sweden in 2003.

The agenda also aims at promoting culture on the job as a natural element of the work place and integrating culture into the rehabilitation of people who are on long-term sick leave and other employees.

The 2003-2006 period will see further discussions of the role of artists in contexts other than those traditionally encompassed by cultural life, together with cultural workers, artists' organizations, and employers. Introducing professional artists and cultural workers to work in schools, at work places or in completely untested environments is also a means of making culture available to more people.

The year 2006 is to be the 'Year of Multiculture', which will express and promote cultural diversity and increase our knowledge about artists/cultural workers born abroad.

Architecture is also placed center stage as design should be made more accessible and arts, crafts and domestic handicrafts should have a clearer role with regard to form and design.

Finally, the promotion of international exchange and cooperation will continue to be an important element of the Swedish national policies of culture. Starting in 2003, Sweden is holding the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. It also has an active role in the EU TV directive, as well as in UNESCO and the informal network of ministers of culture, the International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP).

To obtain the publication, please contact: Ministry of Culture, Drottningg 16, SE-103 33 Stockholm, Sweden, tel.: +46 8 405 10 00; fax: +46 8 21 68 13; e-mail: registrator@culture.ministry.se

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Area de Cultura i Joventut, Ajuntament de Granollers

The Culture Service of the City Council of Granollers (Area de Cultura i Joventut, Ajuntament de Granollers) in Catalonia, Spain, is developing a series of projects and programmes related to the e-Culture policy. Its leadership and participation in the e-Culture field started as a result of its participation in the European Projects which are currently at various stages of their development:

  • The fifth Framework Programme REGNET (Cultural Heritage in Regional Networks) (IST-2000-23336);
  • Cultural Service Centre Iberia (CSC Iberia) - A consortium of IAT (Instituto Andaluz de Tecnolog!a in Sevilla) and the City Council of Granollers.

In addition to these ongoing projects, more projects are awaiting the 'green light' from the European Community:

  • INTERREG IIIC: Net Public (Art and New Media for Public Purposes).
    The City Council of Granollers is acting as the leader of the project.
  • INTERREG IIIC: European Cultural Space. RFO de la Junta de Extremadura.
    The City Council of Granollers is acting as a partner.
  • The sixth Framework Programme. E-Culturenet. NoE (European Network of Centres of Excellence for Research and Education in Digital Culture).
    The City Council of Granollers participates in the NoE with the Project 'Granollers e-Cultura'.
  • The sixth Framework Programme. We Create. IST (Information Society Technologies).
    The project is involved in technology-enhanced learning and access to cultural heritage.
  • The sixth Framework Programme. CUBE (Cultural Heritage Umbrella for Research in The Archiving Domain).

For more information, please contact: Llu!s Noguera, Area de Cultura i Joventut, Ajuntament de Granollers, Carrer del Portalet 4, 5a, E - 08400 Granollers, Spain, tel.: +93 842 66 81, +93 842 66 83; fax: +93 842 66 98; e-mail: llnoguera@ajuntament.granollers.org