Local Networks: (a guide to) Reimagining the Work of Cultural Centres

With this new, in-depth publication, ENCC hopes to bring new insights and ways of thinking to the conversation about local cultural and socio-cultural work, including pointers for rethinking our work in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

How can cultural organisation struggling for resources, time and energy join forces with other similar organisations? How can policymaker create conditions to support this type of cooperation on the local level? What about the crazy way many small cultural organisations seem to operate? Is it creative chaos, disfunction, or something else altogether?

A few key points:

  • What do we mean by socially-connected culture? 
  • What are the 3 most common ways of talking about local networks?
  • How do we define local networks (hints: ‘organised anarchy’ and ‘meta-organisations’)?
  • What are the limits of building a local network just for pragmatic reasons (audience development/pooling resources) 
  • What are the triggers of change for local networks (hints: institutionalisation is one)?

Written by Raluca Iacob as part of the ENCC Hubs to Nodes research project (2018-2021), the guide offers tools for thinking rather than step-by-step advice. It scrutinises the way cultural organisations work and opens perspectives that are anchored in research and existing theory rather than in common wisdom and hopeful thinking. 

About the author

Raluca Iacob is a cultural manager and a public policy specialist. She is the president of the MetruCub Association, in Bucharest, Romania. Since 2007 she has been involved in advocacy for good governance, participative policy-making and cultural planning at local and national levels. She has also researched about the misuse of European funds, the evolution of the independent cultural sector and local public administration’s competences in culture, and has developed communities of practice integrating the arts in education. Read more about Raluca here.

You can read more information and download the publication here.

This publication is a result of the research project, From Hubs to Nodes, carried out in the framework of the ENCC Next Generation project (2018-2021).

ENCC (European Network of Cultural Centres)

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