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Ongoing and Forthcoming Cultural Initiatives

Culturelink review, Special Issue 1997 - imprint - archive

The Fund for Central and East European Book Projects (CEEBP)

Viewing relations with Central and Eastern Europe as one of its priority tasks, the European Cultural Foundation launched its Central and East European Publishing Project (CEEPP) in Oxford in 1986. This translation and publication programme, intended to stimulate a free two-way flow of ideas within Europe, was followed by the establishment of the Fund for Central and East European Book Projects (CEEBP). The Fund was set up as a sister organization in Amsterdam in 1992. Having fulfilled its task of helping to achieve the transition to a more normal publishing scene in the region through the promotion of professional contacts among European publishers, editors and translators from East and West, the CEEPP was closed at the end of 1994. The CEEBP took over most of the Oxford project's activities, continuing the work of the CEEPP and facing new challenges in supporting the current needs of the publishing industry in Central and Eastern Europe and intellectual exchange across borders.

The project aims to:

  • contribute to structural improvement in the publishing sector in Central and Eastern Europe by sponsoring professional training, exchange of expertise and transfer of professional skills;
  • support the publication and dissemination of quality books and journals in the languages of the region through grants to publishers and editors; and
  • assist in cultural debate and exchange by providing sponsorship for quality translations to, from and between the languages of Central and Eastern Europe.

Activities supported through the CEEBP grants programme, financed by the European Cultural Foundation, the Prince Bernhard Fund and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, include the following:

  • publication of literary and scholarly books and journals in the languages of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly translations - priority is given to literary and scholarly works and publications in the humanities of interest to a wider public, covering editing, translating and printing costs;
  • translation and dissemination of literary and scholarly works of high quality from Central and Eastern European languages into Western languages;
  • professional contacts and expertise - allocating grants to translators and supporting professional training, workshops and study visits by publishers and editors from Central and Eastern Europe to Western European publishing houses and editorial offices of journals.

The CEEBP has developed the Cultural Journals Support Programme, together with the Polish Batory Foundation, aimed at professional management improvement of cultural periodicals and building up the infrastructure to sustain quality publishing in Poland.

Since 1995, the CEEBP has awarded 40 grants to 34 journals (only two in Western Europe), six of which are East-West bilingual. At the same time, grants were awarded to 19 West-East book translations, four East-West and two East-East translations.

In December 1997, the CEEBP marked its fifth anniversary with a publication entitled Publishers' Portraits: Publishing in Central and Eastern Europe, providing concise information on the state of affairs in quality publishing in various Central and Eastern European countries and presenting the CEEBP activities. It is intended as an information update to 'Freedom for Publishing' (1995), aimed at an interested public, the press and potential sponsors.

In addition, the CEEBP has co-published, with Pubwatch, the 1996 Directory of Western Organizations Assisting Book Culture in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.

A brochure on the grants programme can be obtained from the CEEBP Secretariat.

Contact details: Vera Ebels-Dolanová, Project Director, Sophie Leferink, Project Officer, Fund for Central and East European Book Projects, Jan van Goyenkade 5, 1075 HN Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel.: +31.20.676 02 22; fax: +31.20.675 22 31; e-mail: ecsinfo@pi.net

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The Regional Observatory on Financing Cultural Life in the Central and Eastern European Countries

The establishment of the Regional Observatory on Financing Cultural Life in the Central and Eastern European Countries has been announced in Budapest, as part of the follow-up action programme of the International Conference on the Preservation and Development of Cultural Life in the Central and Eastern European Countries, organized by UNESCO and held in Budapest, Hungary, 23-25 January 1997. (See p. 149 in this issue and Culturelink no. 21/April 1997, pp. 45-47.) The Budapest Conference was mandated to identify concrete and specific activities in the form of Recommendations for further action and cooperation in the field of financing of culture. One of its most important Recommendations was to establish and maintain a sub-regional Observatory to cover issues of culture and economy.

The proposed regional Observatory is intended to be a forum for the exchange of information and experience, a database of cultural information, and a moderator of different activities in the financing of culture. It will serve as a resource centre for the elaboration of expert studies, development of new methods, draft legislation and measures related to the financing of culture, and promotion of cooperation in the fields of cultural legislation and policy, as well as in cultural education, tourism and industries.

The results expected from the planned activities of the Observatory include the following:

  • offering information services and expertise in adapting funding mechanisms and cultural legislation to local needs and European Commission standards;
  • supporting the diversification of the structure of cultural financing and promoting sponsorship and patronage systems;
  • bringing together artists and cultural workers to explore new potential resources;
  • improving the flow of information and networking;
  • developing human resources and national capacity; and
  • promoting sub-regional cooperation.

The targeted beneficiary groups will be planners and policy makers at both local and national levels, cultural institutions, experts and researchers, students involved in cultural management, organizers of cultural events and programmes, and cultural tourism professionals.

For more information, please contact: Agnes Simon, Ady Endre u. 10, 1024 Budapest, Hungary, tel.: (36 1) 31 69 187, 31 69 415; fax: Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO (36 1) 33 13 526.

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The European Summer Academy for Culture and Management

The European Summer Academy for Culture and Management will be held for the third time in Salzburg in 1998. Twenty-one arts projects, 14 from the new democracies of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and 7 from Western Europe, will be selected from the whole of Europe by a specialist jury, enabling the Academy to serve as a meeting ground for the exchange of practical experience and information on arts subjects, promoting specific cultural cooperation between arts managers in Eastern and Western Europe. It is organized by the Internationales Zentrum für Kultur und Management (International Center for Culture and Management - ICCM), in cooperation with KulturKontakt - Vienna. The aim of the two-week compact training course is to deepen the process of European understanding, cooperation, unification and integration in the field of the arts, intending to prepare leaders and project managers in the cultural sphere at national and international levels for new tasks awaiting them in a united Europe.

This training programme is intended for arts managers from the whole of Europe who are at present starting new projects in the following fields:

  • festivals and cultural organizations dealing with a variety of arts subjects
  • music and musical theatre
  • film/new media.

These projects will be further analyzed and developed during the Summer Academy at a highly professional level, relying on the methods of project and arts management and taking into account their organization, funding and marketing. Questions of implementation, as well as possible improvements and chances of realization, will also be worked out. Built on the European Project Workshop, the programme will be complemented by the European Forum for the Arts, a series of lectures, seminars and discussions dealing with current issues in the field of culture. The course language will be English.

Applications should be submitted to the ICCM by 20 March 1998. Selected participants from the new democracies will receive full scholarships from KulturKontakt. An ICCM Final Diploma is awarded.

For further information, please contact: Mr. Gerhard Spitz, International Centre for Culture and Management, Jakob Haringerstrasse 5A, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria, tel.: 0662/459 841; fax: 0662/459 838.

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Cultural and Arts Management Programme

Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

By offering its programme and other Western models to former socialist countries at a conference held in Vienna in 1991, the Institut für Kulturelles Management (IKM), Vienna, provided an impetus for the launching of a Cultural and Arts Management Programme at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest. With the intellectual and financial support of members of the Budapest University of Economics and the Economics Research Institute, as well as the Hungarian Cultural Chamber and the Ministry of Culture and Education, West European management models were adapted to the Hungarian cultural milieu, creating the Foundation for the Study of Arts Management. Having established the basic parameters for the Cultural and Arts Management Programme, the Board of the Faculty of Humanities agreed to implement it as a 12-unit programme in May 1992.

As most Department of Arts programmes at the Faculty of Humanities consist of 6-12 units, while generally West European arts management programmes have 2-3 times more units, the draft proposal contained a compromise in that it allowed for only the basic syllabus. However, plans have been made for the expansion of the 12 unit programme into a 60 unit one in the near future, hoping that the Arts Management Programme will eventually be in a position to award an MA in arts management.

The Programme focuses on:

  • culture and market economy;
  • general, cultural, publishing, fine arts, theatre, music and practical arts management;
  • economic, legal and financial aspects of the non-profit sector;
  • advertising and public relations in the arts, and cultural marketing;
  • cultural law, legal and economic questions in education;
  • theory of culture and communication;
  • project development with a creative and administrative producer;
  • verbal and visual techniques in creating a public image, visual communication and ethics;
  • adult education (community colleges, open universities);
  • entrepreneurial skills.

Since October 1993, a postgraduate culture and arts management course is offered. The main aim of this course is to provide up-to-date professional and practical application skills for those working in any area of culture (educational, public-collection and art institutions, cultural businesses, local authorities). Awarding a postgraduate arts manager certificate, the Cultural and Arts Management Programme teaches general economic skills that help cultural institutions and students who are majoring in liberal arts to adapt to the market economy.

Lectures and seminars focus on cultural marketing, advertising, public relations (marketing communication), sponsorship, fund-raising in Hungary and in other countries, general and cultural management, questions of cultural law, the non-profit sector, profit-oriented and non-profit cultural businesses, the potential of cultural services, and economic and financial aspects of cultural institutes and businesses.

In the future, a course is envisaged in applied cultural studies - training researchers of culture, specialists in cultural policy, and cultural managers.

For more information, please contact: ELTE Faculty of Humanities, Cultural and Arts Management Programme, Pesti Barnabás 1, H - 1052 Budapest, Hungary, tel.: (361) 267-0966/5317, 266-9100/5317; fax: (361) 137-6858, 266-5699; e-mail: angelika@osiris.elte.hu; URL: http://www.btk.elte.hu/kultman

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Guide Apollonia. Contemporary Art of Central and Eastern Europe

Frac Alsace/Editions du Conseil de l'Europe, 1997,
76 pp., ISBN 92-871-3437-5

Within its Apollonia project, the Fonds régional d'art contemporain d'Alsace (Frac) has published a Guide Apollonia - Contemporary Art of Central and Eastern Europe, grouping information, addresses and contacts for all those who seek new ideas and wish to meet and establish links with people working in the field of contemporary art in these countries. Compiling the Apollonia Guide involved extensive research and consultation of artists' catalogues, pamphlets and photographic documentation, as well as reports from visits to the respective Eastern European countries. Newly emergent art structures and exciting artistic practices are thus brought to the attention of a wider interested public, reflecting the energy and fluidity in these artistic communities, their mobility and mutability.

In 1995, the Regional Fund for Contemporary Art of Alsace (Frac) established a programme of artistic exchange with Eastern Europe. The aim was to set up an informal structure which would encourage and develop all forms of exchange and collaboration between artists and institutions in Eastern and Western Europe. The first phase of the project foresaw the creation of contacts and organization of visits to artists and art institutions in Eastern Europe (cataloguing more than two hundred and fifty artists and forging links with local contemporary arts networks), while the second phase envisaged the construction of a framework for exchange and the production of first results. One of the principal objectives of the Apollonia programme was the publication of the above guide.

For more information, please contact: Dimitri Konstantinidis, Debra Sellman, Fonds régional d'art contemporain d'Alsace (Frac), 1 Espace Gilbert Estève, BP 25, 67601 Sélestat Cedex, France, tel.: +33/388 588 755/9; fax: +33/388 588 756.

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Branching Out.
Arts education as a catalyst for change

by Chrissie Tiller, Crowes Printers, Norwich, 1997,
44 pp., ISBN 0 951 99 43 36

Realizing that, if transformations are to be positive and permanent, the difficulties faced by the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe cannot be overcome by political means alone, UK drama educators are including social and educational elements through a project called Branching Out. Facilitated by the Education Department of the Royal National Theatre, the project has applications beyond the classroom in adult and community education, conflict resolution and building bridges between communities riven by social and cultural divisions, offering contact opportunities not just with experts but also with practicing teachers. 'Branching Out' brings together people of the new Europe, providing a cultural space and forum for dialogue, at the same time allowing the UK teachers themselves to share their expertise, learn from other cultures and reconfirm their understanding of the power of the arts. The Project is committed to deepening the understanding of the role of Drama and Theatre in Education in the empowerment of young people in a civil society and to promoting intercultural understanding between the countries of Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe.

Six years ago, through 'Seeding a Network' (Seeding a Network: Addressing Change in Central and Eastern Europe, see Culturelink no. 21/April 1997, p. 16.), the Education Department of the Royal National Theatre set up a job-shadowing training and exchange scheme with colleagues in theatres of Central and Eastern Europe, offering practical support to teachers, trainers, artists and others involved in the development of drama and theatre in an educational context. As a continuation of this partnership, 'Branching Out' was set up in response to calls for closer collaboration between theatres and schools in addressing the needs of young people across the region. Partnership countries currently are Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and the UK. Stage one of the two-stage project covered a three-week job-shadowing stay with partners at schools in the UK, mastering basic skills and putting the work into context, while stage two foresaw the UK participants' ten-day return visit, developing long-term partnerships for future East-West exchanges of skills and ideas.

While interviews and lobbying helped raise the profile of Drama and Theatre in Education in the region, more time and resources are required to allow the work started to develop strength and depth and to penetrate the bureaucratic structures within each country, to consolidate the training of artists and teachers so that true curriculum enrichment can occur and ensure maximum impact and reach for the work undertaken. Reports of specific results and plans from each of the countries have been published.

For more information, please contact: Royal National Theatre, Education and Training, South Bank, London SE1 9PX, United Kingdom, tel.: +44-(0)171-928 2033; fax: +44-(0)171-928 2868; e-mail: rnteduc@gn.apc.org

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The International Conference on the Preservation and Development of Cultural Life in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe

UNESCO/Ministry of Culture and Education of the Republic of Hungary, Budapest, 1997, 412 pp.

This volume contains the proceedings of the international conference held under the same title in Budapest, 23-25 January 1997. (See Culturelink no. 21/April 1997, pp. 45-47.) Besides the opening and closing addresses, the book includes a synthetic report, keynote speeches, the programme and agenda, conclusions of the workshops, and a number of country papers (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, and Slovakia). The Synthetic Report is published in both French and English, while some country papers appear in French.

This comprehensive volume fully reflects the efforts made by the conference participants to air a number of important questions concerning the cultural life in the Central and Eastern European post-socialist countries. It also shows that these countries have evolved different approaches to the problem and that it is therefore ever more difficult to compare their respective positions and situations, or to expect similar responses in this large region that used to be linked by the same system. The position of the cultural sector has radically changed in the context of transition, and the change itself is still a major challenge faced by individuals, nations and international organizations. Their responses might be enhanced or influenced by such conferences, but the conference itself, as is rightly pointed out in the concluding section of the Synthetic Report, is 'only a prelude to further and more concrete work'.

To obtain the book, please contact: Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO, P.O.Box 34, H-1363 Budapest, Hungary, fax: (36 1) 33 13 526.

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Assessment of Cultural Information Needs in the Central European Countries in Transition.

Towards the Market Economy

by Sanjin Dragojević, Aleksandra Uzelac, Sanja Ivić
Culturelink Network/Institute for International Relations Zagreb, 1997, 79 pp.

Political and economic changes in the Central and Eastern European countries in the last ten years have had repercussions for the work of all cultural institutions. Many cultural institutions have changed their objectives and scope of activities. Some have ceased their operations owing to financial difficulties or have radically reorganized themselves and changed their names. It is not easy to locate possible cooperation partners without some help on where to look for them. The information sources that these institutions used to maintain may or may not be accessible any longer.

The study Assessment of Cultural Information Needs in the Central European Countries in Transition Towards the Market Economy was designed to investigate what these needs are, what is available and what is not to the users of cultural information, which communication channels and information sources (both formal and informal) are used by artists, organizers of artistic events and public administrators in different countries in Central Europe. The aim was to examine the situation in the cultural sectors (music, visual arts, performing arts) in order to further develop communication channels, enhance the accessibility of information to interested parties (organizers and artists alike), and improve their mutual communication.

The elements that were studied included the types of users of cultural information, identification of information sources and extension of their use, accessibility of sources of information in particular sectors, types of information provided by different sources and its relevance (accessibility and use of local and on-line data bases, the Internet, information bulletins and other periodicals, directories, cultural statistics, etc.), professional associations and networks and their role in distributing information.

Recommendations were formulated, including a sub-regional project proposal, concerning the actions that need to be taken to meet the identified needs. The recommendations are as follows:

1. Establishment of a specialised Central European data base comprising information on:

  • all-European funding possibilities for all levels of cultural cooperation in the countries of the region;
  • cultural events, festivals, programmes, projects relevant for Central European cooperation;
  • artistic and academic scholarships, educational curricula, expert and professional round tables and workshops, and competitions;
  • new programmes and plays, joint projects and coproductions.

Such an organization of information would be most suitable because it would facilitate access and distribution through direct access, on-line through the Internet, and through printed outputs in the form of bulletins and directories, as well as in the form of individual paper surveys on request. Additionally, all informational outputs could be sorted by different criteria and needs.

2. Establishment of a long-term project of monitoring legislative support for cultural activities in the countries in the region, with special reference to issues like the status and functioning of non-profit cultural institutions and organisations, copyright issues in the Central European countries and the process of their harmonisation with such rights in the European Union; also, establishment of regular reports on Central European trends in privatisation in culture, with special attention to basic aims, expected results, models of implementation, mechanisms of protection, real impact and effects of the process.

3. Establishment of a Central European network for continuous collection and dissemination of relevant information in the field of cultural development and cooperation, or making use for this purpose of some existing initiative in the field (for example, the CULTURELINK Network). The proposed network could act as a coordinating focal point for the development of the described data bases as well as for permanent monitoring of cultural legislation in the Central European countries.

4. It is also necessary to undertake a number of accompanying and additional activities aimed at substantially improving the level of accessibility of cultural information in Central Europe. In this respect, a series of specialised or expert seminars should be organised with special emphasis on the following:

  • establishment and development of national information systems for cultural information,
  • functional and operational interlinkage of the existing data bases into a coherent system,
  • development of common methodological as well as informational tools such as thesauruses, harmonised formats, ways and modes of a continuous on-line exchange of data, etc.
  • definition of priority fields of action in the cultural field.

Bearing all this in mind, it will be necessary to organise an international Central European conference dedicated to cultural information in Central Europe and to the topics described above.

This study was commissioned by FID, the International Federation for Information and Documentation, The Netherlands.

For more information, please contact: Culturelink, Lj. F. Vukotinovica 2, P.O.Box 303, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia, tel.: (385 1) 45 54 522; fax: (385 1)48 28 361; e-mail: clink@irmo.hr; URL: http://www.culturelink.hr