Arts hubs of the world unite
A forum launched in São Paulo will create a network of decision makers behind cities' cultural development projects
By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 05 June 2013
The decision makers behind established and emerging arts hubs such as the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and the Dallas Arts District will be united by a new forum announced today, 5 June, at the New Cities Summit in São Paulo.
The ambitious project, entitled the Global Cultural Districts Network, is a partnership between the summit organiser, the New Cities Foundation, the New York-based cultural consultancy firm AEA Consulting and representatives from the Dallas Arts District.
Maxwell Anderson, the director of the Dallas Museum of Art and the chairman of the Dallas Arts District, says: "We're trying to be a sounding board for good ideas, we want to help tune the instrument by working collectively alongside city planners and governments. Our aim is to move the debate above the chatter in our own cities."
Network members will share resources, discuss the impact of urban policies and economic developments on cultural centres, and assess trends in technology and the creative industries. But will the new body have any sway? "It provides a network for people responsible for conceiving and planning these projects to share both their challenges—‘what's keeping them up at night’—and best practices—‘what's allowing them to sleep’,” says Adrian Ellis, the director of AEA Consulting. "It can affect the climate of opinion in which projects are scoped, so that that those in the earliest stages strike out in the right direction."
The newly launched organisation hopes to recruit members; its high-profile trustees, meanwhile, include Michael Lynch, the chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong; Carolien Gehrels, Amsterdam's deputy mayor responsible for Economic Affairs, Art & Culture; and Michael Eissenhauer, the general director of the National Museums in Berlin.
The New Cities Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded in 2010, is due to host the third New Cities Summit in Dallas next June.
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