Our Mission


The International Council for Cultural Centers is the global network of national networks/associations of community cultural centers (3c-s), currently connecting more than 50 countries on 6 continents. I3C hopes to link these houses in a family of shared ideals and practices, weaving a larger, living and flexible global net embodying the analogy of the African shekere instrument net and way of producing sound: a net not only virtual but also very real and physically present through the actual house buildings enlivening communities on all continents.
I3C is currently the only international non-governmental organization representing internationally community cultural centers with their rights, responsibilities, and needs for favourable conditions for the activities of voluntary/non-paid artists and community animators around the world.


I3C cooperates with a group of scholars, professors, students, and independent researchers, forming the I3C Research Advisory Group (RAG), in order to develop specialized advise on how to develop individual, culturally-specific local implementation of UNESCO's 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and more broadly on the ways local history, celebrations, and knowledge - both traditional and modern - can be an engine for social cohesion, cooperation, and sustainable community, regional, and/or national development.

Although any definition of what a "community cultural center" is will result either reductionist or over-stated for all their local peculiarities - not simply by country but even by neighborhood – I3C nevertheless uses a working definition for 3c-s based on their overall mission as: a community-based, physically built, multi-functional space, which is dedicated to overall community development through the medium of creative activities linked to modern and folk arts, the preservation of local intangible cultural heritage, as well as hosting performances and exhibitions of professional and non-professional artists with the mission to enhance social cooperation and cohesion beyond ethnic, religious, generational, and socio-economic divides, thus nurturing human creative and spiritual development and quality of life.
I3C works closely with its first continental network member, the European Network of Cultural Centers (http://www.encc.eu) to help other national and continental networks be formed to foster around the world an understanding of art and local intangible heritage as key forces for a better quality of life. I3C, as the global voice for advocacy and support for 3c-s around the world:

* Conducts country cultural mappings; finds and shares good practices in local socio-cultural management
* Reviews and selects from existing research a database of relevant analytical work as well as a list of scholars and research centers associated in I3C’s Research Advisory Group (RAG)
* Organizes trainings, workshops, seminars, and conferences, such as the Summer School on Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (www.assist2010.ning.com)
* Specializes in consulting on cultural network-building, program sustainability, and public-private partnerships (PPP model) for: community cultural centers and/or traditional communities of heritage practitioners; Ministries of Culture; intergovernmental organizations such as UNESCO and UNICEF; development institutions such as IMF and the World Bank; national and international NGOs
* Motivates and monitors the creation of new national and continental networks; supports community initiatives where 3c-s remain inactive
* Raises awareness nationally and internationally about UNESCO's and the EU cultural policies and good practices
* Develops a UN consultative status