ECUMEST Association 9 August 2006
ECUMEST E-flash: August 2006


ECUMEST on-the-move

A series of changes took place within the ECUMEST team starting with June 2006. Oana Radu is currently programs coordinator of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. Oana Radu will continue to participate to the ECUMEST projects as an expert, taking part in its executive board, as member of the association. Aura Corbeanu withdrew from the position of executive director of ECUMEST at the beginning of June, remaining one of the founding members of the association. Stefania Ferchedau is currently securing the overall coordination of the ECUMEST programs, from the position of executive director. As always, ECUMEST will continute to work with many other collaborators for its ongoing projects.

In the following months, ECUMEST will increasingly shape as a network, exchange platform, resource of information and coordinator of studies and researches in the fields of expertise developed in the past years. The Policies for Culture programme, the e-bulletin, the other online publications, consultancy in the fields of fundraising, mobility, training in cultural cooperation and accompaniment to the artistic sector will continue to represent central activities of the association. We are counting on the support, collaboration and the ideas of all those being part of the ECUMEST network in Romania and abroad.


Projects, studies, publications

Following the training sessions organised starting with 2005, ECUMEST proposes for the end of August a new seminar open to Romanian cultural operators focusing on the theme Culture and local developement: the artist and the strategic project of the cultural organisation. The session will be held in Bucharest by Corina Suteu & Saviana Stanescu, in the framework of a project funded by the National Cultural Fund, whose first phase took place earlier this May. As a result of the training seminars organised throughout this year, ECUMEST will prepare an information and training publication in the field of cooperation and of cultural management, which will include part of the case studies presented in the frame of these sessions. The booklet will be available by the end of 2006. More details are available in Romanian at www.ecumest.ro.

Together with the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) - as initiator and coordinator - , Interarts Foundation (Barcelona) and SEE TV Exchanges (Brussels), ECUMEST is part of the project Active Citizens - Local Cultures - European Politics. Guide to Civic Participation in Cultural Policy-Making for European Cities. The project aims at collecting, analysing and disseminating evidence in the field of participative cultural policymaking in Europe. The planned activities include an inquiry and analysis of relevant practices, a working meeting of experts and practitioners in the field, the production and distribution of a TV programme and the production and dissemination of a guidebook. Results of the projects developed in the frame of the Policies for Culture programme will represent the focus of these materials, with Timisoara (RO), Zagreb (HR) and Zilina (SK) providing some of the background case studies. ECUMEST will coordinate the realisation of the guidebook resulting at the end of this process. The project is supported by the European Commission in the framework of the programme for the 'Promotion of Active European Citizenship' and runs between mid 2006 and mid 2007.

Following its participation to the process launched by the Berlin Conference for European Cultural Policy (November 2004), ECUMEST together with AltArt (Cluj) will develop in collaboration with 'A Soul for Europe' initiative (Berlin) and in partnership with CULT.BG Foundation (Sofia) the project Culture for Structural Development. The project aims at advocating culture as an agent of regional development in South East Europe and including it more strongly in EU policies, particularly in regional policies. The initiators intend to offer a platform of encounter and common reflection for a series of organisations active in the field of contemporary arts in SEE that would work as a think tank in a process of reflection, self-evaluation and critical analysis on the societal impact of their work. The results of this research and exchange process (to be undertaken over one-year period between 2006-2007) will be translated into policy recommendations, with the view to prove that culture - as illustrated by ongoing local projects in SEE - has a structural and strategic role in regional development, as well as for the EU policies. A development meeting inviting several SEE organisations and to which a series of MEP and members of 'A Soul for Europe' initiative will participate will be organised in Rousse (Bulgaria) on September 16-18, benefiting from the support of the Bulgarian Ministry of European Affairs. The overall coordination of the project is secured by the AltArt Foundation.

In the frame of the project From cultural diplomacy to cultural relations - the role of cultural agencies in the European integration process, ECUMEST is currently carrying out an applied research on the institutional structure, functioning, and policy of the cultural diplomacy and cultural cooperation agencies of the CEE countries. The study, which will be released by the end of 2006, aims to also identify whether specific policies are designed and action taken with regard to the EU integration objective. The research benefits from the support of the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam).

ECUMEST has finalised the distribution of the French edition of the Short guide to the Romanian cultural sector today, published in April 2006 with the support of the the French Embassy in Romania, the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - General Commissariat for the Francophonie, under the title "Guide du secteur culturel roumain. Un panorama en faveur de la coopération culturelle". The book was distributed free of charge at an international scale to a large number of cultural organisations, mainly from the francophone space. The updated English edition will be launched in autumn 2006, still with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute.