In a bid to bring the cultural sector into civic planning and advance cultural projects by exploring the ways art can improve the quality of life for urban residents, World Cities Culture Forum and Bloomberg Philanthropies have called on international leaders to apply for the second edition of its Leadership Exchange Programme.
The World Cities Culture Forum, an organisation comprising of 38 international cities working with Bloomberg Philanthropies to promote a dialogue between city leaders around advancing cultural projects and exploring the ways public art, local projects, policymaking and urban planning can improve the quality of life for residents.
While making the announcement, Kate Levin who oversees Bloomberg Philanthropies’s arts programme and who served as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs from 2002–2013 revealed that the aim of the programme is to build on the achievement of the maiden edition in 2018 and showcase how much each city can learn from each other.
“Global cities are very different, but these exchanges showcase how much they can learn from each other. The inaugural participants explored challenges including preserving affordable creative space, showcasing community cultural development, and indigenous arts. And everyone came away with new strategies, fresh perspectives, and an expanded network of professional colleagues across the public and private sectors” he said.
Levin added that the programme is “designed to move beyond study to implementation, demonstrating the ways that culture can drive inspired, effective civic innovation. We love the mix of experimentation, best practices and connections that this exchange catalyzes, and are looking forward to seeing how the next group of participants uses this opportunity to improve their communities and the cultural sector broadly” he added.
The 2018 Leadership Exchange supported four exchanges between a total of nine cities. An exchange between Toronto and Sydney focused on indigenous placemaking through public art and urban design. Buenos Aires and London shared an exchange that focused on cultural accessibility through neighbourhood policy and programming. London and New York had a cultural exchange that involved working with the London Waste and Recycling Board to promote creative reuse. And finally, a large multi-city exchange between Amsterdam, Austin, London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto and Warsaw focused on cultural space development, advocating for local cultural hubs and identifying existing and potential spaces for artists to work. Applications for the programme are currently available to participating cities.