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RESEARCH AND TRAINING PROGRAMME ON NEW MEDIA CULTURE MANAGEMENT
Project by RIXC - The Center for New Media Culture in Riga


* Context and situation analyses

New media forms play an important role in all fields of contemporary society, but their potential in the development of cultural infrastructure and in solving various social issues are not yet fully recognised. New infrastructures (such as media centres and media labs) are emerging, and at the same time old ones need updating (see the plans for a National Library in Riga - infrastructure of their new building will be developed based on new technologies).

The recently founded RIXC centre in Riga, established on the basis of various independent new media and youth culture organisations (E-LAB, Locomotive, Baltic Center and others), is the initiator and co-ordinator of this programme.
Both the support of new infrastructures and the analysis of current cultural needs are key issues in cultural policy development. In order for this policy to be put into practice, cultural management also needs to be addressed. Whilst the new generation of cultural managers require a basic grounding in standard skills they can benefit greatly from a specially designed, intensive training programme geared towards new media.

In its own development the RIXC will focus on the investigation of new models for cultural practice, based on networking and co-operation among independent units, as well as infrastructure development and maintenance of the real physical space (for public events, training, digital arts production).

The RIXC also would like to make the theoretical research and education in a field of cultural studies, media theory and models of cultural policy providing the theoretical ground and analysis of the tendencies and role of New Media and it's strategies in a "democratic transition" period.

* Aims and fields of interest

Step 1. Research into Local Needs
The research unit task regarding new media, is to research into how social conditions and changes are influenced by new technologies, and what possibilities are open for fulfilling the needs of local social groups and sub-cultures involved in new media culture in Latvia.

Step 2. Cultural Manager Training
The training programme will be developed for the culture managers and administrators working in new media and media art & culture field, with the aims:
- to investigate new models for infrastructure development of the emerging cultural institutions - such as new media centres, media labs, information centres; and contribute in transforming of established infrastructures (using new technologies);
- to develop model for the maintenance of The Centre for New Media Culture in Riga
- to investigate in case study of training - research into the local situation and needs (what kind of training programmes it is necessary to develop).

Cultural management in new media culture field covers a wider spectrum - with its interdisciplinary feature it creates a common ground for various culture and sub-culture fields to meet. Its range of activities often are out of the arts and culture fields - media centres collaborate with both decision-makers and commercial companies, as well as work in the social field.

> emerging infrastructures
The cultural management training is particularly important for the emerging infrastructures, such as new media centres. Although updating of the infrastructures is also an urgent issue for established cultural institutions, because of local political and economical changes in the post-soviet countries during the past few years, both emerging and established institutions can't relay anymore on the governmental support (only). Instead cultural organisations should develop new models for their management and funding system, that would provide them with opportunities for self-financing and its fruitful future development.

> the region
The programme will focus primarily on training cultural managers and trainers from both emerging and established media centres in the Baltic/Nordic region, including Belarussia and West-Russia (who are also founders and potential members of the Baltic/Nordic Media Cultural Network "NICE"). Organising the training for the regional partners will contribute significantly to improving cultural exchange and future collaboration, and will provide those processes with continuity.

> training trainers
'Training the trainers' is the main focus for the first Training Programme for New Media Cultural Management, organised by RIXC in Riga, April 2000. In order to make the training more fruitful, participants will be selected on the basis of their own experience and will be requested to prepare their own case study in preparation for the training programme.

The results and experience will be used in order to develop exchange programmes for media artists, trainers and workshop conductors within the Baltic/Nordic region in the frameworks of the NICE Network.

* Working plan

December 2000/APRIL 2001 - preparation work for the training

>Participant profile:
Cultural managers and administrators currently running or planning to establish new media centres and laboratories in the cultural sector. Candidates will be selected from Latvia (RIXC, E-LAB, Locomotive), Estonia (E-Media Center), Lithuania (Jutempus), Belarussia (Contemporary Arts Association), Russia (Media Art Lab/ Moscow) Finland (Muu Media Base, New Media Center), Norway (Atelier Nord), and Sweden (CRAC - Creative Room for Art & Computing), and others.
Participants will be selected on the basis of their work experience and motivation. They will be requested to prepare their own case study in preparation for the training programme.

>Trainers:
As new media cultural management is really new field, we will confirm the names of the trainers in the nearest future. At the moment we are contacting the potential trainers from the New Media Institute of Banff Center/Canada (via Mrs. Susan Kennard), Amsterdam Summer school (Mr. Neial Wallace) and Gothenburg/Sweden (at Kulturverkstan).

APRIL 2001 - 5-Day New Media Cultural Management training in Riga.

* Preliminary programme:

Day 1 - Introduction and summary case studies
Day 2 - Internal development: Infrastructure / Task division / Planning / Financial management
Day 3 - External development: funding (sponsorship/public - private) / publicity/marketing (including web applications)
Day 4 - Activities and project development: Events (regular, big/festivals, artists residencies) / Media Labs (publishing, networking) / Local Cultural ISP (outreach projects, technical workshops, collaboration between artists and technicians, free software, advice) / Education & training (re-training artists, training local (young) people, media literacy)
Day 5 - Public presentations (for wider audience and policy makers): lecture on local needs and cultural management / presentations of case studies / "policy meets practice" meeting (in collaboration with "Baltic Identity Workshop").

* Outcomes and spin-offs

The project will be developed in 2 steps that are linked each to other, and at the same time each of them is contributing in different area and dealing with different audiences.

research - contributes to the training programmes and cultural policy development of Latvia and within the Baltic/Nordic region in the field of new media.

training - with the aim of professionalising cultural organisations - will also improve contacts between social, commercial and educational fields.
The experience will be used for developing and running training programmes in the RIXC as well as in other media centres in the Baltic/Nordic region.
Training the trainers - is important because they will be able in the future to train others.
Training for people from regional networks is also an important aspect - as they will stay in contact and will be able to continue collaboration on a more professional level.

* Working group

Project will be co-ordinated by:
Ieva Auzina, RIXC
Rasa Smite, E-LAB
Normunds Kozlovs, Baltic Center
Cathy Brickwood, Virtual Platform/Amsterdam, advisory board of RIXC