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Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe (CIRCLE) was a European network established formally in 1984, which operated as an independent think-tank dedicated to developing cultural policy models for Europe. The regular activities of CIRCLE ceased in 2007, although its individual and institutional members continue to collaborate in other frameworks.

This website collects materials from the activities carried out by CIRCLE over the years. It aims to provide valuable information and documentation to researchers, cultural professionals, policymakers, arts and heritage organisations and other interested parties.

CIRCLE was a network of people concerned with cultural policy including researchers from many disciplines, scholars, documentalists, cultural practitioners, policy-makers and politicians. It was also a forum for institutions such as university departments, arts institutions, research organisations, national ministries, arts councils, documentation centres and networks. In bringing together these different entities CIRCLE acted as an intermediary, putting particular emphasis on ensuring that conclusions from its debates were disseminated to those in a position to benefit from them. CIRCLE identified new issues and mapped out existing research and information, making this information available through on-line resources and databases. Information on the activities carried out by CIRCLE, particularly through its annual Round Tables and related research projects and publications, can be found in the Activities Archive.

CIRCLE’s work crossed the whole of Europe (more than 35 countries), a variety of disciplines and a myriad of interested parties. CIRCLE evolved with help provided principally by the Culture Committee of the Council of Europe. Later, CIRCLE was in receipt of a number of grants from the European Commission for specific areas of its research work. Additional co-operation and/or co-funding for CIRCLE’s activities was provided by numerous institutions, including Arts Council of Ireland, Arts Council of Finland, Arts Council of England, Associazione per l’Economia della Cultura, Boekmanstichting, the Budapest Observatory, Cini Foundation, Culturelink, Department of Canadian Heritage, EFAH (European Forum for Arts and Heritage), EricArts, European Cultural Foundation, Interarts Foundation, German Federal Ministry of Education, Information and Publications Office of the Italian Government, International Intelligence on Culture, Ministère de la culture et de la communication (France), Ministry of Culture and the Media of the Government of Catalonia, Norwegian Council of Cultural Affairs, Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, Pro Cultura Foundation, Spanish Ministry of Culture, Zentrum für Kulturforschung, etc. Links to the main organisations involved in CIRCLE’s activities and which continue to operate in the area of cultural policy research can be found under CIRCLE’s member organisations.

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