Global Agenda Council on the Role of the Arts in Society 2012-2014
The arts continue to gain recognition as a vital part of society. In education, the arts develop the creativity and alternative thinking skills required to interpret the world and more fully participate in it. New technologies are allowing unique and hybrid art forms while changing conventional relationships between the art maker and the consumer, empowering the rise of the “citizen artist”. The hot spots of arts and innovation are shifting to emerging countries such as India, Brazil and the African continent. Despite the benefits of the arts to society, many governments continue to severely reduce financial support for the cultural sector as part of austerity measures. Conflicts, such as those in Mali and Syria, are also destroying important heritage sites.
What the Council is doing about it
The Council believes the severe lack of recognition of the critical societal role of the arts is a key challenge. As artist Mallika Sarabhai has stated: “Art is not the cherry on the cake, it is the yeast.” During its first year, the Council’s main objective was to communicate to leaders that the arts are not a marginal aspect of society, and that artists can meaningfully help address important issues. To do so, the Council has helped develop arts programmes at World Economic Forum meetings. In terms of outreach, the Council published a blog post on the arts as a basic human need and broadcast a live interview with the Chair, Caroline Watson.
The Council is working to illustrate the role of the arts to a broader audience by developing a website with examples of artistic projects that have a positive impact on the world. The first phase, consisting of organizing and assembling the content, has just been completed.
In order to best disseminate these powerful stories, Council Members will write a series of thematic blog posts and develop a survey of data analysis regarding the “quantifiable” impact the arts have on society. To provide ongoing and relevant content for the website, the Council will collaborate with a large network of cultural workers, in and out of the Global Agenda Councils.
“The hot spots of arts and innovation are shifting to emerging countries such as India, Brazil and the African continent.”
Finally, the Council will continue to develop projects with other Global Agenda Councils and stakeholders, like the workshop held during the 2013 World Economic Forum on Africa, where participants interacted with local children to discover the community-based project for Cape Town youth, Afrika Tikkun.
To get involved please contact
Research Analyst: Lina Borén, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Council, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Manager: Fanny Olivier, Senior Programme Associate, Programme Development Team, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Mireille Bertolini, Associate Director Arts and Culture, Programme Development Team, firstname.lastname@example.org
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