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


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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Pavlos Georgiadis - Our Generation has a Unique Opportunity
Pavlos Georgiadis at Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability
Pavlos Georgiadis - Our Generation has a Unique Opportunity
Patrick Wilson 
Pavlos Georgiadis, Fellow of Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability, has appeared on FM4 radio to talk where our food comes from and what it means to us. He talked about enriching our lives by making informed choices about food by understanding where our food comes from and being conscious about our consumption. Georgiadis is an ethnobiologist, AgriFood author, and film maker. Born and raised in Alexandroupolis, Greece, he has lived in eleven countries in Europe, Asia, and America, working on research projects for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and rural extension. He is an active social entrepreneur in the agro-ecological sector. He also created the single varietal extra virgin olive oil Calypso and established a consultancy company called We Deliver Taste. He also talks about the pleasure that comes from making better food choices and the food revolution that comes from the pleasure of preparing and enjoying food that is good for us. The full interview is available to listen to below.
More interviews with Fellows from Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability can be found on the session page: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561.
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Prairie Rose Seminole - Keeping up with Traditions is Becoming a Dying Art
Prairie Rose Seminole speaking at Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability.
Prairie Rose Seminole - Keeping up with Traditions is Becoming a Dying Art
Patrick Wilson 
Prairie Rose Seminole, Fellow of Session 561 | Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability has been featured on a segment for FM4 radio about taking a more conscious approach to food and maintaining traditions. Seminole talked about her Native American heritage and how her ancestors and she forages in nature to help provide for herself and her tribe. She also talked about the medicinal properties of plants and grass in nature that have been forgotten by the general population. Seminole is a prevention specialist for the Boys and Girls Club of the Three Affiliated Tribes in New Town, ND, USA. She is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, a descendant of the Sahnish/Arikara, Northern Cheyenne and Lakota Nations, and a member of the Waterbuster Clan. Ms. Seminole believes in and emphasizes the interconnected nature of humanity and faith, and the responsibility we all have to ensuring social justice. Lifting up teachings from her parents, traditional gardening, wild food, and medicine harvesting have become Seminole’s lifeway. She spoke to Salzburg Global about her close work with food and the importance of understanding the cultural practices surrounding food. You can read the full interview with Salzburg Global here. The full interview is available to listen to below. #
More interviews with Fellows from Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability can be found on the session page: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/561.
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Salzburg Global Collaboration Creates Photography Exhibit at FOTOHOF
Herman Seidl and Tanya Kiang at the opening of the FOTOHOF exhibit on Contemporary Photography from Ireland.
Salzburg Global Collaboration Creates Photography Exhibit at FOTOHOF
Patrick Wilson 
A new photography exhibit is now open at the FOTOHOF Gallery thanks to collaboration between Salzburg Global Seminar Fellows. The Contemporary Photography from Ireland exhibit, in collaboration with the Gallery of Photography in Dublin, features several displays by seven contemporary fine art photographers from Ireland as well as twenty topical photo books from Ireland that capture different aspects of both Irish culture, history and heritage. The origins of the collaboration began from a chance meeting between fellows at Session 502 | Power in Whose Palm? The Digital Democratization of Photography. Tanya Kiang, Director/Curator at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin and Herman Seidl, freelance photographer as well as staff member and curator at the FOTOHOF, spoke to Salzburg Global at the opening of the exhibit about how their meeting at the session inspired the collaboration and brought the work of these Irish artists to Salzburg. “There were some really fantastic sessions in the seminar itself but it was quite cloistered,” Kiang said. “You stayed in the Schloss and you were in the sessions from morning to night time, it was exhausting. At one point during one of the sessions Herman made an intervention and he played a very lovely photo piece by Duane Michals. It really lifted my heart. We’d been talking about these very important and serious things and then there was finally some visual pleasure going on. We were all kind of lifted by it I think. Immediately after that day’s meeting there was an opening of a photography exhibit at the FOTOHOF which the seminar Fellows were invited to. As soon as I walked into the FOTOHOF I went right up to Herman and said something is going to happen. He must have thought, who is this crazy Irish girl?” “I remember Tanya not being just satisfied with that one visit,” said Seidl. “She came back another day and went through all the book productions we have done so far. At first we didn’t have any major intentions but then over the course of two years we kept meeting at photo scene meets in Europe in festivals in places like Paris. Then it was the Solas Photography Prize that really got us talking, where you made me a panel judge. We wanted to share these amazing artists across borders and bring their work to the FOTOHOF here in Salzburg.” Tanya believes the Irish Photography scene is in a strong place and has many aspects that allow for a thriving photographic culture including great undergraduate and postgraduate courses and exhibition spaces. As well as this, the many social changes happening in Ireland have created a fluid and energetic environment that she believes comes across in the several exhibits. As part of the collaboration, artists from Salzburg will also be featured in an exhibit at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin, Ireland. Kiang and Seidl believed the cultural exchange was invaluable for our shared culture. “If you don’t have something comparative happening you’re just going to sink into a morass of nothing.” Kiang said. “The more points of reference you can make the more we can work out our differences and similarities and break down the boundaries we put around ourselves. There are so many things that Austria and Ireland have in common. Ireland and Austria look to each other for foreign policy commonalities more so than other big blocks in the European Union.” Seidl finished by praising Salzburg Global’s ability to create collaborations like this exhibit and the power it has as a tool for learning. “When I’ve photographed some of the sessions, I’ve been totally taken back by the topics and it’s so much fun to be there and be part of it. You never stop learning, that’s the thing about it. You always have new experiences and new encounters. To me international encounters are the only way to break out of our comfort zones and expand our minds. If you wouldn’t move out of Austria or Ireland you would never expand your mind. The intercultural interactions that Salzburg Global provides are totally mind blowing and important for our collective cultural growth.” The exhibit is available to view at the FOTOHOF gallery until April 28, 2016.
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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.