October 27, 2017

Call for presentations: 15th ELIA Biennial Conference "Resilience and the City: Art, Education, Urbanism"


"Resilience and the City: Art, Education, Urbanism." Design: Studio Bureau. 

ELIA – European League of Institutes of the Arts is pleased to announce that the 15th ELIA Biennial Conference will take place November 21 to 24, 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, hosted by Codarts University of the Arts and Willem de Kooning Academy.

Colleagues from ELIA member institutions are invited to contribute to the programme and showcase their practices in the arts and education, be it in a Pecha Kucha style presentation, paper presentation or another suitable format.

Theme: "Resilience and the City: Art, Education, Urbanism"
The conference will focus on the role of the arts in creating resilient cities in times of global change. It will examine how art, design and performance can play a vital role in building resilience, especially in the urban context. The topic will be developed along four subthemes:

Shifting Centres, Shifting Margins
The world is always changing. But changes are becoming greater and more rapid than ever before, due to unprecedented technological advancement and unpredictable political upheaval. Margins and centres are continually shifting. From expanding urbanization to immigration, to climate change, we are facing grand societal challenges that require radical questions and innovative answers.

The city of Rotterdam is addressing these challenges by becoming a "resilient city."

Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city, to survive, and adapt.

Art and Social Cohesion
Arts enable us to express and develop our cultural identities and reveal the diversity within our society. Cross-disciplinary projects create new structures that can pinpoint social tensions, address differences, and demonstrate how much we have in common. Do the arts, especially socially engaged artistic practices, gain a particular responsibility in times of increasing conservatism, when the freedom of artistic expression is threatened?

Art and Economy
Urban resilience cannot be achieved without economic prosperity. An innovative city is one, which is sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. Fostering vibrant and proactive cultural communities, therefore, needs to be a priority for any resilient city. How do we see the interaction between the arts and economics, in what ways can artists and urban planners collaborate to create alternative cultural and social habitats, which promote common practices and different forms of living together?

Art and Innovation
In 1968, NASA developed a tool to assess creativity skills, in an effort to increase innovation by hiring the most creative engineers. The test worked so well with employees that they decided to test it on children. To their surprise, 98% of 4-5 years old were considered geniuses on the creativity-scale. When they tested the same group 5 years later, only 30% of the children scored in the genius-level of creativity. The NASA survey shows both the importance of creativity for innovation and the declining levels of creativity, as we grow older. How do we see the role of arts and arts education in improving creativity and 21st century skills? And what is our own role as arts education institutions in addressing these changes, both for our students and for society?

Representatives of ELIA member institutions from all arts disciplines such as lecturers, researchers, artists, senior managers, arts administrators, international officers, professional practitioners from the cultural sector are welcome to submit proposals for presentations.

To find out more about the call for presentations and submission follow this link.

Submissions should be sent by December 18, 2017.

About ELIA
ELIA – European League of Institutes of the Arts is the major network organisation for higher arts education. ELIA represents over 300 member institutions in 47 countries on the European and international levels. It forms unique bodies of knowledge and facilitates dialogues, mobility and activities between artists, lecturers, administrators, senior managers, key decision makers and some 300,000 students from all art disciplines. For more information on ELIA, how to become a member and its many initiatives visit or e-mail info [​at​]

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