EA November 2016
The artist as a key to re-creating the circle 

By Chris Torch 
Senior Associate and Program Director - Intercult


I had a friend once, his name was Mandiaye N’Diaye. Mandiaye called himself an Afro-European. He was born in Senegal, in a small village near Dakar. At 18, he emigrated to Ravenna, Italy and met the director of the municipal theatre, Marco Martinelli. They became close friends and worked for years together until Mandiaye moved back to Senegal, where he prematurely died.
Mandiaye told me this story:
“In my village when we gather for a cultural action, for storytelling, we gather in a circle. Everyone. Children, old people, dogs, the artist herself. The artist steps into the centre of the circle, and (s)he begins to perform, dance, sing or tell a story. The people watching frame the performance. I see into the faces of my neighbours on the other side of the circle, watching together, sharing space. I see their reactions, I respond to them. The artist is not the point. The artist is important, in fact the key. But the point is the circle.”
This natural relationship was transformed, sometime in the 1600s, probably around the same time the design of churches was changed. A French king decided to divide the circle, to re-build it into two half-circles: stage and audience. All light on me, darkness for you. You don't even know who's sitting with you or how many of you are there, because you're busy watching me.
Mandiaye said that his task as a cultural worker in Europe today is to re-create the circle.

Read more
Alessandro Bollo presented the study at the ENCATC Annual Conference 
ENCATC Annual Conference on “Cultural Management Education in Risk Societies” took place 5 -7 October 2016 in Valencia, Spain, where Alessandro Bollo presented the study on the special “Transfer Knowledge” session.

The main focus of ENCATC conference this year was: Which knowledge, skills and attitudes are required nowadays to become a cultural manager that is able to respond to changes? Or do we need to look beyond the classical knowledge and competencies?


Engage Audiences study at Norsk Publikumsutvikling 

Archeologist and museologist Cristina Da Milano presented the study on Audience Development about "How to place audiences at the centre of the cultural organizations" at NPU 2016 conference in Norway.

She presented the initial outcomes of the study and highlighted main issues that make up the components in a good program for AD for medium-sized culture institutions.

In addition to providing methods for the EU Commission in the AD field, the study aims to equip cultural leaders within a cultural field with the means to make a convincing case for transition towards a more audience-centric organisation on both the internal and the external level. 

For more, check #EUengageaudiences on Twitter.
Other dissemination events
Cristina Da Milano from ECCOM presented the study as a part of the panel on Fostering Citizens' Engagement in Culture at the CULT committee meeting on 11 October in Brussels. 
Alessandra Gariboldi spoke about #EUEngageAudiences and cultural policy #MarketingArtes16 in Madrid.
Christina da Milano was invited to Barcelona to present the preliminary results of the study. She spoke at the Conference on the cultural participation & marketing.
Engage Audiences study will feature the Arts & Audiences Conference, 7-8 November in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Check regularly for more updates
“Study on audience development – How to place audiences at the centre of cultural organisations” is a study by:
© 2016 Engage audiences |

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