Cultural leadership refers both to the leadership of government or quasi-government agencies that formulate and implement policies related to the promotion of culture, and also to the leadership of institutions that create, promote and showcase the arts and culture. Cultural leaders range from political appointees such as ministers of culture, to senior civil servants in the culture and other ministries; management of statutory boards; management and boards of museums; directors of cultural and heritage festivals; artistic directors and managers of arts groups; management of non-government organisations concerned with art; and leaders of intermediary groups such as organisers of arts events, art galleries and publishers.
Leaders of the cultural sector face the same challenges as those in other fields such as politics, policymaking, business and civil society. However, theirs is also a domain distinct if not unique in its nature, one that is creative and open-ended, involves risk-taking, is difficult to evaluate and account for, and is intimately related to larger political, societal and philosophical issues. Among the key questions of cultural leadership are: Who should lead the major cultural institutions of a country? What types of expertise such as the artistic, administrative and entrepreneurial should they bring to the job? What values should they be driven by? What visions are the most appropriate for their work? Is there sufficient capacity among and development of capability of cultural leaders? And what are the issues of cultural leadership that bear specifically on Singapore in its present state of political, societal and artistic development? These questions will be addressed in this roundtable of experts including policymakers, academics, practitioners and business leaders.
This roundtable is the fourth in a series of roundtable discussions jointly organised by the Institute of Policy Studies and Singapore Art Museum about cultural policy in Singapore. The first three were on the state of literature education, place management and placemaking, and the development of community arts.
To allow for free and frank exchange, this will be a “closed-door” roundtable held under the Chatham House Rule.
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About the IPS-SAM Spotlight on Cultural Policy Series
The IPS-SAM Spotlight on Cultural Policy Series is a space for frank, robust and collegial discussion of the issues and challenges related to arts and cultural policy in Singapore. Each discussion will gather members of the arts and creative community, policymakers, academics and other stakeholders working across different fields, to discuss a specific, timely topic about the arts and cultural policy landscape in Singapore. The goal is to assess current policies and offer recommendations for the future. The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is the venue sponsor for the 2015–2017 series
The seminars in the series are: