IFACCA board meets for the first time

03 April 2001, Australia

Johannesburg: Leaders of Arts Councils from around the world today concluded the first full meeting of the board of the newly formed International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) Held over two days at the National Arts Council of South Africa, Johannesburg, the board considered fundamental issues such as the vision and goals, draft constitution and funding for the new Federation. The Federation was officially launched last December at the inaugural World Summit of Arts and Culture, hosted by the Canada Council, in Ottawa. Over 300 delegates and observers from over 55 countries, ranging from Japan, USA and Russia to Niger, Sri Lanka and Panama, unanimously voted in an interim board, to be chaired by the Director of the Canada Council, Dr Shirley L. Thomson. "The primary aim of new Federation, the first global network of national arts funding bodies, is to share information and expertise of benefit to artists, arts organisations and communities throughout the world," said Dr Thomson. "Central to our operations will be the establishment of a website, to enable the widest possible exchange of policy, program and research information. Other priorities include joint research initiatives, staff exchanges and collaborative projects. "High on our agenda," she said, "are such concerns, voiced by many delegates to the World Summit, as the arts and young people, the impact of globalisation on cultural diversity, sustainability of the arts sector, and the interaction between artists and the community." The other board members are from South Africa (Doreen Nteta), Ireland (Patricia Quinn), Finland (Risto Ruohonen), Venezuela (Albanela Pérez-Suárez), Singapore (Choo, Thiam Siew*) and Australia (Sarah Gardner, the Executive Director). To ensure the broadest range of expertise, additional members of the interim board are still to be co-opted and full elections will take place at the next World Summit, scheduled for 2002. IFACCA was set up to serve and link the over 80 countries currently home to arts councils and arts council-type organisations. In countries lacking an arms-length arts funding body, the department of arts or culture will be eligible for voting membership. Affiliate memberships will be available to organisations and individuals with an interest in supporting the arts and artists. In-principle endorsement for the Federation was offered at the World Summit by organisations such as UNESCO, l'Agence de la Francophonie, Americans for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Federation, which aims to facilitate the development of best-practice in the administration of arts funding, will be funded by contributions from member nations, graded according to the United Nations' Scale of Assessments, and by private foundations and sponsors. *Due to last-minute airline problems, Mr Choo was unable to attend the meeting. For further information please contact: Sarah Gardner, Executive Director, IFACCA Tel: +61 2 9215 9016 or email: [email protected] What's New