Themes, Activities and Tools
MED CULTURE COVERS THE FOLLOWING THEMES:
- RESILIENCE AND CULTURE
- BROADENING THE BASE
- CULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
- CULTURAL AND GOVERNANCE POLICIES
- ADVOCACY AND CULTURE
In practical terms Med Culture objectives translate into the following ACTIONS:
- Definition of national action plans for culture in four countries: Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, and Palestine.
- Definition of guidelines for improvement of institutional structures and promoting inter-ministerial cooperation: This specific activity aims to enhance the institutional environment for better governance of the culture sector in the region.
- Definition of guidelines and promotion of pilot projects for the enhancement of higher education and vocational training in cultural and artistic disciplines. This activity involves five countries: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Palestine.
- Definition of actions for broadening the base and promoting culture in the peripheries: This activity involves all countries. The purpose is to create models of collaboration/partnerships that address issues such as cultivating larger participation in cultural activities and involvement of audiences in general and youth in particular. It will mainly address the situation in remote areas and look into improving resources and infrastructures.
- Cooperation, pooling resources and networking: A concrete example that falls under this theme at a national level is studying the feasibility of a “need” voiced by cultural practitioners in Jordan and Egypt for the establishment of a body that will advocate, lobby and fundraise for culture as well as promote artistic expression and address issues at the core of the development of the sector.
- Capacity building of cultural advocacy and lobbying methodologies: This key priority will be tackled at two levels: 1) identifying, gathering and sharing of data to inform policy-making, 2) empowering professionals with advocacy tools. One concrete example is supporting and promoting the mapping of the cultural sector in Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria as a preliminary step for cultural policy development. The data collected allows a proper diagnosis of the situation and identification of aspects that require further improvement, etc.
- Promoting employability, status of the artist, and entrepreneurial approaches to culture: Activities under this theme mainly aim at identifying business tools and approaches that could ensure efficient management of resources and promote cultural and artistic professions as self-employment careers. This aspect of the cultural and sustainable business approach comes as a response to high unemployment rates in the region in particular among young people and women.
- Regional cultural policy and management workshops. This activity aims at connecting the cultural field with other sectors and disciplines, with all the paradoxes and challenges that such approach might involve.
- Promotion of information sharing and dissemination. This involves the establishment of a “360º overview” of the culture sectors in 7 South Mediterranean countries through Med Culture website. Read More
- Commissioned studies tackling key themes identified during the consultation phase across the region to inform the design of specific capacity development activities. There are five studies in total:
- The social and economic impact of the Festival de Musique sacrée de Fès, Morocco.
- Measuring Higher Education in artistic disciplines and certification in three pilot countries; Lebanon, Algeria and Palestine.
- Employability in relation to the culture sector in four countries; Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Palestine.
- Higher education and life-long learning for cultural policies and management in 6 countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.
Skills, competences and needs - working in the cultural field in the Arab region.
Which TOOLS and methodologies will make all of this happen?
- Peer-to peer (P2P) activities represent an advanced form of capacity development involving cultural practitioners from similar fields of expertise, to discuss, propose and contribute workable solutions within themes that cross cut in the region, and where the “national” feeds into to the “regional” and vice-versa, and where roles are shared among authorities and cultural practitioners in the civil society.
- Envisioning workshops where strategic planning, assessment of needs, resourceful management and other project management cycle aspects are brought together to create a shared vision for incurring change and a well-thought path to the future.
- Regional Conferences are large networking events where various stakeholders meet to exchange on various aspects of culture development and be introduced to case studies of good practices in the region.
- Open calls. Cultural practitioners will be able to take part in Med Culture activities including P2P through open calls addressing targeted actions and participation to regional conferences.
How to keep the conversation going? Med Culture makes sure to maintain the consultative and participative approaches throughout its life cycle with the support of two types of platforms:
- National Focus Groups (NFG)
By bringing together representatives of the authorities, the civil society and private sector in each partner country, Med Culture values the contribution and mediation role of each member of the NFGs in promoting exchanges and common understanding of priorities and best practices to address them. Thus the importance of such platforms in feeding a work in progress and achieving concrete results both at national and regional levels.
- Houna aShabab
Involving young cultural practitioners in the conversation and eventually Med Culture’s activities, is essential both for the development and the sustainability of programme actions and on the long run of the culture sector itself. Houna aShabab is a group of 22 young cultural practitioners and bloggers, coming from a wide range of cultural, artistic and civic disciplines from across the region. The group attempts at channeling the innovative energy of young people by offering them the possibility to participate in the design of training sessions specifically tailored to their needs, and interact with their peers around issues that could contribute to their professional and personal growth.
- Training of Trainers
The training engages cultural operators and activists working in related fields –human rights, gender, etc.- to become professional trainers of trainers, leaders and advocators for culture. The aim is to increase the pool of professional trainers in the region and enhance their skills through acquiring new methodologies and tools. The value of the training is in its process-oriented approach - shifting thinking about training and advocacy (and the interrelationship between the two); shaping fun and effective learning experiences; and sharing the best practice, the better to support cultural advocacy, education, policy and management in the Southern Mediterranean region. It is also about promoting learning as a vital meta-skill for capacity building, social change, resilience, and employability.
It constitutes an important step in creating a community of (training) practice for the future, comprising cultural sector operators, managers, academics and existing trainers, together with those working in related fields such as human rights, sustainable development and public policy making.