The theme of culture and investment seeks to explore questions such as: How should government policy balance investment in individual artists, creative communities, and buildings? The provision of elaborate arts centres throughout the world is certainly politically attractive, but what of the art and people that brings these places to life?
At a time when difficult decisions need to be made about the allocation of resources for culture, the Summit will carefully consider the funding challenges facing policy-makers, artistic entrepreneurs and practicing artists alike. If cultural consumption and practice can happen on a street corner or an online video, what are the benefits of investing in buildings and people?
Providing a launch-point for discussions around these ideas the Culture and Investment plenary session, open to the public on application of tickets in advance, includes special messages both from philosophers and practitioners:
Prof Richard Sennett OBE (Founder and Chair of the Advisory Committee, Theatrum Mundi), offers an historical and philosophical perspective on ways to consider cultural infrastructure – why we should consult artists when creating spaces in cities, how we can best sustain culture, and what the downfalls have been in western structures and new buildings which have proved unsustainable; Elizabeth Diller (Founder, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, USA) joins the Summit live from New York and takes a view built on years of practice as an architect looking at reusing spaces which had been abandoned in smart ways which bring culture and life to cities, drawing on examples from her own work on New York’s Highline and The Shed which opens in Spring 2019; Sanjoy Roy (Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, India) harnesses ancient monuments and ruins across India and transforming them into cultural hubs for everyone, like the Jaipur Literature Festival,; Constantin Chiriac (President, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Romania) talks about urban regeneration and the audacity of establishing the Sibiu Theatre Festival, now the third biggest arts festival in Europe, at a time of social and economic hardship in Romania; and Dr Maria Balshaw CBE (Director, Tate Art Museums) talks about how buildings should work with their surroundings to create and regenerate cultural spaces and inspire complex urbanism and economic growth.