In the Shortcut Europe 2009 meeting we dealt with the centres relations to civic society and other cultural operators. On international level there is a great variety of existing organizational structures, goal setting, needs and expectations for the cultural centres in Europe. Our aim for this meeting was to have an open minded discussion about the following issues:
How is the relationship between civic society and public funding?
What are the purposes of public funding? What are the responsibilities of funding bodies? Are we – the cultural centres - able to make a good match with our funding bodies, or are we just desperately trying to fit our projects and everyday work into the guidelines given by cultural/social/economical/political decision makers ?
What are the criteria of public funding?
Are we aware - as cultural operators - of the criteria we are funded by? Is the procedure of funding transparent? Are we transparent? What does it actually mean to be transparent and how should we understand and meet a demand of transparency?
What does civic society and public bodies expect from cultural centres?
Has civic society expressed its needs and wishes towards our cultural centres and if so, should we use these expressions as guidelines for our work? Do we need this kind of guiding, or should we rather – maybe in opposition to local or national authorities - set our goals independently?
How are we organized?
There is a great variety in the way cultural centres are organized and administrated. Some centres are organized as independent centres/institutions/associations, and some are organized as a part of national and local public administration. How do the organizational and administrative forms influence the activities and results expected?
How do we evaluate our work and achievements?
What are our interests considering evaluation? Who makes the rules or who should make them? What is essential, what is excessive? Are we able to tell out our story in an objective way? Do we really want to open up? Is quantity always versus quality, and are the different "isms" taken from business world useful? An in the end - who is evaluating who?
For further information please contact Michaela Stenback: Michaela.Stenback@hel.fi