DCAI acts as a ‘centre of the mind’ or think-tank for the intercultural transformation of the cultural sector, rather than as a physical public space of meeting, although it is housed in a centre of global culture and world music. Its aim is to create a national platform which reflects the diversity of Danish society in the cultural sector, by building intercultural competence. The means to achieve this are through working with partners to make the presence felt of a new generation of Danish artists of immigrant background, who have grown up on the periphery of the five major cities of Denmark.
DCAI is seeking to change the structures of representation so that the life experience of the migrant suburbs is fully reflected in the culture which remains dominated by the rural popular or urban high culture. It has canvassed migrants in the suburbs to gather their stories and images and encouraged the national theatres to widen their repertoire by engaging in co-productions and partnerships with artists of immigrant background. It also argues for them to increase access to broaden the audience in their own self-interest.
DCAI was established as Project Brændstof by the County of Copenhagen in 1999. From 2007 - 2010 the Centre was funded by the Ministry of Culture in a specific and temporary governance structure. From 2011 DCAI has been a 'self-governed' private run NGO.
The goal of DCAI is to enable full and equal participation of individuals and communities from all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Danish cultural life and to assist in the elimination of any barriers to such participation. DCAI promotes cultural diversity by strengthening the capacity of cultural industries to produce and distribute goods and services and helping them gain access to domestic and international markets.
The centre aims to cooperate with any organisations involved in the creative sector and supports initiatives that take inspiration from the interchange of ideas and techniques among individual artists from diverse backgrounds. DCAI’s approach encourages and aims to improve access to knowledge between cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in the context of globalisation. DCAI gives special attention to building the capacities of stakeholders and decision-makers in the management of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.