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Report: World Summit on Arts and Culture

The Summit, co-hosted by the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) in Johannesburg on 22-25 September, attracted 450 delegates from 70 countries. 250 delegates were from the African continent and represented 31 countries – the highest ever for a World Summit.

The theme of the Summit: Meeting of Cultures: Creating Meaning through the Arts was explored by over 50 speakers who provoked wide-ranging debate around the role of the arts in intercultural dialogue and related themes.

‘The Summit has strongly reinforced the value of international networking between leaders in arts and cultural policy making, funding and networking,’ said Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of IFACCA. ‘It has also provided IFACCA with ideas for concrete proposals to support networking between artists, NGOs and arts funding agencies in Africa and the rest of the world over coming years’.

The key projects that IFACCA will facilitate will include namely:

·      The creation of an African chapter of IFACCA lead by Annabel Lambeth, CEO of the NAC of SA and Suresh Ahmed, CEO Boas of Kenya (both of whom serve on the international board of IFACCA).

·      The appointment of a part-time coordinator to assist the follow up of Itasca’s networking activities in Africa over the next 12 months.

·      An African version of ConnectCP, the international ‘who’s who’ of cultural policy.

·      Collaboration with regional observatories on cultural policies to aid the development of policies at the national level and support comparative analysis of those policies.

The Australia Council for the Arts has won the bid to host the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Melbourne, Australia on 3-6 October 2011.

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