14th European Chapter Meeting

Co-hosted by IFACCA - International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies,
27 September 2017, Denmark


The European Chapter of the Federation met in Aarhus, Denmark from 27-29 September 2017. The meeting was hosted by the City of Aarhus, Denmark, in collaboration with the Danish Agency of Culture and Palaces, and was attended by representatives from 18 European countries from National and Affiliate Member institutions, and two non-member observers.

Board members Orlaith McBride, Director, Arts Council Ireland and Staffan Forssell, Director General, Statens Kulturråd – Swedish Arts Council introduced the new Executive Director of IFACCA, Magdalena Moreno, who chaired the meeting. Ib Christensen, Head of Culture and Mr Azad Ahmed the Deputy Mayor for Culture, welcomed members to Aarhus, the vibrant European Capital of Culture 2017. Jesper Hermansen, Director of the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces, opened the meeting with a presentation on recent developments in Danish cultural policy. 

In the discussions that followed, participants explored issues related to:

  • digitalisation and its impact on arts and culture support agencies
  • responding to changes in migration and movement of people, and policies that support refugees and build intercultural societies
  • support for mobility and co-commissioning in the context of bilateral/multilateral cultural agreements and cooperation programmes
  • the public value of the arts and evaluating its impact. 

In the course of the discussions, members identified other common challenges that they face, including:

  • freedom of artistic expression and protection of the rights of artists
  • intercultural dialogue 
  • regionalisation and decentralisation
  • language and how to use evidence and arguments to demonstrate the impact and value of the arts
  • sharing data and building capacity
  • the status of artists
  • youth engagement and participation.

Affiliate Members in attendance included the Asia-Europe Foundation, a key partner for the upcoming 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Malaysia. We were also pleased to welcome Nordiskkulturfond as an observer.

In addition to the meeting, members enjoyed a cultural programme that included a memorable tour of the ARoS Contemporary Arts Museum and Godsbanen Centre for Cultural Production

The next European Chapter meeting will be hosted by Arts Council England and will take place in Liverpool in September / October 2018, which will coincide with the 10 year anniversary of the city being European Capital of Culture (2008).