Celebrating cultural diversity through the arts

The Fourth World Summit on Arts & Culture was held from 22 to 25 September at Museum Africa in the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg. It was hosted by the National Arts Council and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). Oasys Innovations supplied much of the infrastructure for the event.

Carl Woodland, chief operating officer at Oasys
Says Carl Woodland, chief operating officer for Oasys Exhibitions, “It was a cultural experience for our company to be involved with the preparations for the Fourth World Summit. We supplied a total of 203m2 in shell scheme, 3035m2 of carpeting as well as furniture for the event.”

The theme for this year's summit was ‘Meeting of cultures: creating meaning through the arts' and was well-attended by artists' networks, cultural bodies, development organisations, funding agencies, policy makers and other individuals with an interest in arts support. Every morning various speakers addressed important issues arising from cultural diversity, such as arts and culture in post-apartheid South Africa, intercultural dialogue in a globalised world and arts as an instrument for public good.

Upon conclusion of the keynote speeches, panel sessions were held to provide delegates with an opportunity to discuss specific subjects drawn from the speeches. Each day was further enhanced by a wide variety of workshops and roundtable discussions for attendees to choose from. Apart from deriving valuable input from national and international sources, the Summit also provided an opportunity for the City of Johannesburg to exhibit its impressive art and culture infrastructure and wealth of artistic talent.

The Summit's main objective was to investigate different means of promoting and advancing intercultural communication and social unison through the arts. The event also overlapped with Heritage Day on 24 September 2009. The global divide of values, beliefs, religion, traditions, history and culture is becoming ever more prevailing and the Summit afforded extensive insight into ways to use the arts to ‘bridge the gap'.

Woodland concludes, “The first three World Summits were held in Canada, Singapore and England and we as a South African company feel proud to be associated with this event, especially since our country was selected as the host. Our rainbow nation with its culture-rich heritage provided an excellent backdrop for this important Summit.”

20 Oct 2009 11:18

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