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”Throw out the management books and read novels instead!”
Kerstin Brunnberg has a long list of references. She is now Chair of Swedish Art Council, and has a long career behind her as journalist and head of several of the large newspapers, as well as radio and TV.
She is invited to the education Kulturverkstan to talk about art, culture, the role of art in society, and leadership.
Being a leader of cultural institutions and organisations means to work with people, and the best place for learning of people is in novels. Read a lot, is a message.
Reading also helps writing. It’s necessary for any project manager to be able to describe its work in plans and project applications. Proposals written with passion, personal tone and genuin interest do have a larger chance to come through than buzzwords with no content. Might sound evident, but it’s easy to fall into the buzzword trap.
Flexibility, complexity, hard work, and to always stand up for the freedom of expression are leading words for this soft-strong lady.
For any project manager within art and culture, this should be on your bed-side to read: The law of freedom of the press.
Follow Nätverkstan at Vine, where you find a clip from the lecture.
The Cultural Incubator is a project run by Nätverkstan that aims to support people with ideas. The selected eighteen people come in with their ideas and over a six month period they get a chance to develop these to be more sustainable and feasible. Coaching and knowledge building seminars is part of the process, and finally they leave with action plans that can be used as a base to form business plans or project plans and applications.
The incubator is part of a large EU-project based in the immigrant dense Northeastern parts of Göteborg, the project is also named Utveckling Nordost (Development Northeast), and has the ambition to strengthen these areas’ attraction and create jobs. One way to do this is through strengthening culture and entrepreneurship.
The Cultural Incubator started in end of February and a great way to start is to use some time at the first meeting to get to know each other beyond the classical presentation round. It’s both valuable and sets the crossbar for the rest of the project time.
Our first start-up meeting followed by a cocking-session making dinner together and the second meeting was a bustour to visit the artistic group Not Quite in Fengersfors, in the woods of Dalsland. Inspiration, learning how Not Quite started and run their organization, and not the least: time to get to know each other and build networks.
Photo Elin Tollbom
During the first semester of the two-year education International Project Management within Culture, Kulturverkstan, the students get their very first large challenging task. They are formed in groups and together work with a real assignment presented by organizations in the local scene of Göteborg and west Sweden.
The projects have twofold meanings. It’s a way to study ”glocal” Göteborg, the local and global cultural scene in the city, and also a kick-start into the education and learning about project management. The projects end with an open presentation with invited colleagues, organizations, students, relatives, friends, and others.
And yesterday. in a full Frilagret in centre of Göteborg, the six presentations took place. Humouristic, professional, engaging presentations of their project work and their results. Impressive.
The six projects were:
Angered Boxing Club. How do low memebershipfees go together with organizing the largest boxing tournament? To show the importance of this meeting place, the warmth and feeling of community, the students decided to do a short documentary of the club focussing on the people.
A Göteborg for all (Ett Göteborg för alla). The inter-religious centre in Göteborg is a place where faith and dialogue over religious differences is in centre. The students assignment was to answer two questions: ”How can a more constructive dialogue of religion be held in the public sphere?” and ”What is a Göteborg for all?”. The students have formed a concept for a festival in May 2013 to answer this.
Frilagret. Frilagret offers an arena for young culture. The activities are put forward in dialogue with young people and one idea is a small exhibition room. The students work have led to an exhibition and discussion around ”What is art?”.
Humouristic political stunt. The project is a way to use humour in activism, in this case used to put the light on public transport ticket inspectors. Commissioner was researcher Majken Jul Sørensen, who focus on humour and political activism. The project was done in an action at the trams and a documentation of the process.
European Year for Active Aging and solidarity between generations. 2012 was the European Year for Active Aging and the students put together an touring exhibition with the message to politicians and decisionmakers to better encourage active aging.
TedxYouth@Järntorget. The TedxYouth@Järntorget have ambitions to create a meeting place for discussions and encourage young people to pursue their ideas. Everyone has a story worth telling! The students organized one of these events, 17th of November on the UN day for the Convention on the Rights of Children, the first of such meetings at Järntorget.
The second pilot course Creative Entrepreneurship – Reaping the value out of your creative work has just finished its ten weeks program. Around 25 musicians, illustrators, visual artists, sculptors, storytellers, poets and more participated to review their ideas, reflect on their lifecycle, look ahead and finish with an eighteen months plan.
During the course they have had lectures of well-known artists in different art forms telling their lifecycle and sharing their experiences, and courses such as marketing, IP Rights, pricing, and others. On examination day well-known musician Makadem told his story, telling the group that challenges don’t stop. Every level has it’s own challenges, and it never stops.
The pilot program is run by GoDown Arts Centre. Nätverkstan has been one of the partners in building content and preparing for the start of the program with funding from Swedish Institute. The cooperation started in 2009.
Christmas carols are on the schedule this afternoon and on stage of the outdoor assembly hall in the township Kogorocho in Nairobi, the young musicians are in deep concentration practicing for a show later on this week. And a small taste of the concert is given in an open session for whomever who would like to listen. Kids fill up the rows, together with a few others and us guests.
”Making music can make a difference” says Elisabeth Njoroge, Head of the Art of Music Foundation, the Foundation behind the project. Getting the chance to play an instrument, learning music, can actually change peoples lives, she says, and tells us examples of children from the slums who get a chance to play and how that has opened new possibilities and hope for a future.
Ghetto Classics, the project was named by the children, started in 2009 and has become an important contribution in the township. The foundation also runs the National Youth Orchestra in Kenya with the same ambition and conviction:
Music can make a difference in the lives of young Kenyans.
Nätverkstan, together with Ole Lützow-Holm, Assistant Professor at Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, are in Kenya to work together with GoDown Arts Centre on the education Creative Entrepreneurship. Read more of Nätverkstan’s cooperation in Kenya here.
Last Friday (November 30) Belgrade’s first one-year mentorprogram, Creative Mentoring, was launched at Gallery 12 HUB. Eleven creatives together with there matched mentors gathered for a Kick-off setting off the program.
The ETC-group, formed together with the Swedish Embassy in fall 2011, gather eleven cultural and social entrepreneurs in Belgrade with high ambition to start, build, and pursue their initiatives in and around Serbia within their different professions. The group decided to start a program for mentoring being inspired by the idea of exchange of knowledge and experience which was the base in the Creative Society–project run by the Swedish Embassy last fall.
In April 2012 the group started the discussion around mentorship in a workshop held by Nätverkstan, which followed by a study trip to Sweden, many meetings, a ”dreamlist” of possible mentors, and finally asking high-profile individuals to be mentors for a year.
And last Friday the formal Kick-off set off this interesting project!
Have you ever heard the sound of money pooring into to your cash register? The sound is illustrated with a big ”Ka-tziing” (at least in Swedish…) when figures like Scrooge McDuck in the Donald Duck cartoons is pooring more gold coins into his already dense cashbox.
”Kablonk” documentary filmer Bengt Löfgren illustrated the sound of the few coins he could cash in after his large film projects. Despite many successful film projects, winning prices and being shown on television, his pockets were still echoing empty he said with a smile. But you have to keep on, not wait for the money, and continue ”listen, learn, and develop” he concluded.
One of the stimulating points of the conference ”Ka-tziing!” in Göteborg on November 14, was when artists within film, literature, visual art, handicraft, performing arts, and music told short pecha-kucha stories of how they live on their art.
The conference and small market fair gathered 250 energetic and interested participants from art, culture, regional office, and organizations working with cultural entrepreneurship, to discuss, mingle, network, and get information of what Region Västra Götaland is doing to facilitate the entrepreneurial side of a cultural and artistic freelance work.
Guest key note speaker was Giep Hagoort, researcher of Utrecht School of the Arts (Holland), focussing on the entrepreneurial dimension of cultural and creative industries (also the title of his latest booklet), addressing the main point that all discussions and research on art and cultural entrepreneurship have to start in close relation to the actual artistic scene – to the practice.
Researchers have a tendency to sit in their ivory towers and not meet with the practice. To reach new interesting research, this needs to be challenged. And a quick hand-up on how many researchers this conference had attracted showed one person.
Perhaps no glimmering new solutions of how to get Ka-tziing instead of Kablonk in your pocket, but ideas, perspectives, inspiration, and a lot of time to mingle and look for connections among those who can support in how to a little better sustain yourself.
The conference was an initiative by Region Västra Götaland and Knep, an educational project run by Nätverkstan, supported by the European Social Fund. Funding the conference was European Social Fund and Region Västra Götaland. Performers during the day was Uttryckslabbet. Download the program here: Ka-tziing_inbjudan.pdf.
Etiketter:Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Project, Economy, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Research, Self-employment, Social entrepreneur, Västra Götaland
A few years ago, Nätverkstan tried a slogan to attract advertisers to put in ads in small cultural journals. A fancy advertisement agency came up with witty slogans like Even poets need refrigerators to attract white goods shops to buy ads in a selected group of journals who’s target groups were poets. The slogan was put on dishcloths, refrigerator magnets and send-outs. So when you whiped your sink you would be reminded. Even poets need refrigerators.
On a seminar with John Newbigin, Chair of Creative England, at Kulturverkstan the other week, he reminded of another of those sayings. The success behind Victorian engineering in UK, he said, was said to be because ”It’s the same men building bridges reading poetry”. The engineers in Victorian UK not only held their expertise in engineering they also read poetry, which made them build better bridges.
It’s the same line that Steve Jobs is said to have followed, the idea that competence in liberal arts and humanities are important, and perhaps more so than computing skills. Jobs was looking for poets and artists with interest in computing, not computer geeks, John Newbigin reminded us.
Next weekend the yearly Poetry Festival (Poesifestival) is taking place – a great opportunity to fill your minds and add competence with three full days (and evenings) of poetry, poetry-reading and exploring this years theme of ”Orientation”.
Swedish photographer Mats Bäcker had a flying start of his career taking the legendary black and white photo of Iggy Pop at Dad’s Dancehall in Kopenhagen in 1977. Thirty-five years later the photo of Iggy Pop showing the finger to the audience sold at a famous Swedish Auction House for 56.000 SEK (6.489 euro).
He is driven by a feeling of ”it will go to hell anyway” and says that ”when the entrepreneur goes in, the artist goes out”. The entrepreneur and artist seem to be like a swingdoor in constant movement in his life.
During the one hour lecture at the six fulldays course on art and entrepreneurship hosted by Kulturlyftet and performed by Nätverkstan, Mats Bäcker tells a wonderful success-story full of worries and disbelief; a constant force to develop his artistic skill and challenging his perception in trying new things; networking; and, as he puts it ”good luck and a good gene to endure disappointments”.
The last is, he points out, how to live on your art. The other is to recycle. The artistic work he did when he started as a pop- and rockart photographer is used again, in new settings and imagery. Later as a performance photographer at the Opera in Stockholm he developed new ways of taking photos of movement. All can be used again in new playful ways.
”Recylce, recycle, recycle” he says with emphasis looking over the audience of illustrators, photographers, designers, filmers, and visual artists, and, he points out, not trying to do everything but instead choose your artistic form and work hard on this.
One of the success stories of Stanford University, with it’s premises in Silicon Valley outside San Francisco (US), is, it’s said, to be its close relation to the businesses in Silicon Valley. It’s a symbiotic relationship. They nurture each other and many success business stories have started at Stanford; Google, Facebook, Instagram, Apple, Hewlett-Packard.
Leland Stanford, a Republican governor in the late 1800s and who made a fortune from Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and his wife decided to found a University in their late son’s name. Stanford University opened its doors in 1891 and the device was that the University should not become an ivory tower, but ”qualify students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life”. From the start, the close relationship to private funding, corporate research funds, and venture capital for start-ups, first for innovations in radio and broadcast media to todays digital technology, has been a base for the University.
The story can be read in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) and gives an interesting light on the success story behind business ideas developed at Stanford and the philosophy behind it. But also the dangers of such a focus on success and making money.
The campus life and the atmosphere at Stanford is described as open to ideas, easy going, ”people are willing to try things”, risk-taking, access to venture and risk capital, creative. But there are also questions raised if Stanford has the right balance between commerce and learning, between getting skills to make it and intellectual discovery for its own sake? Is corporate money stearing research priorities?
David Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who has also taught for many years at Stanford, express his worries that students uncritically incorporate the possibilities of Silicon Valley, but it’s a lack of students devoted to the liberal arts and the idea of pure learning. The one and simple question stearing choices is: What will I get out of it?
The philosophy now promoted at Stanford is the ”interdisciplinary education” and getting students to become ”T-shaped”, that is they have depth in a particular field of study and breadth across multiple disciplines. Social skills are put forward and an effort is to put together students with different majors (engineering, business, medicine, science, design) to together solve real or abstract problems.
David Kelley, the founder of design firm IDEO, is also director of Institute fo Design at Stanford (d.school), and is driven by the mission to lift empathy in his students. He wants the students to learn to see the human side of the challenges posed in class and that way provoke creativity.
Still, fewer students get into liberal arts and humanities and many become, as said by a senior Miles Unterreiner, ”slaves to the dictates of a hoped-for future”. Students become instrumental and only get majors in subjects that lead to jobs, something also supported by Universities.
It’s an interesting development. Reading Steve Jobs story and listening to many of his talks, he puts two processes next to each other as crucial for his success: The development of technology and the liberal arts.
The post is based on the article in The New Yorker (April 30, 2012) ”Annals of higher education. Get rich U.There are no walls between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should there be?” by Ken Auletta. The photo is from a TED talk on the web.
Read more from posts on IDEO, San Francisco, and the Arts from our visit in 2008 here and posts on other interesting US visits here. Read also here the report from Svenskt Näringsliv which last year promoted less money to humanity education in Sweden, a very criticized report.
The thirty-five students at the final year at Kulturverkstan, the two-year International Culture Project Management Training Programme, just finished their seminars of their final internships and are at this moment celebrating their examination dinner.
As always the students have held a variety of interesting seminars on topics they have studied during their internship. Independent Culture House, gentrification, industrial cool – What does the connections look like?, A music life for all?, The heterogenic team, Participation and engagement within performing arts are just a small selection of all the different topics, all interesting to dig into.
Figures from the last group of graduated students (June 2011) shows that 82% got jobs or run their own business within the field they educated for. Many of the jobs are project work, either short- or longterm, but still. We are quite proud.
Read the different seminar topics here (in Swedish): Program_Kulturverkstan.pdf.
GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi started in 2009 workshops in art and entrepreneurship for the art community in Kenya and East Africa. The workshops has now evolved to build a Capacity-building Program for Creative Entrepreneurs and Artists in East Africa that is long-term and this Summer a pilot will start, a 10 weeks Summer-course in art and entrepreneurship.
Nätverkstan has been a part in this cooperation since the start, holding workshops, arranged study visit, facilitators workshops, and discussing content and educational planning. Last week (26–28th of March) a facilitators workshop took place in Nairobi, held by GoDown Art Centre, Sian Prime at Goldsmiths University and Nätverkstan.
With such a commitment and talent as found in the arts community and among institutions in Nairobi, this Summer-course is not far from coming true.
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Development, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, International exchange, Resources, Social entrepreneur
The three year old current culture exchange program between the state of Karnataka, India and the region of vastra Gotaland, Sweden has kept developing and does incorporate collaboration in many art and culture fields today.
Nätverkstan was part of the initiating process concerning this collaboration and is still an active actor in Bangalore.
KMV, the film, culture and media production centre based on sociala entrepreneurship in Bergsjön, a suburb in Gothenburg, has since a year back started to cooperate with Nätverkstan and Mediaverkstan.
During the Bangalore International Film Festival a joint seminar by KMV and Nätverkstan was held with Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan as the key speaker. The seminar, held at the Department of Information in Bangalore, attracted a large audience consisting primarly of youngsters and young women, most of them active as film makers, or studying film and media production in Bangalore.
The seminar emphasized new ways of funding feature film in the ongoing digital paradigm shift as well as a case study on ”Bloody Boys”, the feature film produced by KMV. Topics in the seminar included issues concerning how the film was financed, how amateurs and residents in the suburb collaborated with top actors and crew from the professional part of the swedish film business. An intense discussion was initiated raising questions about filmproduction, social entrepreneurship and media production catalyzing social change.
Another aspect of the discussion also included new ways of nonlinear collaborative postproduction work in the digital flow-work. ”Bloody Boys” was also screened during the fim festival and was sold out on every screening and did receive intense media attention.
Text by Leif Ericsson, film producer and Nätverkstan
The seminar is a cooperation between Nätverkstan and KMV in Bangalore, India. Se more posts here on the exchange in Bangalore.
For the last couple of months the Kulturverkstan students have been working with projects in the city of Göteborg. The themes for these projects have been culture, city development, participation and democracy. Our students have been working with external partners. These partners have presented real live cases and ideas for project development to the students. In a common dialogue they have together developed these projects. As in all projects it has been an act of balance between the needs of the partners, the creativity of our students and the citizens of Gothenburg. Here follows a short summary for our English-speaking partners.
Eriksbo Fritidspark is an activity centre run by the community’s recreation organisation by day and in the evenings the different activities are the responsibility of the volunteer driven Eriksbo Parkförening. Available to the public are activities such as help with homework, a pottery class and yoga. One can also find a petting zoo with bunnies, goats and chickens as well as a much-visited green nature area. The board however wants to do more. They want Parken to become the official meeting place of the multicultural, beautiful community that is Eriksbo. Over the years new inhabitants have moved in and a worrying lack of local participation has grown. In order to assist the board in their development process a project group from Kulturverkstan was tasked with acquiring a ”vision document”. What kind of activities do the citizens of Eriksbo want to have at Parken?
Through interviews, public meetings, workshops and surveys we have collected thoughts and opinions about which needs exist in the community and what people wish of their spare time in Eriksbo.
In conclusion, we have been in contact with over 100 citizens of Eriksbo. In addition to solid suggestions there has been talk of the needs in different areas and potential improvements. During our inquiry we have learned that the work being done already at Parken is much appreciated, and with more resources the Parken can be even better.
Group members: Josefina Samuelsson, Anna Sandin, Hanna Jansson, Caroline Andersson, Fillip Williams
External partner: Parkföreningen Eriksbo och Hyresgästföreningen
Pleasure Parking – An innovative step towards the car parks of the future
A project assignment conducted by the project group Pleasure Parking at Kulturverkstan’s International Cultural Management Programme
During the autumn of 2011 we, the members of the project group Pleasure Parking, have conducted an assignment at the request of Göteborgs Stads Parkerings AB (the municipal parking company) and Kulturverkstan. Our main goal within the assignment was to deliver a raw material of opinions of the general public, concerning the company’s indoor car parks and its atmospheres. What does it take to improve one’s feeling of well-being and ease in these car parks?
We chose to arrange a public event in one of the company’s indoor car parks, with the aim to there and then collect the participants opinions through an inquiry and a ”wall of opinions”. We also placed a number of minor inquiries in three of the company’s central car parks, and we created a web site in connection to the parking company’s homepage along with an e-mail address to which opinions could be sent. Some other internal goals of Pleasure Parking was to create a forum for discussions on car parks as a part of the public space and its connection to environmental-related issues, and also to make sure that the dialogue and cooperation of the parking company with the general public, would continue after the completion of our assignment.
When we delivered the result of the inquiries to the parking company, the gathering of data was however not completely finished. The reason is that the minor inquiries in the car parks will continue and that the web page and the possibility to e-mail, will remain open to the public. We managed to evoke a forum for discussions and debates during the public event on issues of democracy and the environment, and we hope that these topics were also discussed among the public who took part of the media reports of the project.
One of the conclusions that we can make is that indoor car parks can be used for more purposes than that of parking only, for example art exhibitions and music performances. We succeeded in creating an attractive event with a high rate of participants, and a democratic forum in which the opinions of the public was gathered. We did find a gap between the number of participants and the number of delivered inquiries, and we made the conclusion that we, in Pleasure Parking, could have been more active towards the participants in order to encourage them to make their voices heard.
A bonus result was however that at least one of the decorations which we placed in the car park for the event will be made permanent, and that connections have been made between different cultural workers and the parking company for further cooperation in the future.
Group members: Johanna Franck, Caroline Pehrson, Martin Reinikainen , Anna Svensson, Tobias Westerberg
External partner: Göteborgs Stads Parkeringsbolag.
Space for young culture
A community centre for young people is planned to open in the centre of Gothenburg. The public administration for culture claimed in a document at the 31st January 20111 that a dialogue process would be an appropriate way to form the content of this centre. This initial process was to be called Space for young culture. Six students at Kulturverkstan was called in to the project in September to ensure a dialogue process of high quality standard. By a critical scrutinizing analysis of collected information and by identifying strengths and flaws, they were to offer improvements and solutions to improve the process.
Group members: Johanna Byström, Johan Lind, Lisa Säthil, Tobias Brandin, Elin Tollbom, Julia Adielsson
External partner: Kulturförvaltningen Göteborg, Rum för ung kultur
Project Vega has aimed to variegate and strengthen the voice of the elderly in the public debate, in a positive and artistic way see them as unique personalities and satisfy a need of being able to be a part of the cultural life in the city. The project created conditions for interactions between local artists and residents at the nursing home Vegahusen, one of Tre Stiftelser’s three nursinghomes in Gothenburg. In the creative process of the artworks, ten elderlys experiences and thoughts has been taken care of and shaped by ten artists with different forms of expressions. The project resulted in two exhibitions named ”A priest, a Dane and a ballerina” and a catalogue including information about the participators and the process of the artworks.
Group members: Erika Alsén, Anne-Li And, Lars Dyrendom, Klara Fulgentiusson Ejeby, Anna Hansen, Robin Palmqvist
External partner: Tre stiftelser Äldreboende
Being the main host of Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Röda Sten Art Centre asked us to arrange a one day activity within the Biennial. We all found the theme Pandemonium – Art in a time of creativity fever, to be highly interesting. The Biennial statement expresses a wish to be a “launch pad for new ideas and new world orders”. Sadly, we couldn’t find any means to harvest these thoughts, nor did we find any other points of interaction with the visitors. In this we found the aim for our project.
Our objectives were to catalyze the visitor’s reflection and enhance their participation, to enable simple ways for leaving a print and a forum for discussion in conjunction with visiting the Biennial.
Framtidslabb, Swedish for Future Laboratory, housed four stations ranging from our abstract Reflektorium to the more hands-on Tomorrow’s Headlines workshop.
From surveys and our conversations with participants we found that our goal was met. Our conclusion is that this sort of pedagogical activity offers the Biennial visitor a more enriching experience.
Group members: Göran Dahlström, Bella Ghajavand, Héctor García Jorquera, Jenny Haraldsson
External partner: Konsthallen Röda sten, Göteborg International Biennal for contemporary art.
Accomodation of Blattsploitation
The project’s primary aim has been to create conditions for a sustainable non-profit business that can accommodate the association ”Alla har en Historia att Berätta”, its ideas and visions. We have chosen to do this through a pilot study. In the beginning part of the pilot study we tried to gather and create a consensus on the ideas, the knowledge and experience within the association. We have also added ideas and suggestions that we believe favours the association’s sustainability and long-term work ahead. This was done in close collaboration with the association. One of these proposals, to develop the association’s website, came up early in the process. There was a lot of interest in this proposal from the members of the association and therefore we decided to begin this work in parallel with the work on the pilot study.
The issues that have been a leader for us in the pilot study concerning the association’s structure and development was:
The association’s purpose is to highlight the suburbs of Gothenburg and those who live there, to allow people to visualize themselves on their own terms. They want a larger amount of voices to be heard and more perspectives to be made visible through the stories in the media form of Digital Storytelling (DST). The association’s focus is twofold. DST will be the association’s core activity. DST is a short film, usually 5-15 minutes with a voice and images combined with music or other sounds that create a story. They also have a vision about the association being a knowledge centre for DST. The second part of the association is to serve as a platform for other thoughts and ideas that fit within the framework of its statutes. Here they have thoughts about casting companies, films, TV-Shows about food from mixed cultures and so on.
Group members: Annika Jonsson, Johan Elldér, Martina Jeansson, Olle Andersson, Pia Engman
External partner: Föreningen Alla har en Historia att Berätta
Photos from the project Pleasure Parking.
We have gathered, around ten students, teacher and artists from the Cultural Management Program, Art University and the field , to work on the art of living on art and, for some, the burning question of what will happen after studies are finished.
The invitation is from the MA Cultural Management in Tallinn at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in the center of the city. In the small room great plans and ideas are drawn up, reflections and dreams are high as well as down to the practice of everyday work. So, what needs to be done? What active steps can I take? What is the surrounding discussion and context in society at the moment?
Tallinn is this year Cultural Capital and in Estonia the cultural industries gained momentum in 2003-2004. Figures say that creative industries are around three percent of Estonia GDP and that the added value from this field was larger than any other branch or industry (see Tallinn City Enterprise Board). Recently a large conference was held in Tallinn on Creative Entrepreneurship for a Competitive Economy with some major speakers in the field invited. Talking to people in the cultural field there seem to be a gap between the large plans of creative industries and the artists. Someone should perhaps take an interest in mitigating this gap.
Adrian de la Court and Sian Prime, MA Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University of London, hovers around the class, enthusiastically supporting the discussions and work that is being developed in the groups. And then the difficult questions to challenge the students to go deeper in their understanding, reveal a bit more, go to the bottom of all those words so easily used.
We, eight people from the GoDown Arts Center in Nairobi together with myself, have joined one of the classes in Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths. The task is to map each individual’s strengths and assets, and come to a conclusion of the group assets. Find the deficit. Map the geographical area you are in. What assets are there around you? What possibilities does it reveal?
The work is done with paper, colored pens, lego-pieces, straws, rubberbands – anything that can help you illustrate your ideas. Envision them. The energy in the room is on top.
A few lessons from his experience was the following:
1) It’s all about sharing, and it’s amazing what you can achieve if you are not interested in taking credit for it.
2) There are moments in leadership where new ideas are put forward that no-one knows what they will lead to. To get people on board you might have to ”bullshit” a little. Do it with brilliance. Everyone knows how it works. If you are wrong, you can work that out later.
3) Don’t underestimate the formal meetings even in an informal setting. We sometimes assume people we work with know more than they actually do. Be careful. It’s better to say things twice than not say it at all. It shows openness.
4) Chairing meetings is an important task. Create an opportunity for people to speak their mind. Listen even if you are loosing the argument. Shared knowledge gives better results.
The meeting was held at the Hub Westminister, in itself an interesting place for developing ideas around social entrepreneurship.
The Encatc 19th Annual Conference in Helsinki was focusing on the future this year.
”A wind of change is blowing over our societies and reshaping our political, social and cultural paradigms. Increased urbanization, uneven social redistribution, a digital shift and an array of new audiences accessible mainly with the use of new technological tools – these are motors of change which provide as many challenges as they do opportunities.”
In a mix of key note speakers such as Saara L. Tallas, IKEA Professor in Business Studies in School of Business and Design, Linnaeus University (Sweden); Katri Halonen, acting head of degree program in Cultural management at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences; and Lidia Varbanonva, consultant, researcher and lecturer was mixed with intense group discussions on different topics. Encatc thematic areas had workshops within their specific themes as well as room for young researchers and research presentations.
Although the financial crisis hovered above like an evil cloud, optimistic thoughts were exchanged on the future of culture and its possibilities.
Read more of the conference here.
Etiketter:Creative Industries, Creativity, crisis, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Development, Digitization, Economy, Education, Encatc, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Social entrepreneur
The theories of philosopher Jacques Rancière and his politics of aesthetics got a very practical meaning the other day when listening to literature researcher and dramaturge Jan Holmgaard.
He was invited to give a talk at the closing of a mentorprogram run by DIK Association and took his standing-point in Rancière. Very simplified described as two spheres in constant struggle with each other; the current understanding of reality, and the resistance towards this understanding. The gap in between these two is where creativity and modern art finds its role in trying to distort current understanding. A vital society should be one that allows for this gap of disagreement to exist.
Translated to practical work in an organization or, such as in this case, a mentorprogram, it poses some crucial questions. Does a mentorship program institutionalize hierarchy? And is that good or bad? Can anything be done to brake this hierarchy? How would you radicalize the idea of a program for mentorship? What are the blind spots we don’t see, that influence on our understanding of reality and are used as the basis for decisions?
A struggle for consenus, a mutual agreement among a group of people, is undemocratic and just confirms the current. Instead, the democratic line is to allow for dissensus and disagreement, Holmgaard points out. A difficult task, and so beautifully addressed by Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård in his summertalk in Swedish radio in August just a few weeks after the horrifying attack by Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo.
We are all pieces in the puzzle of existing understanding and structure in society. This was a good reminder of how important art is to keep us vital.
Tonights highlight. A warm summer-evening working with artists on the Art of living on Art in the small town of Uddebo.
Nätverkstan is running a European Social Fund project on art and entrepreneurship, Knep. The courses are run at four different places around the region of Västra Götaland, from large cities to small. Read also here.
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