4th World Summit on Arts and Culture

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The National Arts Council of South Africa, a founding member of IFACCA, was selected to host the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Johannesburg in 2009 after a competitive bidding process. The National Arts Council is supported in this lead role by the national Department of Arts and Culture, the Province of Gauteng (Department of Sport, Arts, and Recreation) and the City of Johannesburg (Directorate of Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Johannesburg Tourism Company)

The proposed theme of the Summit is the role of the arts in promoting inter-cultural dialogue. A key aim of the Summit is to celebrate and investigate South Africa’s unique experience in this field and to acknowledge and explore the different operating environments and approaches of arts funding agencies working in the developed and the developing world.

The 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture, which concluded today, generated a range of international networking initiatives to support arts practice in Africa and internationally.

The Summit, co-hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), was held at Museum Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 22-25 September and attracted 450 delegates from 70 countries. 250 delegates were from the African continent and represented 31 countries – the highest ever for a World Summit.

The theme of the Summit: Meeting of Cultures: Creating Meaning through the Arts was explored by over 50 speakers who provoked wide-ranging debate around the role of the arts in intercultural dialogue and related themes.

'The Summit has strongly reinforced the value of international networking between leaders in arts and cultural policy making, funding and networking,' said Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of IFACCA. 'It has also provided IFACCA with ideas for concrete proposals to support networking between artists, NGOs and arts funding agencies in Africa and the rest of the world over coming years'.

The key projects that IFACCA will facilitate will include: • the creation of an African chapter of IFACCA lead by Annabell Lebethe, CEO of the NAC of SA and Quresh Ahmed, CEO Bomas of Kenya (both of whom serve on the international board of IFACCA). This will complement the regional groups of IFACCA members in Europe, Asia and Latin America. • the appointment of a part-time coordinator to assist the follow up of IFACCA's networking activities in Africa over the next 12 months. • an African version of ConnectCP, www.connectcp.org, the international 'who's who' of cultural policy • the publication of an international report on Intercultural Dialogue through the Arts and Culture and the initiation of research in other key policy areas • ongoing information sharing about national and international arts advocacy • a briefing paper for arts funding agencies about the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. • collaboration with regional observatories on cultural policies to aid the development of policies at the national level and support comparative analysis of those policies. • exploration of new mechanisms for the transnational support of international arts and cultural projects and collaborations.

The outgoing Chair of IFACCA, Risto Ruohonen, also announced today that the Australia Council for the Arts has won the bid to host the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Melbourne, Australia on 3-6 October 2011.

The board of IFACCA, comprising the CEOs of arts councils and senior government representatives of arts agencies – elected at the IFACCA General Assembly this week – will monitor implementation of the initiatives over the coming two years.


For more information

See Conferences on theatre and the arts, World Summit on Arts and Culture and the IFACCA Website at http://www.ifacca.org/

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