YCI » Overview

 

Young innovators in the culture and arts sector are providing some of the most imaginative new impulses for social improvement and sustainable development around the world today. They change the way we see and interact with each other. Young artists, creative entrepreneurs and  cultural leaders demonstrate  the  creative  vision,  talent, and  energy  that  our  societies  so  desperately  need  to  meet  the challenges of the 21st century.

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) is a ten-year project launched by Salzburg Global Seminar in 2014 to engage fifty of the world's most dynamic young creative changemakers every year.

The young cultural innovators join the annual Forum in Salzburg from “YCI hubs” in six regions of the world to help them develop the dynamic vision, entrepreneurial skills, and global networks needed to advance their organizations, their causes and their communities. The YCI Forum represents a major commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to fostering creative innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide with the intention of building a more vibrant and resilient arts sector and of advancing sustainable economic development, positive social change agendas, and urban transformation worldwide. 

Upcoming Session in 2017:

Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV
October 14 to 19, 2017

Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright
in conversation about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators


 


Minneapolis communities given a "Warm Welcome" by YCI Hub project
Minneapolis communities given a "Warm Welcome" by YCI Hub project
Salzburg Global Seminar 

A YCI Hub project designed to give residents in Minneapolis an authentic cross cultural experience has been hailed a success.

Warm Welcome, a one-night pop-up cafe in a Minneapolis park ice skating warming house, recently brought together new and established Minnesota cultures in a friendly exchange.

The project was co-directed by YCI alumna Amanda Lovelee, a member of the Minnesota YCI Hub. She worked alongside Emily Stover as part of their collaborative group Plus/And. 

The group worked with the Somali Museum of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board to host the event.

Visitors were given a cup of Somali milky tea after they contributed to a tapestry combining maps of Somalia and Minnesota - an interwoven representation of the shared community.

Outside the warming house, four Somali grandmothers sang, laughed, and shared stories around a campfire much like the nomadic traditions of their childhood. 

The grant for the project was administered by Salzburg Global Seminar as part of funding received from The McKnight Foundation. Lovelee was one of several beneficiaries to receive a regional grant to undertake follow-on activities after attending Session 569 - Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III.

Discussing the project, Lovelee said, "As artists, we hoped that Warm Welcome would be an experience where new and old Minnesota communities could meet, listen, learn, and recognize how much we all have to offer if we can all be open to receiving.

"Our intention was to deepen a sense of empathy for our immigrant neighbors through their food and their stories, while assuring those who might feel afraid that their presence is not merely tolerated, but desired. This traditional Minnesotan space, the ice skating warming house, was temporarily transformed into a place for mutual welcoming to the community we share."

Lovelee admitted organizers were unsure how many people would turn up for the event, which took place in February, but developments in the news cycle helped generate further interest.

She said, "Our invitation was released on social media the day of the travel ban, affecting Somali nationals and even Americans of Somali descent, was first instated, and the overwhelming response indicated many people felt the need to show up.

"We were offering an opportunity to neither hide nor protest, but to gather and celebrate the diverse culture that we’ve built together. Overall our team hosted around 150 people of different ages and ethnicities, including many passers-by who happened upon Warm Welcome as they enjoyed the unseasonably warm night.

"We had tea and mulawah left at the end of the night, and felt like our first Warm Welcome event accomplished what we’d set out to do, and was a small moment of hopeful exchange for many who attended."

The tapestry weaved throughout the evening by visitors represented a symbolic map of Minnesota and Somalia. At the end of the event, guests could see the blended borders of two distant and distinct places, so far apart in distance and in culture, becoming one. The final map was framed and given for display at the Somali Museum of Minnesota.

Moving forward, Plus/And is approaching Minneapolis Parks to consider alternative ways of making use of their warming houses. They also hope to design a series of mobile structures which can serve different functions all year round.

Lovelee said, "We hope that Warm Welcome can be an example of how these structures could be used to further the board’s mission. We are pursuing an opportunity to create a similar space for two weeks in January 2018, and intend to work with other immigrant community partners to share their cultural hot drinks, stories, and understanding.

"Overall we believe that Warm Welcome is an inviting space, bringing people together to share what makes us each unique in our state’s coldest season, and to bring some warmth to a cold time in our country’s history."

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Lauren Kennedy and Rachel Knox highlighted in list of Memphis’ most interesting and influential people
Lauren Kennedy and Rachel Knox highlighted in list of Memphis’ most interesting and influential people
Oscar Tollast 

Salzburg Global Fellows Lauren Kennedy and Rachel Knox have been included in a new publication showcasing Memphis’ most interesting and influential people.

The ii 100 features Kennedy and Knox in its inaugural 2017 issue with 98 other people from the Memphis area.

Both Kennedy and Knox attended the third Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) in 2016. 

Kennedy is the executive director for the Urban Art Commission, having previously worked for Ballet Memphis, and the Dallas Art Fair. Knox, meanwhile, is a program officer for Hyde Family Foundations and sits on the boards of: The Urban Arts Commission, Voices of the South Theatre Company, and Our Fallen Heroes Foundation

Every year, the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) brings 50 of the world’s most talented young innovators from the culture and arts sector together at Schloss Leopoldskron. Salzburg Global supports participants to develop their vision, entrepreneurial skills, and networks, to enable them and their causes to continue to thrive.

Most participants are drawn from several YCI Hubs in various cities around the world. As members of the Memphis Hub, Knox and Kennedy attended the first major offsite meeting of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in Detroit, MI earlier this year. They were joined by participants from hubs in Detroit, MI and New Orleans, LA. Participants worked on collaborative micro-innovation projects tied to the creative economy and social innovation.

Speaking ahead of this year’s Salzburg Global Day, Knox heaped praise on the YCI Forum. In a Facebook post she said, “My attendance to the Young Cultural Innovators Forum came at a time of transition in my career, so I felt a bit lost when I arrived. However, I quickly learned that although I was surrounded by creatives, my interest and passions about politics and policy were met with equal measure and enthusiasm from some of the most brilliant minds I've encountered. 

“As a textbook know-it-all, I learned that you don’t have to know all of the answers and that “I don’t know” isn’t a cop-out but an extraordinary opportunity to explore the possibilities ahead of you. It renewed my love of learning and not just knowing.

“I got the chance to travel out of the country for the first time in my life and explore one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been with the sweetest air I’ve ever smelled. I won’t ever forget the experience or take it for granted. And I’m so excited and thankful for the new group of fellows attending the YCI forum in the Fall. I can’t wait for them to join our incredible and scrappy American team from Memphis, and Detroit, and New Orleans and see what new energy they bring.”

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Report now online – Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event
Report now online – Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event
Aceel Kibbi 
The report of the Salzburg Global session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellow Event is now available online to read, download and share. In its first major regional meeting, the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) that was held on April 27 to 29 in Detroit, Michigan brought together 16 fellows from the YCI city hubs in Memphis, Detroit and New Orleans. For two days, fellows explored urban transformation, creative placemaking and storytelling in intensive discussions, workshops and peer-to-peer learning. The YCI forum is a ten-year project that aims to foster creative innovation and entrepreneurship with the intention of advancing economic and urban development worldwide, while supporting innovators in gaining leverage on important social issues within their local communities. Generously supported by the Kresge Foundation, the session recognized the importance of language and emphasis in communicating multi-faceted projects, defining challenges addressed by one’s work, and articulating what one hopes to gain for an exchange with a funder or policymaker.
Download as a PDF (lo-res)
The Salzburg Global session Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators: Regional Fellows Event is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/577 

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First Bulgarian YCI Hub project highlights issues faced by creative community
First Bulgarian YCI Hub project highlights issues faced by creative community
Oscar Tollast 

Participants of a YCI Hub project in Bulgaria have been urged to act more courageously in their work by taking risks and implementing experimental approaches.

Cultural change-makers and innovators received this advice last month while participating in the Bottom Up Culture Project, an event organized by the Bulgarian Hub of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI).

The project's main aim was to highlight and discuss the current issues the creative community in Bulgaria is facing in the context of developing a cultural capital on the continent. The grant for the project was administered by Salzburg Global Seminar as part of funding received from the America for Bulgaria Foundation. It was one of a series of regional grants offered to YCIs from Session 569 - Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators III – to undertake follow-on activities.

This project, which took place on the 11th and 15th of May, featured as part of the educational platform of the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation. Events were held in Sofia and Plovdiv. Topics discussed within the framework of the forum included culture-led urban regeneration practices, cultural entrepreneurship, and the question of developing creative quarters.

The participants’ disciplines included art management, contemporary art and socially engaged art, festivals, publishing, regional development, consultancy, academic research, illustration, tourism, theater, music, and architecture. Salzburg Global Fellows and YCI faculty members Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright were on hand to guide the discussions and support participants' ideas of using their work as a catalyst for cultural, economic and social change.

In Sofia, Jenkinson and Wright participated in an open talk which was moderated by YCI Victor Yankov, from the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation. Jenkinson and Wright were able to share their international experience with cultural and socially-engaging projects to Bulgarian cultural organizations and artists. In Plovdiv, meanwhile, cultural practitioners took part in a skills-building workshop. Lyubov Kostova, director of the British Council Bulgaria, joined Jenkinson and Wright to discuss cultural events organizers' issues from the Bulgarian perspective. 

Participants received practical advice on how to meet their challenges and took part in activities to help them learn how to communicate a message easier. They also considered the positioning of arts and culture in relation to activism and social engagement, the role of government in relation to artistic and cultural activities, and the effects of economics in creating a long-term presence in communities. A popular point of discussion revolved around the development of a creative district in Plovdiv - the Kapana - which was built to create an arts and culture community.

To meet some of the challenges faced by participants, an economy of exchange was suggested, starting from within the artistic community. People can form meaningful partnerships through identifying what their assets are and what the possibilities within the community are. This idea is essential for creating a type of ecology rather than a system of competition. There is a lot more output from the ground which needs to be acknowledged, and the idea only artists can be creative is one which needs to be challenged.

Jenkinson and Wright shared several examples of the intersection of arts and cultural development. This list of examples included the Open School Project, which brings together education and art practice in the UK. Participants also learned about the work conducted by Turquoise Mountain. This organization has helped restore Murad Khane, one of the poorest areas in Kabul, Afghanistan, which has been included on the World Monuments Fund's Watch List of the world's most endangered sites. From having no running water, electricity, and buildings in ruin, the area has since transformed into a flourishing cultural and economic hub after investment in schools and the younger generation.

Participants were advised to look at examples from other countries and explore existing working systems. Essential practical tools include taking action, allowing culture to happen as a natural organic process, and identifying and sharing assets. Crowdsourcing is a viable way of building resources, finance, and energy to support bottom-up projects. Communication remains key in the creation of a sharing economy. A belief in sustainable change can occur from the bottom up where individual stories become integral to the story of the future. Jenkinson and Wright left their audiences in Sofia and Plovdiv with a key piece of advice: "Do what you can with what you have where you are."

YCIs from the Bulgarian Hub will continue to create and lead projects to expand the vision created through organizing the Bottom Up Culture event. Developing international projects across the global YCI 2016 network also remains an ambition. For more information about the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI), please click here.

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Salzburg Global Fellow to take part in Dara film screening and panel discussion
Salzburg Global Fellow to take part in Dara film screening and panel discussion
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global Fellow Anwar Akhtar will take part in a panel discussion and Q&A following a screening of the highly applauded Dara later this week. The play, adapted from work by Ajoka Theatre, is a portrayal of the seventeenth century Moghul Royals the Shah Jahan family and addresses debates surrounding religious freedom and practice. Dara was the first Pakistani play to be chosen and adapted by the UK's National Theatre in London. This came to fruition after Akhtar brought a CD of Dara to the theater's attention. On Friday, May 5, a free film screening of the play will take place in Oxford at All Souls College, The Old Library, starting at 6 pm.  Akhtar, having played a key role in Dara's creative team, will take part in a panel discussion and audience Q&A after the screening.

Akhtar, director of The Samosa and production consultant to the National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre, is a multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow, and most recently a participant at the December 2016 session, Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism. Prior to this, Akhtar also helped facilitate working groups at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators both in 2014 and 2015, where he premiered the filmed recording of the critically acclaimed play.  The play was praised for its ability to "reach people that political debate cannot" with the central trial scene especially applauded. It created much public debate on culture, history and religious tolerance.  This Friday, in addition to the screening of the play, Akhtar will take part in a discussion with Polly O’Hanlon, Professor of Indian History and Culture at the Oriental Institute, Oxford University. This discussion will be moderated by Salzburg Global senior advisor Edward Mortimer, author of Faith and Power: the Politics of Islam, and former Director of Communications for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

To book a ticket for this event, please visit http://form.jotformeu.com/Events_All_Souls/DaraScreeningOxford5May

Entrance is on a first come first serve basis. You must register for the event and arrive at 5.40pm to be seated. The screening will begin at 6 pm. Latecomers may not be able to enter if capacity is reached.
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Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators hosts first US offsite event
Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators hosts first US offsite event
Oscar Tollast 
The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators will host its first American offsite meeting later this week.

More than 20 YCI Fellows will convene at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators - Regional Fellows Event: Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans.

The event, which takes place between April 27 and 29, will bring together several YCI Fellows from an expanding network of US city hubs. This network includes Memphis, TN, Detroit, MI, and New Orleans, LA. Those in attendance will include authors, cultural organizers, creative directors, strategists, and artists.

These participants, among others in the culture and arts sector, are a source of inspiration for new ideas to tackle social improvement and sustainable development around the planet. This event will be building on the participants’ creativity, talent, and energy to drive forward positive action.

The three-day event, supported by The Kresge Foundation, will challenge participants to think of ways to accelerate change in cities. They will work on micro-innovation projects linked to the creative economy and social innovation. Facilitators for the upcoming session include Amina Dickerson, president of Dickerson Global Advisors, Peter Jenkinson, an independent cultural broker, and Shelagh Wright, director of ThreeJohnsandShelagh and Mission Models Money. Dickerson has been a skills workshop leader at the YCI Forum in Salzburg for two years, with Jenkinson and Wright co-facilitating the YCI Forum sessions in Salzburg and Fellowship event in Athens since the Forum launched in 2013. 

During the program, participants will take part in panel discussions, small workshop exercises, and will undertake several site visits. One of the first activities participants have already been tasked with is producing an overview of critical data and examples of good practice in the creative sector in Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans. These briefs are set to be shared in advance of the session and will serve as a basis for discussion.

A key outcome expected from the event is a practical toolkit to facilitate more regular convening and engagement activities by Young Cultural Innovators in other city hubs in the Salzburg Global YCI network around the world.

The YCI Forum has city hubs in six regions across the planet. City hubs include Adelaide, Athens, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Detroit, Manila, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Phnom Penh/Mekong Delta, Plovdiv, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Seoul, Slovakia, Tirana, and Tokyo. The Forum also has a dedicated hub for Rhodes Scholars.

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI) launched in 2014 as a ten-year project designed to engage fifty of the world’s most dynamic young creative change-makers every year. The Forum is a significant commitment by Salzburg Global Seminar to foster creative innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide. The hope is to build a more vibrant and resilient arts sector while advancing sustainable economic development, positive social change agendas, and urban transformation worldwide.
The Regional Fellows Event: Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans is part of the multi-year Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. This session is being supported by The Kresge Foundation. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/577.
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Salzburg Global Fellow Deana Haggag highlighted as woman leading the fight to protect the arts in America
Salzburg Global Fellow Deana Haggag highlighted as woman leading the fight to protect the arts in America
Oscar Tollast 
Salzburg Global Fellow Deana Haggag has reaffirmed the importance of the arts in America and the impact it can have on others. Haggag, who was recently appointed President and CEO of the non-profit United States Artists, made the argument while speaking to Vogue as part of a Q&A. The article, published online earlier this month, discusses the nature of arts in the United States following a proposed budget by U.S. President Donald Trump. If approved, the budget is set to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Haggag attended The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2015. At the time, she was director of The Contemporary Museum of Baltimore. Following the session, she continued to work with her fellow alumni. Haggag helped support the Citizen Artist Baltimore project, led by Rebecca Chan, along with Priya Bhayana. The project's aim was to mobilize the Baltimore arts and culture sector to make their interests a critical issue in the city's 2016 mayoral election. It led to the first-ever Mayoral Forum on Arts and Culture in Baltimore's history. Speaking to Vogue, Haggag discusses her new role with United States Artists, the need to protect the existence of art, and the greatest challenges she faces. She also discusses her belief how art is for everyone and its ability to do everything. Toward the end of the Q&A, she says, "I think about people who didn't grow up with art or don't have art in their lives, who are perhaps missing that thing that art can help bridge, which is having empathy for another person and another experience. "If you can't meet someone day to day who different from you, if you don't have that in your life, then you can find that through music and the arts and books. That's why we exist."
Deana Haggag took part in The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2015. The list of our partners for this session and further information can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/554
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