Network Creative Exchange disbands

August 2008 -

The British Organisation Creative Exchange, a network for culture and development, will cease operations in August of 2008, primarily due to a lack of funds. For ten years, Creative Exchange has maintained a worldwide network, focussing on the social role of art and culture and on raising people's consciousness regarding the contribution that art and culture makes to development and social change.

According to its founder and director, Helen Gould, a lot has changed in 10 years. Creative Exchange was set up to increase understanding of the role of culture in development and to attract support for this. Its disbanding comes at a moment when the Unesco treaty on cultural diversity is a reality and the EU has embraced culture as one of the cornerstones of development collaboration. What these institutions primarily lack at the moment is knowledge regarding how to effectively give the role of culture shape.

Creative Exchange consisted of an informal network of artists, activists and development workers, which grew to a membership of over 1800 individuals and organisations primarily via its web site and mailing list. Over the years, the organisation published reports and studies on the role of art and culture in integration processes and in conflict situations, among others.
The web site will be maintained for the time being, with all the group's publications, and with 'micro-sites' covering the themes of culture and conflict, culture and refugees, and culture and aids information.

One new feature is the community site 'Culture and Development'. All members of the Creative Exchange network are invited to this site. The hope is that in this way the network will be able to continue to function under its own steam.