Music ecosystems

In collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam, the project will investigate the role of music as a resilience tool in cities in Alaska, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The project is a part of the Nordic Culture Fund’s program, Globus, which aims to expand the reach of Nordic cultural co-operation by investing in stronger international connections and long-term networks.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for policy frameworks and mechanisms for urban sustainable development that place music, culture and creativity at the center stage. Through this unique partnership we are able to build concrete and hands-on knowledge and data on how music ecosystems and policies can be supported, strengthened and linked to other sector initiatives around resilience and sustainability in Northern cities. By stimulating multidisciplinary dialogue across different stakeholders the project will also enable the development of a new network of communities in the Nordics and link them with others around the world.” Says Benny Marcel, Director of the Nordic Culture Fund

Defining Resilient Urban Music Ecosystems in the Nordics and Abroad’ will investigate and develop new tools to understand and enhance the role and impact music can play in Tórshavn (Faroe Islands), Juneau (Alaska) and Nuuk (Greenland), through understanding its relationship with how each community approaches resilience and sustainability and in collaboration with artists, businesses and policymakers in each community.

Led by the global research and development organization Center for Music Ecosystems, the project features the participation of Music Alaska, Nuuk Nordisk Festival, the City of Torshavn, the Nordic Culture Fund, and project consultant Frank Kimenai, PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam who specializes in the music ecosystem’s capacity to absorb a variety of shocks and disturbances. 

‘The Center is delighted to be working on this completely unique project, bringing together partners across culturally, geographically and politically diverse parts of the extreme Northern Hemisphere - all with the shared quality of remoteness - and a need therefore for a shared definition and understanding of, yet customised approach to the idea of resilience", says DrShain Shapiro, Executive Director, Center for Music Ecosystems

This landmark study - the first to link music and resilience together - will provide actionable tools for each community to better understand, advance and enrich their music ecosystem, and all findings will be made public through a comprehensive best practice policy toolkit and published on the Center for Music Ecosystems and all partner websites.

Quotes from Partners:

‘In Tórshavn Municipality, we are pleased to be invited to be part of this landmark global research project ‘Defining Resilient Urban Music Ecosystems in the Nordics and Abroad’, funded by the Nordic Culture Fund and led by the Center for Music Ecosystems. This research project is relevant to us because the Faroe Islands have a very active music life and a rich music heritage - not least Tórshavn, which through the ages has been the center for a lot of music activity and development. Music makes Tórshavn and the Faroe Islands better because it enriches the citizens in so many ways. It creates growth, both in terms of well-being and not least jobs. We are therefore looking forward to contribute to the research over the next few months together with our friends in Greenland and Alaska, and to learn from the findings on how a better music ecosystem can benefit the resilience of the city in the future.’ Heðin Mortensen, Mayor of Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.

‘From the Juneau Symphony to local rappers to Indigenous song from time immemorial, music infuses and punctuates life in Alaska’s capital city.  Whether bringing travelers to the Folk Festival or heralding the start of a Legislative session with the Alaska Flag Song, music enriches our community, our businesses, and our spirits.  Juneau is thrilled to learn more about how we share music and the traditions around it with northern neighbors like Tórshavn and Nuuk, as well as what we can learn from our differences.’ Alaska Senator Jesse Kiehl, representing Juneau and the Southeast

‘It is with great pleasure that Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq and Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival participates in this project. Here in Greenland we are in some ways more isolated than others, which makes work like this very important. We have a rich and thriving music scene and look forward to sharing our experiences here while learning from others. Music is important everywhere, and also here in Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq. It is a big part of our culture and what binds us together, and we look forward to participating and learning over the next months. Together with our good friends in Alaska and the Faroe Islands we will together create a better music ecosystem.’ Charlotte Ludvigsen, Mayor of Nuuk, Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq