In recent years, the Cultural Policy Studies Department of İKSV has been working in collaboration with national and international institutions and civil society organizations to create an active discussion environment on cultural management and policies in Turkey. In line with this, the department carries out various research and projects aiming to empower cultural professionals across the country through learning programmes and seminars, conferences, and workshops, thereby diversifying its stakeholders.
Between 2017 and 2019, as part of the “Making Connections Through Art and Culture” project, which was implemented by İKSV in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul, a research was conducted to understand the main tendency of cultural life, local cultural policies, methods for establishing sustainable relationships in the cultural sector, and opportunities to facilitate novel partnerships in different cities of Anatolia. Thanks to this research, the needs of the culture and arts sector were analysed and the need of empowering the field with learning programmes was identified.
Concomitantly with the “Making Connections Through Art and Culture” project, İKSV took the first steps towards meeting the needs and priorities of cultural professionals with a pilot project for cultural management education programme in 2018. The “Spaces of Culture” project was carried out by Goethe Institute, Embassy of the Netherlands, Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, French Cultural Center, and in collaboration with Anadolu Kültür and İKSV. Together with different training and development opportunities for local institutions and professionals working in the arts, the project provided a platform, space, and resources for cultural initiatives in the visual and performing arts fields. Within the scope of this project, İKSV Cultural Policies Department carried out a three-year (2019-2021) Cultural Management Education Programme that brought together cultural professionals from Izmir, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, and surrounding cities with experienced subjects in the field. For a week, the education programme provided an opportunity to discuss many different topics from resource development to ecology, and from digitalization to crowdfunding.
From 2020 to 2022, İKSV Cultural Policy Studies Department implemented a project named “Thread of Culture” with UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity. As the first project from Türkiye received this funding, “Thread of Culture” conducted a needs analysis with the participation of 446 institutions and individuals from 68 cities, carried out an education program with the involvement of 90 culture professionals from 36 different cities. Throughout the project, a variety of videos and reading materials were prepared with the main themes of “cultural policies,” “cultural management,” and “inclusiveness in culture and arts” and shared with the target audience.
Built on these experiences, the Ortaklaşa Learning Programme will focus on solutions and proposals that embrace diversity, equality, and inclusivity for the creation of participatory cultural policies at the local level. In this direction, in order to build a culture ecosystem that embraces a rights-based approach and social justice, an online and face-to-face learning programmes will be implemented. Programmes will be open to the participation of institution representatives benefiting from the Ortaklaşa Sub-grant Programme, all cultural institutions, professionals, and local government officials working in the field of culture and art across Türkiye.
The content of the Learning Programme will be shaped in parallel with the needs identified as a result of previous projects of the Cultural Policy Studies Department and the field research conducted within the scope of the Ortaklaşa Research Programme, is expected to be produced around cultural policy, cultural management, local cultural planning, cultural pluralism, participation in culture, the social and economic impact of culture and art, and art for public sphere, gender equality and ecological transformation. The Learning Programme will also be open to everyone interested in the sessions designed for the Marmara Urban Forum, organized every two years by the Marmara Municipalities Union. In these sessions, international and national examples that adopt a rights-based approach and social justice principle and inspire participatory and inclusive local cultural planning will be presented.
Cooperation will be established with EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) Istanbul and Ankara clusters in order to invite trainers and sample projects from European countries to the trainings and different events to be held within the scope of the Learning Programme.