In July 2012, CCSS partnered with the Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia at the Instituto Universitário de Libsoa (CIES-IUL) to bring the 2012 Fellows Conference to Lisbon, Portugal. This 21st gathering of the Johns Hopkins Philanthropy Fellows was held on the grounds of the Calouste Gulbenkinan Foundation, and was sponsored by Gulbenkian, the EDP Foundation, and the Câmara Municipal de Lisboa. Our organizer in Portugal was Mr. Jorge Barreto Xavier, Assistant Professor of Public Policies on Culture at Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL). Having served as Director General for the Arts at the Portuguese Ministry of Culture from 2008-2010, Mr. Barretto was uniquely qualified to lead this endeavor in Portugal. You can read a profile of him here.
The arts are widely recognized around the world as crucial to the social and economic health of societies. Reflecting this, the countries of Europe have been particularly supportive of the arts through government policies of subsidy and arts promotion. Because of the current economic crisis, however, the ability of governments to continue their support of the arts has come under serious question. With private institutions reducing their support as well, arts institutions face a crisis, and putting at risk the many contributions that the arts make to a civilized society, to the education of young people, and to the ability of communities to attract highly mobile workers and businesses. These challenges are already in evidence in Portugal, where government support of the arts has recently been slashed severely.
While much of the attention resulting from government retrenchment has focused on social welfare issues, equally significant issues have arisen in the arts field, with perhaps even more serious long-term consequences. The Johns Hopkins International Fellows in Philanthropy Conference in Portugal in 2012 endeavored to provide a unique international venue for considering the challenges facing nonprofit arts institutions, both in Portugal and internationally.
The Conference featured an array of speakers and commenters from Portugal, as well as Fellows with both academic and field-based expertise in the arts, fundraising, and the nonprofit sector around the world, providing a forum for a robust exchange of experiences and innovations. Please follow the links below to read the conclusions from this conference.