Firstly, I want to express my sincere thanks to the Titling Axis coordinators/funders for working to bring the first gathering together in Barbados in February, 2015. I appreciate how much effort it takes to schedule, fund and coordinate such a diverse group of attendees, especially given the linguistic and geographical barriers we face within the region, which was something we spoke about at length. It really did feel like a “game-changing” conference, and I was delighted to be part of it.
Some thoughts on the conference:
I understand that your initial vision for the first meeting was broader in scope/size but actually felt (as an attendee) that the size was perfect. The intimate gathering allowed everyone to connect directly and to establish some meaningful relationships. Often in a larger conference this element can get lost and given that one of the main focuses was ‘connectivity’ this model worked well for the first year. That said, for the platform to grow and continue to remain relevant, the event should grow each year.
I also felt that using Fresh Milk’s space for this first meeting was a great idea. The more intimate setting allowed for a free flow of conversation which included most of the participants.
The entire weekend was well hosted and the evening events were a great chance to continue networking and to follow up on themes discussed. I would have liked to gotten the chance to visit some of Barbados’ cultural sites as part of the visit and to have met more artists/students. In future it would be great to invite visiting attendees to do lecturers/workshops etc – which I think was discussed.
Content was generally good and I felt the sessions were well considered and that the covered various aspects of our collective work, and importantly from the different viewpoints (artist led initiatives/ institutions/ visiting guests). I do feel, given we were asked to upload our organizational profiles and web links and to view those from each participant, that we could have saved some time with organizational overviews (5-7min quick recap would have been sufficient) which would have allowed panelists more time to discuss some key themes/successes and challenges they shared as a group.
I really felt we were starting to make headway with the strategic plan on Saturday afternoon and would have liked more workshop time.
As we are all aware the key is now to keep momentum going both formally as a group, and informally in following up with each other’s organizations on potential collaborations/projects etc. Before we get too far away from the conference it would be great to receive the list of persons that were allocated to each theme (it was four I believe) and charge them with moving forward in electing chairman, and setting a timeline, etc. This will help spread the workload. Further, I would be more than happy to “help” as needed, formally or otherwise.
I think the sooner the date/location is set for the next meeting the better. This way we can book the time in advance, etc. and ensure we don’t end up with clashes that prevent our attending, and potentially secure funding via our own contacts. As mentioned, if Tobias is unable to host at PAMM in 2016, we may be able to facilitate the meeting in Cayman.