HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 586: 19 October 2011

Insert Text Here5th World Summit on Arts and Culture – Creative Intersections and the Global Movement to Preserve and Promote Arts and Culture
The 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture was hosted earlier this month between 3 – 6 October at the Melbourne Exhibition Convention Centre. Addressing the theme of “Creative Intersections”, the 3-4 day summit brought together cultural leaders, experts and practitioners from the arts, culture, education, health and business sectors from around the world.
A highly interactive and dynamic experience, the summit focused mainly on “cultural policy”, the relationship between arts, culture and the wider sectors of society. It examined key issues around strengthening these links and developing effective policies in which to support cultural and creative practices, particularly for First Nation, Indigenous cultures.
Highlighted throughout a number of the sessions was the critical importance of preserving cultural traditions through creativity, particularly through the expression of language and stories. One of the essential components for growth being finance, strategic objectives need to be developed and implemented to ensure culture and creativity is effectively supported and in alignment with funding guidelines and investment models. This is of course a challenge faced by many Pacific Island nations.
A leading example and recent initiative has been the “ArtPlace” project which serves as a successful model for private public collaboration in a drive to revitalize cities and towns with a new investment model. As reported by the New York Times, the project puts the arts at the heart of economic development and community revitalization.
Preserving culture through strengthening the links between “people and place” was another key point of discussion. Highlighted were the harmful social effects of “disconnection to place”, whereby the expression of “stories” through literary, visual and performing arts serve as the vital link. Recent research into cultures suffering the effects of “severed links”, identify the focus on market and commercial trade as having replaced these important links.
Of special interest among a number of impressive presentations were the simple, yet effective, projects that encourage youth to participate in creative activities. Designing posters that address social issues have been successful. Equally, is the production of short video clips and films, which provide the youth with the necessary skills to actively participate in what has been termed the “digital revolution”.
The diversity of the presenters gave a well informed view of cultural and creative practices from within small communities to high profile cultural and art institutions, to government agencies, funding and endowment foundations. The Opening Ceremony was a true testimony to the event, showcasing an inspiring cultural performance by the Black Arm band. This was enhanced by video installation communicating potent messages on preserving the links between people, land and place.
The Summit clearly demonstrated the potential and scope for Cultural and Creative Industries and how this is essential to the course of direction for indigenous cultures. The recognition and support for Cultural and Creative Industries here in the Cook Islands has put us on an international platform, not only in terms of preserving traditions, but granting us the opportunity to participate on an international stage. -Mahiriki Tangaroa

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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