Public and Private Cultural Exchange-Based Diplomacy:
New Models for the 21st Century
28 Apr - 02 May, 2012
Karen Brooks Hopkins
- President, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, United States
- President and CEO, Asia Society, New York, United States
- CEO and Chair, The British Council, London, United Kingdom
- Executive Director, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon
- (Conference Organizer) President, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, New York, United States
- (Session Rapporteur) Writer, Arts Consultant, New York, United States and Budapest, Hungary
At the onset of the 21st century, cultural diplomacy is encountering new challenges as policymakers, artists, and cultural leaders adapt to a rapidly changing global environment. This change is being driven by multiple factors, including the emergence of a multi-polar world, the growing influence of rapidly developing nations in Asia, South America, and the Gulf, increasing urbanization, rising educational levels, and accelerated scientific and business innovation. At the same time, the arts are experiencing seismic shifts emanating from more pluralistic and inclusive definitions of culture, a greater preponderance and acceptance of arts activity at all levels, and increased participation in the arts through broadcast, digital, and social media. Making matters even more complicated, our world is being recast by forces of cohesion and division. While digital technology and integrated markets are interconnecting global societies as never before, political, cultural, and religious tensions continue to create divides. Thus, the landscape for cultural diplomacy has changed dramatically and, consequently, the priorities and methods of cultural diplomacy need to change with the times and align more fully with new modes of cultural and political engagement.
The revitalization of cultural engagement will require new energies and forms of collaboration between artists, cultural organizations, governmental and intergovernmental bodies, private foundations, corporations, and other citizen groups. The purpose of this Salzburg Global Seminar session is therefore to conduct an informed exchange among these constituencies, by bringing together policy experts, artists, cultural leaders, heads of cultural institutions and foundations, corporate leaders, and others committed to international cultural engagement to explore the evolving purposes, forms, and tools of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century. Plenary sessions and working groups will focus on the following themes: new pathways for government-sponsored cultural diplomacy; cultural organizations on the frontlines of arts exchange; new roles for NGOs and the private sector; and cultural diplomacy and exchange in the digital age. The convening is intended to foster a fresh exchange of ideas and to develop new rationales and approaches for cultural engagement at a pivotal moment in the evolution of cultural diplomacy.
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