“Brokering Migrants’ Cultural participation” (MCP Broker) is a project born out of PIE’s Intercultural Practice Exchanges (2009-2012), its involvement in the EU Member State expert group work on Cultural Diversity & Intercultural Dialogue (2011-2013), and also its explorations with Migration Policy Group, an organization much experienced in devising instruments with which to chart progress in matters of advancing integration and diversity policies.
Public cultural institutions played an important role in the consolidation of European nation states, which subscribed to the notion of homogenous national cultures. Theatres, opera and ballet houses, concert halls and museums helped embody what is Spanish, Dutch, Danish … As the diversity of European societies and the complexity of individuals’ identity has received greater recognition and the reality of immigration into Europe has been politically acknowledged, public cultural institutions need to depart from their traditional authoritative role and become brokers of the relationships in current societies marked by diversity. They need to open themselves to the newcomers to society both as recipients of cultural productions and as cultural producers and actors themselves. Public cultural institutions need to fully subscribe to the democratisation of culture and all people’s human right, which foresees access to and participation in culture for all. Moreover, from the taxpayers’ perspective, they need to justify their public subsidies by serving the full spectrum of those who contribute to government budgets.
MCP Broker (Brokering Migrants’ Cultural Participation) is a project aimed to enhance and stimulate the cultural participation of migrants by improving the capacity of their local cultural public institutions to interact with them. Public Cultural Institutions are part of receiving society, which has to live up to the challenge of managing cultural diversity and ensuring intercultural integration. Central to these tasks is the enhancement of the intercultural capacity of public cultural institutions by diversifying their staff and governance bodies.
In a more specific way, the project objectives are:
- To promote the engagement of the receiving communities in interacting with the migrants, based on the mutual respect of their rights, obligations and different cultures ;
- To ensure equal treatment and improve diversity management in the public and private work places, service provision, education systems, media and other important arenas.
To this aim, the project foresees the following activities:
- BENCHMARKING TOOL The development of the benchmarking tool in order to manage the sector’s needs on how to promote integration at different levels.
- PILOT RESEARCH with 10-15 cultural institutions each in at least 6-7 EU countries in order to analyse the management of cultural diversity within these institutions as well as to identify obstacles and needs for the intercultural integration.
- LEARNING PARTNERSHIPS (LPs) in order to equip the sector and other key operators on how to promote integration. Learning Partnerships (LPs) will be developed between cultural institutions which are advanced and less advanced in their field in terms of diversity management; between cultural institutions and non-governmental organisations rooted in migrant self-organisation; between cultural institutions and employment agencies; between cultural institutions and schools.
- The Learning Partnership’s outcomes will be disseminated through European networks, participation at thematically relevant conferences and organisation of the public conference in Barcelona.