ACORNS 354: Global issues and the role of arts and culture

24 November 2016, International

It has been a while between ACORNS, but we are now back in the swing of things after the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Malta, where we were joined by more than 380 people, from over 80 countries. Summit conversations were diverse and far-reaching, and we are currently gathering and editing content to share with everyone who could not make it (and those who did, but want to know what everyone else was up to). For now, we can report that delegates called for urgent leadership and action from the arts and culture sector in response to global issues that affect our societies. As speaker Jo Verrent neatly summarised: ‘Climate change, the rise of right wing ideologies & the refugee crisis - the three biggest challenges to cultural leadership’. 

Of course, we are not the only ones thinking about these issues, as climate change, the environment and sustainable development have been very much at the fore lately (amongst other things). In October, the United Nations adopted the New Urban Agenda, which recognises ‘that culture should be taken into account in the promotion and implementation of new sustainable consumption and production patterns that contribute to the responsible use of resources and address the adverse impact of climate change.’

In early November the Paris Agreement came into force, a milestone that Julie’s Bicycle have celebrated with the release of a new film and continued campaigning with #COPtimism, a call to action to put culture and creativity at the heart of the climate movement. Last week, COP22 took place in Marrakech, during which the role of culture was highlighted by Marshall Islands poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, who is recruiting young people to find innovative ways to protect communities and their threatened cultures. 

There are also upcoming opportunities for you to get involved in addressing these issues, including the Cultural Innovation International Prize - Climate change, and the 2017 Creative Climate Leadership programme.

As always, if you have news that you would like us to share, please contact us a t[email protected].

Read the full newsletter

ACORNS is our bilingual digest of the latest arts and cultural policy news. Each fortnight, we publish the editorial section online. For ACORNS direct to your inbox, just subscribe.