Wednesday, August 16, 2006

International Conference on Arts In Society - Report from Day Two

The day kicked off with Tessa Jackson, Co-ordinator of the Edinburgh Art Festival talking about visual arts in the UK. Afterwards in the garden (below right) she answered questions from American delegates in particular who where complimentary about the UK’s ability to create art spaces in reclaimed industrial buildings and reach out to wider audiences.

Today I found three presentations particularly engaging:

1...Cities Learn Through Arts Discourse,
by Dr. Brooke Jacobson from Portland Sate University (shown speaking in a ‘talking circle’ below left in the image above) on the work of Andres Deimun, a Dutch filmmaker who was pivotal in allowing input from communities input the development of their own city between 1950’s-70’s. His aim was to create dialogue between the ‘many different Portlands’ – the communities, urban planners and architects through documentary filmmaking. Dr Jacobsen puts forward the view that Deimun’s filmmaking facilitated the creation of a city with ‘walkability’ (rare in America) which is today celebrated as a city that is eminently ‘liveable’. Find out more from…..

2...The Arts and Social Heath: Tracking the American Experience,
by Dr Marque Miringoff, Sociology Dept, Vassar College, USA revealed patterns in the way Americans value and participate in the arts, showing how cost, location and lack of information can impact on deprived communities access to the arts and the perception of arts as beneficial to wellness. Download the report at (link below).

3...Brokering Creativity: Reflecting on a Decade of Arts Development
by Jock McQueenie, Centre for Cultural Research, UWS, Australia (shown during his presentation in the top left hand corner of the image above). Jock gave us an overview of the work he has done with communities, companies and culture in masterminding imaginative, innovative and mutually beneficial cultural events in Tasmania and Australia including an Opera in Paper Mills and photographic exhibitions in Breweries. He emphasised the importance of creating news ways of working and how brokerage is a creative process in itself.

Related links:
Edinburgh Arts Festival / Tessa Jackson
Artes Mundi / Welsh International Visual Arts Prize / Tessa Jackson
Portland, Oregon Urban Planning
Arts and Social Heath in America/ Dr Marque Miringoff
Arts Tasmania / Jock McQueenie
Jock McQueenie’s ‘3C’s’paper

A hello goes out to the other members of the ‘Arts in Communities’ talking circle to which I was assigned, and which I had to leave before the week was over. If any of you would like to continue our debate using the comment facility below – go ahead!

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