First eighteen arts councils become members of International Federation

26 September 2001, Australia

First eighteen arts councils become members of International Federation. The first eighteen national arts funding bodies were admitted this week as founding members of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). At a meeting in Dublin on 24-25th September 2001, IFACCA's board members warmly welcomed the new members and noted that a further 20 countries have expressed interest in joining, including the USA, New Zealand, Philippines, Switzerland, Dominica, England, Panama and Republic of Congo. This was the second meeting of the interim board since the Federation was inaugurated at the Canada Council's World Summit of Arts and Culture in Ottawa in December 2000. The Federation, the first global network of national arts funding bodies, aims to create an international resource and meeting ground for all those whose public responsibility it is to support excellence and diversity in artistic endeavour. 'Governments everywhere are recognising the value of arts and culture, and the importance of cultural diversity', said Dr Shirley L Thomson, Chair of the Federation. 'In partnership with arts support agencies, they are striving to identify better means of promoting the creativity of their artists and the community's enjoyment of it'. 'As arts councils and funding agencies with a public mandate, we have an obligation to keep abreast of the best and most appropriate research, policies and arts support strategies. Artistic vitality in one part of the world impacts on the rest. By helping each other, we are helping nuture cultural diversity within and between nations'. An online arts council news service and a young leaders exchange program were the first two initiatives to be approved by the board. Other issues addressed included the draft constitution and the selection of a host for the 2002 World Summit. 'With the preparatory stage underway we are starting some concrete projects. Through information and staff exchanges, IFACCA aims to improve the the capacity of arts councils to meet the challenges and opportunities of globalisation and technological change'. The Federation's board comprises the CEOs of the Arts Councils of Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, Finland and the Musee de Quai Branly, Paris and the former Culture Co-ordinator for the Colombia-based Convenio Andres Bello. The secretariat is an independant agency located at the Australia Council in Sydney. For further information please contact: Sarah Gardner, Executive Director, IFACCA Tel: +61 2 9215 9016 or email: [email protected]