ERICarts European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research







Board Discusses ERICarts Research Strategy

Meeting in Amsterdam on 14 December 2012

All ERICarts Associates took part in a strategy debate of the Board of Governors, held at the Boekman Foundation in Amsterdam.

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An Inevitable "Clash of Civilisations"?

Three Approaches to Cultural Diversity

The ERICarts Institute hosted this workshop at the 2012 DW Global Media Forum in Bonn, June 25 - 27, a conference event visited by ca. 1,800 experts and journalists from all over the world. Speakers were ECURES-Board member Elka Tschernokoshewa and Fabian Jacobs - both work at the Department of Empirical Cultural Studies and Anthropology of the Sorbian Institute, Bautzen. Their main theses as well as their plea for policies and practices fostering "cohesive diversity" reflected findings of "Sharing Diversity", the 2008 ERICarts study for the European Commission. Bi-cultural and bi-lingual experiences at schools in the Lusatia Region, the main settlement area of the slavic Sorb minority in the eastern part of Germany provided food for thought and debates at the workshop.

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WorldCP, the global Compendium, launched in Melbourne

ERICarts an active participant in its development

The prototype of, a new international database of cultural policies and trends, has been launched on 3 October 2011 by IFACCA, the global network of arts councils and ministries of culture. With its country-specific profiles of cultural policies, WorldCP has been modelled on the Council of Europe / ERICarts Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe. At the launch, the Compendium community of practice was represented by Ritva Mitchell (ERICarts Institute / Cupore). Compendium and ERICarts webmaster Joerg Torkler has been one of the architects in the construction of the new site.

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After more than 12 Years with the ERICarts Institute, Danielle Cliche takes over new position at UNESCO HQ in Paris

Danielle has been involved in most of the ERICarts activities since 1996 as a senior expert, research coordinator or project leader. This includes, but is not limited to a series of projects for the EU (e.g. "Pyramid or Pillars", "Culture Biz" or "Sharing Diversity"), the prominent Council of Europe/ERICarts Compendium information and monitoring system on "Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe", or the "Creative Europe" Report funded by the Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation (NEF). In Spring and Summer 2009, her final task at the Institute has been the coordination of a global empirical survey on "Achieving Intercultural Dialogue through the Arts and Culture?" for IFACCA.

In November 2009, Danielle has taken up her new position at UNESCO, where she is now Chief of Section, Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Her vast experience and never ending dedication to the work of the ERICarts Institute will be deeply missed. On the other hand, ERICarts' Board of Governors and staff are proud of this perfect choice for an important position in the domain of international cultural cooperation.

Compendium goes international

Decisive steps towards the launch of a global Internet information and monitoring system on cultural policies and trends based on the Council of Europe/ERICarts COMPENDIUM experience were taken September 5 at a preparatory meeting of different stakeholders in Brussels. Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of IFACCA (upper picture), explains the intended "federal" structure which foresees national profiles written by experts in collaboration with governments; regional coordination, quality control and funding assistance by IGOs, foundations and/or networks; and an international exchange and capacity building platform to be provided by IFACCA with the support of the ERICarts Institute, where the results of these exercises will be orchestrated. In the spirit of the OPEN COMPENDIUM initiative, some important steps towards internationalisation had been taken earlier, including e.g. successful implementations of the country profile grid in 8 Arab States and in Australia.

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Gruesome Act of Violence at the ERICarts Institute

In line with old Rhineland traditions, Executive Director Andreas Wiesand was forced to surrender his symbol of male dignity to ERICarts intern Sari Asikainen on Womens' Carnival day ("Weiberfastnacht"), 11 February 2010. Our picture includes Office Manager Olivier Göbel and Compendium Webmaster J Torkler (in the back) who, having escaped the massacre, did not hide their malicious glees.
As usual, this strange ritual could also find different interpretations: maybe it was simply a rehearsal for the inauguration ceremony of the European Folk Cultures Survey, the ERICarts Institute is now conducting together with its new partner organisation Boekman Foundation, Amsterdam (Boekmanstichting).

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Culture and EU Structural Funds: a success story?

New study finds opportunities and deficits

Together with the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES), the ERICarts Institute conducted a study for the European Commission on the "Contribution of Culture to Local and Regional Development as part of European Cohesion Policy". In an effort to involve as much practical experience from the field as possible, over 80 case studies were collected and edited by the Institute (in charge: Olivier Göbel), several of them also by ERICarts' partners Péter Inkei and János Szabó (BudObs).
Over 100 experts involved in culture-based projects, officials responsible for developing or applying cultural or Structural Fund policies or people with a particular interest in how cultural activities impact on the economy and society participated in the study by either
- Providing information on cultural projects that have received EU Structural Funding and were successful or innovative; or 
- Attending a Seminar in Brussels which examined trends and evidence from projects funded over both the 2000-06 and the current programming periods.

The study, led by Mike Coyne (CSES), resulted in a number of conclusions and tools. At the ERICarts Institute, methodological and content input was coordinated by Andreas Wiesand who also presented some of the results and additional information on the issue at different European conferences.

Study on "Mobility Incentives for Cultural Professionals in Europe" submitted to EU-Commission

The study of the ERICarts Institute for the EU-Commission focuses on programmes and schemes supporting or influencing the mobility of cultural professionals in Europe.  The project began in April 2008, the final report was submitted in October 2008. The study was coordinated by Andreas Wiesand and Danielle Cliche with the assistance of Olivier Goebel; it is based mainly on existing resources, on information gained from national correspondents in the 35 participating countries, and on the contributions of six key experts: Suzanne Capiau, Rod Fisher, Ilkka Heiskanen, Dorota Ilczuk, Ritva Mitchell and Dimitrije Vujadinovic. The study and additional material can be found on the website - the Executive Summary in English, French and German can also be downloaded here.

European Approaches to Cultural Diversity

In preparation for the 2008 UNESCO World Report on Cultural Diversity, the ERICarts Institute assembled information and data on how cultural diversity is interpreted in national cultural policy frameworks and structures in Europe. Country specific information can be found online through the Council of Europe/ERICarts: Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 8th edition, 2007.

More information on the goals, the proposed conceptual framework and the main activities leading to the realisation of the 2008 UNESCO World Report is available from the UNESCO website. It provides a list of the members of the advisory committee of experts and board of governors responsible for the report.

The Status of Artists in Europe

In 2006, the ERICarts Institute has produced a comparative study for the European Parliament on the economic and social frameworks for artists in Europe, with particular emphasis placed on mobility issues.  The study identified common challenges facing artists with regard to labour, tax and social security legislation and innovative measures which countries have adopted to help artists overcome these challenges.  Members of the research team were:  Suzanne Capiau, Danielle Cliche, Vesna Čopič, Ritva Mitchell and Andreas Wiesand. 

The study is available for download in English and in French. An additional paper was prepared by team member Suzanne Capiau on "Mobilitť des artistes et securitť sociale".

In 2007/2008, the study has fuelled debates and proposals on the situation of artists and the mobility of cultural professionals in the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. 

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Intercultural Dialogue

As a preparation for the 4th IFACCA World Summit on Arts and Culture in Johannesburg, the ERICarts Institute contributed the survey Achieving Intercultural Dialogue through the Arts and Culture? Concepts, Policies, Programmes, Practices. The report mapped views from all parts of the world and collected cases of good practice on the (potential) role of intercultural dialogue in arts policies.
More recently, ERICarts Executive Director Andreas Wiesand advised the UN Alliance of Civilisations during the preparation and evaluation of its Global Forum in Doha: Intercultural Dialogue to Boost Development as well as the Culture Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) - cf. his paper Turning Intercultural Action into Policies.

Project Websites

bullet point Gender Research

bullet point Culture-Gates

bullet point Creative Europe

bullet point Cultural Policies in Europe

bullet point Intercultural Dialogue

bullet point Mobility Matters


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