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  2. Americas Cultural Summit 2018
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About the Summit

This first Americas Cultural Summit brought together leaders in public funding of arts and culture from across the Americas to discuss their role and impact on the rise of cultural citizenship.

Inspired by renowned thought leaders in the arts, participants explored the concept of cultural citizenship through diverse political, social, economic and cultural lenses. The Summit offered a trusting space to exchange ideas and share best practices to advance public support for arts and culture as part of building vibrant, prosperous and inclusive societies.



Thank you

On behalf of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ministry for Culture of Argentina and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies, we wish to thank you for participating in the inaugural Americas Cultural Summit in Ottawa, Canada. We look forward to future collaborations and exchanges, as we all work towards an inclusive and sustainable arts and culture sector.


Event Recap

Cultural Agencies Roundtable: Creating Participatory Futures Panel
Events International

Day 2 - Morning, Americas Cultural Summit

The Canada Council’s America’s Cultural Summit Digs into Citizen Engagement in Arts and Culture

The Honourable Fernando Griffith from Paraguay; Javiera Prada from Chile; and Jesse Wente (Director, Indigneous Screen Office) from Canada
Events International

Day 1 – Afternoon, Americas Cultural Summit

The Canada Council’s Americas Cultural Summit Explores Democracy, Technology and Reconciliation

Keynote Astra Taylor
International Events

Day 1- Morning, Americas Cultural Summit

At the Canada Council’s Americas Summmit, participants discuss cultural citizenship.

Magdalena Moreno Mujica
International Events

Opening of the Americas Cultural Summit 2018

During the opening night of the Americas Cultural Summit at the National Gallery of Canada, the conversation trended on social media with #CultureCultura18.




Cultural Citizenship

Cultural citizenship was the overarching theme of the Summit. Conceptually, cultural citizenship emphasizes the expression of diverse cultural practices and identities alongside full participation in cultural life. It envisions conditions for artists of all kinds to thrive and for citizens to engage with arts and culture as a gesture of personal and collective freedom.



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Cultural Rights

Cultural rights are about the expression of artistic creativity alongside access and participation in cultural life under conditions of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination. They encompass language, cultural and artistic content, cultural heritage, intellectual property rights, author’s rights, minority rights, Indigenous rights and cultural participation, among others.

How can we publicly fund the arts and culture to create and sustain conditions for people to have the freedom to meaningfully choose, participate in and contribute to cultural life, free from discrimination?


Democratizing Technology in the Digital Age Icon

Democratizing Technology in the Digital Age

Democratization of technology means increased access to technology and empowerment in its use for more people. New digital tools are drastically influencing how art is made, shared and experienced. Algorithms influence our decision-making more and more, challenging free will. The intrinsic value of the arts and their full digital expression can and should challenge this dynamic of disempowerment.

How do social media, online platforms and open source technology affect the cultural ecosystem for artists and organizations, and how can public funders of arts and culture address digital divides and inequalities?


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Arts and Social Change

The arts help us to critically reflect on issues of social justice and imagine different possibilities and a more equitable world. They can empower individuals and communities by giving voice to their stories. Across the Americas and around the world, artists and organizations are using innovative approaches to contribute to civic engagement and social change.

How do artists and organizations engage with communities to alter attitudes, relations, institutions and policies and achieve positive social outcomes? What is the role of public funders in arts and culture in advancing action on social issues?


Reconciliation Icon


Dozens of countries, including many in the Americas, have engaged in truth, memory and reconciliation work over the last decades, re-examining their countries’ histories to honour and respect survivors, and to better understand how violence took place. The work of truth and reconciliation focuses on addressing inequality and healing divisions in societies with legacies of violence and discrimination against minoritized, disenfranchised and/or Indigenous communities. Furthermore, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples acknowledges the “urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies….” (excerpt from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.)

How can the arts contribute to the rebuilding and revitalization of relationships towards the goal of reconciliation with communities that have survived violence and oppression, and what is the role of public funders of arts and culture to engage with this vital work?


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Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are about acknowledging difference and empowering people that have been marginalized and disenfranchised because of race, age, disability, economic status, gender or sexual orientation. Inclusion promotes fair conditions for all persons to participate equally in society, recognizing that not all experience equal access to resources, opportunities or benefits. A diverse arts and culture sector helps counter fragmentation and disenfranchisement, and creates belonging within communities.

How can we create inclusive societies that promote fair conditions for all persons to fully engage in cultural life? How do we advance our thinking around diversity and inclusion in the arts?



Event Program

The following question guided the Summit: How can government, institutions, practitioners, artists and citizens work together to help build more vibrant, open and pluralist democracies, which respect, promote and protect the right of everyone to take part in cultural life?





Karima Bennoune

Karima Bennoune (USA)

UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
Professor of Law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar at the University of California-Davis School of Law

Astra Taylor

Astra Taylor (Canada/USA)

Writer, Documentarian, Organizer

Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel (Argentina/Canada)

Director of the National Library of Argentina, Writer

Alonso Salazar J.

Alonso Salazar J. (Colombia)

Consultant, Writer, former Mayor of Medellín

Leandro Carvalho

Leandro Carvalho (Brazil)

UK Chevening Clore Fellow
Former Secretary of State for Culture, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente (Canada)

Director, Indigenous Screen Office

Mauricio Delfín Pacheco

Mauricio Delfín (Peru)

Researcher, Promoter of Open Government in Cultural Sectors

Elizabeth Silkes

Elizabeth Silkes (USA)

Executive Director, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience

Cristóbal Bianchi

Cristóbal Bianchi (Chile)

Artist, Editor and Founder, Casagrande Art Collective 

María Laura Ruggiero

María Laura Ruggiero (Argentina)

Filmmaker, Animator and Storyteller

Eliza Chandler

Eliza Chandler (Canada)

Assistant Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University

María Claudia Parias Duran

María Claudia Parias Durán (Colombia)

CEO, Batuta National Foundation

María de los Ángeles González

The Honourable María de los Ángeles González (Argentina)

Minister of Innovation and Culture for the Government of the Province of Santa Fe

Rhodnie Désir

Rhodnie Désir (Canada)

Choreographer, Artistic Director  of RDCreations and Executive Producer of BOW’T TRAIL

Tito Hasbun

Tito Hasbun (Canada-El Salvador)

Consulting Director, Asociación de Arte para el Desarrollo

Jax Deluca

Jax Deluca (USA)

Director of Media Arts, National Endowment for the Arts

Taeyoon Choi

Taeyoon Choi (USA)

Artist and activist

Angie Leslye Pont Chamorro

Angie Leslye Pont Chamorro (Rapa Nui)

Artist, Cultural carrier and Curator

Kenneth N. Frankel

Kenneth N. Frankel (Canada)

President, Canadian Council for the Americas

The Honourable Olivia Grange

The Honourable Olivia Grange CD, MP (Jamaica)

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport

Juan Meliá

Juan Meliá (Mexico)

Executive Secretary, National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA)

Monique Manatch

Moniqu Manatch (Canada, Algonquin Nation)

(Canada, Algonquin Nation) 

Magdalena Moreno Mujica

Magdalena Moreno Mujica (Australia)

Executive Director, IFACCA

Simon Brault

Simon Brault (Canada)

Director and CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

Carolyn Warren

Carolyn Warren (Canada)

Director General, Arts Granting Programs, Canada Council for the Arts  

Martin Inthamoussú

Martin Inthamoussú (Uruguay)

Artist and cultural manager

Javiera Parada

Javiera Parada (Chile)

Actress, cultural manager and activist

The Hon. Fernando Griffith

The Hon. Fernando Griffith (Paraguay)

Minister and Executive Secretary of the National Secretariat of Culture



Registration for the Americas Cultural Summit is now closed.

Contact for participants: americassummit@canadacouncil.ca




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