CATALYST brings together delegates from across Europe and other parts of the world. Its themes are CULTURAL LEARNING and CULTURAL ENTITLEMENT.
CULTURAL LEARNING concerns how European citizens live and learn in a world of huge cultural variety and richness
CULTURAL ENTITLEMENT, a term of great interest in the UK, concerns the rights of citizens to have access to rich and diverse cultural activity
Catalyst is an event associated with Britain’s Presidency of the European Union
Catalyst is organised by Arts Council England, Culture North West (on behalf of the Regional Cultural Consortiums England) and Euclid UK, with the support of a large number of stakeholders including the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the North West Regional Development Agency.
Values Statement about the conference
CATALYST seeks to share knowledge about two key themes – entitlement and cultural learning.
Cultural Entitlement is a term being used widely in the UK but not common in Europe although for many countries a right for every citizen to its cultural wealth is of central importance. In the European Council’s Year of Citizenship and Education an entitlement to learning is the subject of great interest:
The cultural entitlement Catalyst refers to is one where individuals value their cultures but understand them in the context of the huge diversity of cultures across the world. This local understanding in a global setting is critical to democracy.
Democracy is a balance of rights and responsibilities. We hold the right to learn more about our own cultural lives and those of other people, and also have a duty to do so.
Cultural Learning is also a term growing in use but means different things in different countries. Our use covers those times and places where learning rather than just celebration is the objective. It could be in formal or informal settings.
Our particular interest is in the growing relationship between the education and cultural sectors – an area being addressed by UNESCO, IFACCA , ENCATC and other development agencies.
Catalyst will be a powerful meeting point for debate between practitoners and policy makers. The purpose is to map and understand better cultural learning in Europe and beyond, focusing on Eastern Europe because of the need to share knowledge about significant changes in the region.
This conference seeks to share theory and practice. Delegates will be invited from many backgrounds and interests. We indeed need to explore a broad range of practice in order to value knowledge at many levels.
– To Provide a map of cultural learning across Europe (linked to some examples beyond Europe ), particularly highlighting where strong models of cultural learning exist.
– To Place that knowledge in the context of broader cultural change in learning.
– To Raise awareness regarding intercultural competences and cultural entitlement
– To Broker relationships between knowledge seekers and knowledge sharers
– To Explore the relationship between (and impact of) practice and policy
– To Help build a community of European interests around cultural learning and entitlement
Objective One will be explored through the research gathered by Arts Council England, IFACCA, the knowledge bank built up by Isaacs UK and Catalyst Site contributors, and discussion forums developed before and during the conference.
Objectives Two to Five will be explored through the online ‘Arguments’ series and through the conference programme itself
Objective Six will be best shown by the level of continuing activity after the conference. Will it have been a ‘catalyst’?
Catalyst is a major three day conference to be held between 15-17 September 2005. The venues are Manchester and Liverpool in North West England.
Catalyst explores the themes of European cultural learning and cultural entitlement through a series of key note speeches, workshops, round tables and presentations.
The organisers, Arts Council England, Culture North West ( on behalf of the Regional Cultural Consortiums England) and Euclid UK are working alongside a large group of stakeholders, including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008; Museums, Libraries and Archives North West; University of Manchester (as well as other university partners) and the Northwest Regional Development Agency.
The conference is being designed with the support of a Champions Group of informed Europeans.
Catalyst is an event associated with the UK’s Presidency of the European Union, sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The programme brings together politicians, representatives of European networks and agencies, and contributors from across the world.
We are working with the Champions Group in developing a series of essays called ARGUMENTS – a means of sharing ideas about contemporary cultural policy in Europe. A number of these can be found on the web site.
Manchester and Liverpool are great cities in which to base a conference. They and North West England have a long trading history, close connections with Europe and are being dynamically transformed to meet the needs of the C21.
The online booking will be open by early June. The delegate fee will provide food and drink for both day and evening. Delegates will need to book transport and accommodation separately. Transport will be provided between venues and on Friday 16 September between Liverpool and Manchester.
It is understood that the European offices of the British Council will consider applications for support with fees and travel.
The organisers greatly hope that you will enjoy Catalyst. It will be a richly layered, stimulating conference with many opportunities for dialogues colleagues from across Europe and beyond.
Do visit the web site and sign up for the e briefings which will provide regular updates about the conference.
The CATALYST PROGRAMME
On THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER: Delegates will join one of two strands:
– European Cultural Entitlement through Citizenship and Learning, based in Manchester
Speakers include Risto Ruohenen, Director, Arts and Cultural Heritage Division, Ministry of Education, Finland and Chair of IFACCA ( The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies), Christina Human, Arts Education Programme Specialist at UNESCO and Paul Collard, Director of Creative Partnerships.
Presentations will be made by a large number of contributors including Don Krug, Associate Professor of Art Education, Ohio State University, senior editor of Journal of Multicultural and Cross-cultural Research in Art Education.
The afternoon will be given over to facilitated round tables covering a broad range of themes.
Delegates are invited to join an evening reception at the Manchester Art Gallery.
– European Cultural Entitlement through Development and Regeneration, based in Liverpool
The first national conference of the Regional Cultural Consortiums England.
Speakers include Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture and Womens Minister and Germaine Greer: writer, broadcaster and academic.
The afternoon is given over to facilitated discussions and presentations.
Delegates are invited to join an evening reception at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Walk the Plank ship.
The European Cultural Contact Points will be meeting at Tate Liverpool on the same day. They will host a lunchtime reception for representatives of Merseyside cultural organisations.
The CATALYST PROGRAMME
On FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER:
All the delegates will meet together in Liverpool for European Cultural Entitlement through Values and Society.
Speakers include Jude Kelly – theatre director and founder of Metal, an artistic laboratory space for creative ideas and currently, Chair of Culture and Education
nAdvisory Committee for the London 2012 Olympic bid.
Part of the morning is given over to round tables of UK and European delegates.
Ben Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and inspirational speaker, will deliver a key note speech in the early part of the afternoon, to be followed by a master class with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the evening a celebration dinner will be held at the Imperial War Museum North (and a second venue depending on delegate numbers)
On SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
Delegates will meet in Manchester for European Cultural Entitlement from Policy to Practice, given over to sharing cultural practice.
Cultural organisations from across Europe will work alongside their UK counterparts
sin a day of workshops, performances and round tables.
An informal party is planned for the evening.
Updated information at http://www.catalystconference.co.uk.
Sign up for the briefings.Find out more about Ben Zander at http://www.benjaminzander.com