Culture Action Europe (CAE) has chosen Newcastle-Gateshead to host its 2014 annual conference.
From the 9th - 11th October 2014, members representing over 80,000 cultural organisations from all over Europe will be brought together with thinkers and decision-makers from different backgrounds to discuss and challenge the role of culture in the future of Europe, its people and its democracy.
The Newcastle-Gateshead choice is the outcome of a competitive process involving other European cities. The UK candidacy was initially launched in late 2013 and has been strongly supported by two CAE members based in Newcastle-Gateshead: ISIS Arts and Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN).
In making its decision, the CAE Executive Committee considered the collective support of the cultural sector, the quality of the cultural offer and the regional character of the Newcastle-Gateshead proposal to be of particular interest.
CAE Secretary General Luca Bergamo said:
“An impressive coalition including leading UK national and regional cultural players as well as local authorities and Universities have come together in support of the candidacy. At a crucial moment for the UK in Europe, this joint backing and the quality of the proposal placed Newcastle-Gateshead as our first choice to host this international conference.
“Across Europe we are striving to strike balances: balances in cultural investments inter- regionally as well as between regions and their capitals; balances between continental futures and national pasts. Failure to find a fair balance for cultural investment in a time of spending reviews risks neglecting our basic human right to access the arts and science and hampers the equality of opportunity for social and economic development. Failure to reach an agreement on a common future in Europe may lead to harsh conflicts, no different to the bloodiest that this continent has seen in its history.
“Hosting the CAE Conference in the UK, outside London, shortly after the European Election and the referendum in Scotland and just before next national elections, indicates how strongly we believe that Europe needs the UK and vice-versa to build a prosperous, peaceful and sustainable future.
“We are grateful for the support we found in the UK and we will make the 2014 Conference a unique opportunity to move “beyond the obvious” of current cultural debate and beliefs.”
The aim of the CAE Annual Conference is to move beyond the assumptions, beliefs and practices that limit the contribution of culture to social and economic transformation at local, national and European levels. The Conference will challenge some assumptions about culture and Europe through an unusual format that is designed to encourage collaboration, empowerment and deeper understanding.
Conference partners include: European Commission, Arts Council England, British Council, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, ISIS Arts, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle University, Newcastle/Gateshead Initiative, Newcastle/Gateshead Cultural Venues, Northern Stage, The Sage Gateshead, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.
Culture Action Europe is a European network of artists, cultural producers and membership organisations dedicated to promote culture as a necessary condition for sustainable development both at a local and European scale. Moreover, it contributes intensively to the European debate on culture through the expertise and the practice of a community including over 80,000 cultural organisations and practitioners from different disciplines across Europe.
Culture Action Europe is moving beyond obvious and transforming itself from an advocacy and lobby organisation into a genuine network: a community which actively engages in discussing and reshaping the role of culture in generating societal well-being. For more information visit www.cultureactioneurope.org