ROBERT MANCHIN, PRESIDENT
Born in Budapest, where he attended the Bartok Conservatory of Music, the Liszt Academy of Music and the Marx University of Economics. Worked at the Hungarian Academy of Science as sociologist while playing in the State Philharmonic Orchestra. He studied and wrote books on youth musical protest movements and the long-term effects of music education in public schools. Spent several years teaching and doing research in American universities. Returning to Hungary before the regime change he organized samizdat publications including publishing the minutes of the transition parliament before the first free elections. Between 1990 and 2014 he fulfilled various top management positions at Gallup Organization in the US and in Europe leading a number of global research projects. As a professor at the College of Europe, developed a course to understand European social trends using survey and other data. During the summers he organize local musical events in Croatia and in the winters makes every effort to be present in his village council meetings in Hungary where he was elected as the Vice Mayor.
CRISTINA DA MILANO, VICE-PRESIDENT
Cristina holds a degree in Archaeology (University of Rome); the Diploma of Fine and Decorative Arts from Antiquity to 1450 (Royal Society of Arts, London); the MA in Museum Studies (Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester); the MA in Technological Instruments for the Economic Evaluation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage (University of Ferrara). From 1996 she is member of ECCOM (European Centre for Cultural Organisation and Management) and in 2010 she became president of it. She has been part of several research projects at a national and international level on the issue of the social role of museums and of lifelong learning processes within museums, subjects on which she has published several papers. She has also managed many European funded projects within the framework of the programmes Lifelong Learning 2007-2013, Culture 2007-2013 and Creative Europe programme. She lectures in many post-graduate courses and Masters. Since 2015 she is member of the board of Culture Action Europe.
ALEX MESZMER, VICE-PRESIDENT
Alex Meszmer is a visual artist, curator and a member of the National Committee of VISARTE – Association of Professional Artists, Switzerland. Meszmer works closely with IGBK Berlin as an expert for the European Commission for questions regarding artists’ mobility. He is Head of Fine Arts and Lecturer at the Art and Design School, St. Gallen. Together with his partner Reto Mueller, he is organising a digital archive about the Swiss village Pfyn, running the Transitory Museum, an ever-changing museum and searching for the beauty of democracy with their club ‘desirer’.
ANTONIO GUCCIARDO, TREASURER
Antonio is general manager of Interarts in Barcelona, a non-governmental organization specialized in international cultural co-operation since 2005. He is member of the commission for the adaptation to the European Space for Higher Education of the “European Master of Professional specialization, Inter-Mediterranean Mediation: Economic inversion and intercultural integration” (MIM) of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has worked in the information department of the Universal Forum of Cultures – Barcelona 2004, S.A and previously to the International Organization for Migration – Mission in Italy, coordinating office for the Mediterranean. He holds a PhD in Tourism Sciences (specialization in the economy of culture and cultural marketing), a Business Law degree, and a Master’s Degree in Inter-Mediterranean Mediation. During his career he has dabbled in publishing some articles in the following areas: Tourism, Migration, International Relations and Statistics.
Corinne is Coordinator of Michael Culture (Aisbl) since 2013, the European trans sectorial network for valorization of digital cultural heritage (public & private cultural institutions, ministries of Culture, Universities,…) since 2014.
Before she started to work full time for Michael Culture, Corinne worked also for Dédale (2013-2015) (Culture + social innovation + technology) as manager of European and International development within she developed 2 Creative Europe projects linked to art, culture – public spaces and empowerment of citizens and research projects linked to digital and social innovation.
Corinne is now in charge of coordination and development of Michael Culture and especially in charge of relation with ministries and relevant communities (culture, research, art, technology…) and she manages the European projects within the association is involved, mainly under H2020 program.
Elena Polivtseva is currently a Communication and Policy Manager at IETM, International network for contemporary performing arts, based in Brussels. This function entails communication with the network’s 500 members, external representation, and building relationships with other civil society sectors. She is also responsible for the analysis of the European Union’s cultural and other policies, as well as IETM’s advocacy strategy and actions at the EU level.
Elena is engaged in communication and advocacy activities of the European Alliance for Culture and the Arts, an initiative of 37 European networks, urging policy-makers to rethink the European approach and include culture and the arts in the long-term strategic goals of the European project. The areas in which the Alliance has been active include the MFF 2021-2027, EU Cohesion Policy, EU Strategy on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, among others.
Lars Ebert (*Heidelberg, Germany, 1976) is managing board member and programme co-ordinator of the cultural centre Castrum Peregrini in Amsterdam. He also works as an independent advisor in the area of higher education and the arts for clients such as the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) the primary network for Higher Arts Education in Europe for which he has previously served in various roles, a.o. as deputy director. Lars is co-founder and chair of the board of EQ-Arts, the first transnational sector specific accreditation agency for the arts. He has extensive expertise in developing and implementing EU funded projects and engages in organisational development, both on a strategic as well as on operational level as an external reviewer or critical friend. He is a frequent facilitator, moderator and speaker during international events. Lars holds a post-graduate degree in theology.
Noel Kelly is Chief Executive Officer of Visual Artists Ireland, Ireland’s representative body for visual artists. He is a fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), President of the International Association of Art Critics – Ireland (AICA Ireland), Chair of the Royal Dublin Society Visual Arts Awards, a board member of the International Association of Art Critics – International (AICA International) a member of IKT the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, a member of the British Society of Aesthetics, a board member of IVARO, Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation, a member of the Royal Dublin Society Arts Committee, and a member of The Institute of Directors of Ireland.
He is directly responsible for the delivery of the tri-annual report The Social, Economic, & Fiscal Status of the Visual Artist in Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland [UK]); the development and introduction of Payment Guidelines for Visual Artists (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland [UK]); the development of formal and informal international artist and information exchange with collaborations with organisation such as HIAP [Finland]; AN [UK]; Artquest [UK],CCI [France]; varied Pan-European visual arts programmes; and the creation of Ireland’s National Day for Visual Arts – Get Together.
Niels Righolt has been the Director for CKI – the Danish Center for Arts & Interculture. The centre is a national knowledge, competence and communication center for international culture and cultural diversity. Niels has a broad background and experience from more than 25 years in the arts field. He has worked as Head of Information, Producer, Artistic Director, Cultural Political Developer, Managing Director and Political Advisor within a variety of cultural institutions and organizations over the years, among others, as Managing and Artistic Director of the Dunkers Arts Centre in Helsingborg, Sweden, as Chief Curator and producer at Møstings Hus & Byggeriets Hus, Copenhagen and as co-founder of the intercultural magazine and communication bureau Cultures. At present Niels is a board member of among others the Audience Europe Network, the theatre Inkonst in Malmö, Sweden and Teatergrad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Niels has a background in Literature, Modern Culture & Cultural Communication and Spanish Culture & Language from the University of Copenhagen.
Simona Neumann is CEO for Timisoara 2021 – European Capital of Culture (Romania) since January 2013. She has successfully led the 4 year bidding process of the city for the European title. She has 19 years of professional experience in managing multi-stakeholder programmes in Romanian and international context in culture, education, public diplomacy, and civil society development.She worked at: the European Commission, Brussels; UNDP, Bucharest; the Institute for International Education, Washington, DC; the West University and the Intercultural Institute both in Timisoara. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Diplomacy (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj ) and specialized in strategic management of non-profit organisations at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
Yamam Al- Zubaidi has worked with EU equality law and human rights for more than 10 years, both in Sweden and internationally. He is today the Equality & Diversity Manager at the National Theatre of Sweden (RIKSTEATERN). Yamam is on the executive board of Culture Action Europe. He is also on the board of directors of the Swedish National Council of Adult Educations.