Just as in October my mind always wanders back to the years I used to run a literature festival, June now always makes me remember the World Summit on Arts & Culture which Arts Council England co-hosted with IFACCA in 2006. In fact today it's five years ago exactly since the opening day - one of the most stressful but enjoyable days work I've ever done. (I was officially leading and 'carrying the can' for the whole thing, in my role at ACE.) You can see the conference report here to find out what we did.
Sarah Gardner and the team at IFACCA are currently preparing for the 5th World Summit, which takes place in Melbourne in October - read all about it here. I can heartily recommend attending a World Summit for funders and policy makers and those interested in that field with the time and budget to do so. Although my experience of the one in NewcastleGateshead was a bit skewed by hosting it, I did attend the next one in Johannesburg - you can see what I wrote about it on the old Arts Counselling website here to get a flavour.
This kind of international, intercultural dialogue seems all the more important these days, not less. It's no coincidence, for instance, to see 'international partnership' as one of Creative Scotland's three cross-cutting themes, given Andrew Dixon's experience of bringing the World Summit to England and directing the programme for the event. Although you can do a lot virtually these days, it is the human connections made that I remember most powerfully, and that I think would make a trip to Melbourne worthwhile for many.
One of the people I met at our Summit was the musician and cultural ambassador from Belize Andy Palacio,who sadly passed away young a few years later, just as his music career was taking off. He was a lovely guy, and we connected over trying to keep both practices in harmony. So this weeks' 'moving picture' is not one of the nice IFACCA videos you can see here but Andy.
(Writing this has also made me realise I should probably stop using the photo taken five years ago, as it is now quite a long time ago. Although as everyone tells me I look 10 years younger since I left ACE, this means I actually look older in the photo than I do now...)