“I have known Lidia Varbanova for over 15 years and throughout this time she has always impressed me with her depth of vision in cultural policy and cultural management matters. She has extraordinary international knowledge, vision and experience that add sparks of brilliance in every challenge she undertakes. I first met Lidia through the network Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe where she was very quickly elected to the board. I have re-met Lidia on many occasions and she has never failed to amaze me with her energy and commitment to the field. Recently I edited Lidia’s book on strategic planning in cultural management which I have to say is an excellent piece of work and another testament to her vast knowledge.” (January 2010)Diane Dodd http://www.connectcp.org/DianeDodd
European Liaison Officer IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies) —————————–
“I have known Dr. Lidia Varbanova for nearly 15 years and have the privilege to design and develop with her a number of large scale projects at European and international level. During all these years of fruitful cooperation she impressed me for her strong competence to build partnerships at international and European level; to analyse a situation; to identify and formulate objectives; to develop a work plan, and implement it efficiently, even in situation of tight deadlines and multiple demands. Moreover, Lidia multicultural background education, her skills and creativity, together with her strong teaching capacity are very much appreciated by several members of ENCATC, a cultural and education lively European network where Lidia has served as a board member and Vice President. In addition, Lidia is a hard working person, a fantastic colleague and has always shown eagerness to help. It is a real pleasure and asset to have her as a part of our external working team!!” (March 2010)Giannalia Cogliandro Beyens Secretary General European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC) Brussels, Belgium
“Lidia Varbanova has participated in several seminars and conferences connected to our major European project SEAS, which focuses on arts and urban re-invention, especially in harbour cities. Her deep experience with cultural policy and management questions combined with her personal qualities as speaker and mentor has made her an essential part of the SEAS program. Her short and intense masterclasses in international cultural cooperation, strategic planning, entrepreneurship and project leadership are always greatly appreciated by the participants. Her capacity to connect cultural issues with social development makes her an invaluable member of our ongoing SEAS team.” (June 2010)Chris Torch
Artistic Director and CEO
Intercult, Stockholm, Sweden —————————— “Driven by an impressive knowledge for economics and post-communist realities, as well as being an excellent trainer and expert in strategy, management, entrepreneurship and fundraising, but also a recognized art specialist, Lidia Varbanova is one of the few professors and consultants from Europe capable of mixing the proactive capacities with a rigorously scientific based approach. Very active during the last 20 years in all aspects related to networking and partnership, capacity building and international expertise , Lidia was a member of numerous specialized boards in Europe. She actively participated in Europe to the implementation of cross cultural projects linked to creative cultural management. Her stellar participation in ENCATC, Policies for Culture, IETM, Culture Action Europe, CIRCLE network, were a clear added value to the quality of these organizations and networks with international scope.
Her dedication, passion and rigueur are stunning, and her witty presence is always both a delight and a learning opportunity.” (June 2010)
“I’ve known Lidia Varbanova for nearly ten years and have collaborated with her in numerous occasions, related to research and practical projects. Our latest collaboration dates from 2009 when my organisation invited Lidia Varbanova as a senior expert on cultural policy to contribute in a study on the Access of Young People to Culture (EACEA, European Commission). As always, she demonstrated academic and conceptual excellence; great capacity of analysis and synthesis and sublime professional vigour. It is always a great pleasure to collaborate with Dr. Varbanova and I am looking forward to working with her again soon.” (August 2010)
Annamari Laaksonen Programme Coordinator Interarts Foundation Barcelona, Spain
“Professor Lidia Varbanova was our lecturer at the MA Program at the University of Arts in Belgrade (UNESCO chair of Cultural Policy and Management. We were impressed by her positive attitude, interactive teaching approach and use of practical examples and case studies. She helped us in constructing a clear picture of management options, problems and solutions related to the cultural sector and beyond.
Prof. Varbanova is not only internationally recognized expert: she is a wonderful person, with warm and honesty in her communication, willing to help and share, assist and advice. I was fortunate to have her as an academic mentor for my MA thesis: Innovative Tools in Marketing in Arts and Culture: Their potential and use with the case study of classical music. The ssupport and kindness which she gave me during the process of developing the MA thesis helped me to complete and graduate successfully.
What Prof. Varbanova gave me was more than knowledge and examples; she gave me guidance and a direction, inspiration, on the professional path which I am now proudly taking. I have to add that I still use the notes from her classes, I haven’t found any other clearer and more straight forward source of information and knowledge, whether it is related to financial issues, fundraising, project management, surveys or other mile-stones of cultural management, or management as a whole. So, thank You, Lidia, for becoming such an essential part of my personal and professional development.” (November 2010)Marija Gajic Former MA student, University of Arts Belgrade, Serbia