ENCATC, the leading European network on cultural management and cultural policy education, held its 19th Annual Conference and General Assembly on 12 -14 October 2011 in Helsinki, Finland. Co organized by five Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (HUMAK, Metropolia, Novia, Mikkeli and Seinäjoki), and with the support of Cupore Foundation for Cultural Policy Research, TAKU Art and Culture Professionals Trade Union and To Culture With Love, this international event attracted over 300 participants from 39 countries.

The theme of the Conference “Forecasting Culture” was explored by three keynote speakers and cultural experts Dr Saara Taalas, Dr Katri Halonen and Dr Lidia Varbanova, who inspired constructive debates and provided valuable insight, fresh input and innovative ideas for cultural organisations to ride the waves of change.

Committed to stimulating cultural policy research, ENCATC put the spotlight on 2 young researchers during the ENCATC Annual Conference: Aleksandar Brkic (Serbia) from the University of Arts in Belgrade was awarded the 8th Cultural Policy Research Award worth €10,000, whilst Thomas Perrin (France) from PACTE-Grenoble University and IUEE-Barcelona received the first Mark Schuster Prize. Other research opportunities available at the ENCATC Annual Conference included the 5th Young Cultural Policy Researchers Forum as well as ENCATC’s 2nd Annual Research Session, an ideal platform for researchers both to present their recent work to a wide audience and to strengthen their research knowledge.

The 4th Annual meeting of each of ENCATC’s 8 Thematic Areas, including the newly created “Performing Arts Management”, were also held during the Annual Conference in Helsinki.  Participants attended study visits of six cultural organisations across the Finnish capital, where new creative activities, projects, or businesses which have succeeded in Helsinki were explored as sources of inspiration.

The Conference in Helsinki was also the opportunity to unveil the prototype of a major new initiative, the ENCATC Journal of cultural policy and cultural management, a new online tool aimed at stimulating the debate on the topics of cultural management and cultural policy among scholars, educators, policy makers and cultural managers. The Journal is based on a multidisciplinary perspective and aims at connecting theory and practice in the realm of the cultural sector.

During the 19th ENCATC General Assembly, ENCATC members were invited to elect the ENCATC Board for the next 2 years, and renewed their trust in Cristina Ortega Nuere, University of Deusto, Institute of Leisure Studies (Spain), ENCATC President, Gerald Lidstone, Goldsmiths University of London, Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (United Kingdom), ENCATC Vice-President, Blanka Chladkova, Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (Czech Republic), Treasurer, and Fabio Donato, University of Ferrara; MuSeC – Department of Economics, Institutions, Territory (Italy). The ENCATC membership elected Manuele Debrinay-Rizos from ENSATT Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Techniques du Théâtre (France), Jaakko Pitkanen, from Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (Finland), and Annick Schramme from the University of Antwerp/Antwerp Management School (Belgium) as ENCATC Secretary to replace Jacques Bonniel, Pia Strandman and Svetlana Waradzinova who had to leave for the end of their 6 years mandate.

Cristina Ortega Nueres, ENCATC President, announced that the 20th ENCATC Annual Conference will be taking place in September 2012 in London, UK. Next year’s Annual Conference will represent a milestone for ENCATC, as the network celebrates its 20th anniversary. Provisionally entitled “Cultural networking: Sustainable Strategies and Innovative Actions”, the theme for the 20th ENCATC Annual Conference will address European networks in the current context of globalisation and the challenges in the cultural arena.

More information about the main outcome of the conference?


Photos: Julius Töyrylä


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