Posts with tag EU

Projects at Kulturverkstan

Yesterday Kulturverkstan students held their project presentations at Frilagret, the new scene for youth culture in Göteborg.

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.

11 januari, 2013

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Cultural Statistics

First came shipbuilding. Then came Volvo. Now comes Film Industry to Göteborg.

The text, found on the wall at Gothenburg Film Studios, tells in three sentences the changes that Göteborg, and specifically the North Bank Side of river Göta Älv, has been going through the last forty years.

Shipbuilding was a large industry in Göteborg for a long time and the city was an important international hub for import and export of goods as well as ideas and contacts. Swedish East India Company had its base here and 37 of their ships were built in docks in the city. In the 70s the big crisis hit shipbuilding and many people lost their jobs and the deserted area has now changed into fancy residents. New businesses and centres are created with TV. Radio, IT, and film industry as a growing industry.

Now the car manufacturing industry is in a crisis and Saab sadly had to close down its business last year. Again people have lost their jobs. What will come instead is a question, but also strong in Trollhättan is film, animation, computer games, visual effects and the Science Park.

The impact of these new emerging industries are difficult to define and as hard to nail down into numbers. How can you evaluate and measure the effects of these new more small-scale industries? What indicators are needed? How do our statistical agencies streamline statistics from EU to local level so information can be compared? How do we assure to not only measure quantity, but also qualitative aspects? And how can we be clear of what is not measured, not to loose important aspects of art and culture and leave politicians with only numbers?

This was discussed yesterday at the conference arranged by Region Västra Götaland and CREA.RE with delegates from EU and national, regional, and local level.

21 mars, 2012

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Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries • Brussels

When EU leaders gathers to discuss and form policies for the European Union each participating member is balancing 1) their own nation’s interest and 2) the interest for EU as a whole. In that specific order.

EU leaders have been greatly criticized for not being able to put up a strong and convincing plan for how to come out of the financial crisis and save the euro. The balancing act between the interest of the nation and that of the structure as a whole is, to put it mildly, in conflict.

The discussion in the EU Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries is a miniature of the same problem.

EU Commission invited cultural organizations and networks in late 2007 to form platforms within different topics and policy-areas with the aim of coming up with recommendations to put in to the Commission’s work on culture. Spring 2008 these different platforms started their work.

Through the method structured dialogue the Commission hoped for a better – and more structured – dialogue between the Commission and the different actors in the cultural field.

The platforms have worked very differently. The Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries, a platform formed by around forty organizations, has proposed recommendations for the development of CCI but the road to finally agree on something has been bumpy. Some of the Platform’s participating organizations have refused to sign the final proposition, some have been objecting along the way.

No-one is surprised. Forty organizations representing publishers, audio-visuals, label companies, musicians and composers, architecs, universities and training centres and more gather in this one platform. The needs, structure, possibilities and challenges differ within each of these areas, so much that they can hardly be seen as one industry.

Is it just impossible, then, for the cultural field to agree and in consensus propose  strong overall recommendations to the EU that would benefit the sector as a whole?

Well, it’s symptomatic. What EU leaders fail to do on the large EU level, cultural organizations fail in their particular area. The interest of lobbying the agenda of the organization you are representing stands in the way of the interest for the sector as a whole.

It also needs to be said that the mandate for these platform called for by the EU Commission has been extremely vague if at all existing. The organizations forming the Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries have been working hard and with great seriousness taking the task of forming relevant recommendations.

The reception from the Commission has been lukewarm and the question hangs in the air if they have at all had any impact on forming the new cultural programme Creative Europe.

Still, Xavier Troussard, Head of Unit Cultural policy, diversity and intercultural dialogue, stresses that they now propose more money for the new programme, which of course in times of financial crisis would be an accomplishment however small it is.

It’s easy to in a haste and with frustration draw the conclusion that the actors in the cultural field can’t cooperate. It would be nice when the Commission now aims to evaluate the process, if it remembers to also look at the prerequisite set up for these platforms.

Sometimes the result you get depend on what question you asked.

Reflections from the meeting with The Platform for Cultural and Creative Industries, Brussels, February 6. Read also post here

6 februari, 2012

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Statistics on culture

The artist Staffan Hjalmarsson called it ”Five Squares of Sorrow”. He was referring to a report, the index- and indicatorstudy, in a blogpost during the large conference arranged by Region Västra Götaland last year. The study was showing how the Region had fulfilled its indicators within the different focus areas. All focus areas had information and follow-up except one: Culture. This was glowing empty like five squares of emptiness and sorrow. Here there were no ways of measuring, no indicators that could be followed up. No statistics.

The question of how to measure and follow up culture is a difficult one. What is to be measured and how? What should be measured by indicators, what should not? What are the evaluation criteria?

In Sweden two different authorities has been formed for analyzing, evaluating and measure statistical datas of culture: Myndigheten för Kulturanalys (Authority for Cultural Analysis, my translation) and Tillväxtanalys (Growth Analysis). While the former are working for the Ministry of Culture and follow effects and evaluate cultural activities initiated by them, the latter is working for Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication. Tillväxtanalys is the authority following for example business support activities –  cultural entrepreneurs and businesses also fall under its responsibility.

On EU-level ESSnet-Culture was formed in september 2009 with the task to during a two-year period improve methodology and production of data on cultural sectors and also improve comparability within EU-countries. They have now published a final report from its four different task force areas: 1) update the cultural framework, 2) define cultural economic indicators and cultural employment, 3) on cultural finances and 4) cultural practices and the social participation in the culture.

Region Västra Götaland held last week a first small seminar to discuss statistics and evaluation methods of cultural entrepreneurs. The seminar was initiated by the regional think tank Kombinator. A seminar on the work of ESSnet with invited guests is also planned by the regional office later on this spring.

Read ESSnet report here.

30 januari, 2012

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On the road in Västra Götaland

0001glNätverkstan is running workshops around the Region of Västra Götaland (West Sweden) on The Art of living on Art, a project funded by European Social Fund.

So far the first course, with workshops taking place at four different places in the region with around 8-10 participating artists in each, has ended and a new round of courses started. Last Saturday we had the full-day conference with David Karlsson talking about Cultural Industries, Gothenburg Combo on how they live on their art, and Ulla-Lisa Thordén on selling and pricing with all participants gathering in Vänersborg.

This is the road-trip around the Region of Västra Götaland this fall meeting artists in Skövde, Borås, Ulricehamn, Uddebo, Tranemo, Lidköping, Gerlesborg, Vänersborg. More to come!

Read more here.

29 november, 2011

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Snapshots from the 72nd Trans Europe Halles meeting

Trans Europe Halles – meetings that matters

During four days, 27 – 30th October, around 100 people from different Independent Cultural Centres throughout Europe have met in Bordeaux for the 72nd Trans Europe Halles meeting. This network (founded in 1983) gather more than fifty multidisciplinary and socially engaged member centres. Most centres are located in buildings from industrial heritage and have taken important action in challenging the established cultural policy.

This meeting was held at TNT – Manufacture de Chaussures in Bordeaux, France. The theme of the meeting was Neighbourhood / Voisinage. The meeting was organised together with TEH Friend organisation ARTfactories/Autre(s) pARTs and supported by TEH:s three-year network project Engine Room Europe.

About TNT

TNT opened in 1997 in a former shoe factory, and supports artistic research in the performing arts. Originally devoted to the theatre, it opened to other disciplines such as dance, music, visual arts, poetry, etc. These relations can last from a month to two years, through residencies or long-term projects. TNT tries to develop new ways of working, in its programming as in its functioning, in the choice of the artists, as in the working modalities, in the relations with the public as in the economy of the projects.

About ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs

The organisation ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs is a common platform for reflection, research and action, transmission and solidarity for the development of art centres that organise their practices and experiments around the relationship between arts, territories and populations. ARTfactories/Autre(s)pARTs is based in Toulouse, France.

Kulturverkstan is not a member of TEH but took part of the meeting as a guest. Networking is always a good way to reflect upon what’s possible, get inspired, review your own work and talk with people with common interests. This network is also interesting to us as we always look for interesting internships for our students.

Some snapshots

The meeting was a mix of formal and informal meetings, information and interaction, meeting with artist, brain-gym and artistic work. Among other things we took part in two different workshops:

The workshop ”Cross-Boarder Exchange” set out to explore the relationship between people with common ideas, but different national contexts. In this workshop we discuss challenges and possibilities of these exchanges, starting with two examples from Kulturfabrik in Luxembourg and La Grainerie in Toulouse, France. They both shared their experiences from recent cross-boarder projects and the discussion that followed centred around issues such as regional identity, European funding and the benefits of proper evaluations. The over all outcome was the positive encouragement from the participants with experience in cross-boarder exchange. That even though communication can prove to be very challenging and a lot of the budget needs to be spent on travelling it is still a very rewarding experience that your organisation will benefit from in a number of ways. The workshop leader was Dušica Parezanović from the centre REX, in Belgrade,Serbia.

Another workshop introduced ”Holacracy, a new way of Governance”. The term ”Holacracy” refers to a practice of structuring, governing and running an organisation. One of the interesting aspects of this model was the concept of doing what’s ”workable”. To not spend to much time on finding what’s perfect before you try it out. Inspiration comes from software development and open source where you launch a Beta-version and get immediate feedback to make it better.

Travelling to a European meeting often give you the opportunity to also meet colleagues from your own country. We spent some time with the Swedish members Röda sten, Konstepidemin, Kulturmejeriet, Subtopia, Culturen and Not Quite. Carl-Oscar Sjögren, artistic director for the performing arts company Drift, took part of the TEH meeting to launch, and gain inspiration on, his new project; to open an international art centre in an old abandoned mine. The mine is called Ställberg and is situated in the Swedish forests of Västmanland in a mine district that was closed down some 30 years ago. Since the TEH network constitutes mainly of cultural centres in buildings that was once used for industrial purposes, Carl-Oscar had the chance to meet with a lot of people that had pioneered the same roads he is now about to discover.

In Autumn 2012 the TEH meeting will be held in Gothenburg, hosted by Röda sten and Konstepidemin. Nätverkstan/Kulturverkstan will most certainly take part in some way!


Parallel to the TEH meeting  the second edition of EVENTO in Bordeaux offered a series of interesting exhibitions and art projects. EVENTO2011 has invited Michelangelo Pistoletto and his foundation Cittadellarte as artistic director and brings many local and international artists together under the theme ”Art for an Urban Re-Evolution”. The aim is to encourage us to reinvent the city and how we live together.

We visited some of the interesting spots:

ONCE UPON A FUTURE (STEALTH.unlimited + arc en rêve centre d’architecture Bordeaux) is a fictional account of a possible utopia for Bordeaux in 2030, inspired by citizen’s initiatives. This fictional narrative takes the form of a large mural created by a number of graphic designers and graphic novel artists. We have learnt from history different consequences of imposed utopias, in this work the artist are trying to use the concept of utopia in a ”more pragmatic and less theoretical, more immanent and less transcendent: a hybrid of utopia, somewhere between desire and reality”. Walking along the mural, taking part of all these different ideas and desires my reflection is that the notion of utopia or future at least tells us a lot about the present.

”This is how we came to eat sugar”

Musée d’Aquitaine (Aquitaine is the south-western region of France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain)

This museum with it contents Pistoletto uses as a portrait of the past that help us to prefigure the future: Slavery, immigration and other things that we have built our societies and economical growth upon. Six international artists – William Kentridge, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Marzia Migliora, Michael Blum, Shilpa Gupta and Wael Shawky – create a link between the museum collections and elements of refexion on contemporary society.

Our last stop was at a space-specific art project where an artist has worked together with people living there creating a garden, a stage and a café. Everyone in the neighbourhood has been invited to use it for their ideas.

By: Karin Dalborg & Malin Schiller, Kulturverkstan


1. TNT, and 2-3. Once upon a future


31 oktober, 2011

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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.


25 augusti, 2011

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As good as new…

Going through old documents and documentation, I came across the documentation from the Encatc 15th Annual Conference held in Göteborg, Sweden, in June 2007.

The conference invited around 200 participants mainly from Europe, but also other parts of the world, to discuss ”On Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”. Entrepreneurship was the talk of the day even then and the aim was to discuss methods, experiences and knowledge on this topic. The conference mixed between seminars, workshops, study visits and open space. We used speed-dating as contact creater between participants and had lots of different cultural events in the programme. We  invited speakers from Sweden and UK, but also India to widen our own horizons and bring in reflections from outside of Europe.

The discussions and results are still relevant and I find interesting quotes from all the speakers. Everything is documented in Encatc 2007 which can be downloaded below. We also did an adress-book from the speed-dating which was quite unique. This was never published in a printed version, but is possible to download for enthusiasts.

The 2011 Encatc Annual conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland, on October 12-14 on the topic ”CultureForecast”.

Read more from the from the conference 2007 here.

Download documentation here: encatc-2007-report.pdf.

Download adress-book here: encatc_addressbook.pdf.

3 augusti, 2011

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Five myths of US Economy

With a first-quarter GDP in US showing an increase of only 1.8 percent (less than expected 3 percent), declining housing prices, less consumption, an unemployment rate on 9.1 percent (in May only 54.000 new jobs were created), Rana Foroohar argues in Time (June 20 2011) it is time to kill the five most destructive myths of the US Economy:

1) This is a temporary blip, and then it’s full steam ahead

2) We can buy our way out of all this

3) The private sector will make it all better

4) We’ll pack up and move for new jobs

5) Entrepreneurs are the foundation of the economy

Both Republicans and Democrats are pursuing these myths of how the economy will recover, she writes. Instead a different path of growth has to be established rather than continue to believe in these five points.

Under the last myth the point is made that a good system of technical colleges are needed which will require a ”frank conversation” about the four-year liberal arts degree that may well leave the graduates overleveraged and underemployed.

A few thoughts come to mind.

The cultural field is highly entrepreneurial, cultural practitioners are entrepreneurs. In Europe many believe that it is in the creative industries where new jobs will be created. Maybe it is a bit hopeful; the sector is still a comparably small field. But it is growing.

If you read formal reports on unemployment rate within the art field, it does look depressing. But these figures need always to be read and analyzed together with other formal reports from other areas. Many studies show figures pointing at the cultural field as a growing field. Not in comparison with the large car industries as we use to know them, or perhaps the telecom industry. Yet important. The easy conclusion is that artists are over-represented in society. But reports and statistics are pointing in opposing directions (read more here).

Reading another report by the well-known Italian economist Pier Luigi Sacco, another interesting association is put forward to bear in mind. He puts two ranking tables next to each other: One ranking innovation in EU15 countries (2008) and one ranking Active Artistic Participation (EU15 2007).

And he notes:

”It is interesting to notice that the association is established between innovative capacity at the country level and active cultural participation at the same level. This is of course a preliminary piece of evidence, but it seems to suggests that the mechanisms discussed above seem to mirror into data more clearly than one could expect.”

It looks as if active participation in art has a correlation with the innovative capacity of a country. If this is right, we need a large flow of well-educated and professional artists from liberal arts Universities as well as easy access to practice art from a young age. Specifically, that is, if a country wants to ensure high innovation capacity.

Download Pier Luigi Sacco’s report here: pl-sacco-culture-3-0-ccis-local-and-regional-development-2.pdf.

25 juni, 2011

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Cultural Observatories in Europe

The urge to measure culture and all its aspect is growing. Everything that can be put in figures should be, seems to be the new motto. Qualitative arguments for why to put money into culture seem to have less value, quantities instead more. An instrumentalization of art and culture has been blowing as a wind over policy offices. Culture should be good for something, and it has to be proven.

In Sweden a range of public authorities or agencies offer studies and observations, the most used is probably Statistics Sweden, who produce statistics of most things in society. The problem with culture is that it has traditionally  fallen into the same category as sports, which is a much larger area and therefore the more specific knowledge of culture disappears. Instead other authorities are taking this role, such as Swedish Arts Council, Swedish Arts Grant CommitteeSweCult, and of course universities and many others, that has the ambition to also put figures into a context. The difficulty is still definitions, validity and reliability, and a vagueness is there. Is these facts trustable? Have the right thing been measured? A classical problem in any research, but with huge consequences for a small area like the cultural field.

Since some years cultural observatories have grown around Europe, some independent, but most connected to the public authorities. Many of them struggle with challenges such as: Who is the actual audience for the produced statistics? Should there be a common framework for these observatories? How do they cooperate and how do we deal with differences in methods, measurement, definitions?

These questions were discussed in Bilbao recently, where University of Deusto together with Encatc initiated the project and think tank The role of Culture Observatories in the Future in Europe.


11 september, 2010

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Response to EU Green Paper

On April 27 2010, the EU Commission launched a Green Paper on how to unlock the potential in the cultural and creative industries. The twenty pages long paper build on former studies of the economic importance as well as job creating within these industries, and suggests approaches, incentives, and pose retoric questions as of how to unlock the potential that they found.

The European network Encatc has, together with Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University of London and Nätverkstan in Göteborg, prepared a response. Download it here:encatc-response-to-eu-green-paper .

Read this former post from the European Forum of Cultural Industries in Barcelona on March 29-30 2010.

23 juli, 2010

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Centre Dansaert in Brussels

The incubator Centre Dansaert Centrum, Creative Business Centre, is placed in the central Flemish part of Brussels that has become very hip and popular. A few years ago the area was run down and a place many avoided. And we know the story.

Artists moved in, gradually the status of the area grew. Today it has been renovated with apartments and shopping area. It has kept the small-scale feeling and in every corner and street you find them; the energetic people designing clothes, selling craft, running second hand stores, hat designers, architects, coffee shops and others.

For Centre Dansaert Centrum it was an attractive place to have an incubator. It’s an attractive spot, but too expensive for newly started initiatives. In the old storage building with origins back to 1870s, offices and space were created to host small and newly started companies. Today they have around fifty entrepreneurs in the building.

To get a place you introduce your project or idea to Fabien Lambert. You apply on an already existing idea or project. You pay one set amount per month and everything is included: Rent, advice and support on business plan and development, electricity and other related costs. There are eight incubators in the region, financed publicly by Ville de Bruxelles and Region Bruxelles-Capitale and of course the competition between the incubators and funding is there.

Two enthusiastic entrepreneurs and one gallerist meet us; one musician running the music company Cypres; one of the owners, Benoît Vancauwenbergh, of a fairly new communication agency 6+1; and the man behind the small gallery specialized on African artists, Nomad Gallery.

The visit was part of a joint meeting between Eurocities and Encatc in Brussels 1-2 of June 2010. Read about other incubators under the category ”Incubators” on this site.


4 juni, 2010

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Green Paper on Culture

There is a unison tone on the European Forum on Cultural Industries in Barcelona. Cultural and Creative Industries are seen as the driving force of economy in Europe. It’s among the top priorities. Figures presented show that this field employ 15% of Londoners, between 2000-2005 creative industries grew by 10% in Europe which is more than other industries, and holds 3,1% of GDP in Europe. Everyone is here; ministers and bureaucrats from all around Europe and from all levels from European Commission to state, region and local level. Civil servants, University lecturers and professors, and representatives from cultural companies to the business field. And they all agree. Creative Industries hold a potential of economic growth in Europe. This has to be part of the European 2020 strategy.

Spain holds the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2010. And they have chosen to organize the Forum in cooperation with European Commission and Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona. Perhaps it’s not so surprising. Barcelona has fostered many famous Artists, as Pablo Picasso who grew up here as young, and of course the home of Gaudi, the famous architect and foremost Artist in Art Noveau tradition. Around the city you find Gaudi’s architecture, but also sculptures and Art works done by many other Artists in a mix of modern and traditional. The Catalonian State has put culture high on the agenda and are proud of their Artists.

Perhaps significant of the Forum is the lack of insight among the ministers and bureaucrats of what the creative industries consist of. What it is. The risk of EU putting money into the wrong incentives, and in all good intentions write new declarations that never reach the actual field is large. The expected evaluation of Mike Coyne, Director of Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services, might be helpful in throwing some light on who all the creators are and their effects on local and regional structures. Also the expected survey by Giep Hagoort, Professor of Art and Economics at Utrecht University and Utrecht School of Arts, this spring is promising. His message being, which is also our experience from the work we have done at Nätverkstan and backed by several reports of this field from among others UK; it’s a field run by Artists within in different Art forms, organized in small-scale, micro and nano businesses and freelancers who work in networks and informal structures. When putting forward incentives and supportive structures in the cultural field, these have to be as complex as the field is.

Also significant is the lack of small-scale Artists in panels and as keynote speakers. They are there, but not as many as you would wish for.  Instead you find some of them outside in an alternative forum, campaigning for the freedom on Internet, led by well-known comic Leo Bassi. Government is promoting a ”download law”, which many Artists are protesting against. Inside, at the Forum, several of the Cultural Ministers and other representatives on the contrary put forward the necessity of strong Intellectual Property Rights.

The Forum ended with six of the Cultural Ministers (we missed the Swedish Minister) giving their comments from a parallel meeting where creative industries has been discussed and with the aim of presenting a Green Paper on Culture. A Green paper released by the European Commission is a discussion document, which hope to stimulate debate and be a process for consultation on a topic. It usually comes before the White Paper, which is a more formal document. This was never presented; it was still too unready, but expect the Green Paper coming during spring.

And outside business were going on as usual among our cultural entrepreneurs; street musicians, living sculptures, painters, and other Artistic professionals.


31 mars, 2010

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Encatc Conference • Barcelona Oct, 21-24 2009

Four conference days filled with seminars, working group meetings, worksops, study visits and meetings in Barcelona just took place at the Encatc Annual Conference.

During the talk between Isabelle Schwartz from European Cultural Foundation, Angels Margarit from Angels Margarit Dance Company, and Angel Meastres from Transit the role of cultural managers were tossed and turned. What is the role of cultural managers? Is it only a role mainly having Artistic production on one side and management on the other? On other point put forward was that of representation within the EU-institutions and funding. The Artistic point of view is not put forward in an organized form, since the organization among Artists is quite week. The publishing house, recording companies, film industry are represented and have organisations that lobby for their interest, but not the Artists. That is more on individual level. There is an interesting balance between framework and independence, something Angel Meastres put forward, and where is the cultural manager? They are mainly emphasizing ideas and how to find money, not society and building infrastructre. Something to consider in educational programmes around Europe.

A visit at Can Xalant showed an Artistic collective, Transit, running residency-programmes, workshops and exhibitions. An old farming house, owned by the municipality, now embedded and surrounded by larger companies and industries. Their deal was quite unusual. The municipality set up a competetion to find who would get the possibility to run the building. Artistic groups sent in their proposals of activities and ideas. Transit won and had now built an infrastructure, programmes, activities and resiencies. Now it’s time to apply again, with a new application. Their time run out in December, and they will get the decision…in December. January 1 they are supposed to continue with programming if they get money, if not, they are supposed to leave the house with everything in it. Either step on the gas pedal or brake.

So, how do you plan a serious and sustainable organization under those conditions?

For the conference programme, look here. Nätverkstan took part in two presentations: 1) the working group meeting ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”, download the pdf here: encatcwg_barcelona-oct09. , and 2) the dialogue on ”How to detect creativity potentials in the digital environment” together with Jordi Sellas i Ferrés at, among other things, RBA Audovisual. Download the presentation here: encatc09-presentation-oct-09_2.


27 oktober, 2009

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Community Art Lab

On a café in San Francisco close to Union Square, in a rest between meetings with cultural organisations and Artists, the Artist Jörgen Svensson together with a few of us from Nätverkstan started a discussion on how Artistic competence could be an asset for city development. It was June 2008 and the European Commission were assigning the coming year as the year of creativity and innovation. The question intriguing us was: What boosts creativity? And how can an Artist’s competence be used in real life challenges, not only as an Artistic project, but as an asset for city developers? The project Community Art Lab took form.

The idea is simple: Put together people with different competencies to create a creative process which will enable new perspectives and ideas to form. This will become a resource for city development and innovative ideas. In this project we want to have local authorities, Artists, Art University and other expertise working together. The process is led by an Artist, and starts by the city authorities presenting a real challenge they are dealing with. All participants in the process are equally important for creativity to take form; the working method is to work in a genuine and long-term cooperation in a group of the different competencies, and through the process created catalyze ideas and find alternative solutions to challenges.

The project start with a five day Lab in the city with the partners involved. The starting point is the presentation by city authorities and where the invited group are seen as an asset to find alternative solutions and action plans. An intense five working days in a Lab-form starts. The process continues over time, between three to six months. A process leader leads the Lab and is a guide and mentor in the continuing work. The Lab-form is flexible and new competence and expertise can be added as the work proceeds.  Read more of the project in the outline: community-art-laboratory_090603.


To read more of the study trip to San Francisco, look under Category with the same name. A quick look can be done on ”Thought on the road” and ”Public art and entrepreneurship” . The democracy project the South Bank Process in Göteborg, can be found on ”Transformation: from Warehouse to Cultural Center” and ”Democracy projects”. Read also about the Encatc Working Group ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education”. Also read about the Artistic group Berlin, working with process as a method, and also the project Art and Politics in Västra Götaland.

4 juni, 2009

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Forum for Creative Regions and Cities

Committee of the Regions, a political assembly giving local and regional authorities within EU a voice within the EU structure, arranged a two-day meeting in Brussels on 20 – 21 of April. More than four hundred participants gathered, together with a hundred invited ”young talents” from many parts of Europe, to discuss what makes regions and cities creative, what would make Europe more creative and together with practical examples both in panels and study visits around Brussels.

The first panel discussion addressed the question ”What makes regions and cities creative?”. A crucial question for EU-Commission if the aim of the year of creativity and innovation is supposed to give results in more innovation and affect economy in a positive way. Many things were put forward, both by the panel, and also by the many young entrepreneurs, cultural practitioners and students in the audience. Why doesn’t education in Europe have more ideas about how to foster creativity? How come the visionary eyes of the young child is gone in the eyes of grown-ups? What happens going through the educational system? Many Art Educations are quite conservative, how could these change? How can Artists and politicians work more together? Are there educational tools to be used? Where do you turn to if you have ideas of something to start?

On the question ”If you get to choose, what is the priority action at EU level?” the answer was unison: Get rid of the blocks in EU, make access to EU money less bureaucratic!

A crucial question if the hopes of creative economy is to come true. There is also a close link between the year of intercultural dialogue in EU last year, and the year of creativity and innovation. If new creative ideas are to happen, the wide variety of competence, skills, cultural and ethnic backgrounds need to be addressed and taken care of in a different way than is done today. There are hopes that the creative field will be the new savior in the financial crisis. Perhaps it will be. But only if you do a correct analysis of the field, understand how running organisations, Artistic practice, projects work, using the competence in the field to find the right incentives to catalyze the potential – there are of course an enormous potential. If you don’t, and get stuck in policies and the overestimated perception of what creativity and innovation is, it will be more difficult. There is a balancing act that needs to be performed.

Artist Jörgen Svensson represented Region Västra Götaland with the project Art and Politics and the project Community Art Lab formed together with Nätverkstan, a project based on using creative processes as a tool for city development. Interesting projecs were for instant FIRST innovation Park in Brno, Czech Republic, and the housing project led by Territorial and Urban Development of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, led together with Mia Hägg, an archtiect in Paris running Habiter Autrement. Urbact, European Programme for Urban Sustainability, just launched a report that can be found on the website.

The Community Art Lab project will soon be posted on this website. Other posts connected to this are for instand Robert McNulty from America for the Arts, on Migration and Entrepreneurs, the seminar in Barcelona in January on the same topic, and examples from India. A programme of the seminar can be downloaded here CreativeCitiesRegions16-04-09. Encatc had a smaller seminar in the afternoon of the 21st of April to continue the discussion, with interesting inputs from Pascale Bonniel Charier of experiences from Grand Lyon and Donato Guiliani from Region Nord Pas de Calais. Download the programme for the Encatc seminar here seminar_encatc090421.

23 april, 2009

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Encatc Working Group meeting

The first meeting of the Encatc working group ”Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life” was in held in Barcelona last week as a continuation of the seminar held by University of Barcelona on creativity and innovation.

Many things were discussed at the meeting. How can educators enable creativity in education? If we are to be more innovative, educations and educators need to be more open towards risk taking and failing, and how can this be taught in the class-room? To fail is part of innovation processes, how can we create a more open attitude towards this? Students are using education as a commodity they buy, becoming more customers than students. How can patience towards the not-planned discussions increase? To work in the cultural field you need all this; risk taking, ability to work in flexible and constant changing environment – how can education be formed to support this?

Read the short notes from the meeting here:  encatc/wg1.barcelona09.pdf. The seminar in Barcelona was presented at this site under ”Seminar on creativity in Barcelona”.

6 februari, 2009

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Seminar on creativity in Barcelona

Joan Pedragosa, from ITD in Barcelona, starts his presentation with a rethoric question. ”Who is this?” he says showing a photo projected on the wall of the Swedish EU Commissioner, and Vice-President at the Commission, Margot Wallström. Silence in the audience. No-one knows. ”Well, she said”, he continues, ”in our paper the other day that working in EU is not sexy”. And he looks out on the audience…”so, if EU is not sexy, what do they think the European year of creativity and innovation will be?”.

Many angles of the topic creativity and innovation were presented at the seminar at Universitat de Barcelona on January 26, as, probably, one of the first (of several we can guess) seminars on the topic of the European year.  In a mixture of speakers of researchers and practioners, attempts to define the words creativity and innovation specifically for culture was put forward, together with practical examples from ITD, Goldsmiths University, Talent Factory, European Institute of the Meditteranean (IEMed) and several others. Perhaps the most striking presentation was held by Milena Dragecivic-Sesic, head of University of Arts in Belgrade, when she came down to two processes that would enable creativity and forcefully declared that firstly: We need an interdisciplinary approach and encounters within all different areas to succeed, and secondly: Integrate the margins! There is no curiosity. We are telling others to adopt our way of living, this will not work. We have to reinvent Europe where knowledge should not be exported one way, it has to be both ways. And she knows, living in a country that is not yet part of the EU.

Nätverkstan held an intervention at the seminar, download a short version here: seminar/barcelona0901261.pdf. Nätverkstan also met students at the University studying to become project managers. The presentation can be downloaded here:pres/universitatbarcelona.pdf .

The programme of the seminar.seminar/creativity090126.pdf.


28 januari, 2009

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Creativity year 2009

EU Commission has decided to designate the year of 2009 to creativity and innovation. As with all years designated to a specific topic, also this one will show a flood of seminars and workshops around Europe on this and related areas.

Starting off the rocket is University of Barcelona, organising the seminar ”Creativity and Innovation in cultural cooperation projects” on January 26. The seminar is organised in cooperation with Encatc and will be held at the University.

Download the programme: seminar creativity090126.pdf.

17 december, 2008

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Creative Entrepreneurship and Education

The European network Encatc is at this moment putting the last touch to the programme planning for 2009. It’s a programme full of activities, networking and sharing of knowledge. The working group ”Creative Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life” starts the year in Barcelona, Spain, in the middle of January. We start with combining a seminar held by Universitat de Barcelona on innvoation and creativity – yes, it’s a way to start the EU year of ”Innovation and Creativity” – with working group discussions. The programme will soon be posted on the Encatc website.

The idea with the working groups is to share knowledge and experience among wg_programme_bild.jpgprofessionals within different areas. The working group on entrepreneurship plan to do several different things during the year such as study visits, conference in Chicago invited by our American colleagues, the project Community Art Lab and the web.  Sharing of knowledge is important, but perhaps more so inspiration. Inspiration can take you far, and is a factor for innovative ideas.

To view the image, double click on it. Find the plans: encatc-wgprogramme2009.pdf and the plan for the Community Art Lab: community-art-laboratory.pdf.

4 december, 2008

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

On this blog we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields.




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