The British Council UK/IT Season 2020: Culture Salons

Online Event

The British Council UK/Italy 2020 Season is a digital-led programme of events, co-created with partners in the UK and Italy to support international cultural exchange for more resilient communities. Taking the theme Being Present, this crisis-responsive programme explores emerging opportunities for the culture sectors in Italy and the UK at a time when we are reassessing what Being Present means both in the physical and virtual spaces.

The launch of the Culture Salons series as part of the Season marks an important step in securing the sustainability of the bilateral cultural relationship and will have legacy beyond 2020

Opening times

Opening times:

Online on the British Council platform 15.00–16.15 

Ticket information

Ticket information:

Free upon registration

Culture For Resilience: Cities & Festivals Looking Ahead

19 October 2020: 15.00–16.15 (CET)

The event will be held in English with live captioning in English

A session that explores the role of culture at the heart of resilient cities, with a focus on the potential of festivals in guiding us through crisis recovery.

Our speakers will explore the impact of digitisation and Covid-19 on citizen/audience behaviour and expectations when it comes to placemaking in our cities and regions. They will share perspectives on how festivals are developing imaginative responses to making cities safe, sociable and welcoming again.

An urgent question for our session speakers to address is the tension between festivals that support the visitor economy and those which build citizen engagement and social cohesion. How can we reconcile this dilemma whilst engaging beyond the city centres involving people from the peripheries? How is this challenge developing in the Covid-19 era? What can be done to engage hard-to-reach audiences, blending online and physical programmes, and how can this work be both local and global at the same time?

In the session, we will hear from city leaders and directors of large-scale city-wide festivals and capitals of culture.

This session will address three issues:

  • Programming in this new world context
  • The role of new audiences and young people and
  • The tension between economic and social priorities in recovery

Stella Kanu – Executive Director, LIFT

Season host
Rachel Launay – Country Director, British Council

Speakers (UK)
Dave Moutrey – Director of Culture, Manchester City Council
Chenine Bhathena – Creative Director, Coventry City of Culture
Richard Wakely – Artistic Director & CE, Belfast International Arts Festival

Speakers (Italy)
Assessore Filippo del Corno – Councillor for Culture, City of Milan
Fabrizio Grifasi – General and Artistic Director, Romaeuropa Festival

Book here

New Business Approaches to Culture

4 November 2020: 15.00–16.15 (CET)

The event will be held in English with live captioning in English

The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of culture for the resilience of our societies, but is the culture sector infrastructure fit to handle the grand challenges of our times? How can we ensure that as we move into economic recovery, we have fit-for-purpose business approaches to support sector resilience and innovation? How can we spread the needed knowledge-transfer for capacity building to the culture sector?

This session will address five issues:

  1. New business models: After the impact of Covid-19, where will the money come from for cultural institutions and what will generate it (e.g. Social Venture Capital, Social bonds, Crowdfunding/European platform etc.)?
  2. Disruptive innovation: How can we make the cultural infrastructure fit to handle the big challenges of today? What changes must be injected in the cultural and creative industry sectors?
  3. Best practices: Where are we seeing the good practices arising?
  4. International partnerships: Where does bilateral/international work stand in the recovery – how can countries work together whilst experiencing local recovery? What are the most meaningful priorities/lessons to share at this time?
  5. Digital transformation: The general approach to business in response to the pandemic has been to go digital – is this momentary or is this the new business approach that cultural organisations should also be zooming into?

Federica Olivares – President Edizioni Olivares, Director and Founder International Program in Cultural Diplomacy, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Season host
Caroline Meaby – Director Arts Network, British Council

Speakers (UK)
Cav. Simon Mordant AO – Member Tate International Council
Leonie Bell – Director, V&A Dundee (TBC)
Ravi Gurumurthy – Chief Executive, Nesta (TBC)

Speakers (Italy)
Marco Morganti – CEO, ‘Direzione Impact’, Gruppo Intesa Sanpaolo (TBC)
Christian Greco – Director, Egyptian Museum of Turin
James Bradburn – Director, Pinacoteca di Brera

Book here

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