Canadian cultural policy researcher visits

This week we hosted Shannon Litzenberger in Canberra as part of her research into Australian cultural policy. Shannon is a Canadian dance artist, writer, director and advocate who we first met at the 2009 Dance Congress in Hamburg.

Shannon is particularly interested in the political process of developing a national cultural policy; the ways in which new funding models might be developed; the cultural diplomacy strategies of the government; the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper and the various (and many) responses received by the government as part of its consultation.

We were able to organise meetings for Shannon with key cultural policy people in Canberra, including Helen O’Neil, Senior Advisor to Arts Minister Simon Crean, Fiona Webster and Stephen Cassidy of the National Cultural Policy Taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Fiona Hoggart, First Secretary (Cultural) and Julia Postle at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

She had already spent time in Melbourne interviewing leaders in the field, and is now in Sydney talking to Australia Council CEO Kathy Keele, Louise Walsh and others there before heading back to Toronto on Monday.

Shannon will be writing up her research findings in coming months, and we’ll share them with you as an important contribution to the cultural policy debate.