Summit for creative community

The Cayman National Cultural foundation was invited by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies to attend a world summit held from 2-6 October in Melbourne, Australia.

The theme was Creative Intersections, which sought to provide a strategic opportunity to examine the challenges of promoting value of the arts and facilitating their enormous potential to positively impact on and interact with the broader public domain, particularly in the context of civil society.

Representing CNCF were chairman, Martyn Bould, managing director Marcia Muttoo and board member, Lorna Reid.

“We have over the years at World Summits made excellent connections,” Martyn tells Weekender. Arts councils and cultural agencies have many common issues to deal with even though the size of the country may vary significantly. For example how does an organisation ensure value for money – eg grants made without stifling cultural development -our debates develop these ideas.

“At the Australia Summit we presented the Minister of Culture for Chile with a copy of Miss Lassie’s book published by CNCF and titled My Markings as a token of Caymanian friendship to Chile, and congratulated Chile on being the next host of the World Summit in January 2014.

The minister was genuinely delighted with the gift and we were able to discuss the arts scene in Cayman extensively.”

Networking opportunities

Some 500 delegates from 75 countries worldwide enjoyed extensive presentations and networking opportunities, explains Martyn.

“All cultural organisations around the world have financial constraints and need to prove value for money for what they are doing. Some countries at the summit have gone through amazing changes in their country; eg Tunisia where the young people have essentially taken charge and thrown out the existing political regimes,” he says.

“We spoke about a huge range of topics from environmental responsibility (Julia’s Bicycle) in UK where the West End and major pop concerts are now examining power usage and building into contracts limits to the drug cartels in Mexico and how cultural development is bringing families back together to improve the community, to Vanatu in the Pacific where the Aids campaign is using cultural awareness and drama to contain the Aids epidemic there.”

Members and affiliates

The International Federation of Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies was established in 2000 to facilitate resource and knowledge exchange between the world’s cultural organizations. It currently has some 70 member countries and 50 affiliate members.

“As Cayman has attended Summits from the outset we now have a lot of friends worldwide and they see Cayman’s arts scene as very advanced for our size-particularly the way in which we blend arts and tourism, Cayman National Cultural Foundation programmes such as Gimistory, Cayfest, Rundown and Native Sons and the National Gallery’s exhibitions and extensive educational programmes

“Essentially the Summit is invaluable in understanding the latest developments in arts and cultural management the latest trends to ensure that in Cayman we are at the leading edge,” muses Martyn.

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