The Dallas Museum of Art announced today that the City of Dallas, the New Cities Foundation, and AEA Consulting have launched a Global Cultural Districts Network that will be based in the Dallas Arts District.

City of Dallas, New Cities Foundation Launch New Global Consortium of Cultural Districts

When Maxwell Anderson came to Dallas to head the Dallas Museum of Art, he cited the Dallas Arts District and the potential for future growth and innovation as a major factor in his decision. Today we received word of just what kind of potential Anderson had in mind. The museum has announced that the City of Dallas, the New Cities Foundation, and AEA Consulting have launched a Global Cultural Districts Network that will be based in the Dallas Arts District. Maxwell Anderson will be co-chairman of the new network, along with  John Rossant, Chairman of the New Cities Foundation. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will be Honorary President of the consortium.

So, what is a Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)? According to the release, the GCDN will:

support cultural districts – both planned and existing – and their contribution to the vitality and competitiveness of 21st century cities. GCDN members will work together on a long-term basis on the management and future planning of cultural districts worldwide, allowing the top-level leaders of these districts to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas, and ensure that their ambitious projects will flourish.

In other words, the new group plans to function like a think tank, a clearinghouse for ideas about cultural districts, which, according to the new group’s definition, include not only pre-planned cultural zones like the Dallas Arts District or Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, but also historical areas in New York, London, and elsewhere. The GCDN will convene to share information; research topics like programming, audience development, and cultural tourism; circulate secondary information and research of interest among members; and host virtual forums.

It will be interesting to see just what international participation looks like. So far, this is a very Dallas-driven initiative, but one strategically tied to the broad reach of the New Cities Foundation. The most immediate local impact will be felt when the New Cities Foundation hosts its 2014 Global Summit in the Dallas Arts District. There also seem to be some other obvious ways this could positively impact Dallas, particularly in having an international body that can leverage its expertise and prestige in rethinking how this city markets itself as a cultural destination.

Here’s the full release:

 

Major Joint Initiatives Announced by New Cities Foundation and City of Dallas

  • · Dallas to host New Cities Summit in June, 2014
  • · New Cities Foundation, City of Dallas and AEA Consulting launch Global Cultural Districts Network, to be based in Dallas Arts District

São Paulo – June 5, 2013. The Honorable Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, and John Rossant, Chairman of the Board of the New Cities Foundation, announced today that theNew Cities Summit 2014 is to take place in Dallas, Texas on June 17-19, 2014. They also jointly announced that the Foundation, in partnership with the Dallas Arts District, one of the largest and most important cultural districts in the world, is launching in Dallas the Global Cultural Districts Network, an international consortium of similar centers. Both announcements were made during the New Cities Summit in São Paulo.

The New Cities Summit is the leading global event on the future of the urban world, organized by the New Cities Foundation.The New Cities Foundation’s Board of Trustees selected Dallas for its dynamism and forward-thinking approach to urban challenges.

Next year’s New Cities Summit, dedicated to the high-level exchange of dynamic ideas and innovative solutions for world cities, will take place within the Dallas Arts District. A cornerstone and catalyst for creative vitality in North Texas, the Dallas Arts District is home to the city’s foremost visual and performing arts institutions, whose range and depth make Dallas a destination for the arts that is unique in the United States – and the world. The District includes buildings by some of the world’s most visionary architects, including Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, and Renzo Piano. Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, is Chairman of the Dallas Arts District Foundation.

The Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN), a partnership among the New Cities Foundation, Dallas Arts District, and AEA Consulting, will be the first network of its kind. It will support cultural districts – both planned and existing – and their contribution to the vitality and competitiveness of 21st century cities. GCDN members will work together on a long-term basis on the management and future planning of cultural districts worldwide, allowing the top-level leaders of these districts to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas, and ensure that their ambitious projects will flourish.

 

Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas and Honorary President of the GCDN, said: “Being selected as the host city of the next New Cities Summit is a great moment in the history of Dallas, and, as its Mayor, a great honor for me. I look forward to welcoming urban leaders and thinkers to Dallas in June 2014 to continue discussions on the future of cities. It is also a great honor to serve as Honorary President of the inaugural Global Cultural Districts Network, which will convene at the Summit next year. Art and culture are rapidly becoming an important part of the soul of our city. To be able to share and learn from similar successes in cities across the world, is a rare and wonderful opportunity that will further distinguish Dallas, foster a thriving culture of creativity and innovation, and position North Texas to become one of the world’s leading arts meccas.”

John Rossant, Chairman of the New Cities Foundation and Co-Chairman of the GCDN, said:

“Dallas is a dynamic, exciting city with a ‘can-do’ attitude and the ideal location for our next Summit, and the first convening of the Global Cultural Districts Network. The Summit will strengthen our network of urban innovators, address new challenges and embrace new opportunities. We all recognize that cultural projects offer cities myriad opportunities – not only in terms of creativity and ideas, but also investment and wealth creation. Today, we are witnessing an unprecedented growth in the cultural landscape of cities, from Hong Kong to New York, São Paulo to Qatar. By teaming up with the Dallas Arts District and the pre-eminent strategic planners in the cultural sector, AEA Consulting, to launch the Global Cultural Districts Network, we aim to help those responsible for planning and leading cultural districts around the world.”

Maxwell L. Anderson,Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, Chairman of the Dallas Arts District, and Co-Chairman of the GCDN, said:“I am honored to serve as FoundingCo-Chairman of the Global Cultural Districts Network to guide the development of an international forum for knowledge and resource sharing. The GCDN seeks to elevate the role of urban cultural districts worldwide. The implications for our collective impact is vast — estimated to be $US 250 billion in cultural infrastructure investment within the next decade —spurring cultural exchange, progressive urban planning, economic development,and travel and tourism. The Network’s new home in Dallas is further evidence of the forward thinking, entrepreneurial vision of our cultural and civic leaders in North Texas.”

 

The Global Cultural Districts Network is a high-level group of decision-makers involved in conceiving, planning, building, and directing urban cultural districts. Over 50 new cultural districts are being planned or recently constructed around the world. These include Beijing’s Olympic Green; Dallas Arts District; Chicago’s Millennium Park; Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District; Singapore’s Esplanade and Doha’s Cultural District. They join historic districts in cities such as London, New York, Berlin, and Paris, which have developed organically over time. The GCDN aims to play a crucial role in ensuring that these districts thrive, and that, in turn, they enhance the cities in which they are based. It will provide a unique platform for the leaders of these districts to analyze and solve common challenges, collaborate on new ventures and evolve.

The GCDN project secretariat will be located in Dallas Arts District. The project will be led by Adrian Ellis, Director of AEA Consulting. The Board of Trustees of the Network held their first meeting today in São Paulo at the New Cities Summit.

 

About the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)

The Network serves to foster cooperation and knowledge-sharing between those responsible for conceiving, funding, building, and operating cultural districts; and to help to ensure that these projects are vital assets for their communities, contributing to the vitality of 21st century cities. Over the next decade, some $US 250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the globe. A successful cultural district is not just one that is built, but one that, once built, thrives and, in thriving, animates the city or region that it serves. This holistic definition of success is central to the Network: success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings out of the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities.

The Network will therefore provide the following services for its members:

  • · Regular convening to share emerging best practices, hear expert panels, and discuss the place of cultural districts in urban policy, economic development, and related areas of public policy such as travel and tourism;
  • · Original research on topics of common interest such as programming, audience development, cultural tourism, professional development, relevant rends in technology and creative industries strategies;
  • · Regular summaries and circulation of secondary research and news of common interest;
  • · Virtual forums for detailed sharing of information and discussion of opportunities and challenges;
  • · Opportunities for establishing strategic partnerships for content, programming, skills training, and knowledge transfer.

 

Governance

The full Board of Trustees includes:

  • · Maxwell Anderson, Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and Chairman of the Dallas Arts District, and Co-Chairman of the GCDN
  • · Karen Brooks Hopkins, President, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York
  • · Professor Michael Eissenhauer, General Director, National Museums in Berlin
  • · Carolein Gehrels, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor responsible for Economic Affairs, Art & Culture
  • · Michael Lynch, Chief Executive of West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong
    • · Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas and Honorary President of the GCDN
    • · Deedie Rose, Dallas Museum of Art Trustee and Immediate Past Chair
    • · John Rossant, Chairman of the New Cities Foundation and Co-Chairman of the GCDN

The GCDN is led by Adrian Ellis, Director of AEA Consulting.

Website

www.GCDN.net