Mekong Cultural Hub

Regional Solutions to Arts Management Training Needs: FAQ from the Open Space session

On March 9th, 2023, Mekong Cultural Hub was pleased to host pleased to host Pooja Sood and Ruchira Das from ARThinkSouthAsia to present: MCH Open Space: Regional solutions to Arts Management Training needs. The session started with a short introduction about ARThinkSouthAsia and their 3 day workshop on Fundamentals of Arts Management led by Pooja Sood and Ruchira Das, and discusses the potential to bring this course to Southeast Asia. The intro was then followed by a Q&A session with the two speakers. 

Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions below for the summary of all questions which were raised during the session and their answers from ARThinkSouthAsia .

How many people can attend the short course at one time?

We recommend a minimum of 15, and the maximum is 20. This allows us to split into smaller groups, and is a number where the Facilitators can get to know each participant individually over the days and be able to respond to their particular issues. 

You’ve run a two-week Fellowship before, and done some online trainings. Are these also available to South-East Asia?

At the moment we are suggesting to start with the short course, which can be delivered over three or four days. This will be a good foundation. Potentially in future we could explore a longer course.

Is it possible to host the short course virtually?

We haven’t yet delivered the course virtually. Based on our experience, there is a lot of value in the in-person connections and the informal exchange that happens during breaks and meals. For these reasons we prefer to explore hosting the course physically at this time. 

What is different about your course versus other arts management courses?

Ours is developed with an Asian perspective in mind. We use regional case studies, and we have adapted general principles of arts management that are taught in Western Countries to be applicable to the context in our region. 

Is there a certificate at the end of the course? Who is it from?

We usually issue a certificate at the end of the course. Typically we issue it in partnership with the host, so that it also has local relevance. 

What happens after the program? Is there any follow-up?

We usually create a Whatsapp group among the participants and the facilitators. This tends to stay active and people continue to exchange on that channel. In one case in Nepal, our host partner worked with us for some follow-up activities with participants. We have a wide network of former Fellows and we continue to engage with them and support them. 

If we want to collaborate with you to host a course, how will we work together?

We would start by meeting on Zoom, so we could sit together virtually and understand from you some key points about the local context, and the experiences of your likely participants. We would also go through the details of the course modules, and see which ones are relevant and which need to be adapted.

Once we agree on the dates of the course, we can work together to coordinate our travel arrangements. It would be the host’s responsibility to coordinate local logistics (venue etc) and to invite participants. 

We also like to include site visits in the program. So we would want the host to recommend galleries or organisations to visit. 

How much time would it take between us agreeing to host a course and you being able to deliver it?

We would estimate 6 months. It could be shorter, but as we need time to get to know your context, and adapt the materials; and you need time to recruit participants and arrange logistics, we expect the minimum would be 3 months. 

Do we have to select the participants by an open call?

That would be up to the host. According to your capacity and the context of your community.

What qualifications do participants need to have?

The only rule we have is that the course is not for students. This is because we ask people to draw on examples from past experience, and students can only do this hypothetically. Aside from that, as long as you are a practitioner, it doesn’t matter which discipline you specialise in or how many years of experience you have. 

You mentioned in the presentation that this is not a ‘training’, but a workshop that draws not only the experience of the Facilitators but the participants. Can you share how you facilitate that exchange of experiences? Especially when you might have a very mixed group of participants.

The short-course is structured to include lots of small group breakout and discussion sessions. This allows people to talk and share. There is also an element of exchange happening organically. 

What language is the course in? Do you work with interpreters?

We facilitate in English. If participants can speak English then we can work only in English and/or allow space for participants to help each other to clarify understanding or to express themselves. If the host can find a well qualified interpreter we can work that way too. 

All of the texts we use in the course are in English. 

What costs does the local host have to cover? 

The host has to cover all the logistics costs (travel and accommodation for TWO facilitators, space for the workshop, refreshments and additional items such as interpretation if you need it). The cost of this will depend on the country and the resources you already have e.g. if you have your own space it will be cheaper.

There is also a fee to ATSA of 50,000 Rupees (approximately $600 USD). This is a friendly rate for the MCH Network. 

Can we charge for participation?

Yes, you are welcome to charge for participation as a way to cover your costs.

If we need to fundraise for the course, could you partner with us on proposals?

Yes, if there are funds that we could jointly apply for or we could give supporting documents (e.g. references, past experience) for an application you are submitting then we could do so.

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