Memo January 2002


A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of The Budapest Observatory (BO) in January 2002


We have begun our 4th calendar year (quite precisely our 4th birthday will be on 22 April). In the middle of January our board looked over what BO is preparing to do in 2002.

Tax incentives for patrons of culture
This project has been a widely acclaimed initiative. Although what it has amounted to so far, has been more of a learning process than a finite discovery. What we have acquired on the subject, was summarised in the paper.

Uncertainties in facts and concepts have not discouraged us from progressing. On the contrary: this year again, the upgrading of our pool of information on the legislative background of patronage is likely to be the main strand of BO activity.

To our delight, KulturKontakt in Vienna has pledged to get associated to this enterprise. In order to establish the exact nature, forms will have to filled in, submitted and assessed. But I am looking forward to the value that KulturKontakt network can add to this seach.

Dispersal of public grants
Originally we set out to identify and compare the arm's length agencies in the region. The story is similar to the previous one: during the course of collection did we find out that this attractive metaphore has quite a range of interpretations. More interestingly, there are countries where nobody seems to speak of arm's length. So, first we re-baptized the project as Public Grant Agencies for Culture. And next, from March this year, we will systematically upgrade our country profiles at a conceptually higher level.

The height of the level may be checked by the paper.

Publishing survey 2000
The Information Sector (formerly Center for Publishing Development) of the Open Society Institute (OSI), Budapest, is conducting its Publishing Survey for the fifth time since 1996. From late last year the running of the survey has been commissioned to BO. Answers to the detailed questionnaire of 79 items have arrived from 13 countries on the state of their book sectors in 2000. While we are setting to process these, we keep chasing for the late respondents.

Looking Inside
Enigmatic title, isn't it? The news about this OSI programme spread like bushfire. The message reached us in several forwarded copies.

The project serves to increase the east-east mobility of art managers in the former communist countries. They can spend 2-3 weeks in well-recognised artistic institutions in the region. For more, contact your national coordinator.

The sentence, which states that the programme aims "to invest in cultural professionals, who might contribute to significant long-term sustainable changes in culture and the arts in Central and Eastern Europe" makes us believe that BO might be an eligible target for placement.

Months in Salzburg
The International Centre for Culture & Management announced really interesting offers to academic collegues: 3 to 6 months free accomodation in Salzburg and paid opportunities for lecturing and cooperation in ICCM projects.

Colleagues from all countries that have a postgraduate diploma of arts management can apply for 6 to 9 months fellowship.

Herwig Poeschl knows much more: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Changing address
We have been renting a small room at the Hungarian Institute for Culture. From April on we will have to find a different small room, somewhere else. This is what we learned from a letter, which was unceremoniously delivered to us. Hungarian culture?

Bigger, better, beautiful?
Last but not least. Hundreds of BO hours, many hundreds of e-mails were invested in January into the preparatory work of the conference. Prospects are fine. A1 category venues, a gratifying inventory of speakers, and an impressive list of participants promise a successful gathering. Programme and hints as to topics can be accessed here.  Looking forward to seeing you if you come, condolences if you don't.