The KUPF – Cultural Platform Upper Austria is the umbrella organization representing the cultural policy interests of over 100 cultural initiatives in Upper Austria. The KUPF sees itself as taking an active part in cultural policies. It acts on behalf of its members to secure conditions for regional cultural initiatives, to improve these conditions and further develop them in cooperation with activists and protagonists. The cultural-political self-conception of the KUPF goes beyond the geographical borders of Upper Austria and the subject matter of independent cultural work; gender equality is a leitmotiv of its work.
The KUPF speaks up and takes action
- where tendencies hostile to culture become perceptible;
- where culture and cultural work are in danger of being exploited by (party) political interests to maximize populist votes;
- where culture and cultural work are subordinated and sacrificed to economic interests. The KUPF supports its member initiatives that are the basis and foundation of its work. The KUPF passes on its expertise to its member initiatives in all matters of cultural work. It provides active support when problems occur in cultural work and strives together with the member initiatives to improve the framework conditions.
The KUPF’s Tasks
The KUPF’s work rests on three pillars:
- Cultural Policies For the KUPF, cultural politics means: actively taking part in shaping cultural policies to ensure, improve and further develop regional cultural initiatives in all their diversity.
- Union The KUPF – Cultural Platform reacts quickly to legislative changes, focusing attention on the social contexts of self-determined cultural work. It supports cultural initiatives if problems occur in cultural work.
- Service & Consultation The KUPF is an expert in all issues of cultural work and passes this expertise on to its member initiatives. The member associations are the foundation of its work, the three pillars of the KUPF are based on their needs. The KUPF – Cultural Platform Upper Austria works on behalf of its member initiatives and their interests, building on their practice and experience!
With the social upheavals of the 70s and 80s (new social movements), groups and initiatives also emerged in Upper Austria that were concerned with culture and contemporary culture and with shaping their living environment themselves. According to the understanding of grassroots-oriented democratization and emancipation movements, these initiatives were primarily located in geographical, social and economic marginal areas. In the mid-80s an informal union of local and regional cultural initiatives led to the founding of the umbrella organization of cultural initiatives, the KUPF. Whereas the initial focus was on networking critical forces, the KUPF – Cultural Platform Upper Austria consequently became a representative and expert for socio-cultural work respected by politicians and cultural initiatives. One of the most significant achievements of a democratic cultural movement, which the KUPF sees itself as belonging to, was to raise the social status of contemporary cultural work. Since the mid-90s the KUPF has substantially expanded its representative function and places a strong emphasis on cultural work with socially disadvantaged groups. The sector of independent media work as a democratic, pluralist force meanwhile also assumes an important place in the field of the KUPF member initiatives, calling for an ongoing exploration and discussion of this topic on the part of KUPF. KUPF’s power to shape society derives from the member initiatives and their everyday regional and transregional work, contributing substantially to the development of contemporary art and cultural production, to democratization and to cultural participation. The KUPF – Cultural Platform Upper Austria works in their interests!
The diversity of the member initiatives reflects the broad scope of contemporary and socio-cultural work in Upper Austria. Their active intervention in and shaping of society, their questioning of existing structures is an important contribution to the emanicpatory development of the respective regions and an example of lived democracy. Membership in the KUPF – Cultural Platform Upper Austria is open to every Upper Austrian cultural initiative that meets the following criteria: * contemporary and future-oriented cultural work * conveys own productions and projects * conveys and enables contemporary art and culture * independent of regional authorities, political bodies and state institutions in subject matter and organization * independent of political parties and religious communities * in the public interest * democratic behavior * self-organization * positioned against ideological currents not in keeping with human dignity Applying for membership in the KUPF Upper Austria * informal application for membership in writing (email, fax, letter) accompanied by: bylaws, self-presentation and names of the board members * interview with a member of the KUPF staff * discussion of the application by the KUPF board
The KUPF is organized as an association. The most important decision-making body is the General Assembly of all member initiatives which meets at least once a year. New members are accepted at the General Assembly and the board members are elected. The General Assembly commissions the board members for one year. The board makes all political and strategic decisions during the working year. It consists of representatives from the member initiatives and experts from special political and social fields. The member associations are invited to take part in all meetings and conclaves of the board. The general manager appointed by the board is responsible for conducting organizational business, member services and preparing material for decisions to be made.