CERN has a new cultural policy

A new cultural policy is to be unveiled at the beginning of 2011. Although CERN has been inspiring the works of artists for decades, the new policy represents the first official framework for CERN's engagement with the arts.


Screenshot of the upcoming ARTS@CERN Website.

The new cultural policy features four main activities: the creation of an honorary advisory board, the launch of an Artist in Residence programme, support for the various cultural events developed at CERN, and a new website which will showcase CERN’s significant cultural activities and provide relevant information for both artists and people working at CERN. “The new cultural policy shows how much CERN values its significant role in culture,” explains Ariane Koek, the Communication Group’s cultural specialist working on this project.

“CERN’s policy is extremely progressive, as it brings together art and science at the same level – Great Arts for Great Science – also building knowledge and expertise in the arts into the organisation at the highest level.”

The new Cultural Advisory Board will be made up by internationally recognised figures in the arts, including Serge Dorny, Director-General of the Lyon National Opera, Frank Madlener, Director of IRCAM, and Beatrix Ruf, Director of the Kunsthalle in Zurich and listed in ArtReview’s Top 20 Most Influential people in the Arts. The board will provide expert advice for the DG and CERN staff, judge arts applications using a newly established formal commissioning process, and provide professional guidance for CERN’s larger initiatives – including the Globe Gardens project, currently under development.

The Artists in Residence Programme, Collide@CERN, will bring multi-disciplinary artists to CERN. “This will be CERN’s new experiment: an opportunity for creative collisions between the minds of CERN’s scientists and the imaginations of artists,” says Koek. The cultural policy will also provide support to home-grown initiatives, such as the CinéGlobe film festival, created by CERN’s Open Your Eyes Film Club.

“I am currently fundraising and building partnerships with arts funders and cultural organisations to make any additional arts activity, such as the Artist in Residence scheme, happen, because CERN is funded for its science, not for the arts,” adds Koek.

by Katarina Anthony