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Publication of an assessment on the Visual and Performing Arts Bureaux around the world

Updated on 17/06/2019

At the request of its supervisory bodies, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, the Institut français is publishing a study to assess the system of Performing and Visual Arts Bureaux around the world. 

Led by the French cultural network abroad, in partnership with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Institut français, the system of arts bureaux successfully accelerates dissemination and cooperation, and also strengthens professional networks. The Performing and Visual Arts bureaux are thus excellent tools for reinforcing these sectors in targeted territories abroad. 

Building on the success of the first bureaux established in the late 90s, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Institut français signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 with a view to developing this system. In addition to two bureaux (Visual and Performing Arts in the United States), 3 Performing Arts and 3 Visual Arts bureaux are currently in place in Latin America, the United Kingdom, Germany, South-East Europe and China.

With a view to the renewal of this Memorandum of Understanding, the Institut français was commissioned by its supervisory bodies in March 2018 to assess this system. This assessment, recently conducted by the Institut français, has highlighted the successes and results achieved through these tools and proposes a renewed system of governance, as part of a strengthened dialogue with the cultural network and local stakeholders.

The study involved 9 bureaux, located in various large territories (from 1 to 13 countries), to which bilateral cooperation funds are sometimes added (8 in total). There are currently 8 bureaux and 8 funds active. They are the fruit of France’s comprehensive political strategy, based on opportunities offered by the local contexts, and deal with a variety of situations. 

The assessment is based on a comparative approach in order to analyse how these tools are created and how they function, what their specific challenges might be, their shared goals and their similarities and differences, taking into account each context. It makes it possible to highlight the good practices to be modelled and any possible harmonisations. 

The new Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the Institut français Ateliers in July 2019.