ACT|UJ Arts & Culture ConferenceUJ - University of Johannesburg
Grace Meadows: The ACT|UJ Arts & Culture Conference was launched at the UJ Arts Centre on 14 March 2012. Grace Meadows, UJ Performing Arts Manager, addressed guests.
UJ Arts & Culture is proud to be a presenting partner of the inaugural the ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference.
Initially we entered into this partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust, not only because ACT is South Africa's premier independent arts and culture funding and development agency, but also because an arts conference of this nature seemed to us an ideal opportunity to survey arts and culture practice within our borders and beyond, to examine and interrogate the thinking informing us in the sector today, and to work across disciplines in developing comprehensive and sustainable action plans for the future of the arts in South Africa
In our research and preparation we encountered an article in the Guardian entitled "Arts conferences: too much talk and no action?" which reads:
"A group of like-minded people gathered in one place could put serious weight behind something and make a practical difference. However, many of the recent events I've attended have not taken advantage of this fact. These events have, at best, been a showcase of great work without much other content and, at worst, been mutual commiserating or back-scratching. I know the big conversations happen, around the country, daily. Arts organisations are innovating, taking risks, finding new methods and partners for collaboration. So why doesn't this creative, intelligent, forward-thinking attitude translate into organising good conferences?"
Wary of poor organisation and this tendency in conferences towards talk-shopping without action and follow-through, UJ Arts & Culture has supported ACT in putting a formidable content team in place.
We have also tested our intention to host a conference as well as an initial theme through a survey of more than 100 local and international arts and culture practitioners. The feedback from this survey was reassuringly positive. The majority of respondents agreed and strongly agreed that there is a valid place and indeed a need for arts conferences of this nature in South Africa.
The content team and organisers also used the survey feedback to focus and refine what was initially a broad-based subject into the compelling and engaging theme: "The Art of The Creative Economy"
And into this theme, the team have built very clear objectives, outcomes and concrete deliverables, which they will speak to here today.
In closing I would like to share with you a tweet from the 2011 re:create Arts Conference in which speaker Mike Hyatt is quoted as saying, “In the space between the stimulus and the response lies opportunity.”
It is into that space – the space between the stimulus and the response – that UJ Arts & Culture, in partnership with the Arts & Culture Trust, are proud to officially launch the first annual ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference.
We look forward to your support and the conversations to come.
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Web site: http://www.uj.ac.za/arts