Culture » Overview

exploring the transformative power of the arts – building bridges across cultures – supporting young cultural innovators

The Salzburg Global Seminar’s Culture and the Arts Program focuses on the transformative power of the arts, facilitates cultural exchange at multiple levels, and provides capacity-building opportunities through the annual Young Cultural Innovators Forum. Through multi-year projects and strategic convenings, the Culture and Arts Program seeks to secure a more prominent role for the arts on policy agendas and to support the continuously evolving needs of the creative sector – as a major driver of sustainable economic development and social improvement – through the multi-year Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

 

Sessions in 2017:

The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage and Renewal 
February 7 to 12, 2017 

Salzburg Global Young Cultural Innovators Forum: Regional Fellows Event
April 27 to 29, 2017

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV
October 14 to 19, 2017

For past sessions, click here


Young, Innovative, and Widespread
Young, Innovative, and Widespread
Patrick Wilson 
The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) brings together talented individuals from the culture and arts sectors in several key cities. The Forum helps them develop the dynamic vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to allow them, their organizations, their causes, and their communities to thrive in new ways. In their “hubs” across the world, our YCIs are putting these newfound tools to work. With the annual program in Salzburg as its cornerstone, the YCI Forum is structured around a network of hubs, currently including Athens, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Phnom Penh, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, and Tokyo. Salzburg Global is actively working to expand its network of hubs in more cities and countries across the world. Baltimore, MD, USA  Citizen Artist Baltimore, a project led by 2015 YCI Rebecca Chan with support from Priya Bhayana (YCI 2014) and Deana Haggag (YCI 2015), is mobilizing the Baltimore arts and culture sector to make their interests a critical issue in the city’s 2016 mayoral election. Their activities led to the first-ever Mayoral Forum on Arts & Culture in Baltimore’s history. The project also aims to create connections between organizations and communities that have not customarily engaged with one another and mobilize diverse constituencies around a common goal. Buenos Aires, Argentina In Buenos Aires, Fellows greeted 2015 with a new project to help facilitate high-level artistic production within disadvantaged social contexts. The project, entitled Hangar, aims to create events that will allow artists in poor social and economic situations to participate in creative and cultural activities and showcase their work in venues where they are not traditionally visible. Athens, Greece  Our first Greek YCI Fellows created a new independent cultural network, cultureFWD, and in June they hosted an interactive, educational workshop for young artists, creators, and cultural entrepreneurs in Athens, Greece. Dedicated to giving back to their own cultural community, cultureFWD partnered with Salzburg Global to create the day-long event, which brought together 48 participants from around the world and focused on ways in which the Greek cultural and creative sectors may respond to the country’s ongoing social and economic challenges. Phnom Penh, Cambodia Supported by Cambodia Living Arts and the US Embassy in Cambodia, the Mekong Delta hub, based in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, worked with young students to explore the possibilities of arts and culture as agents of change. The event was held at Sa Sa Bassac, where Meta Moeng (YCI 2015) is the community projects manager. The event used materials such as the Salzburg Global Faces of Leadership video series to inspire students to engage in arts and culture and learn from the achievements and personal stories of Young Cultural Innovators from around the world. Tokyo, Japan With Mitch Yoshimoto, faculty member of the 2014 YCI session, leading the cultural program for the 2020 Olympics, the YCIs of the Tokyo hub are in the early stages of planning a YCI-led event to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 summer games. They hope to bring together YCIs from multiple years and hubs for the event.  Rotterdam, the Netherlands Rotterdam YCIs and Forum sponsor, the Stichting De Verre Bergen, have partnered to support “creative business plans” for public arts projects in the city. Five proposals were selected by the YCIs at an event by Stichting De Verre Bergen in January; the projects are currently in development stages. One project will win €15,000 to invest in its own continued activity and growth. Salzburg, Austria The Salzburg Hub has seen many collaboration projects among YCIs and other Salzburg Global Fellows. Martin Murer (YCI 2015) organized a symposium with Shinji Sudo, a faculty member of the second YCI session from Japan, at Salzburg University’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction in June 2015. After attending Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability in February 2016, Robert Praxmarer (YCI 2014) is collaborating with Romanian Fellow Anamaria Vrabie on an eco-game app for schools, which will explore how computer games can change our behavior and society.
FIND OUT MORE The report from the 2015 session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) is available online to read, download, and share. SEE ONLINE:  www.SalzburgGlobal.org/go/554  yci.SalzburgGlobal.org
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Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Report now online Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities
Jessica Franzetti 
The report from the inaugural session Living Arts in Post Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships, Possibilities is now available online to read, download and share. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge launched a genocidal regime in which 2 million Cambodians died – including 90% of the artists working in the country. In 2016, the Cambodian art scene, with Phnom Penh at its heart, has reemerged as the country’s population, 60% of whom are under 25, utilize the arts to rebuild, unify, and renew their unique cultural traditions. In collaboration with Cambodian Living Arts and with sponsorship from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, 45 delegates from 24 countries were invited to discuss the critical challenges facing a post-conflict nation and the role that arts and culture can play as a vehicle for positive change. Held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where post-conflict transformation is a lived reality, the three-day workshop served as a starting point for increased South-South dialogue. The diversity of the delegates’ fields, from cultural renewal and development to youth resilience and social innovation, allowed for a diversity of perspectives in addressing deep-rooted mistrust and challenges faced in the preservation of heritage and cultural identity. The program included plenary sessions, breakout groups, and site visits, which allowed for extensive dialogue concerning art and its unique ability to transform a culture and aid in rebuilding a society. Download the report as a PDF
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Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab: Fellows talk sustainable design
Beirut Design Week meets Scrap Lab: Fellows talk sustainable design
Heather Jaber 
“No matter how hard you try, there will always be waste,” said Singh Intrachooto on May 22 at Beirut Design Week to an audience facing a large-scale waste crisis. Intrachooto, Salzburg Global Fellow and head of the Creative Center for Eco-Design at Kasetsart University Architecture in Thailand, came to Lebanon to discuss innovative approaches to dealing with material waste. Intrachooto traveled to Beirut to join forces with three-time Salzburg Global Fellow Doreen Toutikian, director of the MENA Design Research Center and founder of Beirut Design Week to talk about creative approaches to modern problems. Intrachooto and Toutikian, who met at Schloss Leopoldskron during the February 2016 session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, were awarded a grant by the David Rockefeller Fund to support Intrachooto’s participation in Beirut Design Week and workshops to develop sustainable and recyclable materials for projects in Lebanon. Lebanon has been in the midst of a waste management crisis for nearly a year after the country’s main landfill was scheduled to close with no other alternatives put in place for trash disposal or recycling. In Thailand, Intrachooto told a receptive audience, for every truckload of a product with lasting value, about 32 truckloads of waste follow. For that reason, Intrachooto decided to provide incentives to manufacturers for sorting their waste and rethinking the way we use different types of waste. “Can we as a creative sector, as designers, use our knowledge and tools to solve modern problems?” Intrachooto asked, providing an answer in the form of Scrap Lab.  Scrap Lab engages young designers with manufacturers to collect their waste, experiment with it, and ultimately turn it into marketable and profitable new products. Recognizing that manufacturers would be less resistant to this “upcycling” than to simply reducing their waste output, Scrap Lab doesn’t plan to change companies’ business models, but instead turn their waste into new business ideas. Examples of this reuse of waste have included turning the leftovers from the button making process into an alternative to terrazzo, glass dust into porous “eco stones” to help water plants, and even coffee into tiles (that now cover the walls of Starbucks across Asia). Other unconventional materials, like bags from kidney dialysis or foil snack packages, have also been transformed into new products.  “[We] do not change the business model of anybody,” said Intrachooto, “but once there’s waste, that’s where Scrap Lab comes to give a hand, to help participate.” Some of these materials were met with hesitance by the general public. Intrachooto shared his experience working with hospital waste, recounting the initial reactions he received.  “When I wanted to work with hospital waste, everybody said ‘no, it’s dangerous,’” he said. “Would it be toxic, would be too contaminated? In fact, I was afraid too.”  After learning that only 60% of this waste is actually contaminated, the Fellow realized the the remaining sterile 40% was being dumped as well. With this material, “stress karma toolkits” were created for patients who were hospitalized for more than a week to lower their stress levels. Although Intrachooto’s experience with waste reuse and sustainability is rooted in Thailand, the subject matter was right at home in Lebanon, where sustainable design concepts carry special potential in the wake of a recent failure to collect and treat its waste. Toutikian touched on the potential this link created for designers in the nation. “I think Singh’s input was very appreciated and valued by our design community,” she said, “because he comes from a country with similar challenges and can understand the difficulties in developing sustainable design and integrating it in the country’s infrastructure.”
To read more about how art can be a catalyst for sustainability, check out the full report from Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability
Download the report as a PDF (lo-res)
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Chúk Odenigbo - The fascinating connection between fashion retail and nature
Chúk Odenigbo at Session 557 | Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation
Chúk Odenigbo - The fascinating connection between fashion retail and nature
Chúk Odenigbo 
Wealth in wisdom is a commodity that was in abundance at the inaugural session of the Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health and a New Urban Generation. Attending this event were people prominent in their fields and their organizations, and in the knowledge they shared, there was not only a demonstration  of the importance and beauty of the natural world, but also a sense of practicality rarely seen amongst idealists. Although the Forum was only three days long, it pushed us all in a direction – whether it simply reinforced the value of what we already did, or redirected our efforts to a magic yet untapped.  On a personal level, the Forum inspired me to really take a hold of the deficiencies in the subject matter at hand and challenged me to engage myself and find solutions. One of the common themes that continually arose was the lack of research and the lack of information surrounding the intersection between nature and quite a few other sectors, including fashion, retail, health, and urban planning. Upon returning to Canada, I immediately disseminated all the information I gleaned and distributed it amongst my network. I gave a summary report to the Canadian Parks Council, senior management at the popular retailer Club Monaco, and got in touch with Calgary Parks.  As the Operations Manager for the Club Monaco (Chinook location), I was quick to insist on using plants and greenery in our store design and set-up, such that when customers would walk in, they would get the not-yet-fully-understood benefits that arise from simply looking at nature. They were also a great source of beauty to the store. In addition to this, the clothes were organized to tell the story of how their designer was inspired by the Icelandic landscape. As the customer would walk in, they were greeted with reds, whites and beiges with hints of black, whispering the stories of Icelandic volcanoes. Then as they walked into the adjoining room, the varying shades of blue would take over, speaking to the surrounding ocean. Finally the third room was filled with greens, representing the forests. Efforts to really involve nature in the shopping experience were paramount to my vision.  In furthering this, I was able to head back to Salzburg for the session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability in February 2016. This session focused on the influence artists have in advancing sustainability issues and how they can use their ability as cultural innovators to really enable society to move forward in an environmental fashion.  The connection between fashion retail and nature is a fascinating one. The materials the clothes are made from, where they are sourced, and how they are sourced tends to be what first comes to mind to most people, but in focusing on the retail aspect of it, the following are some of what comes to mind: • The origin of inspiration for the clothing (was the designer inspired by nature?); • The layout of the store and how it reflects nature; • The design of the store and what accessories are used to make it look attractive (e.g. plants, paintings, photographs, vintage furniture etc.); • The durability of the clothes and whether consumers can see themselves wearing it to go to the park or to do something outdoors; • The advertising – whether it is nature-oriented or not; • How the clothes are romanticized to customers – do the sales associates use nature-oriented language to speak about how incredible the clothes are? What is especially interesting about change in retail is if you can cause change in one branch, and it is found to be profitable, then one will start seeing that change replicated in all the other branches around the world, and as other retailers look to their competition, successful changes will then be copied.  In my work with the Canadian Parks Council, I was quick to emphasize the best practices that had been shared at the session with my co-authors as we continued forward on writing a document geared towards connecting young Canadians with nature. Finding out what worked for other people in other countries, what has been successful, and innovative ideas that have yet to be tried but sound interesting, has definitely helped in shaping the document.  There is so much more I plan to do as a direct result of the Parks for the Planet Forum, and I have many potential projects in the works.
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Beyond Green - The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability - report now online
Beyond Green - The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability - report now online
Louise Hallman 
The report from the latest session in the Culture, Arts and Society series – Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability – is now available online to read, download and share. The creative sector is playing an increasingly significant role in raising awareness of climate change and encouraging sustainable social, economic, and environmental practices worldwide. A growing number of artists, cultural organizations, and creative industries leaders are using their talents and resources to draw attention to issues, build will and agency for change, and devise innovative solutions to move us towards greater sustainability. These innovators are breaking down false boundaries between aesthetics and politics and claiming culture as an important and effective catalyst for, and site of, sustainability. The February 2016 session examined the arts’ role in advancing sustainability at international, national and local levels. The session’s goals were to build on path-breaking initiatives that are advancing cross-sectoral links between arts and sustainability around the world, encourage bolder efforts, and recommend strategic approaches for taking innovative grassroots initiatives to scale for greater, longer-term impact. Sixty arts-based practitioners and thinkers committed to promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability convened at Schloss Leopoldskron. Coming from around the globe, participants included artists, designers, architects, creative entrepreneurs, politicians and policymakers, environmentalists, urban planners, educators, scientists, game developers, philanthropists, scholars, and business leaders. Fellows represented a broad spectrum of cultural expression and artistic endeavor – including visual and performing arts, literature, cultural heritage, food, fashion, architecture, and design – and came from diverse arts organizations, including theaters, music organizations, museums and cultural heritage groups, as well as business start-ups, academic institutions, national and international policymaking bodies, and advocacy organizations. The report, written by Holly Sidford and Alexis Frasz of the Helicon Collaborative covers discussions from the various plenary sessions, on the role of art, design, cities, philanthropy and policy to advance sustainability, as well as working group recommendations. The front cover art was provided by Thiago "Mundano" Ackel. Download the report as a PDF (lo-res)

The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session was supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561. 
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Mundano Creates Graffiti Art for Salzburg Garbage Truck
Mundano's design incorporates a tribute to Mozart and a positive recycling message
Mundano Creates Graffiti Art for Salzburg Garbage Truck
Patrick Wilson 
Mundano, Fellow of Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, has contributed his unique street art to a garbage truck in Salzburg. The Brazilian artist paid a humorous homage to legendary composer Mozart, one of the most famous sons of Salzburg, and combined it with a recycling positive message. Speaking to the Salzburg Nachrichten, Mundano praised the recycling efforts in Salzburg as well as his appreciation of the composer. “Mozart was a real genius, and also the recycling in Salzburg works great,” explained Mundano. “Everything here is very clean." He hopes his art will motivate local artists to also to paint trucks or dumpsters and spread positive messages about sustainability. This is not Mundano’s first foray into painting garbage collection vehicles. Mundano is the founder of Pimp my Carroça, a global do-it-yourself crowdfunding initiative where artists create graffiti art for carroças, which are handcarts used in Brazil to transport scrap and recyclables. The project has already brought together 170 waste pickers with 200 street artists and 800 volunteers worldwide. He is known for his incisive graffiti, which spreads across walls, bridges and over 200 carroças. During the Beyond Green session, Mundano gave his thoughts in one of our daily Hot Topic about why artists should be involved in discussions surrounding sustainable developments, saying: “I believe the artists should be engaging in sustainability because sustainability is boring. It’s not popular and people just don’t care about it. Art is the tool to make it more interesting and to simplify the idea that everything is wrong and we are destroying our planet every day. I’ve spent half of my life using art as a tool and I think I’ve achieved amazing results. Getting exposure in mass media through art is a powerful tool for change.” Mundano is also a graduate of the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy, a platform supports people who want to bring their creativity a social, positive change in society. Amaphiko was also a supporter of Session 561.
The Salzburg Global session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561.
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Michael Premo - We Need to Shift the Balance Towards People
Michael Premo speaking at Session 561 | Beyond Green - The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability.
Michael Premo - We Need to Shift the Balance Towards People
Patrick Wilson 
Michael Premo, Fellow of Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, was interviewed by Chris Cummins for Austrian radio station FM4's "Reality Check" show while in Salzburg. Premo talked about his opinion on the Paris Agreement, which deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020, as well as grassroots methods of promoting more climate-conscious thinking and change in our communities. Premo is an award-winning artist, producer, photojournalist, and filmmaker. He is the executive producer and founding partner of Storyline, a creative production company that builds power through story and strategy. In addition, he is currently an impact producer for Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis’ film “This Changes Everything”, and the co-director and co-creator of “Sandy Storyline”, a participatory documentary about Hurricane Sandy and the intersection of climate change and economic inequality, which won the Tribeca Film Festival’s inaugural Transmedia Award. He also talked to FM4 about using relateable people facing extreme challenges in his documentaries as a method of connecting with audiences on an emotional level to demonstrate how our decisions now will affect the world we leave to our children. The interview is available to listen to below.
Michael Premo is a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar and participated in the session Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session was supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund and Red Bull Amaphiko. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561.
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VOICES FROM YOUNG CULTURAL LEADERS

How should cultural institutions approach the creation and articulation of value?
Albino Jopela, archaelogist and lecturer at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique suggests that considering the values of all of the stakeholders in a community will help ensure relevance and sustainability.


Why is it important for arts leaders to engage in cross-cultural conversations?
Jimena Lara Estrada, program coordinator for the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, talks about connecting with other leaders and the hope that it instills.

How do you articulate value of arts in a society where it is largely seen as a commodity?
Eyad Houssami, founding director of Masrah Ensemble in Lebanon, talks about the challenges of making a case for the arts in a society where the concept of public value is very limited.

What role should orchestras play in their communities?
Mark Gillespie, general and artistic manager of Orchestra of the Americas and Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders Fellow, suggests that orchestras should connect with youth at a very early age so that musicians grow out of the community.