Multicultural Art Institutions at the Crossroads: Pressing Challenges

Wessie  Ling's picture
March 17, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Sociology, Humanities, Race / Ethnic Studies

With the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art (CFCCA, Manchester), the Transcultural Exchanges and Network 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 discussion 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 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 set of two part series of panel discussion 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.

Moderator: Wessie Ling is 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.

Dinu Li is a Hong Kong born, UK based multimedia artist. His practice examines the manifestation of culture in the everyday and finding new meaning in the familiar. He has exhibited his work internationally, including the Oldenburger Kunstverein in Germany, the He Xiangning Art Museum in China, and at the 53rdVenice Biennale.

Marianna Tsionki is a curator, researcher and educator. Her research/practice examines curating as a critical practice and a discourse within cultural institutions; previous curatorial projects and writing have focused on issues of globalisation, digital infrastructures and networks, diaspora, migration and climate change. She is currently Senior Curator at CFCCA, Manchester and an Associate Lecturer at the Manchester School of Art.

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