European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Territory. Scale. Action.

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How do cultural projects interact with civil society in non-urban contexts?

Resulting of a mapping and research effort carried out by the ENCC Working Group on non-urban culture, this peer-learning webinar introduced several innovative place-based practices and examined them along the three dimensions of territory, scale, and action.

The webinar showcased initiatives tackling cultural policies for rural areas, happening in parallel in Europe and at different scales, from local interventions to multilateral project consortia.

The aim of the event was twofold: on the one hand, to give these practices visibility to make them lighthouses for other initiatives; on the other, to provide a platform for them to connect, thus stimulating synergies and further developments. The outcomes and insights from the event will feed into ENCC’s policy papers and recommendations.

Agenda:

During the first hour, our panel of experts presented four case studies. The second hour was dedicated to interaction between speakers and participants in four virtual breakout rooms (one for each initiative).

Speakers:

Nancy Duxbury PhD, is a senior researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, Portugal, where she coordinates the transdisciplinary thematic research line on “Urban Cultures, Sociabilities and Participation.” She is also a member of the European Expert Network on Culture and an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University and Thompson Rivers University, Canada. Her research has examined cultural mapping, creative tourism development in smaller places, cultural work in non-urban areas, and culture in local sustainable development, among other topics. She is the principal investigator of the Horizon Europe project IN SITU. She also leads the CES team in the European research project UNCHARTED.

Ralph Lister has led Take Art, an arts development agency based in rural southwest England, for over 30 years. He was a founding member of the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) in 1997 and was Chair, then Development Director until 2018. During that time he led the commissioning of ‘Only Connect’, a seminal report on rural touring in 2004, by Francois Matarasso. He was the NRTF lead for the Rural Touring Dance Initiative 2015-2021, which took contemporary dance into rural areas partnering with The Place in London. More recently through Take Art, he led the Creative Europe-funded rural touring project SPARSE. He also sits on the Arts Council England Rural Stakeholder Group and was an adviser on their Rural Evidence & Data Review Reports 2017 and 2019.

Claire Marshall is the Director of Carn to Cove and C Fylm, the rural touring performing arts scheme for Cornwall. Carn to Cove is a network of 95 village halls and community spaces and 400 voluntary promoters that presented 93 high-quality live performances for 5068 rural audiences in 2021/22. Claire sits on the Board of the National Rural Touring Forum, Yskynna Aerial Dance, and is Company Secretary for Villages in Action. She has extensive experience in planning and delivering sectoral network meetings and roadshows for stakeholders and the public.

Martha Michailidou, PhD, is an assistant professor in Media Research Methods at the Department of Communications, Media and Culture, Panteion University in Athens. She has participated in 11 national and international research projects and is currently a member of the supervisory board of CORAL-ITN, which aims to unpack the latent dynamics and impacts of collaborative workspaces in rural and peripheral areas and integrate them as socio-economic development tools in local and regional policies. Martha has taught at the University of London and the University of Crete and has collaborated with the Greek National Centre for Social Research. Her research interests include labour and gender issues applied to CCIs, multi-methodological approaches to media and cultural research, and feminist, emergent, and digital methods.

The event will be hosted by Sara Turra, ENCC Coordinator, and moderated by Piotr Michał​​​​​​owski, ENCC Co-chair.