A retrospect of the 8th International Conference on Cultural Policy Research 2014

by Daniel Gad

Copyright: Andreas Hartmann

Opening ceremony in the Theatre for Lower Saxony in Hildesheim with Professor Jenny Johannisson (in the centre), Chair of the ICCPR Scientific Committee, and the organizers of the conference Professor Schneider (right) and Dr. Gad (left) from the Department of Cultural Policy.

From 9-13 September 2014 the ICCPR2014 was held at the Kulturcampus Domäne Marienburg at the University of Hildesheim and at the Embassy of the State of Lower Saxony in Berlin, Germany.

Some 450 participants from more than 70 countries contributed to this biennial international meeting. It provides an opportunity for networking and sharing findings, perspectives and the needs of cultural policy research at city, regional, national and international level.

For the first time since it began in Norway in 1999, the ICCPR was attended by a large number of experts from the African and Arab regions. Delegates included academics and many experts from practical areas of cultural policy.

The ICCPR2014 was organized by the Department of Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim, in collaboration with the International Journal of Cultural Policy. The Department hosts the UNESCO Chair “Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development”.

Our primary aim was to include regions that had previously had fewer links with the informal network of the ICCPR conferences. We were also keen to give the 8th ICCPR a specific direction in terms of content. Cultural policy research is a young academic field that has many different roots. As a result, both academic and non-academic work may touch upon some very different subjects, for example it may be more linked to sociology or more linked to the arts but without losing the need for interdisciplinary thinking.

At Hildesheim, our view and understanding of cultural policy research is based on the study and research concept used in Hildesheim cultural studies, i.e. it is linked to the arts in theory and practice. Cultural policy research at Hildesheim involves a broad definition of culture but always aims to link it specifically to the arts.

Based on this viewpoint, we organized the ICCPR2014 programme to run in two parallel streams. The sessions on papers and particular themes dealt with findings and crucial questions within a very broad understanding of cultural policy, while the semi-plenary sessions were organized to reflect the three areas of research and teaching at the Hildesheim Department of Cultural Policy: processes of transformation, arts education and participation.

We received a great deal of positive feedback during the course of the ICCPR, which suggests the organization and direction of the event was on the right lines. We are very happy to have played our part in promoting this important network, which aims to foster cultural policy research as a respected field of academic research and teaching and seeks to never lose contact with the reality of arts and culture in society.

See You 2016 in Seoul, South Korea!