The 2019 ENCATC Congress on Cultural Management and Policy “Diversity and sustainability at work. Policies and practices from culture and education” took place from 2-5 October 2019 in Dijon, France.
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Since 1992, the ENCATC annual gathering has witnessed the confluence of academics, researchers, decision makers, influential experts, and practitioners linked to the cultural policy and management education sector from across the world. In this edition once again the ENCATC Congress aimed to explore ground-breaking innovations in cultural management and policy education and encourage steps to ensure significant improvements in this industry.
In 2019 ENCATC was are deeply honoured to have the Congress under the patronage of the French Minister of Culture, and delighted bringing all of the Congress participants to discover Dijon, the capital city of the historical Burgundy region. Dijon is a world-renowned tourist destination with its historic city centre and its important vineyards both on the UNESCO World Heritage List, traditional mustard, delicious gastronomy, and building styles ranging from Gothic to art deco. Its unique culture is situated in a region in full environmental, economic and social development which made it the perfect setting for the 2019 Congress topic of diversity and sustainability with many pertinent, innovative, and inspiring stories to nourish the discussions.
Over the course of the three-day main programme, 194 participants from 31 countries gathered to discuss the diversity in the cultural and creative sectors, multiple practical meanings, the contribution of cultural diversity to the sustainability discourse and practice, as well as about rethinking cultural management and policy in the context of the debate on diversity and sustainable development.
Organised in partnership with our member, the Burgundy School of Business, the programme began on 2 October with the 4th edition of the Members’ Forum. In the morning, members of ENCATC and our Memorandum of Understanding partners, the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) and the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies (TACPS) participated in six round tables in order to better understand the work of ENCATC and exchange how to improve or do differently on the topics of: Business models and finances; Governance and digital culture; Education; Research; Internationalization; and Youth Generation.
In the afternoon of this same day, at the Members’ Forum participants attended the ENCATC-AAAE International Panel “Sustaining the field of cultural management education: how international engagement contributes (or not) to sustaining cultural management education”. Here the discussions continued from the ENCATC-AAAE Panel held earlier in 2019 in June at the AAAE Conference in Madison, WI, USA. Scholars from different countries shared their insights into how international cultural management functions in their respective countries.
On the evening of the Congress’ first day, all participants came to together for the official Congress opening held at the beautiful Salle de Flore where ENCATC had the honour to be hosted by the Ville de Dijon. The opening was followed by the first ENCATC Fellowship Award Ceremony to honour and recognize the 2019 Laureate, Milena Dragićević Šešić, Head of UNESCO Chair in Interculturalism, Art Management and Mediation, Serbia. This was a celebration of her innovative yet consistent approach and commitment to positive change and remarkable and visionary leadership, creativity, and results in education, research, policy, and advocacy in the cultural management and policy fields. The Award presentation was given by Anne Matheron, Regional Director of Cultural Affairs, French Ministry of Culture. Speaking on behalf of the Fellowship Award panel as ENCATC President, Francesca Imperiale said: “Milena Dragićević Šešić, with her academic, professional and personal profile and history, personifies the mission and values of ENCATC. Her contribution to cultural management and policy is a point of reference for all of us working in the field, as well as an important legacy for young generations and practitioners”.
The 2nd of October was also the launch of the first edition of the ENCATC Research Boot Camp. This new project grew from the format of the previously organised ENCATC Young and Emerging Researchers’ Forum. The evolution was a response to the demand to offer emerging researchers more time to work together and learn from senior peers. The aim of the Boot Camp was twofold. First, it was to give young PhD researchers the opportunity to learn by doing for how to design a learning programme. Second, was for cultural management students to have the possibility to improve their capacities to write a project and communicate it to an international audience. The working themes selected for the projects to be developed by the students were the same that were elaborated for the ENCATC Academy on Culture External Relations held in November 2019 in Taiwan. To offer a mobility grant and the opportunity to a young researcher, Ana Letunic was selected as the 2019 ENCATC Research Boot Camp Laureate. Ana Letunic, Docent (Assoc. Prof.) at the Academy of Dramatic Arts Zagreb in Croatia.
On the morning of 3 October, participants went on a discovery journey to observe the local cultural field with visits to the institutions of La Coursive Boutaric, La Peniche Cancale, and The Consortium Museum.
The first visit was to La Coursive Boutaric, is a cultural and social rehabilitation project in Dijon. This cultural institution is located in the oldest large complex in the district of Les Grésilles which is classified as a sensitive urban area (SUA) with more than 4,000 social housing units. The project's mission is to accelerate the economic development of cluster members through cooperation and the pooling of resources and skills; structure the cultural and creative sector in the region through the creation of tools to help the emergence and professionalization of cultural and creative entrepreneurs; and contribute to the attractiveness of the district of Les Grésilles in Dijon, in full urban requalification by the development of economic activities. The visit and discussions addressed two key points. The first is the role of artistic production in dealing with social challenges, diversity, integration, and vitalization of underdeveloped areas. The second is how a cultural and artistic project contributes to the debate on how culture can support and integrate the traditional social, economic dimensions of sustainability thus contributing to more balanced models of development. When asked what diversity means for La Coursive Boutaric when implementing its social inclusion projects Frédéric Ménard, the organisation's President said: "The neighborhood in which we are located is a space of great cultural diversity. This cultural diversity nourishes the work developed by the artists, as well as the cultural enterprises established in the district. All of them try out artistic proposals rooted in the territory, with cultural rights as a principle of action".
The second visit was to La Péniche Cancale, is a cultural project moored at the Port du Canal in Dijon. It is successfully revitalizing the local neighbourhood though cultural promotion, eco-production, social inclusion, and sustainable practices. Working in conjunction with its territory, It collaborates with numerous artists, local cultural actors, and national networks to offer quality programming that is both accessible and inclusive. The organisation values a professional integration approach by welcoming young adults in precarious situations via a partnership with the Herriot Hosting and Social Reintegration Centre. The visit was key for understanding and gaining examples for how a cultural organisation's model can successfully integrate with cultural, social, ecological and solidarity approaches.
The final visit was to The Consortium Museum, a contemporary art centre based in Dijon founded by Xavier Douroux and Franck Gautherot in 1982 by the non-profit Le Coin du Miroir, founded in 1977. Before the guided visit of the collection, participants gained a deeper understanding of how since its beginning this institution has implemented a practice of diversification and multi-focal points of inclusive activities. When asked how the museum sector preceives “diversity for sustainability”, the museum's Director Franck Gautherot said: "Museums are cemeteries of corpses at the time of cremation and ashes. How diversity can be the new strategy? Museums could respond to digital, museums could still act like game players in today’s art world? No choice but a painful difficulty to create and get free of the bureaucratic models. The collaboration between the market and the academic issues is the only way to survive for public institutions. But are they able to? Not by now, I guess, that's why the consortium museum as an independent institution could be a role model –modesty but arrogance– in the today figure. Diversity means global collaboration and centripetal and centrifugal forces in action."
The afternoon programme continued with the Panel “Diversity and sustainability at work in culture and arts: what perspectives at territories levels”. This session was held under the high patronage of the French Minister of Culture, Mr. Franck Riester.
Next, participants split into discussion groups to exchange perceptions, analyse and reflect on the shared experience during the morning cultural visits. This exchange was followed by the Congress Keynote speaker, David Throsby, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He spoke on “Diversity and sustainability in the cultural sector: What can economics tell us?”. He stressed the most important international agreement on cultural diversity is the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Culture Expressions. Almost 150 countries are signatories to this convention, which spells out a range of obligations for the protection of the arts and culture and for the enhancement of the contribution of the cultural sector to economic, social, environmental and cultural development. There is a range of reports published by UNESCO that give examples of cultural and creative projects relating diversity and sustainability that have been undertaken in many countries around the world – see particularly a review of the Convention’s first 10 years published in 2015 under the title Reshaping Cultural Policies: A Decade Promoting the Diversity of Cultural Expressions for Development.
The Congress keynote was followed by a debate with experts Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels and UNESCO Representation to the European Union, Belgium and Lluís Bonet, Professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain. The discussions focused on topics such as UNESCO's SDGs, the 2030 agenda, and sustainable tourism as well as questions from the audience such as about how to combat against protectionism and nationalism when promoting cultural diversity.
The day continued with the 2019 ENCATC Research Award Ceremony. Once more ENCATC celebrated young and emerging generation of researcher first learning about the doctoral work accomplished by the four finalists in the running. The winner of the Award was announced as Dr. Biljana Tanurovska Kjulavkovski for her PhD “Theory of institutions and cultural policies for contemporary performative practices” obtained from the University of Arts in Belgrade, Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Serbia. Expressing her deep gratitude for the ENCATC Award’s prestigious international recognition Dr. Tanurovska Kjulavkovski said: “I would like to thank ENCATC and the Research Award’s international jury for this great honour. My gratitude also goes to my PhD mentor, Professor Milena Dragićević Šešić. I believe that besides scholars dealing with issues concerning the notions of institution in culture, cultural policy, governance, contemporary dance and performance, diverse communities of practitioners, researchers, cultural workers and artists can also find interest in this interdisciplinary research which includes strategies, tactics, case studies, artistic, curatorial practices and theoretical propositions.”
After the ceremony, participants were whisked away to the Cave Patriarche located in the centre of Beaune. It is the largest cellars in Burgundy with five kilometres of tunnels in Beaune, where more than 3 million bottles are kept. Participants enjoyed wine tasting, music and the Congress gala dinner.
The last day of the main Congress programme took place on 4 October. The morning was devoted to Annual Educational and Research Session, which was in its 10th edition. These presentations provided the most updated information about new learning methodologies, practice and research trends in cultural management and policy from different world regions. For the first time and to mark the Research Session's 10th anniversary, the Congress introduced the ENCATC Best Research Paper Award on Cultural Policy and Management. This was a new initiative and the first recognition was awarded at the end of the Congress to “Cultural diversity in Finland: Opening the field for non-native artists” by Emmi Lahtinen from the Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore, Finland and to “Incredible Edible Todmorden: Impacts on Community Building, Education, and Local Culture. A Case for the Operationalization of Sustainability” by Michelle Brener from the Universidad Anáhuac México, Mexico.
For its second edition, the Congress Posters’ Exhibition was be a once more great opportunity for members and non-members to enhance the visibility of their European projects and promote best practices among the participants. Topics covered cultural heritage, entrepreneurship, creative industries, audience development, and international cultural relations.
In Dijon, ENCATC held once again its International Book Exchange project which offered Congress participants the occasion to promote their new publications and share them with their colleagues from all over the world. It was also the occasion to launch two new publications by the ENCATC Research Award winners from 2017 and 2019 published in the ENCATC Book Series on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education. The 2017 ENCATC Research Award winner, Rebecca Amsellem presented "Museums go International. New strategies, new business models". This book is based on a multiple correspondence analysis of a database populated by the results of a survey conducted by the author on international museums. The 2018 ENCATC Research Award winner, Alba Zamarbide Urdaniz presented her book, "Buffers beyond Boundaries. Bridging theory and practice in the management of historical territories" which is a collection of complementary studies that explore the contemporary challenges in heritage definition and management.
To conclude the Congress, the Fellowship Award Keynote was delivered by the 2019 Laureate, Milena Dragićević Šešić. She gave an inspiring talk on Ethical Challenges in the Era of Academic Capitalism: Mission of Critically Engaged University. It was stressed that universities are facing contradictory policy demands and have heavier pressure to be more entrepreneurial and more capitalist. Higher education institutions are expected to compete on the global stage, but also at the same time serve their local communities. It was also important to discuss the role of networks in this era of facing ethical challenges for academic capitalism. Professor Dragićević Šešić said a network like ENCATC is crucial because it provides a place for the academic community to gather, collaborate and stand in solidarity for one another.
The 27th edition of ENCATC's annual Congress helped each participant to deepen and expand their knowledge with latest expertise on the 2019 theme and provided many opportunities to learn about innovative research, projects and teaching methodologies. In a convivial environment participants exchanged practices, networked with peers, and expanded and strengthened professional relationships across the globe.