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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.43/August 2004 - contents - imprint - archive

Laboratory of European Cultural Cooperation (LAB)

Four-Year project (2004-2007)

The Laboratory of European Cultural Cooperation (LAB), a four-year pilot project (2004-2007) to strengthen European cultural cooperation, has been launched and prepared by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) (See p. 6 and p. 15 in this issue.), together with a wide range of experts. A growing coalition of private and public partners is supporting this bottom-up process, aided by a series of studies, a business plan, and wide field consultations. LAB has been set up and will be financed in a public-private partnership, based on shared ownership, advised by its stakeholders, and governed by its own steering committee. LAB should become the point of reference for European cultural cooperation and a useful practical tool.

As an autonomous, well-managed and lean nodal point of networking, it strives to serve a wide range of users:

    • The 'field' - artists, cultural networks, initiatives and organisations, foundations, multipliers and young journalists;
    • The municipal, regional and national cultural administrations, intermediary bodies, and other decision makers;
    • The European institutions.

    LAB will have a clear focus on border-crossing in European cultural cooperation, thus enhancing cultural diversity.

    It will benefit the cultural sector by:

    • Providing useful services and information, optimizing and federating existing resources;
    • Facilitating and stimulating cross-border cooperation for all interested parties, as well as engineering strategic and operational partnerships of stakeholders in European cultural cooperation;
    • Contributing to knowledge management, monitoring and analyzing trends, by stimulating innovation and reflection in the field of European cultural cooperation;
    • Launching some innovative pilot projects on cross-border cultural cooperation in Europe (e.g., applied research, training, mobility, etc.);
    • Creating a platform in support of an emerging public European space; encouraging cross-border European debate and media cooperation;
    • Advocating longer-term cultural strategies.
    • The main activities for the start of the pilot project are the following:
    • The development of an Internet-based portal as the main communication, information and service- tool of the LAB. The portal will cover:
      • Funding opportunities for cross-border cultural cooperation,
      • Mobility opportunities for artists, cultural operators, journalists,
      • Training opportunities,
      • Project partner search,
      • Good practices in European cultural cooperation,
      • Legal frameworks and requirements,
      • Cultural guide (annotated link list),
      • Forum for exchange of new ideas,
      • Reflection and debate,
      • Analysis and monitoring.
    • The development of the Public European Space Project (PES), providing a platform for pan-European debate and cross-border media cooperation:
      • Weekly multilingual newsletter on important European articles (summaries, plus links),
      • Electronic 'Library' of publications,
      • Information platform on cross-border journalism and existing media networks,
      • Practical support (e.g., mobility for journalists),
      • An interactive platform for debate.
    • The development of pilot projects and some applied research (e.g., on mobility) underpinning the portal and the PES projects where theory and practice meet.

    LAB's main partners:

    • Foundations,
    • Expert institutions and representatives of cultural networks,
    • Governments and intermediary bodies.


    The ECF has gathered substantial international support and is expecting further support from foundations, governments, expertise institutions, cultural agencies and networks.

    For more information, please visit: www.eurocult.org

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    Cultural Policy Training and Education Initiative for CEE and SEE

    The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) has launched a new initiative in the field of cultural policy training and education.

    The Cultural Policy Education Group (CPEG) addresses universities, lecturers, students, scholars, and cultural operators dealing with cultural policy issues and professional education.

    CPEG is based on the recognition of a growing demand to provide students and professionals in the cultural field with theoretical and practical knowledge on contemporary issues of cultural policy. The initiative represents a logical amendment of the Foundation's existing cultural policy activities in SEE and CEE. It is closely affiliated with the expert network of the Policies for Culture Programme (ECF and ECUMEST Association).(See p. 6 in this issue.)

    The CPEG intends to provide an expert platform which engages in the development and discussion of cultural policy education and promotes enhanced academic training opportunities on the subject.

    The initiative concentrates on cultural policy courses and universities in CEE and SEE (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine) and involves individual partner institutions from other parts of Europe.

    A first meeting of the CPEG members will take place in Amsterdam at the beginning of September 2004. Further expert gatherings of the Group are planned for the near future.

    Full information on aims and activities is available on the initiative's new website www.policiesforculture.org/cpeg.

    Should you have any questions or remarks regarding this initiative, please get in touch with Milena Deleva, CPEG Central Coordinator (Sofia) at mdeleva@cult.bg

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    Agenda 21 for Culture

    An undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development

    The idea of writing an Agenda 21 for Culture emerged as a response to the challenges relating to cultural development that humankind must face in the twenty-first century. The initial idea had many similarities with the process that was developed for the environment at the end of the twentieth century, when findings showed that the existing development models involved an excessive level of destruction of natural resources and ecosystems, leading to the mobilisation of world-wide public opinion, governments and international institutions. Today, a similar awareness is arising in the field of culture. This takes on a central role in globalisation, but lacks the instruments of public debate. It is especially important to establish agreements that promote cultural diversity, the openness of culture, as well as the importance of creativity and cultural participation for every human being.

    These are the foundations that led the Porto Alegre Forum of Local Authorities, through the city councils of Barcelona and Porto Alegre, to draw up an Agenda 21 for Culture. Local governments currently play a leading role in placing globalisation at the service of citizens and fostering the need for an open and diverse culture. With the approval of the Agenda 21 for Culture, the cities endorse a document that emphasises the critical aspects of cultural development in the world and makes a firm commitment to ensuring that culture is a key concern in their urban policies.

    The Agenda 21 for Culture was under debate in various cities and cultural networks since January 2003, and the concluding debates took place in Barcelona, Spain, in May 2004:

    • Interacció 2004. 4 - 6 May 2004. Meetings of politicians and cultural managers debated the issues in seminars and conferences, aiming to analyse the key aspects of contemporary public cultural policies.
    • 4th Porto Alegre Forum of Local Authorities. 7 - 8 May 2004. Meeting of mayors and representatives from city councils from all over the world, engaged in social inclusion. The representatives adopted the Agenda 21 for Culture.
    • Agenda 21 for Culture. Get a copy of the final document:http://www.agenda21cultura.net/en/ag_cultura_en.pdf

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    International Cultural Relations: A Multi-Country Comparison

    by Margaret J. Wyszomirski with Christophere Burgess and Catherine Peila, Cultural Diplomacy Research Series, Art Policy and Administration Program of the Ohio State University, 2003

    The study International Cultural Relations: A Multi-Country Comparison, commissioned by the Arts International (www.artsinternational.org) and the Center for Arts and Culture (www.culturalpolicy.org), analyses cultural diplomacy practices in different countries. The comparison focuses on philosophy, priorities, programmes, structure and funding of cultural diplomacy in nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

    To compare the cultural diplomacy practices of the nine mentioned countries, five dimensions were explored:

    • terminology and role - i.e., how different countries refer to and understand cultural diplomacy;
    • goals and priorities;
    • structure - i.e., how is cultural diplomacy managed (by which departments or agencies);
    • program tools - i.e., which kind of activities is taking place (exchange of individuals or performances, language studies, infrastructure, etc.);
    • indications of scale and support - how much each country spends on those activities.

    For easier comparison, the results were summarised in table forms. The study finds that in different countries cultural diplomacy is referred to by different names, such as cultural exchange, international cultural policy, or international cultural relations. Most surveyed countries have a desire to project their image and values abroad, and priorities range from diplomatic, economic to cultural ones. Although the Foreign Ministries have the primary responsibility for cultural diplomacy, the actual administration of the activities has different patterns in different countries and the extent of collaboration between the foreign and cultural ministries varies from country to country. In addition, many countries have some sort of network of non-governmental organisations that actually implement international cultural relations, and some have councils or other sorts of interdepartmental task forces to coordinate international cultural relations with the government.

    The study has identified a set of activities that constitute a cultural diplomacy repertoire such as: the exchange of individuals for education and cultural purposes, sending exhibitions and performances abroad, sponsoring conferences, support for language studies programs, etc.

    The second part of the study presents country profiles of the nine surveyed countries, giving some background information on their cultural diplomacy practices and describing their principles and priorities, administrative structure and programme activities.

    The list of references and sources from which information for the study was obtained is provided at the end of the first part of the study.

    This valuable study can be access at http://www.culturalpolicy.org/pdf/MJWpaper.pdf

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    ABC Project: Art, Bulgaria, Commerce (2003-2004)

    Towards better opportunities for Bulgarian visual artists

    How to survive as an artist these days?

    In many countries, both Eastern and Western, artists used to hold a special position in the past. They could rely on various facilities and privileges, enabling them to practice their profession in an economically protected environment.

    Nowadays most of these provisions have ceased to a large extent. In Western Europe, for example in the Netherlands, that happened gradually. Sometimes artists can still apply for a specific, limited support. In Eastern Europe, like in Bulgaria, changes occurred more abruptly with the political changes. As a result, for most Bulgarian artists it is, at the moment, quite impossible to survive within the artistic profession solely.

    For artists, especially visual artists, wherever they may live, it has become worthwhile to investigate their options. Is it possible to discover how to balance artistic independence with the social-cultural and economic aspects of being a visual artist? To begin with, each artist has to answer that question individually. A decent knowledge and understanding of a variety of business-like aspects of an artistic practice are conditional for that personal quest.

    The project

    The goal of the ABC project is to bring this knowledge and understanding within the reach of a wide range of Bulgarian artists. In the long run, it hopes to make a lasting contribution to improving their social and economic position. The project is run by STOEP, the Dutch Foundation for Eastern European Projects. The team of trainers consists of 3 Dutch and 5 Bulgarian experts.


    To this end, four seminars were organised to accommodate a total of eighty artists and individuals involved in artists' development, social and economic position and career possibilities.

    The seminar curriculum included aspects of business organisation and administration, career planning, communication, copyright, legislation, marketing, negotiation and presentation techniques, networking, pricing, project writing, subsidy and sponsoring, team building and self-management, taxation, cultural policies and international cultural relations. The first two seminars were held in Tryavna in November 2003, the final two took place in July 2004 in Borovetz.


    After all seminars have been held (autumn of 2004), the extensive seminar syllabus will be augmented with new material based on results and experience in the seminars. This will be appear in book form as a Handbook for the professional visual artist in Bulgaria.

    The sponsors

    The project's major benefactor is the Matra programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additional funding is provided by STOEP as well as the Dutch Union of Artists and Media Professionals and the 'Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds'. The Bulgarian Ministry of Culture is participating in the realization of the final conference and the public presentations of the project's results in December 2004.

    Detailed information can be found at http://projectabc.cult.bg or obtained from the seminars' team leader: bloemersleach@quicknet.nl

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    re: search - in and through the arts

    The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) has launched a new project mapping and promoting research in the arts. The project is undertaken in close collaboration with the Universität der Künste, Germany, and partners in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK. National profiles are currently being developed on approaches and traditions in arts research, degrees and degree structures. The project will also create opportunities to connect arts researchers, research supervisors and artists in Europe. A website including an open digital space for communication will soon be online.

    Contact the research team for further information on the project:Petya Koleva (ELIA) petya.koleva@elia-artschool.org or
    Christine Heidemann (UdK) christine.heidemann@web.de

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    Investigation into the Economic Potential of Creative Industries in Vienna

    The Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, together with Mediacult and Wifo, has carried out the study Investigation into the Economic Potential of Creative Industries in Vienna (See Culturelink no. 40/August 2003, p. 20.) on behalf of the City of Vienna, the Vienna Federal Chamber of Commerce and the Vienna Film Fund.

    Creative industries - already an essential component of economic and cultural policy discussions - are increasingly recognised as a success factor for Vienna as a business location and a lively, modern city culture. The current study analyses the market, innovation and job potential of market economy oriented sectors such as design/fashion, graphic design, advertising, multimedia and architecture, as well as those at the intersection of the arts and commerce, such as literature and publishing, music, film, fine arts, the arts market and performing arts, libraries and museums. Alongside the demarcation and definition of the 'creative industries', an analysis of the 10 creative industries sectors was carried out, and 1,134 companies and one-person businesses were interviewed among other things on their economic situation, their expectations for the future, on the advantages and disadvantages of Vienna as a location, and on the effectiveness of support policy.

    Characteristic of the 18,000 Vienna CI companies, with their 100,000 workers (according to social security figures) or 120,000 workers (according to a workplace census) - we are in any case speaking about 14% of all economically active people in Vienna - is their strength in content, in the field of creative production. Their weaknesses are in marketing, in the limited conversion of the creative potential into economic activities, as well as in exports.

    The economic policy recommendations are therefore aimed at measures for growth development of the companies and improvement of export opportunities, the build-up of consistent support instruments and forms of cooperation in order on the one hand to reduce the existing deficiencies and weak-points and on the other hand to further develop the existing positive structural features.

    The study (complete study including results and recommendations, sector analysis and the company questionnaires) can be downloaded from http://www.creativeindustries.at/

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    Banff New Media Institute: Co-Production and Research

    Partnership Programme 2004-2005

    The Banff Centre has a new surprise! The Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) Co-production and Research Partnership Programme provides a unique opportunity for artists and researchers to gain experience and expertise in diverse areas of investigation, production and technology design. The programme has a focus on interactive and new media, emerging technologies, such as visualization and mobile experiences, cross-disciplinary practice, video and television. The BNMI's creative learning environment offers co-productions with its state-of-the-art studio facilities, technical and human resources.

    Co-production projects receive critical input, executive production advice, opportunity for public presentation, and integration with the exciting cross-disciplinary environment of the Banff Centre. This programme seeks applications for projects that engage interactive media, visual and media arts, architecture, the performing arts, music, and emerging technologies. Research Partnership Programme links arts and technology and supports basic and applied research. Researchers are welcome at all stages of a project and from across the social science, humanities, sciences and the arts.

    For more information, please contact: Co-production Assistant, tel.: +1 403 762 6210; e-mail: copro_applications@banffcentre.ca; http://www.banffcentre.ca/bnmi

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    Global Cultural Tourism Research Project

    Interarts and ATLAS have joined forces to develop an international survey of cultural tourism, which will be comparable with previous surveys carried out by ATLAS. To date some 50 organisations in 25 countries have indicated their willingness to participate. The surveys will cover the profiles, motivations and behaviour of visitors to cultural attractions and events, allowing comparisons to be made between countries, regions and different types of cultural facilities. The surveys will be undertaken during 2004, and the participating organisations will receive access to the full data set.

    For more information, please contact: Greg Richards at Interarts, grichards@interarts.net; http://www.interarts.net