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Montpellier Métropole, a place for contemporary creation

Information updated on 25/06/21

Local creativity was illustrated by a first day of discussions between cultural stakeholders and tourism professionals on June 10 in Montpellier. Here is a report from the event.

ateliers contemporains
Visitors do not see the Montpellier Métropole area as a place for contemporary creation. This is a surprising observation, given that artists and creators have expressed themselves locally for the past several decades, covering everything from architecture to contemporary art, street art, and live shows.
Montpellier Métropole therefore wants to give the territory the recognition it deserves, above and beyond its lifestyle. Starting in the fall season of 2021, an action plan will be launched with the firm intention to highlight both the places, works, and events, and the artists and creators bringing life to contemporary creation. This involves undertaking a collaborative effort beyond the greater metropolitan area to cover a triangle from Nîmes to Sète to La Grande Motte. Art has no administrative boundaries.
With that goal in mind, a day-long event was organized in association with Tourism Mission, a local tourism consultancy, on June 10 at La Panacée in Montpellier. The first of its kind, this event united about thirty stakeholders and professionals from the cultural sector as well as the tourism and events sector.
Among those present were representatives from the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Tourist Office,, Crac from Sète, Frac, Hérault Department, Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée Regional Council, Alliance Française Montpellier, La Friche Mimi, LineUp Urban Art, Wisud, L’Agence culturelle, and more. The group included both professionals and specialists whose complementarity should foster the emergence of new ideas likely to create ties, initiate partnership efforts, and generate common actions.
Participants were welcomed in six workshops. The morning focused on thematic offerings and outings: imagining possibilities for walks and itineraries; generating interest among people in the 18-30 age group and couples with children (the action plan’s two main target audiences); providing immersion experiences based on “live art”. Three other topics were covered in the afternoon, focusing on a series of mediation actions to highlight itineraries and assist visitors, and shared communication actions to promote and manage a “Contemporary creation” network comprising cultural, tourism, and event stakeholders.
Many ideas emerged, notably to outline various immersive itineraries; for some, promoting Panrama (a French cinema technique) and contemporary Folies (modern architectural masterpieces); for others, highlighting attractions such as Pierresvives, Cit’Art in La Gardiole, works of art along the local tramway line 1, among other creative contemporary treasures around the area. Lively brainstorming sessions

“Our talks were very concrete, with people listening and sharing ideas,” highlights Claire Durand, manager of Agence Culturelle, who pointed out “clear points of convergence noted by all participants during the workshops.”

What truly emerged from the workshops was the need to unite cultural and institutional stakeholders, and tourism professionals.

“This meeting brought out some excellent ideas, showing that there is real development potential related to contemporary creation,” adds Corinne Turlan, in charge of guided tours and monuments at the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Tourist Office.

Her opinion was shared by David Satger, president of the Wisud receptive travel agency:

“The day brought together people who actually depend on each other, though they did not realize it.” To summarize with a quote that is perfectly appropriate for the occasion: “We may go faster alone, but we go further together.”

That works fine, as additional workshops will continue the work started here.
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