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Young Cultural Innovators

Expanding Collaborations Within and Beyond Native Nations
From Left to right; Adrienne Benjamin, Amber Mathern, Alayna Eagle Shield, Lindsey Mae Willie, Christy Bieber (Giizhigad)
Expanding Collaborations Within and Beyond Native Nations
Anna Rawe 
In a letter introducing the Bush Foundation’s 2018 annual report on Native Nations Investments, Jenn Ford Reedy, the organization’s president, said, “We believe that the field of philanthropy can do better at acknowledging, celebrating and supporting Native nations and people.” One way in which the Bush Foundation has already done so is by supporting the inclusion of young cultural innovators from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 Native Nations at this year’s Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. This included Adrienne Benjamin, Alayna Eagle Shield, and Amber Mathern, who have become the latest members of the Upper Midwest USA YCI Hub. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Salzburg Global also welcomed Lindsey Mae Willie, a filmmaker from the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation. Christy Bieber (Giizhigad), an Anishinaabe artist and cultural worker based in Southwest Detroit also attended the Forum with support from the Kresge Foundation, as Salzburg Global seeks to connect and empower a critical mass of creative change-makers across the world. Alayna Eagle Shield is the health education director for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is the chair of the Native American Development Center. Eagle Shield applied for the YCI Forum after hearing about it through the Bush Foundation, whose programs she had attended before. She felt it was an “amazing opportunity.” Eagle Shield has recently focused much of her energy on a beading business which she runs with her mother. Her daughter has also started to get involved. She said, “[It gives] her this avenue that our people have used for centuries to be able to create and have a lifeway that way…  [and we] create beautiful works of art that our people can wear in resistance, that we’re still carrying on our traditions; we’re still able to wear our jewelry in modern days and meetings.” Adrienne Benjamin (Amikogaabawiike) is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) in central Minnesota. Her work is centered around taking pride in her heritage and encouraging others to do the same. Benjamin recently co-created a youth leadership program called Ge-niigaanizijig - The Ones Who Will Lead – where 25 young people received leadership and language mentoring. Benjamin herself was mentored by a local elder and greatly values all she learned about the language, stories, and practices. She was brought up with a grandfather that still spoke the Ojibwe language and was exposed to some of her traditional Anishinaabe culture, something she is very aware that others did not. She remains concerned about how “many youth grow up being unable to dream larger dreams outside of the reservation or even within because of a lack of access to arts, higher education, and information. There are very few if any arts and culture programs available that showcase Indigenous/Native American [culture] and celebrate our heritage in ways that make our community youth feel proud.” As a participant at the YCI Forum, Benjamin said she valued the connections she made with other indigenous participants working in the cultural, education, and health sectors. She said, “It was nice to have that familiarity in such a foreign space, and because we all deal with similar issues with sovereignty, land-based issues, government recognition, and so on; it was a great place to have deeper discussions about those issues in a world lens.” Throughout the program, participants learned how others had experienced similar challenges in their personal and professional lives. For Eagle Shield, the idea of treating herself as a “precious resource” particularly resonated as she struggles to balance her commitments. How to best use your time was a concern shared by Amber Mathern, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who currently teaches at Northern State University. Outside of her teaching work she does freelance consulting, working with reservations on marketing analytics and auditing casinos. She said, “I always think ‘Oh I could be doing more… [sometimes I have to remind myself] no, [what I do] does make a difference whether it’s something small or big.” The importance of being yourself as being a way of making change is important to Mathern. Living in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Mathern knows many there have never been to a reservation, which she suggests can lead to outdated views of what a Native American community is like. Mathern said, “I remind myself that ‘Hey, maybe that’s why I ended up in Aberdeen, South Dakota’ around people who don’t know the culture because maybe that’s my opportunity and [the] reason for me being there is to help share that.” It is in her work at Northern State University that Mathern feels she has the biggest impact, encouraging her students to think differently. What’s her ethos? She said, “Every single interaction - as minute as it might seem - at that moment it has an impact… and I don’t want to say in the future [my students will] make an impact; they’re making an impact right now.” When thinking specifically about Native American youth Mathern suggests there is a need to learn both about their cultural heritage and learn how to cultivate a global mindset. She said, “A lot of times our children don’t get the chance to travel out of the state, even to travel across the United States… [I think it’s] important [that] we tell them ‘Oh you can do this; you can connect with people internationally.’” Benjamin also praised the value of hearing from different voices.  She said, “I think that it is so valuable to understand that not everyone thinks like you, nor do they understand the world in the same context that you might, and to have the opportunity for discussion and understanding around that is truly what the world needs.” Eagle Shield also thought participants understood each other and stood on the same level. She said, “Coming here and getting to meet people from all over the world… it wasn’t like the Oppression Olympics… So many people here at Salzburg Global are still very connected to their culture; they still speak their languages, they’re still fighting oppressive forces. There was no comparing, it was like a deep level of understanding that is just beautiful to me, and I really hope to be involved and facilitate these types of learning at home, too. There’s so much we can learn from each other even though we aren’t necessarily the same.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Young Cultural Innovators - Regional Fellows Event, New Orleans
Young Cultural Innovators - Regional Fellows Event, New Orleans
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Young Cultural Innovators from Memphis, Detroit, and New Orleans were brought together for the second US Regional Fellows Event of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum).  In total, 27 YCIs from both the third (2016) and fourth (2017) Salzburg programs of the YCI Forum gathered in the Contemporary Arts Centre, New Orleans, April 7 to 9, 2018, thanks to generous support from the Kresge Foundation.  Led by YCI Forum facilitators Amina Dickerson, Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright, the two-day program focused on strengthening the network, through a series of discussions, workshops, site visits and interactive exercises.  The workshop’s theme was “Moving from Me to We,” exploring further what it means to be a YCI Hub and what YCIs want to accomplish as a community of Fellows in their cities and local communities. YCI Forum is not a traditional professional development program about teaching or training, but is rather values-based than goals-based. While emphasizing the potential of YCIs as agents of change, the Regional Fellows Event encouraged the group to consider how they, within their city hubs, can think about creating systems-change.  Susanna Seidl-Fox, Salzburg Global Program Director for Culture and the Arts said: “As creative change-makers, the YCIs confront similar challenges in their cities. Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans are all contending with social inequality, weak public education systems, high unemployment levels, economic disparities, and a general lack of public support for the cultural sector.  “Working at the intersection of the arts and social change, all 27 YCIs are committed to addressing these challenges. This regional YCI meeting in New Orleans provided a rich opportunity for the YCIs to share experiences, coach each other, and strategize for the future. They represent and will shape the future of their cities.  “Their energy, talent, and commitment are what Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans need to help them overcome the challenges of the 21st century.”  Read the full report from this session now online.
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Young Cultural Innovators Depart Salzburg With a Smile
Participants and faculty of the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators
Young Cultural Innovators Depart Salzburg With a Smile
Oscar Tollast 
Fifty cultural practitioners have left Salzburg emboldened, hopeful, and optimistic following the conclusion of the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. The five-day program came to an end on Sunday morning, as participants from 14 regions and cities departed for their next destination. Participants spent the previous five days taking part in capacity building sessions focusing on human-centered design processes, communication, and leadership. They also took part in peer mentoring sessions and explored the local art scene in Salzburg. On Friday evening, participants came together to perform in Schloss Leopoldskron’s Great Hall for the second incarnation of The Schloss is Alive. Audience members were treated to poetry, dance, live music, and improv. The following day, participants took part in two final plenary sessions. Before discussions started, however, artist and muralist Phillip Simpson presented a canvas he had painted the previous evening. The “Smile" received a positive reaction from the group. Simpson invited his peers to add their signatures and messages to the painting, which he decided to gift to Salzburg Global.   The first session of the day involved participants reflecting on the capacity building workshops they had taken part in and discussing the need for self-care. Part of self-care is being able to ask for help, participants heard. Much of the damage we can inflict on ourselves is because of the expectations we set. One participant discussed how he felt like a “living contradiction.” He discussed doing 100 things at once in a space by himself with no staff. When others ask if there is anything they can do, he would reply, “I got it.” The reality was he didn’t. He said he needed to open up more upon returning home and learn it was not weak to ask for help. Another participant reminded the group that self-care was a privilege and participants had to be conscious about the position they were in. Burnout is not a badge of honor, one participant argued. It may feel as if you should change everything at once, but she suggested tackling one thing at a time to reduce the risk of being overwhelmed. On Saturday afternoon, participants gave brief reports of their experiences in the peer mentoring groups and discussed what they had learned from one another. This year’s groups were facilitated by Marcos Amadeo, Toni Attard, Christine Gitau, and Hiroko Kikuchi. Each of the facilitators enabled participants to feel vulnerable and connected. The peer mentoring groups acted as a safe space for participants to learn from one another and learn about themselves. For one participant, the peer mentoring exercise was the favorite part of their experience. Following the group reports, the discussion focus turned to systems transformation. Participants were asked to consider the systems they were trying to change in each of their contexts. Participants were told systems don’t transform overnight, and change is often incremental. One of the facilitators suggested transformation needed to be value-based and reminded participants of the values discussed at the beginning of the program: humor, empathy, transparency, generosity, courage, and humility. At times, participants may feel frustrated about the systems they are fighting against. However, it is important to remember that there are people within these systems who also seek to make positive steps within communities. When possible, participants should look for connections which can be made where change can be achieved together. Change is a learning process, but as Fellows of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators, participants have incredible potential to transform communities, cities, and regions across the world. As discussions came to a close, participants were asked to make a commitment to themselves. As a symbolic gesture, they were each given an acorn to take away once that commitment was made. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, after all. Reflecting on the program, Susanna Seidl-Fox, program director for arts and culture at Salzburg Global Seminar, said, “Fifty creative changemakers – from Tirana to Tokyo, from Buenos Aires to Baltimore, from New Orleans to Nairobi, and from Salzburg to Seoul and beyond –  left this week’s YCI Forum inspired, energized, and eager to engage with their 200 YCI colleagues around the world. Together they form the YCI Forum network, with its incredible potential for using creativity as an opportunity for societal transformation. Salzburg Global looks forward to supporting, expanding, and empowering this dynamic network over the next five years.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Czyka Tumaliuan - I Help Preserve Filipino Literature
WORD UP: In addition to her work as a writer, self-publisher, comics creator, poet, and archivist Czyka Tumaliuan is also working on the first VR-made art exhibit with Filipina artist Issay Rodriguez.
Czyka Tumaliuan - I Help Preserve Filipino Literature
Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu 
“There [are] a lot of things that I do in the Philippines...” says Cyzka Tumaliuan, before listing the different areas her work takes her. She is a writer, self-publisher, comics creator, experimental poet, archivist, and open-source advocate.  She is also the founder and lead organizer of an independent, experience-driven book fair in Manila, the Philippines, called Komura. However, she is perhaps more well known as the owner of Kwago, a bookstore in Manila that sells books and magazines. More appropriately, she describes Kwago - the Filipino word for “owl” - as a “book bar.” Tumaliuan says, “It has fiction-inspired coffee and cocktails. It allows me to make people drunk and force them to read,” she jokes. Tumaliuan was among 50 participants who convened at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, for the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. “For the digital natives right now, they are not interested in reading. [But I am going to] name this drink after a local writer, and I will tell you about this writer. It allows me to share [Filipino culture] through taste,” Tumaliuan says. There is a “Hemingway” drink, inspired by the American writer Ernest Hemingway and the “Dark Hours” drink inspired by a book of the same name by Filipino writer Conchitina Cruz, whom Tumaliuan describes as a massive influence for her taking up experimental poetry. In college, Tumaliuan says she was depressed and “didn’t know what to do” but Cruz’s works, written in her native Filipino language, saved her. This unique business model keeps Kwago financially afloat. The shop deals in books considered commercially inviable or politically controversial by much larger outlets. Tumaliuan says, “In bigger bookstores, they can’t make money out of it, so they don’t support it, but for [Kwago], we support each other in the community, so it is a reader-based model.” In a recent interview with CNN Philippines Life, Tumaliuan said, “I also read [the books] and actually, I am their first customer.” Kwago has attracted attention all over the world. In a profile piece by Rappler.com, Tumaliuan said the project was about human connections. She said, “The physical space allows you to connect, and that’s more important, khait hindi ka bumili ng book (even if you don’t buy a book).” The books are mostly self-published by little known and experimental writers in the Philippines who without Kwago would have no opportunity to share their work with the wider populace. Since opening in 2017, Kwago has transformed from a simple bookstore into a safe space for up and coming spoken word artists, musicians, and independent zine makers to display their craft in a welcoming atmosphere. In recent times, however, Kwago is not the only thing occupying Tumaliuan’s already busy mind. She is involved in the arduous task of digitizing to preserve classic Filipino language literature. “Print is dying,” she says and “we have a lot of literature written in dialects in the Philippines.” Without scanning these books page after page with her friends, she fears some of these books and the languages they are written in will simply go out of existence. “Kopya means copy in Filipino, and basically we are creating a digital library of Filipino literature by manually scanning them and putting it in a [computer program].” These books are inaccessible to a lot of people but with a small team Tumaliuan is scanning to preserve them for future generations and for free. She says, “I really believe that knowledge should be free...” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Hot Topic - Young Cultural Innovators Discuss First Step Toward Transforming Systems
Young Cultural Innovators discuss the first steps toward transforming systems in their cities and regions
Hot Topic - Young Cultural Innovators Discuss First Step Toward Transforming Systems
Anna Rawe 
of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators were asked: What is the first step toward transforming systems? We have published their answers below. "I think the thing we consider injustice… [is that] in Taiwan not many people understand how important South East Asia is. It’s been a long time that we ignore people there, we do not understand the potential there… I think what we’re doing is a platform for a connection to exchange, and we want to actually support the people in Taiwan who are artists or cultural practitioners who have ideas to build up a bridge, to support and exchange. I’m not saying that Taiwan is okay now because there is injustice… and we ignore the talent and art in those countries… we either underestimate the potential or think of [them as exotic], but either way, I think the only solution is to build up more and more connections and make people know it’s possible for us to collaborate together… I’m not saying its efficient or we expect to achieve something right away because we are a really new NGO… I think it’s impossible when you see an injustice to say ‘Okay, I can solve it.’ That’s a good thought but not very realistic. When you fight prejudice for [the] long-term, the first thing is that we offer people [the] opportunity to observe, to participate… to build up a dialogue that would be [the first step].” Patty Chan, Taiwan Program officer at the Mekong Cultural Hub "I think it would be education - education in the direction of opening minds… what scares me… as a piano teacher I see kids younger and younger using iPads, they’re using cell phones, and I see them coming to piano lessons with the smartphone, putting it away, playing piano, taking the smartphone [out again] after everything, which makes children have a really two-dimensional view of the world… As a musician, the sound we listen to has less and less quality… and somehow we get used to it… for [young people’s] education just looking at things is really primordial, really important… I try to do what I can with the kids I work with to open their eyes and ears… but I think it’s the first step to also question the things we see on Facebook, on the Internet, to question… we have to really get active, and these smartphones are really our first enemy.” Matthias Leboucher, Salzburg Musician and co-founder of New Art and Music Ensemble Salzburg (NAMES) “[The] first step to changing systems I see as unfair [is] identifying them. Not a definition but really trying to understand what’s unfair about it and to who and how that reflects [onto] everybody’s life and then awareness raising. People need to understand that something is not just the way it is, but it’s really unfair and might change, and just acknowledging that you can change something eventually would lead to [change]. It’s like an empowerment; you understand that you have that power to improve things that you once took for granted.” Anisa Lloja, Tirana Program staff at Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania; co-founder of Nji-Mar, Nji Mrapsht "We’ve already had a couple of other Memphis Hub people here that have collaborated and [are] working together, so trying to find ways to kind of push that outwards, and maybe intersectionally. Everything in Memphis is extremely black and white issue based. We’re trying to find ways to include other struggles in the one that we have already, and I guess maybe bridge divides that way because I don’t know if that’s been done. It’s always black organizations… how do we include as many narratives in our, I guess, bigger goal? … The collaboration is what I’m most interested in.” Victoria Jones, Memphis Executive director at The CLTV Collective The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Hot Topic - Young Cultural Innovators Discuss How They Have Been Expanding Collaborations
Young Cultural Innovators discuss how they have been expanding collaborations within their work
Hot Topic - Young Cultural Innovators Discuss How They Have Been Expanding Collaborations
Anna Rawe 
of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators were asked: How have you expanded collaboration in your own work? We have published their answers below. “[At our magazine Conventillo Babel] we try to help migrants to preserve their roots and be part of society. So, the main [way we are collaborating] is showing all the activities they are doing in their society and supporting them in different ways. Sometimes we go and have some Spanish classes with them, we practice with them, just informal conversations. We show the activities they are going to do or have done sometimes. We are a channel to advertise what they are doing – presentations or performances or anything they are doing. The way is to keep in touch with them to enrich the local culture. Many times people from Argentina, from Buenos Aires… don’t realize that our culture is made by a mixture of contributions. [Conventillo Babel] is a win-win project, enriching local culture and letting immigrants and their descendants preserve their culture and be part of the society. [It] embodies the ideals of tolerance, building a better society there in Buenos Aires City…” Gabriel Costa, Buenos Aires Journalist and director of Conventillo Babel “In terms collaborating with community, I’ve done a lot of public outreach to civic institutions like schools, community centers, youth centers, senior homes, different kinds of programs like that to collaborate… to make artistic projects. Typically, I’ve worked with non-actors, kind of with everyday people who are interested in working on an interesting artistic project… in terms of work how… I find people to collaborate with… I think that’s kind of a question I’m asking myself. Part of what’s really valuable for me being here is I think I feel very isolated in Canada because it’s a very big country, and there’s not a lot of practitioners across the country doing really socially engaged work. We don’t have a huge population, and I live in a very isolated community now. So… how do I do that? I don’t have the answer yet but I think this is a really valuable experience… and something I really need to make a conscious effort to do more of and to attend more kind of conferences and events where you can meet people doing similar work.” Jenna Winter, Canada General Manager of Gwaandak Theatre and managing producer of Nakai Theatre “I work in the fields of museums, which is [a] field I’m really really keen [about], and I’ve been in the field for almost five years now. What I like about my job, apart from the fact I’m in charge of the communication, setting up exhibitions etc., is basically the educational program. I think this one of the most important investments a museum can make. I see that relating to other participants who have their educational organizations or are in charge of educational events, so I think this will be one of the most commons fields which I can collaborate with other participants in setting up some common [educational projects during] where we could share our initiatives or our ideas which can then be integrated into various activities which can come from this.” Tereza Çuni, Tirana Head of communication and promotion at Marubi National Museum of Photography The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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There’s More to Salzburg than Classical Music
THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: Salzburg has been a member of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997. It is considered a city of “outstanding value to humanity.”
There’s More to Salzburg than Classical Music
Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu 
Wolfgang Mozart, the Salzburg Festival, and The Sound of Music. These are several of the things that might come to mind when one thinks about Salzburg. There's so much more to the city, however, if one looks hard enough. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators has recently welcomed four new members to its Salzburg YCI Hub, none of whom were born in the area but have since made it their new home. These cultural practitioners have come from France, Italy, Romania and elsewhere in Austria to set up shop in one of Europe's cultural capitals. Speaking at the fifth program of the YCI Forum, each spoke with Salzburg Global about their impressions of the city. Irina Paraschivoiu is a researcher and urban development official. She previously worked as a curator for Bucharest's 'Capital of Culture' bid in her homeland of Romania. Reflecting on Salzburg, she said, "It is a very rich city. It has a very rich history that you can feel everywhere you go whether it is a cultural event or just having a walk." LonelyPlanet.com describes Salzburg as "the stuff of fairytales" and is flocked to by tourists throughout the year. Top attractions include the Festung Hohensalzburg, Schloss Mirabell, and Mozart's birthplace - to name a few. Does that history overshadow newer things happening in the area? Perhaps. Paraschivoiu says, "I think, for sure, [Salzburg] would benefit from having more space for innovation and for young people to express themselves and be part of the cultural scene." Stefano Mori, another of the new Salzburg YCIs, shares a similar view. Mori, an architect from Italy, moved to Salzburg to learn about earth architecture, which involves building with natural materials. He says, “Everyone has an image of the city, a certain expectation of the city and that is why this city, I think, is conservative... When you have something so strong from a cultural point, you are always a bit afraid of losing it or changing it too much and in the end losing it. "It is actually a very common behavior - when you have something valuable and you know the value already, you are not going to experiment or change it because you always have the fear of losing what you have for something you are not sure of.” This mindset could be beginning to change, according to Katharina Kapsamer, a visual artist and cultural manager. Kapsamer is one of the new Salzburg YCIs who was born in Austria. She is based between Salzburg and Vienna. She says, "Salzburg is actually buzzing with creative people especially the ones who are younger and still pursuing studies, and they are very eager to collaborate...” The city is full of dancers, writers, authors, theater people, and visual artists. Kapsamer says several cultural initiatives are working to find more space in the city for creation, which means the spotlight is no longer just on classical music. However, Kapsamer admits, "In a city that is so rich in history and cultural heritage, it is quite difficult to really get there... you kind of feel like if you really want to make [it] your own, you kind of like have to take it from someone else.” One person who is trying to make the situation easier is Matthias Leboucher, co-founder of the New Art and Music Ensemble Salzburg (NAMES). Leboucher, from France, is working to create a space for new artforms. He came to Salzburg to study for his Master's in composition. While the city is more familiar with classical compositions, Leboucher's forte concerns contemporary music. He believes Salzburg is a nice city for the arts "in general," but he hopes to encourage Salzburgers to experience the joys of modern music as well. Leboucher says, “I hope to create concerts in this field of music that moves people, that really bring people and a larger audience and that people take a bit more risk for things they don’t know.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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YCI Forum - Let's Expand Collaborations
Salzburg Global believes in fostering lasting networks and partnerships for creative, just and sustainable change
YCI Forum - Let's Expand Collaborations
Oscar Tollast 
One of the three strategic aims for Salzburg Global Seminar is to expand collaborations and foster laster networks and partnerships for creative, just, and sustainable change. Participants of the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators were reminded of the benefits of working with others midway through this year’s program. Participants were asked to consider several questions. What are the characteristics of good and bad collaboration? To what extent do YCIs already engage in cross-sectoral work? How can the cultural sector engage more actively in cross-sectoral collaboration? What are some of the barriers to success and how can they be overcome? In the opening session of the program, participants talked about the perception of themselves and others and how often they can be wrong. They talked about the values they work with, particularly empathy and the ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Participants were reminded to consider their relationship with power and their own place within existing structures. “We think that power is a zero-sum game… but it isn’t. Power is like love,” one facilitator remarked. The more we give to others, the more powerful we become. In a pre-program questionnaire, 90 percent of respondents said it was important to collaborate across sectors, while 75 percent said they were doing this already. On Friday morning, participants were asked to consider bad collaborations they had experienced. They were then asked by facilitators to put forward a word or phrase to describe them. Participants spoke about egos, insecurity, inequality, control, unreliability, selfishness, corruption, greed, and miscommunication. The group also heard how a difference of values and hidden agendas had led to bad experiences. After this exercise, participants were asked to think about a positive collaboration they had been involved in. These experiences involved good communication, win-win situations, enthusiasm, empathy, respect, openness, shared values and language, flexibility, accountability, and a mutual understanding between all parties. Participants were invited to talk about their experiences in more detail. One participant said he had two experiences, one which worked and one which didn’t. He collaborated with an architect which didn’t work. He had the funds but the conversation started with, “When do you need this by?” Not “What is the project?” In his other collaboration, he worked with a university department. The conversation started with the outcome and what both parties wanted to achieve. Both parties shared a purpose and wanted to achieve something at the same time. Another participant, meanwhile, spoke about a time in his life where he was desperate for help and desperate to work with other people. This led him to believe sacrifices had to be made when opening his arms to others. However, he had a self-realization. He told participants, “Be careful with what you sacrifice in the name of collaboration.” As a group, participants were reminded by one facilitator that “no one has perfect collaboration skills. Every relationship is different.” Participants were then pointed toward examples of collaborations involving YCIs from previous programs. This included Kleidi Eski, who has recently helped devise a campaign with others and produced a music video to save the Valbona and Vjosa Rivers. Make friends with strange people beyond stigma. That was the message put forward to this year’s participants. One facilitator said, “I think this is the only way we can go and faster.” It is important to reach out and have conversations with others you think you never can. An example used to highlight this involved a “shy and retiring” man from the countryside in the United Kingdom. Every month he would make a trip to the city and smile at 20 people he didn’t know. He would then count how many smiles he received in return, whether that be four, six, eight, or zero. Participants were reminded that they are now a part of the YCI Forum’s ever-growing network, which now includes more than 250 people. In addition to their city/region hubs, they are encouraged to draw upon the experience, talents, and knowledge of all YCI alumni. If that isn’t enough, they are also members of the Salzburg Global Fellowship, which includes thousands of Fellows from multiple sectors, regions, and backgrounds. The potential for cross-sectoral collaboration is strong. Alone we may go faster, but together we go further. As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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Hot Topic - How Do Young Cultural Innovators Help Bridge Divides in Their Communities?
Salzburg Global Fellows reveal what divides exist in their cities and regions and how their work helps bridge them
Hot Topic - How Do Young Cultural Innovators Help Bridge Divides in Their Communities?
Anna Rawe 
A select number of Fellows at the fifth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators were asked: What divides exist in your city/region and how does your work help bridge divides? We have published their answers below. “In my region there are divides… that are geographic in terms of the divides between the downtown core and the suburbs in Toronto, which is where I live. Those geographic divides are also representative of other divides like income, racial, cultural… so the city, although it is diverse, it’s also divided up so that that diversity often seems quite segmented. I think my work is about looking at those divides and that segmentation and seeing the innovation that happens in areas that are not part of the downtown core. A lot of resources and attention tend to go in the core of the city but not that much to the outer areas, and I grew out in a community that’s in one of those outer areas, so I really believe in cultivating the work that’s being done out there...” Alyssa Fearon, Canada Curator at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba “There’s a lot of things going on right now back home about fake news and the government, so I think there’s a clear divide between those who support the government and those who actually oppose them. That’s one of the biggest problems we’re facing right now because there’s a lot of propaganda and political manipulation when it comes to information and communication of things. I think for us at the Design Studio we try to have different government agencies and NGOs to try to communicate their messages properly and to try to help them build a better strategy when it comes to saying things more clearly. It’s because these are the times that we actually need to properly address our causes, what we fight for, and the truth, more than anything else… so that’s what we try to help with...” Reymart Cerin, Manila Creative director at The Public School Manila Branding & Design Studio “We have no places for gatherings, we have art centers, museums, exhibitions but for just a small gathering we don’t have a lot of spaces, so we tried to [renovate] abandon places like a senior citizen center, or a community hall or a public office, it’s really hard to find a good place to gather. Another challenge… because it’s the countryside everybody is too busy to have an arts education… To bridge the divide we [also] have to think about the poor people or disabled people, connecting to them to have them enjoy the arts, [so they aren’t] alienated from the arts. Our foundation has moving trucks which go to the mountainous areas or to the fishing villages. We go there and have performances and a moving exhibition system, so they can enjoy the arts for free... Another system is art vouchers, which is when poor people have to buy a book or go to a performance or an exhibition, the cost is really high so we have a discount, like 50%, which is 70 euros for one year, which is not that much but it helps them to have an opportunity to enjoy the arts.” Namhee Joo, Seoul Program manager at Chungnam Arts & Culture Foundation “In my country there is not a different way of thinking - these kinds of things. They are very interesting people that are always searching for something new or something that can make diversity... We are one of the most peaceful countries because we live happily in what we trust and what religion we are.” Anisa Papajani, Tirana Senior sales account executive at Vodafone “We have performances against bullying, on recycling, on emotions and how your reaction to things can affect other people, so I think that is one way that we are trying to bridge this idea of performance being only for the national theatre, the baroque stage kind of thing, to bring arts to everyone...” Dorian Mallia, Malta Artistic director at Moveo Dance Company The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators V is part of a ten-year multi-year series. This year's program is supported by the Albanian-American Development Foundation, American Express, Arts Council Malta, Arts Council Korea, Asia-Europe Foundation,  Bush Foundation, Cambodian Living Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Foundation Adelman pour l’Education, Fulbright Greece, Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, the Llewellyn Thompson Memorial Fellowship, Robert Bosch Stiftung, The Kresge Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Nippon Foundation, World Culture Open, Adena and David Testa, and the U.S. Embassy Valetta, Malta. More information on the program can be found here. More information on the series can be found here. You can follow all the discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #SGSyci.
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