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Fw: E-Interchanges no 17

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    ... From: Centre for Creative Communities Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 5:07 AM Subject: E-Interchanges no 17 CCC is supported by donations and grants from
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      Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 5:07 AM
      Subject: E-Interchanges no 17

      CCC is supported by donations and grants from foundations, corporations and individuals. It promotes activities and policies that lead to the development of creative communities. Please email info@... should you wish to make a donation.

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      No. 17
      2 November 2004

      In this issue:

      Europe - a Cultural Adventure

      In this issue of Interchanges we would like to bring the focus of attention to the issue of cultural identity within a European context. How can we overcome the perceived fear that identifying with a common European cultural heritage excludes the celebration of our national distinctiveness. Europe is as varied an entity as they come and the cultures, which have developed, through a constant process of change within its ever changing boundaries over time immemorial, confirm this fact.

      These different cultures, which now form what we call Europe, are the product of continuous population flows, which brought peoples from different corners of the continent into contact for reasons ranging from trade to military gain. Cultural exchange was already taking place in those days and represented a motivation for travel especially among Europe's artists and thinkers. During the Middle Ages, a period of relative cultural wilderness in Europe, the classics were being translated in Moorish Spain from Greek into Arabic, Hebrew and Latin in an unprecedented example of harmonious coexistence.

      However, the idea of Europe that existed then did so in the minds of the political, economic and religious elite, those with access to education and able to travel. This continued to be the case throughout the emergence of the nation state in Europe. Despite today's means of mass communication it could be argued that only this same elite and Europe's technocrats are comfortable with the idea of Europe that they have forged. For this idea to become the 'imagined community' that Benedict Anderson designates as a necessary precursor to developing identity, a delicate balance must be struck - and constantly maintained - between the various concentric circles of our identity from family to community to region to country and eventually to Europe.

      For contemporary Europe to be united in its diversity, the idea of Europe will also need to embrace people from around the world who have emigrated here and provide a space for their cultural expression. Jacques Delors' words are well remembered here: "Future conflicts will be sparked by cultural factors rather than economics or ideology".

      As this newsletter 'goes to print' EFAH, the European Forum for Arts and Heritage has just celebrated their 12th General Assembly in Lille, France, one of this year's European Culture Capitals. The conference looked at the role of culture in an expanding Europe of the regions and questioned whether regions can provide a stable, open platform for cross border cultural co-operation. Coinciding with the meeting was the publication of an EFAH study entitled 'Culture and European Regions'.

      Quite simply, the potential contribution of culture in this new scenario cannot be underestimated. An important development in recent years has been the recognition of the role culture can play to redress situations of conflict, deprivation and injustice. International bodies such as UNESCO, OECD and other international institutions are working towards the integration of culture as an essential element of development strategies.

      At a European level, too, the time is ripe to fully explore the realm of possibilities that putting culture firmly at the centre can bring to the future of, using Zygmunt Bauman's words  "this adventure called Europe".

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      CULTUUR LOKAAL - The Flemish Decree on Local Cultural Policy

      On January 1st 2002 a new decree on local cultural policy came into force in the Flemish community of Belgium with financial support by the Flemish Ministry of Culture. Its overall aim to stimulate a qualitative and integrated local cultural policy.

      Belgium is a federal state and a member of the European Union with three official languages and three distinct communities: French, Flemish and German. The Flemish community to which this decree relates is made up of almost 6 million people, administratively distributed in 327 municipalities of varying sizes.

      The different municipalities were asked, although it was not compulsory, to submit applications outlining cultural plans for their communities. The focus was on the local underpinning the belief that each municipality was better suited to address local issues and, therefore, to design a cultural plan which bore those peculiarities in mind rather that some overarching cultural policy plan drawn at state level.

      The participating municipalities were expected to adopt in their plans a cohesive approach to the creation, dissemination and conservation of culture and cultural heritage. It was believed that this approach would enhance what the text of the decree calls 'community formation'. It was also a requirement of the application that the plan included a clear strategy of how the different actors such as the public library, the community centre, professional artists and amateur arts would co-operate to achieve the aims of the plan.

      Co-operation was not limited to the municipalities, inter municipal collaboration, particularly between smaller municipalities, was encouraged as a means to maximising resources - for instance when organising their public library services - or devising complementary regional cultural policies.

      Almost two years after the decree came officially into effect, the response has surpassed the expectations of the Flemish Ministry of Culture, originator of the idea.

      By the end of 2003, 203 municipalities had submitted an application for financial support for their cultural policy plan. 175 municipalities have now appointed a cultural policy coordinator and so far, of the 136 that have submitted their cultural policy plans, 93 have been accepted by the Flemish Minister of Culture.

      Although it is too soon to speak of an evaluation of the scheme, it is widely acknowledged by those involved that communities until then outside of the cultural spotlight became the focus of renewed interest within the wider Flemish community, as well as contributing to give a clearer and brighter picture of the rich and dynamic cultural landscape in the Flemish communities of Belgium.
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      Books and Publications

      Common Threads Uncommon People
      by Jennifer Williams
      2004, Centre for Creative Communities
      Available from Centre for Creative Communities info@... - £12.00 + p&p (15% for UK orders/30% rest of the world)
      This is our latest publication which will be available in October. We are now taking advance orders and offering this special price to orders received before 15 October 2004.
      Common Threads Uncommon People takes as its premise the fact that we seem incapable as a society of seeing ourselves as an integral part of nature. Instead, we cast our role as the dominant species and the rest of nature as a set of ‘natural resources’ to be used. With no balancing or renewing strategies in place, this position is clearly untenable, even in the short term. Curiously, within this rather Kamikaze ecology, at least one resource goes virtually ignored and certainly under used. That resource is the ‘uncommon person’.

      Jennifer Williams who also illustrated the book, weaves the personal stories of some of those 'uncommon people' through interviews and her own personal insights, as well as providing a wider framework for their work in tackling local and global problems.
      Inspirational and engrossing, the book aims to highlight the contribution of these 'unsung heroes' whilst encouraging us to discover and nurture others like them. As Jennifer puts it, the people presented here 'are just the tip of a human iceberg'.

      The State of Cultural Co-operation in Europe
      2003, EFAH, Interarts Foundation. Available from http://europa.eu.int
      This study emerged from a call for proposals published by the European
      Commission in September 2002 with the aim of producing a study on the
      current state of cultural and artistic cooperation in Europe. A consortium led by
      the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (EFAH) and the Interarts
      Foundation (Interarts) were commissioned to carry out the study. The work was supported by supported by CIRCLE (Cultural Information and Research
      Centres Liaison in Europe) and benefited from contributions by over 40
      experts in the 31 countries covered.

      The study covers all forms of intergovernmental cultural cooperation among
      European countries, that is, cultural cooperation between public authorities of
      at least two European countries which either are directly competent or have
      been specifically given the remit by national authorities for conducting
      transnational cultural cooperation.

      The main objective of this study is to provide a description and analysis of the
      current situation, as well as present and future trends in cultural cooperation
      amongst EU member states and signatory countries to the EEA.

      LLinE: Lifelong Learning in Europe Magazine
      ed. Kauko Hamalainen (KVS Foundation and Finnish Adult Education Research Society).
      Contact: LLinE, KVS Foundation, Dobelninkatu 2 E 28, 00260, Helsinki, Finland. Email: kauko.hamalainen@...
      This quarterly magazine, supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Science, offers adult educators and researchers in adult education a forum for exchanging ideas and experiences. The journal introduces practical experiments and solutions in adult and continuing education, disseminating practical and theoretical information and knowledge. The most recent issue focuses on themes of human capital and learning in museums, archives and libraries among others and includes a number of articles on different areas of education, including cultural education, media literacy and the link between art, education and society.

      Social Inclusion and Citizenship in Europe
      Community Development Foundation (2002).
      Available from Community Development Foundation, (ISBN 90 72846 18 4). CDF Publications, 60 Highbury Grove, London, N5 2AG. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7226 5375; email: pub.sales@...
      More and more people today feel lost and marginalised in one of the world’s richest continents. This book shows that the empowerment of excluded people is a first, necessary step to restoring hope. This new edition includes several specially written case studies offering insightful examples of the practice of community development for social inclusion in very divergent contexts. This study clarifies key ideas, making it relevant to policymakers, managers and practitioners involved in regeneration and social exclusion, who will be better placed to plan and implement local programmes.

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      Conferences and Events

      5 November 2004
      New Worlds: Conference
      West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, UK
      This conference organised by the West Yorkshire Playhouse together with Arts Council England and the Ragdoll Foundation, will offer the opportunity to share good practice on creative work with babies and very young children within a national and international arena.

      Through keynote speeches and workshops the event will highlight the work done by individuals and arts organisations with babies and young children to discover and develop their creativity. In addition and included in their registration fee, delegates will get to see the performance of the new Theatre-Rites production In One Ear, an interactive experience for all the senses.
      For further details contact Lisa Parrott on +44 (0) 113 213 7290

      5-7 November 2004
      Making Knowledge: Democracy, Cultural Partnerships, and the University
      University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
      What happens when democracy, imagination, and scholarship converge? Drawing on the groundbreaking work of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Community Partnerships, this year’s conference will explore the collaborative production of new knowledge for the public good.

      The conference program will showcase new research produced through cultural partnerships. Sessions will focus on innovative projects at the Center for Community Partnerships and major Imagining America initiatives. For more information please visit www.ia.umich.edu

      26-27 November 2004
      The Voluntary Arts Wales Conference
      Gregynog, Newtoen, Powys, UK
      For more details please contact info@...

      3-6 November 2004
      CHALLENGING THE FRAME - 8th ELIA Biennial Conference
      Lucerne, Switzerland
      For details on the programme and registration please go to

      29-30 November 2004
      Fourth Pillar Conference
      Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, Australia
      This conference will explore the potential of cultural development processes in local government community strengthening strategies. The event will develop the lively discourse generated from the book ‘The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability’ by Jon Hawkes.
      For further information please contact judspo@...

      23rd February 2005
      Agriculture and Art Conference: Cultivating Successful Outcomes
      Centre for the Arts and Design in the Environment at Writtle College, Writtle, UK
      This conference will explore how farmers, growers and artists can work together for positive economic outcomes while helping to generate new opportunities for diversification within the rural economy. The conference will provide an occasion for individuals from land management and production, government initiatives and the full range of the arts, to discuss past agriculture and arts projects of both a short and long-term nature. Speakers will include: farmers and artists who have been involved in diversification, and lecturers from Writtle College and representatives from arts organisations who have developed regional strategies for rural. In addition, consideration will be given to the wider benefits of promoting an understanding of the rural environment to a largely urban population.
      For further information please contact an@...

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      This is the new redesigned site of The power of Culture. It features new sections on events, news and its background articles and essays are now arranged by themes. News reports and items from the old website can still be accessed via the archive section.

      This is the home of the Eurybase database on education systems, networks and policies throughout Europe.

      This site is an electronic networking resource for the development of non-governmental organisations in the central and East European regions. It is administered by Freedom House in Budapest.

      Working Methods from CAN
      This is the new project by CAN (Community Arts Network, US) called Working Methods. Here you will find free, online tools for constructing, conducting, documenting and evaluating effective community arts programmes. Working Methods also includes an annotated, linked list of useful, free arts toolkits available elsewhere on the Web.

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      ‘The twentieth century has transformed the entire planet from a finite world of certainties to an infinite world of questioning and doubt. So, if ever there was a need to stimulate creative imagination and initiative on the part of individuals, communities and whole societies that time is now. The notion of creativity can no longer be restricted to the arts; it must be applied across the full spectrum of human problem-solving.’
      Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO

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      The Centre for Creative Communities encourages interaction and debate among those interested in combating social apathy and promoting civic engagement through opening up dialogue among the community, public and corporate sectors.

      The addresses on the mailing list are kept confidentially. However, and should you wish not to receive this monthly newsletter, please send an email to info@...  with 'unsubscribe' in the subject box.

      Centre for Creative Communities
      118 Commercial Street
      E1 6NF
      Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7247 5385
      Email:  info@...

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