Arts Management Network publishes a report by Kristin Oswald on the Goethe-Institut’s International Forum on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy 2016. The article ‘Regional differences, but a common vision’ looks at the key debates and issues for the cultural experts from around the world brought together by the Goethe-Institut in Munich in November 2016.
The second edition of the International Forum on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy again brought together cultural experts from all over the world for two weeks in Munich, Germany for discussions and the development of ideas. And flanked by the presidential election in the US, the participants experienced that independently of their geographical and professional background they are connected by the vision to break down barriers and prejudices.
Internationally, there are different definitions of “arts management” that reflect the diverse concepts and structures of the regional art sectors. For some, arts management is “the getting things done’ side of making art, putting everything in place so that artists can then engage their creativity fully – the fuel that goes into the car.” For others, “working in this field is all about people from all walks of life and the most important thing is to take care of their thoughts and concerns to orchestra the best outcome.” Arts management can also be understood as “a transitional tool to create a new economic system where artists are agents of change. Therefore, arts management opens opportunities for continuity, sustainability and development.” But independently of the background of the single arts manager, “all of us are one way or another to be dealing with the same kinds of challenges. How do we break down barriers to people experiencing the arts? And how do we achieve this when resources are scarce?”
These quotations from participants of the second International Forum on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy show that arts managers worldwide all need the appropriate skills, methods and approaches to deal with transformation processes, cultural policies and challenges for their communities. Therefore, the aims of Goethe-Institut’s forum are to offer a practice-oriented qualification that helps the participants improving their work processes, and to build up a long lasting network of international arts professionals that fosters new cooperation and provides a stimulus to reflect upon their role in society.
The focus of this year’s edition laid on the independent performing arts sector, whose multiple facets were represented by participants with geographical backgrounds from every continent. During workshops, presentations, peer learning formats, coaching and meetings with the partnering organizations from Munich – the city’s department for culture and the initiatives Spielmotor, DOK.fest, Hoch X, Pathos and Rodeo Festival from the local independent art scene – they had the chance to exchange about perspectives, successes and failures, and to develop visions for their projects, for future arts management and artistic production. The discussions and experiences showed that cultural professionals despite of different arts policies and societal backgrounds have a lot in common and that international cooperation can open up potentials to better deal with regional challenges.
Foto: Goethe-Institut, Loredana La Rocca