On March 25th, 2021, we launched a new ENCC publication about local networks with its author, Raluca Iacob and two guests. Here is the recording of the online presentation and discussion, and a few related resources.
Local Networks: (a guide to) Reimagining the Work of Cultural Organisations
Read and download the publication
If you're a cultural organisation struggling for resources, time and energy, how can you join forces with other similar organisations, instead of competing with them? If you're a policymaker, how can you create conditions to support this type of cooperation? What about the crazy way many small cultural organisations seem to operate? Is it creative chaos, disfunction, or something else altogether?
This digital publication is not your usual toolkit for organisational development. Starting from practical questions and theoretical insights, it offers reflection tools rather than step-by-step advice. It scrutinizes the way cultural organisations work and opens perspectives for rethinking and change that are anchored in research and existing theory rather than in common wisdom and hopeful thinking.
It also offers a treasure box of case studies of local cultural networks across Europe, from ENCC membership and beyond.
Presentation and discussion at the publication launch (video)
In this event, author Raluca Iacob, cultural policy analyst, presents the publication, developed with the ENCC in the framework of the Hubs to Nodes research project (2018-2021).
'If you are not a newcomer to cultural management, you might have noticed that between the strategic plans, the reports addressed to funders, and the actual practice there is often a big, huge gap that is bridged only by discourse.
(...) This image of the cultural organization leaves to the local network the task of imagining tools and methods that do not coerce their members into fitting the neat and orderly functioning of formalised and hierarchical institutions. And that suits them perfectly, because local networks represent an extra level of organised anarchy.'
(from Chapter I, 'What is a local network?')
She discusses the challenges she faced when creating Local Networks: (a guide to) Reimagining the Work of Cultural Organisations, including the complexity and the diversity of the local cultural networks. She also describes her "academic-organic" approach to the topic, and walks us through an outline of the publication.
Guest Piet Forger (head of the Department of Culture for the city of Leuven, Belgium) lists ten personal lessons learned about creating and maintaining local networks. Keywords are urgency, trust, celebration and working with people that are outside your personal sphere.
Guest Njomza Dragusha (community organizer, researcher and founder of Termokiss Space and Community in Prishtina, Kosovo) discusses the Termokiss project, one of the case studies in our publication. She explains how their community engaged with local authorities while carrying out an "internal experiment in self-governance".
> Read and download Local Networks: (a guide to) Reimagining the Work of Cultural Organisations
> Check out Piet Forger's 10 lessons learned about local networks
> Check out the ENCC's previous in-depth publication, The Evaluation Journey, by Marie Le Sourd, also available as a free download