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Good Governance for Cultural Policy

An African-European Research about Arts and Development


Edited By Wolfgang Schneider and Daniel Gad

Culture is seen as a source for the development of society. Task of cultural policy is therefore to create and support structures that promote mobilization of creativity of the people and thus ensure welfare, innovation and pluralism. Such relationships have been discussed at the level of UNESCO for the past forty years. Within Germany and Europe as well as on the African continent experiences and initiatives are increasing in order to put discourse on cultural policies into practice. There is a need to provide a forum for the exchange of concepts and to identify the state of the art of theory and practice within the concepts of good governance and cultural policy. It is essential to clarify the role and the needed context of the arts, of art education and of individual artists in the development of society.
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Cultural Policy Needs Good Governance.A Task for Action of Civil Society


Mike van Graan

The topic of good governance for cultural policy as a task for action by civil society will be addressed and informed in this paper largely through the experience of Arterial Network. Arterial Network is a Pan-African civil society network of artists, cultural activists, creative enterprises and other partners engaged in the African creative sector in its own right, as well as its contribution to human rights, democracy and the pursuit of social justice.

The network was launched in May of 2007 on Goree Island, Senegal, largely as a response to the lack of support from public authorities for the arts and culture sector in Africa. One of the principal aims of the network is to build partnerships within civil society across national boundaries and between African and international partners in order to nurture and grow a sustainable, effective artistic practice in all genres across the continent. In doing so, the network encounters and has to engage with the principles and practice of good governance in at least three areas:

This paper will speak to all three of these areas from the perspective of a civil society practitioner engaged in the leadership of Arterial Network over a number of years.

The notion of “good governance” may vary in its details depending on whether it is applied to public authorities, to corporate businesses or to civil society organisations, and the plethora of kinds of organisations within the civil society sector. However,...

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