lunes, 27 de noviembre de 2017

Dr. Diane Dodd on Participatory Governance in Culture

IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies) supported the international conference Do It Together! Participatory Governance in Culture: Exploring practices, theories and policies, held in Rijeka, European Capital of Culture 2020, 22-24 November 2017. The event gathered scholars, researchers, theorists, cultural operators, artists, practitioners, activists, policy-makers, and decision makers from across the world and representing different cultural disciplines.


The UIC's lecturer and IFACCA’s Regional Coordinator for Europe, Dr. Diane Dodd chaired a panel entitled National responses to participatory agendas in culture. The session aimed to give an overview of contemporary national cultural policy rhetoric being developed across the world in relation to democratic participation in culture, institutional innovations and participatory agendas. The panellists included:  Dr. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia;  Adrian Maanka Chipindi, Director of the Arts Council of Zambia; Magnus Boström, Head of Division - Regional operations and monitoring at the Swedish Arts Council and Prof. Milena Dragićević Šešić - Head of UNESCO Chair in Studies of Interculturalism, Art and Cultural Management and Mediation in the Balkans, University of Arts in Belgrade.
A very rich discussion took place from the consideration that all forms of participation in the arts and culture are valid and essential.  With different drivers and roles, whether as audiences, or participants, it is important that diverse voices are able to challenge, provoke and inspire us all the time.
Nevertheless, we need to recognise that different structures and cultural codes show diverse forms of participation in decision making. It was clear from the panel that there is not a singular model that can fit all however there was a strong call for a toolkit of ideas on how to engage more meaningfully in participatory governance.
In conclusion, we need to continually work for a world in which arts and culture thrive and are recognised by governments and crucially peoples for their contribution to society.
Dr. Diane Dodd was further invited to join the final conference panel and noted that cultural context is key. “Participatory processes are ultimately about giving voice and listening. Creating a dialogue between those that make decisions regarding resources and support, those that create, those that will experience, and those that will respond to the creativity they experience is vital.  Sharing responsibility is one of the benefits of participation in governance processes, in the formulation of arts and cultural, therefore it is not only important, it is the astute way forward.”

viernes, 17 de noviembre de 2017



Professional Trip to Girona

Last Friday 10 November, the students of the University Master’s degree in Arts and Culture Management had a professional trip to the city of Girona




The students of the Master’s Degree had a complete schedule consisting on several visits and talks at different relevant cultural venues. The Spanish group of the Master visited L’Auditori de Girona, where they have a talk with Nacho Morera producer of this institution.
L’Auditori has a unique programming characterized by three axes: excellence and quality, internationality through renowned artists and “Catalanity” since they build partnership with local agents, composers and artists.

Later they visited the Cathedral of Girona, one of the most emblematic buildings in the gothic Catalan architecture. The tour was guided by the director of the Master, Dr. Marta Crispí. The Cathedral is characterized by its large dome that covers a nave of exceptional width. Inside there are singular and unique pieces preserved such as The tapestry of the Creation and the figure of San Charlemagne among others, as well as a Romanesque Cloister from the XIII century.

Meanwhile, the English group attended a session with the Girona Film Office regarding their experience with the shooting of Game of Thrones in Girona’s antique quarter. Laura Merino- coordinator of the Girona Film Office- developed on the strategical cultural programs they have implemented in relation to this experience.
Later, in the afternoon the students had a talk with Narcis Puig, artistic director of Temporada Alta, an international festival of performing arts and one of the most important in Spain.


Both groups visited the Museu d'Art de Girona where they had a talk with the director Carme Clusellas. Carme explained the management of the museum and she announced details about the new project of the Generalitat, the Mayoress and the Diputaciò: the opening of a new section of the museum that will collect and exhibit pieces of modern and contemporary art.


Despite the intense journey, the students did not miss the chance to enjoy lunch together and have a free tour around the city.
Thanks to all the institutions who welcomed us with open arms, thanks to the students and the teaching staff for the fun and the memorable trip!

lunes, 6 de noviembre de 2017

Where are our Alumni?: Marianne Kortbani: “I believe in culture and art as factors of social, political and economical development”


We are pleased to introduce you to Marianne Kortbani, alumni of the MA in Arts and Cultural Management, UIC Barcelona. Marianne is from Lebanon where she currently works in Zoukak theatre company. Last week she came back to Barcelona to visit her friends from the master’s degree and we interviewed her. Let's get to know more about her:


We know that you used to work in graphic design. Why were you interested in the cultural sector and what made you decided to study the MA in Cultural Management at UIC Barcelona?
I was working as an editorial designer in a publishing company, I found design to be very interesting and creative but always serving bigger ideas, products, projects… and in my case: books and publications. I became interested in producing and managing ideas, products and projects more than just designing and communicating them visually. That’s the reason why I decided to go into management and especifically into Cultural management since I was already in the cultural business (publishing house) and I believe in culture and art as factors of social, political and economical development.

After the MA in Arts and Cultural Management, you have worked as an intern in Interarts foundation for cultural cooperation in Barcelona. Tell us about this experience, what were your main tasks?  
I was an intern at Interarts Foundation for Cultural Cooperation between July 2016 and March 2017, I was mainly working as an assistant coordinator into a project called SouthMed CV, an EU funded project that targeted the region of the Southern Mediterranean and aimed to promote culture in that region as basic pillar of development, bringing culture from the margin to the center of social focus. SouthMed CV sub-granted 39 projects ranging between contemporary art, theatre, music, urban development, arts in public spaces, collective memory and heritage, and often treating social issues such as discrimination, gender equality, accessibility of culture etc. My main tasks were: coordinating the calls for applications, communication with applicants and sub-grantees, communication of the project on Social Media, producing content for the project website, and redacting narrative reports. This experience taught me a lot about managing projects, networking and communication, especially about grants management.

After your stay in Barcelona, you returned to Lebanon. How was that process to get your current position?  
When I returned to Lebanon, I was not familiarized with the cultural scene there, I was looking for a job, through my contacts gained during my internship at Interarts. I was introduced to a theatre company in Lebanon called Zoukak, they were  founded in 2006, they work mainly with social and political theatre, their work ranges between productions of plays, theatre-based psycho-social work, and they organise a performance art festival each year in Lebanon. I worked with them as stage manager and assistant director for one of their creations, which led me to work on another play with a Palestinian actress and writer, and now I started my role as Communications officer with Zoukak theatre company. I consider myself lucky to have met the right people at the right time, and such incredible people doing great working in my country and using theatre to express new visions and fight against social issues and political inequalities. In my case, networking was a big factor, I think it is very important in the cultural field to be open to meeting people and using your connections to find new interesting projects to work on.

Do you keep in touch with your classmates? Why are you visiting Barcelona?
Yes I keep in touch with many of my classmates, although we all live in different countries now, and few of them stayed in Barcelona. We still  keep in contact, in fact I am visiting Barcelona today because of my friends whom I met during the Master’s degree. I came to visit them and catch up like the good old times. One of the most important benefits of our Master’s Degree at UIC, other than the education and knowledge, is the bond we made together and meeting all these interesting people from international backgrounds, it really enriches you as a person.

As Cultural Manager, what would be your advice for the ones who have just started this new MA academic year?
My advice to the new students is to benefit from every opportunity this Master’s degree gives you, because there are many: whether the teachers, the study visits to all the cultural entities, and most importantly the group work and internship. You never know where it could take you! And of course enjoy it as much as you can!