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Conference on Cultural Policies in the Arab Region Beirut, Lebanon, 7-8 June, 2010


Session Outlines

Session 1: Cultural Policies and the Position of Culture in the Society This session will attempt to see how cultural policies can help enhance a society’s perception of the value of culture. The keynote speaker will provide an insight into how cultural expression, production and exchange play a vital role in building open and democratic societies. The speakers will each address the question of how cultural policy can enable cultural practitioners to play this role, and look into possibilities of linking cultural policies with other public policies in fields such as education, youth, economic development and foreign relations, each from their experience and background. In their interventions, the speakers will highlight ideas for effective cultural policies that would give cultural work more social and economic relevance. Session 2: Challenges Facing Culture in the National & International Contexts – Prerequisites and Legal Conditions for Cultural Policymaking How is cultural policymaking influenced by developments in the local and international context? Which political debates determine trends in setting policy agendas for culture? What are the national and international agendas and structures setting the scene? How is cultural policy different from legislation? What is the impact of legislation on cultural policies, especially laws that relate to freedom of association and expression? The keynote speaker will talk about developments in cultural policies and related legislation in Europe and the neighbouring countries, and reflect on possibilities for Arab countries to engage with these developments. The speakers will unravel some of the challenges that face Arab countries, and will share with the conference participants the experiences learnt through processes of political transition in other neighbouring regions around Europe. The diversity of situations within the region will be reflected in the presentations and speakers will look at ways of sharing best examples. Session 3: Financing Cultural Policies - Fund Development – Creative Economy – Cultural Entrepreneurship Funding is a central issue in any discussion about cultural life, especially at a time of financial difficulties. How can cultural policies provide adequate conduits for funding culture and which sources should be used for which purpose? Which role do private entrepreneurship and creative businesses have in the overall picture? What are international trends and models in this field? The keynote speaker will share experiences of alternative funding structures from Europe. The other speakers will look at the scene in the Arab region; successful models and obstacles and propose ways

In collaboration with DOEN Foundation and the British Council

of channeling financial support to creators and cultural operators, as well as mechanisms for improving financial performance. Session 4: Cultural Actors – Local, Regional, International Cooperation Frameworks – Networking & Collaboration This session will look into the role and shape of different national and also international actors in the cultural set-up of a country or region. It will explore the position and functionalities of public cultural institutions, independent players, international cooperation processes and political collaboration frameworks and examines different options and actors of public cultural stewardship. The keynote speaker will raise questions around the relationship between political structures and cultural creativity in the local and European context. The speakers will address some of the challenges facing public cultural agencies in different contexts, as well issues related to the distribution of roles and resources among the public, civil and private sectors. The speakers will make suggestions as to improving the performance of public institutions towards more accountability.

In collaboration with DOEN Foundation and the British Council

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