South African Cultural Observatory

A New European Agenda for Culture - Working Document

BY 26.09.18

READ the rationale for and outcomes of the process to put together a proposal for a New European Agenda for Culture which was tabled earlier this year. Preliminary research found that European Union citizens believe culture is the most important factor in creating a sense of community. But 36% don't currently participate in cultural activities, so increasing cultural participation would bring Europeans closer together.

In response to these findings, and to calls from EU leaders for increased EU collaboration on culture, the European Commission adopted on 22 May 2018 a proposal for a New European Agenda for Culture. The New European Agenda for Culture (the New Agenda) responds to the European Leaders' invitation to do more, through culture and education, to build cohesive societies and offer a vision of an attractive European Union5 . It aims to harness the full potential of culture to help build a more inclusive and fairer Union, supporting innovation, creativity and sustainable jobs and growth.

The New Agenda proposes to:

•  harness the power of culture and cultural diversity for social cohesion and wellbeing, by promoting cultural participation, mobility of artists and protection of heritage

•  support jobs and growth in the cultural and creative sectors, by promoting arts and culture in education, boosting relevant skills, and encouraging innovation in culture

•  strengthen international cultural relations, by making the most of the potential of culture to foster sustainable development and peace

Based on experience gained from EU cooperation on culture over the last decade, the New Agenda will be put into practice through strong cooperation with Member States and stakeholders, including civil society and international partners. Find out more here or download the working document.

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The Arts and Health Research: Inspiring Creative Dialogue, special issue published in Cogent Arts & Humanities, brings together a collection of scholarly, arts-based (or creative practice-based) research papers arising from a two-day interdisciplinary symposium held in Vancouver, Canada in April 2016. The goal in the symposium was to bring together health researchers, artists and designers working within literary, performative and visual practices in order to identify mutual interests and foster cross-pollination between the arts and health, or more precisely across creative practices and health research. With this special issue, the discussion is continues.

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UNESCO recently launched a 'Policy Monitoring Platform' which allows for easy access to policies and measures implemented in the context of the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

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As we publish this edition of the Cultural Observer, most of the West has placed South Africa in the travel red list owing to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 identified by the South African scientists.

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The Cape Town-based artist, Andrea du Plessis (40) has been announced as the winner of the 2021 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.

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