Simon Mellor is the Deputy Chief Executive, Arts & Culture, providing executive board leadership for the Arts Council’s international strategy. Simon recently attended the IFACCA Global summit to discuss current issues facing policy makers working in arts and culture. He tells us about his experience.
"In Kuala Lumpur I was with 430 delegates from 81 countries. This was the first IFACCA summit to take place in a Muslim country and it was especially noticeable what an impact the event had on our hosts. Malaysia is undergoing a quiet revolution, instigated last year by its first change in Government in over 50 years. It was exciting to hear local speakers talk about things that it would have been impossible to raise even 12 months ago. They were enormously proud to have hosted and organised the summit so well – and rightly so."
"...In all my conversations, I was struck by the extraordinary things that colleagues in Arts Councils and Cultural Agencies are achieving – often on minimal resources compared to us. What was also noticeable is the respect for the work of Arts Council England around the world. This was a profoundly comforting feeling as I watched from afar at the unfolding Brexit drama in Parliament last week. It also reinforced my determination to do everything I can to keep us actively connected to our international peers. We have much, much more that unites than divides us and I think we have a lot to learn from each other."