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Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads: Pressing Challenges

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Pressing Challenges: Part 2 of the "Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads" series conceived by CREATURE.

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The Transcultural Exchange and Networks research strand of the Centre for Creative Arts, Cultures and Engagement (CREATURE) hosts Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads, a two part series of panel discussions with art/cultural policymakers, art practitioners and professionals, and academic researchers, seeking to unpack the challenges and expectations faced by multicultural art organisations.

Pressing Challenges is the last part of the set to unpack systematic issues within multicultural art organisations and the sectoral challenges of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in recent years.

Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads is a project seeking to understand the ways in which cultural policy impact on the operation of creative labour, organisations and artistic production in the building of and sustaining of multicultural heritage. How do multicultural art organisations express, build and maintain cultural heritage from their represented communities? Who are their stakeholders and what are the challenges in serving their, at times, conflicting motivations? What is the role of institutional archive in the build-up and extenuation of artistic expression of cultural heritage? Where do artists/creative labour situate in the developmental journey of these organisations against the backdrop of funding pressure, organisational survival, and the shifting political and socio-cultural landscape?

A two part series of panel discussions is conducted to facilitate ideas and exchanges among practitioners, policymakers, academics, cultural mediators in search for a balance between social cohesion, and organisational and community growth through multicultural voices and artistic activities. Through dialogues and discussion, complexity arising from multicultural organisations and decisions from cultural policy are unpacked to review policy engagement in organisational development, resilience and shaping multicultural heritage.

Speakers:

Moderator: Professor Wessie Ling is a Professor of Transcultural Arts and Design at the School of Art, Architecture and design at London Met and the Director of CREATURE.

Terry Adams is Arts Council England’s (ACE) Relationship Manager for Diversity whose role encompasses, promotes and delivers ACE’s agenda on diversity, equality and inclusion. A particular focus is the role out of the Inclusion & Relevance Investment Principles of ACE's new 10-year strategy, let's Create. Work also includes responding to the sectors’ approaches and engagement on diversity policy and implementation. He has researched and consulted for national and international media providers, as well business and organisational development for established and fledgling individuals and organisations from Black, Brown, Asian and other culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Sepake Angiama is the artistic director of the Institute for International Visual Arts (Iniva) in London which is home to the Stuart Hall Library, a rich resource for a globalised discourse on the curatorial and artistic practice of artists and curators from Latin America, Africa, Asian, Caribbean and the Diaspora. Sepake most recently served as co-curator of Chicago Architecture Biennial and is the initiator of Under the Mango Tree a self-organised gathering of decolonising and unlearning practices. She has also held positions at Hayward Gallery, Turner Contemporary, the International Foundation Manifesta, and Documenta 14.

Dr. Susan Ashley is Associate Professor in the MA programme Creative and Cultural Industries Management at Northumbria University. She is a cultural studies scholar interested in the democratisation of public culture, with a focus on black and minority ethnic activism in culture and heritage. Dr. Ashley is currently PI for the AHRC project "(Multi)Cultural Organisational Archives", and past Leadership Fellow for "(Multi)Cultural Heritage". She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University, Toronto. Her monograph "A Museum in Public: Revisioning Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum" was published by Routledge in 2019. Her latest book, co-edited with Degna Stone, is "Whose Heritage? Challenging Race and Identity in Stuart Hall’s Post-nation Britain" to be published by Routledge in 2022.

Teresa Cisneros is a Chicana curandera, curator, and administrator who has worked with the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective and other constituted art and higher education groups. She is Inclusive Practice Lead at the Wellcome Collection. In 2018, she wrote document 0, a publication exploring our inability to ‘diversify’ the arts.

Dr Kai Syng Tan is an artist, curator, consultant and academic (PhD Slade School of Fine Art as UCL scholar 2014). Best known for using art + artful agitation to catalyse conversations for change, her work stands out for its ‘positive atmosphere’ (Guardian 2014), ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (geographer Alan Latham 2017), ‘eclectic style & cheeky attitude’ (Sydney Morning Herald 2006) that's ‘positively disruptive’ (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Images Award for Culture Change 2018). She is an active volunteer for >15 initiatives including the Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research Network which she founded. Dr Tan is Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Art.

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Image: Installation view TRANSplant, Pamela So, (2005), Open Studio, 2005 Jun 9, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre. Courtesy of the CFCCA Archive & Library (GB3451/OC/D/1704/39).

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