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Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter REPORT

PROGRAMME Engaging with Audiences: Cultural Professionals from Belgium and the UK Share Ideas and Good Practice Date: Friday 22 October 2010 from 10:00 to 14:00, including networking lunch. Venue: BOZAR (hall Terarken), entrance via rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Brussels 09.30 – 10.00 Welcome & coffee 10.00 – 11.00 Introductory session: British Council and CLI ● Welcome and introduction, Canan Marasligil ● What is Cultural Leadership International? Canan Marasligil Followed by CLI participants Lissa Kinnaer and Vincent Van den Bossche sharing their experience of professional development. 11.00 – 11.20 Coffee break 11.20 – 13.20 Presentations and discussions: moderated by Canan Marasligil • International collaborations: from bilateral partnerships to curating beyond nationalities, a view from the Whitechapel Gallery, Sophie Hayles. • Engaging with audiences: a view from the Scottish Poetry Library, Peggy Hughes. • Creating audience interactions in public spaces with mobile media, Duncan Speakman •

Interactive discussion led by Canan Marasligil

13.20 – 14.00 Networking lunch PARTICIPANTS Present: Mesut Arslan, Mark Baldwin, Michael Creek, Geneviève Damas, Xavier Flament, Colin Fraser, Sophie Hayles, Toon Horsten, Peggy Hughes, Amaryllis Jacobs, Lissa Kinnaer, Julia Kofler, Jacqueline Kraus, Kim Leroy, Katri Mäenpää, Andrew Manning, Canan Marasligil, Stéphanie Masuy, Nicola Mullenger, Alok Nandi, Quinten Peelen, Virginie Roy, Duncan Speakman, Björn Stenvers, 1

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Vincent Van den Bossche, Karlien Vanhoonacker, Koen Van Rompaey, Owen Wainhouse, Anick Xhrouet Excused: Bozena Coignet, Roel Daenen, Mieke Deceuninck, Martin Hope, Joanna de Jong-Keogh, Sylvie de Weeze, Pablo Fernandez, Vincent Thirion, Veerle Vanderleen CONTEXT & RATIONALE FOR THE INNOVATORS GROUP Global Background In May 2009 the British Council began the project Cultural Leadership International (CLI), to engage with partners in countries across the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States. The cultural sector has a unique and vital role to play, both in rebuilding the world economy and strengthening international collaboration. By nurturing creativity and innovation, the cultural sector contributes immensely to economic development, but this is seldom recognised. As a cultural relations organisation, the British Council realises the value of investing in cultural activity, and in particular the need to invest in the best and most innovative individuals to lead the sector. The CLI project is about identifying those individuals and developing them into the next generation of international cultural leaders, creating the links that will allow them to share knowledge, and establishing relationships that will encourage cross-border understanding for years to come. Benelux Background Early in the CLI project, the British Council worked with Flagey, the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, and the Van Gogh Museum, as authoritative organisations to help identify nominees for the project. The CLI project is being delivered in both Belgium and in the Netherlands, with Mark Baldwin focusing on the Netherlands and Canan Marasligil focusing on Belgium. STRUCTURE Customised to meet the unique and distinct needs of the cultural sectors in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Benelux Innovators Group is organised into two chapters: one in Belgium and one in the Netherlands. The Netherlands chapter will meet two times per year to address themes proposed by the members themselves. The inaugural meeting of the Netherlands chapter took place in Amsterdam on 5 March 2010 and the second one on 24 September in The Hague (reports are available). The first meeting of the Belgium chapter took place on 22 October 2010 in Brussels. A second meeting is planned to take place before 31 March 2011.


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Engaging with Audiences: Cultural Professionals from Belgium and the UK Share Ideas and Good Practice This first Benelux Innovators Group meeting in Belgium gathered 30 professionals from the cultural sector across Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK to share best practice and ideas on engaging with audiences and working collaboratively from an artistic, curatorial and communications point of view.

The British Council and the Arts

In the first session, focussing on the British Council’s current strategy for the arts, Canan Marasligil highlighted large-scale projects the organisation is currently delivering in the Benelux like Cultural Leadership International and New Work New Audiences. The British Council recognises the role of culture in social enrichment, and takes a practical approach in contributing to this. Projects are always designed and delivered with external partners, and it is envisaged that the Innovators Group will generate some future collaborations. The British Council is particularly interested to present emerging British artworks (visual, performing, literary, musical, etc) to new audiences in the Benelux, and also to make the UK more porous to work from the Benelux. Members of the Innovators Group are therefore invited to suggest practical ways of introducing new art from the UK to new audiences in the Benelux, and vice versa.

Cultural leadership

Lissa Kinnaer and Vincent Van den Bossche triggered discussions with a short account of their Cultural Leadership International (CLI) journeys. Lissa explained how the overall aim of her individual development plan was to enrich herself, expend her field of knowledge and expertise. The CLI programme was a great opportunity to think about cultural leadership, develop her own leadership style, learn new skills and develop an international network. In order to learn new skills and improve her strengths and weaknesses, Lissa attended a CLORE course in the UK. The CLORE programme enabled her to perceive her own skills in a new and different way. Lissa realised that one can improve herself by adapting her behaviour and habits. As part of her CLI international work experience, she chose to go to Beirut to learn more about the Lebanese cultural and artistic scene. She also went to Amsterdam and London to meet with various cultural leaders. Vincent explained how he has started crossing the border to speaking French thanks to the working relationship he is building with Théâtre de L’L (French speaking) in Brussels. Taking opportunities to be at L’L more regularly, he worked in team with Michele Braconnier and Olivier Hespel on all artistic issues and was fully involved in all aspects of the organisation. CLI has thus enabled him to develop new opportunities within his career as a performing arts professional within Belgium but also internationally. 3

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Dutch CLI fellows Quinten Peelen and Björn Stenvers added their perspectives. Quinten Peelen, 2009 CLI fellow, spoke about how is role in directing the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, and leading the City of Utrecht’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2018, has taught him the value of “just going for it”. Quinten’s role has required him to “share the stage with others”, which has resulted in more effective partnerships and sense of cooperation. Björn Stenvers, 2010 CLI fellow, has shared the positive aspects of the shadowing exercises he has been doing since he started CLI: professional exchange with Nick Merriman in Manchester (a report is available) and visits to various countries to learn about other ways of working. All four CLI participants agreed on the importance of building an international network and that CLI has helped them achieving this. The term leadership is not perceived the same way in all countries. In Belgium, leadership in the cultural sector is sometimes considered taboo, where the term has an overly assertive tone unsuitable in not-for-profit activities. It was agreed that cultural leadership was bound to differ between countries, where local conditions inform and impact upon methods used. Differing value systems of the leaders concerned would also have impact upon how they lead.


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Engaging with audiences Three professionals from the UK share their views from a curatorial, communications and artistic point of view. A view from the Whitechapel Gallery, London By Sophie Hayles Sophie Hayles voiced the particular concerns of drawing local audiences to your space, pertinent to the Whitechapel Gallery in light of its original didactic and site-specific mission to ‘bring great art to the people of the East End of London.’ Sophie also highlighted the importance of building international partnerships and the important role of building networks, like the innovators group, emphasising that whatever online possibilities there are, “face to face meeting is invaluable”. Sophie questioned if cultural institutions should be programming for audiences and on the concept of free admission. “People who pay spend more time at the museum, what does it mean?” One of the important roles of the Whitechapel Gallery is to present new artists, both from the UK and international, to British audiences. Another is showing work that is usually not shown to the public (from private collections or public collections not yet shown to the public). When talking about commissioning and education programmes, Sophie emphasised again that the programme at the Whitechapel Gallery is artistically driven: “Identifying people for a certain group is not what we do; we focus on the progress rather than the outcome.” She explained that educational work doesn’t take place in the gallery but mostly offsite. Engaging with audiences locally can be tricky, even if being committed to social funding is important; there is still organisational responsibility towards that, whether for funding or ethical reasons. What does it mean to be local? When emphasising the importance of the quality of the work shown, Sophie added, “The audience comes through our doors, but it's always about the work.” Stephanie Masuy shared some of the Brussels Museum Council projects like Museum Night, which encourage collaborations between various museums across the city to attract audiences to the different museums. Kim Leroy shared the view from his exhibition space, La Venerie, which is a local, small exhibition room in Watermael-Boisfort (South of Brussels). The gallery does have a mediation role between audience and contemporary art. WatermaelBoisfort is a rich part of the city but, Kim explains that it is still difficult to attract the local audiences and that low local visitor numbers could affect the programming in different ways. 5

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Björn shared his view, saying that, in order to strengthen their audience engagement Amsterdam Historical Museum has recently been considering the question: “why should we be there at all? What would the people of Amsterdam miss if we would close?” He then explained that the museum possesses a rich collection about the history of Amsterdam that is important to showcase, and that cities have a right to access their heritage, which museums have a duty to preserve. Amaryllis Jacobs shared the difficulty for the KVS to work in its current neighbourhood in the very heart of Brussels, while in the past; it has been a landmark of its previous location. Being in the city centre, they have more difficulty engaging with their audiences, “Our old audiences don't come back.” Being in a particular neighbourhood does influence audiences. Mesut Arslan added his view from his working with the Toneelhuis, artistic cell inside the KVS. The starting point is totally different for both institutions; the city is the starting point at the KVS whereas at the Toneelhuis, it is artistic. Many members of the Benelux Innovators Group have a coordination role in linking different organisations and institutions they closely work with or for, like Andrew Manning for ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation), Michael Creek for Ecsite (European Network of Science Centres and Museums), or Lissa Kinnaer (Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles). A view from the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh By Peggy Hughes Peggy explained that at the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL), their mission statement in the broadest possible sense is to bring people and poetry together. Peggy has been doing this using whatever means possible: in person, via their websites, at festivals, by organising events and through Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and blogging. SPL has 1,966 friends on Facebook and 3,181 followers on Twitter. Their podcasts average 3,000 downloads per month, and their blog receives 1,000 visitors per week. They’re using free social media platforms to bring poetry to 9,000+ people that they may not have reached otherwise. “For a Scottish organisation tucked away down a close in Edinburgh, this cannot be a bad thing!” SPL uses Facebook and Twitter to engage with interested people; their online audiences include readers, writers, borrowers, people based in Edinburgh, people based thousands of miles away; publishers of poetry, large and small; organisations like themselves (Poetry Foundation, Chicago; Poets House, New York; Poetry Society, London); partner organisations, organisations that are nothing like SPL.


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter SPL’s online audiences are highly diverse: “we know a lot of our online audiences personally, but equally, there are many of them we’ve never met. Some of them have come to visit the library from afar, having first ‘met’ us online; it’s especially lovely when this happens” says Peggy. “We talk to them about all kinds of poetry, seeing our role not solely in promoting our own work, but in aggregating poetry news that we think they’d find interesting and encouraging debate and discussion. We mix this with library news, giveaways, discount offers and noting small everyday things we glimpse while working in the Scottish Poetry Library: the cakes we eat (we love cakes); the nice things people say; the weather outside.” Peggy also explained the role of social media in facilitating encounters with new people: “by being informative, engaging and engaged, and interested in what your audiences like, you can generate a relationship of mutual value, not merely a soapbox from which to sell your wares!” SPL is therefore one good example using social media in building relationships; “by opening your organisation up to that, you encourage and enable two way conversational traffic and engage with individuals on their level of interest, and in so doing eventually bring your work into their everyday.”

The Scottish Poetry Library, as is often the stereotype attached to libraries, has in the past been seen as a formal environment; out of the way physically, a silent and somewhat serious space. Social media offers the perfect platform to show that this isn’t the case, and to engage vibrantly with different demographies. For people far away who nonetheless enjoy SPL’s work, social media is invaluable, a ticker tape of their activity – photos, audio, quotes, books – constantly keeping them informed! Social media allows bringing content to people, rather than waiting for them to come to us, and this goes for both existing audiences and potential ones. Peggy also emphasised the fact that social media is complementary to the work they’ve been doing for 26 years, that it is a new platform for engagement. It provides an ideal place for sharing and a space to create a community prior to an event – generating discussion about what’s coming up and sharing opinions, photos and audio of the event after it’s over. It isn’t a replacement for traditional methods though, as it’s important to respect our existing demography and maintain the ways of communicating which they favour and expect. “For instance, while we promote our events using Facebook and Twitter, we continue to produce and post out a print programme too; our events feedback suggests that many attendees still hear about our events via traditional print marketing methods – our printed programme, newspapers and magazine listings. There’s still a strong base of people who enjoy our print, and we wouldn’t deny them that pleasure or alienate them because aren’t online.” Also read Peggy’s blog post about the Benelux Innovators Group meeting on the Scottish Poetry Library blog:


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Poetry Library & Facebook: SPL Scotland Twitter: @ByLeavesWeLive Flickr: scotpoetlib Alok Nandi, active as an artist and designer, explained that he launched the first Pecha Kucha Night events in Brussels ( as part of {creativity*conversation} series, also a great way to engage with wide audiences through innovative ideas. Pecha Kucha, meaning chit chat in Japanese, is a series of show-and-tell evenings for designers, architects, artists and creatives, started by Klein Dytham architecture in Tokyo in 2003 and now in 300 and plus cities worldwide. Xavier Flament explained how integrating social media in addition to existing promotional material of BOZAR has helped sharing more information in a new way, helping creating engagement with wider audiences. Nicola Mullenger has presented the different online platforms created by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF): Labforculture and Rhiz. Labforculture ( is “a networking platform for information on European arts and culture”. Nicola explained that as part of Labforculture, ECF works with and for artists, arts and culture organisations and networks, cultural professionals and audiences in 50 countries of Europe, as well as providing a platform for cultural cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world. The platform offers access to up-to-the-minute information and to encourage the cultural sector to become more experimental with online technologies. Another platform created by ECF is (, more suited for artists and creative practitioners. As it is stated on the website, Rhiz is “an intercultural meeting place developed to give its members an easy and fun environment for communicating and collaborating with each other. It takes its name from a botanical term, rhizome, meaning ‘a usually underground, horizontal stem of a plant that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes’ (Wikipedia). The term is used metaphorically in the social sciences and new media to describe social structures that are non-hierarchical, non-centralised, self-regulating, and formed peer-to-peer.”


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter A view from an artist By Duncan Speakman Duncan Speakman meanwhile explained how he has used the concept of a subtlemob to bring audiences into a shared, public experience using music and dialogue to ‘make films without cameras’. What’s a subtelmob? Maybe you've seen a flashmob on the internet, where a group of disparate people come together in a tightly choreographed public performance and then fade back into the crowd. Subtelmob is a new movement based on the flashmob theory but it's far more subtle. Duncan presented his subtelmob “as if it were the last time” the day before the Innovators Group meeting, in Ghent and explained that it was a big success with hundreds of participants. Audiences were invited to download an MP3 and turn up at a secret location to listen to the track at a specified time. On the soundtrack the audience would hear the composed soundtrack along with narration and instructions. Two MP3 files were made available, so the audience were divided in half. While one group was instructed to perform a simple scene the other group heard this described as if it were a film scene, but they could actually see it happening around them. Throughout the piece these roles of watcher/performer alternated between the groups, ever increasing in pace until by the end they are all performing/watching simultaneously. Through the subtelmobs, Duncan explores ideas of how mobile technology can create social disconnection in shared public spaces. It also looks for ways to use those same technologies to create connections between strangers and friends, to savour the moment and the temporary space that was created during the performance. More information on the subtelmob can be found on All participants were invited to submit further comment to the Innovators Group by email, and to highlight any cultural initiatives where they sought input from the Group. Alternatively, contact could be made directly with Canan Marasligil at The next Benelux Innovators Group meeting in Belgium will take place in spring (before 31 March 2011). The innovators group members have been invited to suggest a venue to host the next meeting.


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter

PARTICIPANTS BIOGRAPHIES & CONTACT DETAILS Mesut Arslan Artistic Director Festival 0090 – Mark Baldwin Project manager Benelux Region, British Council Netherlands. Manager of the CLI project and Benelux Innovators Group in the Netherlands. Michael Creek Michael Creek is Projects Coordinator at Ecsite, the European Network of Science Centres and Museums, in Brussels. Ecsite brings together science communication professionals from 400 museums across Europe. He has developed and manages a number of collaborative projects linking museums across Europe, and he has a particular interest in art and science. He studied in Edinburgh, where he was a founding editor of the free festival magazine Fest. Geneviève Damas After receiving her degree in law from the University of Louvain, Geneviève follows training in acting at the IAD-Théâtre and at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. From then on, she works in different areas of theatre, including acting, directing and writing. She’s worked with people like Valérie Cordy, Christian Crahay, Pascale Tison, Frédéric Haëtty, Laure Delcampe, JeanClaude Berutti, Philippe Sireuil, Pietro Pizzuti and Jacques Delcuvellerie. She was artist in residence at the Théâtre de L’L in Brussels from May 2000 to June 2003. Since 1999, she’s been organising the literary events Portées-Portraits, now hosted at Passa Porta. Among the plays she has written are Molly à vélo for which she was awarded the Prix du Théâtre 2004 for best playwright and was also the “coup de cœur des Lycéens de Loire-Atlantique” in 2006. Her other plays, L’épouvantable petite princesse and Molly au château, are published by Lansman publishers. In 2008, she was commissioned to write a play for young people, entitled Voleurs d’eau. Geneviève also organises workshops for young people in schools. Her latest play, STIB has just been awarded the Prix littéraire du Parlement de la Communauté française. Xavier Flament – twitter: @XUM_ Editor – Coordinateur de la rédaction – Redactie Coördinator, BOZAR 10

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Colin Fraser – twitter @anonpoetry Colin Fraser is a social media consultant who specialises in literature and the arts. He has worked recently with Edinburgh International Book Festival, StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, Scottish Poetry Library and Culture Sparks, as well as advising on the use of social media for various organisations in the UK. Sophie Hayles Sophie joined London’s Whitechapel Gallery as External Relations Officer in January 2010. Her role is a mixture of advocacy, fundraising, and building local, national and international relationships for the Gallery. Prior to this Sophie worked in a freelance capacity as Project Consultant to the London Festival of Azerbaijani Arts, and on the British Council’s creativity portfolio in the Near East and North Africa. This included managing the British Council’s Cultural Leadership International programme for the region, having coordinated the global research phase for the programme across Europe and the Middle East. For two years Sophie held the post of Arts Manager in British Council Brussels, and prior to that was Gallery Assistant in a start-up gallery in London: ROLLO Contemporary Art. Toon Horsten Since 2006 Toon Horsten is the director of the Strip Turnhout-comics festival and editor in chief of Stripgids, the leading Flemish magazine on comics. Next to that he writes on literature for De Standaard and Knack. His first book, 'Het geluk van de lezer', was published in the spring of 2010 (Linkeroever/Houtekiet-publishers). Toon studied English and Dutch at the universities of Leuven and Leiden, worked in the University Library in Leuven, and as an editor for Gazet van Antwerpen. From 2000 to 2006 he was responsible for the programmation of de Warande in Turnhout, an important Flemish arts centre. There he not only staged 100 to 150 productions a year, but also worked as an executive producer for cd's and books by a.o. Robin Verheyen, Jef Neve, Stefan Brijs, Leen Huet and Chika Unigwe. He was a founding member of Het Convent vzw, an organisation that took care of the restauration of the beguinage of Hoogstraten. (The restauration won the Europa Nostra Award, The Henry Ford Conservation Award, and The Flemish Heritage Award. The beguinage has since then been recognized as Unesco World Heritage.) Peggy Hughes – twitter: @ByLeavesWeLive Peggy is from Northern Ireland and studied English Literature at the University of St Andrews. She arrived at the Scottish Poetry Library in December 2007 via StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and several second-hand bookshops. She also reviews books, is the programme director of the West Port Book Festival, deputy editor of Anon Poetry Magazine and is currently working on a new project, the Electric Bookshop, due to launch in October. She currently manages events and communication matters within the Scottish Poetry Library, with particular interest in inter-disciplinary collaboration and the role of social media and technology in the book industry. Amaryllis Jacobs Amaryllis Jacobs studied history and theatre sciences. She started her career at the Centre for Fine Arts (CFA), Brussels, in 1999. She was responsible for the 11

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter communication of the music department for 4 years. When the CFA became BOZAR, she collaborated in the launch of this new cultural brand, which became a true reference in cultural communication strategies. After the launch of this brand, she founded the BOZAR STUDIOS, the education department of the house. BOZAR STUDIOS brought families, schools, youngsters and socio-cultural groups to the exhibitions, concerts and festivals of BOZAR. In 2006 Amaryllis became studio manager of the Brussels branch of Basedesign, an international graphic design group, specialized in brand identities for cultural projects and institutions. She led the studio during 2 and a half years. Clients were BOZAR, deSingel, La Monnaie, Le Botanique, A'pen Open, Cinematek, ... Early 2009, Amaryllis, decided to return to the cultural sector and coordinated the 3rd edition of the Brussels festival BRXLBRAVO. After this short term project she coordinated De Canvascollectie / La Collection RTBF, a contemporary art contest and TV show, a collaboration between the main art centers and museums in Belgium and 2 TV stations. Today, Amaryllis is external relationships manager at KVS, the Royal Flemish Theatre in the heart of Brussels. Lissa Kinnaer From 2003-2004 Lissa was Assistant Art Curator at the International Institute for Contemporary Arts (InIVA) in London. Between 2004 and 2006 she was active in the cultural sector in Brussels, including involvement with Kunstenfestivaldesarts, BOZAR, and the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM). Since October 2006 Lissa has been co-ordinator of the Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles, a Brussels-based cultural network which aims to stimulate collaboration within the cultural field and promote a shared vision for cultural development in Brussels. From 2009-2010 Lissa has been a Cultural Leadership International fellow. Julia Kofler Manager EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) and External Relations, British Council EU Office, Brussels. Jacqueline Kraus Since April 2007 Jacqueline Kraus is the Co-ordinator and Financial Controller of the Cultural Department of the Goethe-Institute in Brussels. She plans and organises cultural projects and has co-ordinated a number of large-scale, international projects e.g. within the framework of the German Council Presidency 2007. Kim Leroy Kim Leroy (1965, Séoul) works for La Vénerie Expositions, Centre Culturel de Watermael-Boitsfort as Curator (Exhibition of Contemporary Art within a Mediation Outlook) since 2007 and has been Professor of Philosophy of Art since 2004 at the Ecole supérieure des Arts plastiques et visuels and since 2008 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles. From 2000 to 2003, Kim has also been member of the scientific pool, in charge of the Environmental Art Library and of the lectures and seminars at the Institut supérieur pour l'étude du langage plastique. He received his PhD degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2006. Kim is currently developing a series of digital art exhibitions for next season (2011-2012), starting with British Artists Thomson & Craighead at La Vénerie and at the Watermael Station. 12

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Katri Mäenpää Brussels Europe Team, British Council EU Office Andrew Manning Andrew Manning currently works in Brussels as the Network Coordinator for the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), based at BOZAR. ECHO exists to support cooperation initiatives and co-productions between 18 of Europe’s major Concert Halls. Prior to that Andrew worked at the BBC in London on the Proms team as well as for the BBC’s Classical Music television department. He also has experience of working in Music Education from having worked for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Andrew is British and studied French at Oxford University. Canan Marasligil – twitter @ayserin Project and communications manager Benelux region, British Council Netherlands. Manager of the CLI project and Benelux Innovators Group Belgium. Stéphanie Masuy Stephanie Masuy is deputy director of the Brussels Museum Council. This umbrella organisation uniting more than 90 institutions aims at developing a joint promotional platform for all Brussels museums and tries to stimulate collaborations between them. Within it, Stephanie has coordinated several initiatives: the writing of a museum guide, organisation of events like the Lateevening openings, activities for families, study days… She’s currently responsible for the coordination of Museum Night Fever, a fun-packed night in Brussels’ museums, tailor-made for young people. Nicola Mullenger Nicola Mullenger has a background in creative industries, regeneration, culture and diversity issues spanning more than ten years. Her role at the European Cultural Foundation centres on marketing and communications. Nicola has previously worked in the Netherlands in visual arts event production; in London, managing a publicly funded information and training service for the creative industries; in New York and London galleries, co-curating artists working with photography. She has published two books, ‘Youth prostitution in the new Europe: the growth in sex work’, 2000 and ‘Cultural Bloggers Interviewed’, 2010. She has a Degree in Media, Cultural and Visual Arts Studies and a post graduate Diploma in Arts Management from Birkbeck College, London. Alok b. Nandi - – twitter @aloknandi Born in Congo. Raised in Zaïre. Based in Brussels. Design and technology, arts and sciences, media art. In parallel to strategic design consulting, Alok b. Nandi is active in media art and design, with a focus on interactive mise-en-scene and narrative architecture. His background combines engineering, management and film studies. He has conceived the homage book "Satyajit Ray at 70" (with exhibitions in Cannes, Paris, London, etc) and directed the performing arts evenings "Les voies de Tagore" with vocalist Sharmila Roy. He was a Japan Foundation fellow in 1996, and worked on Japanese cinema and urban life in Tokyo. He was awarded for the 13

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter web-mise-en-scene of in 1997, selected for Imagina 2000 and 2002 with Transfiction, mixed realities platform. He exhibited in Cannes Film Festival, London, Paris, "utHOPEia" in Salzburg and Vienna, Panopticon in Ecole du Louvre, MAAD in Lille. Interventions in festivals include Porto 2001 and lille3000. Other works include: weekly radio chronicle from nov. 2006 to june 2008 on "Books & India" broadcasted on Paris-based RadioBFM in the IndeHebdo program - see, writings in Beaux-Arts Magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, Inside Internet, Publish. Invited professor and regular speaker in international conferences incl. Interactive Frictions in Los Angeles, DAC in Georgia Tech and in Bergen Norway, CODE 2001 in Cambridge UK, ArtSci 2002 in New York, ARCO03 in Madrid, transmediale06 in Berlin, Media in Transition at MIT Cambridge USA, Doors of Perception 2005 (Infra) and 2007 (Juice) in New Delhi, ISEA 2008 in Singapore. Jury member in film and media festivals. Invited expert by EU, Canada and Belgium a.o. and commission member (VAF Experimentale Media Kunst 2006-2007, CFWB Commission des Arts Numériques 2006-2008). Founder and organiser of {creativity * conversation} events which include Pecha Kucha Night Brussels, as well as interventions on food design and typography. Quinten Peelen – twitter: @QuintenPeelen Since 1999, Quinten has been Director of the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The Liszt Competition is held every three years and attracts top piano talents from all over the globe. As director he has developed the reach of the festival which now includes a round of International Selections (in Utrecht, New York, Shanghai and Moscow) and a series of piano master classes across Asia and the US. In 2009, he was also elected vicepresident of the World Federation of International Music Competitions. Quinten is a 2009 British Council CLI fellow. Virginie Roy After contemporary dance studies at the Conservatory in France, Virginie moved to Belgium to work as a professional dancer and to study management at the ICHEC Business School in Brussels with a project on audience development. Since 2008, Virginie has been responsible for public relations at the Théâtre Marni. Duncan Speakman - twitter: @_dspk Duncan is an artist based in Bristol, UK. Currently in residence at the Pervasive Media Studio, also associate artist at the Arnolfini and part-time senior lecturer in media practice at University of West of England. His work explores how we use sound to navigate geographical, personal and political environments, creating experiences that physically and emotionally engage audiences in public spaces. He often employs walking as both a process and/or an outcome of his work, partly because it is ‘within the speed culture of our time, a kind of resistance’ (Alys). Many of his pieces, such as the soundwalks and live performances, are experienced on headphones while walking through public spaces. Sometimes they are pre-recorded, at other times they may use satellite positioning, live performers and realtime sound processing. Other works include large-scale video projections, micro-documentaries and books. Recently, Duncan has been continuing his research into sound and social spaces by developing street based games and subtlemobs. Throughout his practice, Duncan has been trying to adopt Grierson’s definition of documentary as ‘the creative treatment’. 14

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Bjorn Stenvers – twitter: @amsterdammuseum Björn has worked as a marketeer in the Netherlands' cultural sector for a number of years, and also has marketing experience in the fields of publishing and retail. He is currently Head of Marketing at the Amsterdam Historical Museum. He is Chairman of the Marketing Advice Group to the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board, and a Board member of the Association of Cultural Marketing and Communication in the Netherlands, as well as holding other senior positions in Dutch cultural life. Björn won the national Library Innovation Prize in 2006, for his work at the Amsterdam public library. Sitting on the boards and commissions of various other institutes in the Netherlands, Björn provides marketing advice and strategic planning to their operation. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, and Board Chairman at the ‘Volksuniversiteit’ in Amsterdam. Bjorn is a 2010 British Council CLI fellow. Vincent Van den Bossche Since May 2010 Vincent has been Tour Manager & Communications Manager for fABULEUS, which is based in Leuven, Belgium. fABULEUS works with youngsters and emerging artists in the field of theatre and dance. Before this Vincent worked for five years in the arts centre nOna as Communication Manager. He is a 2010 British Council CLI fellow: as such he works closely with the French-speaking field of theatre and dance in Belgium. The working space Théâtre de L'L, based in Brussels, supports him. Karlien Vanhoonacker Programmer at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels Koen Van Rompaey – twitter @StripTurnhout Koen Van Rompaey is currently the business manager of the (non-profit) organisation Strip Turnhout, which promotes the comics medium in all its forms. In association with different levels of the government, he works on a wide range of projects and activities about comics. These include: a comics festival (the largest and oldest comics festival of Belgium), a comics information magazine, several publications about comics (including books), a website, a documentation centre, various yearly exhibitions, exchange of collections, lectures, and a study meeting for librarians, … Before his current activities, Koen worked for numerous media and organisations as a journalist and an expert on comics. Owen Wainhouse EU Affairs and External Relations Manager, British Council Brussels. Anick Xhrouet Administrative and Finance Director, Les Halles de Schaerbeek Brussels 1993-1999 : producer and administrator at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) 1999-2008 : audience developer at Royal Opera House La Monnaie/De Munt 2008-09 : deputy director at Royal Opera House La Monnaie/De Munt Since September 2009, Anick is administrative and finance director at Les Halles de Schaerbeek


Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter Excused Bozena Coignet Europalia – International Arts Festival, Brussels. Roel Daenen Roel Daenen is working for FARO, the Flemish interface for cultural heritage. He’s the coordinator of Erfgoeddag, which literally means ‘Heritage Day’, a mass event that takes place, every year after the Easter Holiday. Its approach, public reach, innovative role, and – especially – the commitment of those involved, have made Heritage Day one of the most important heritage events in Flanders and Brussels. Heritage Day places cultural heritage in the spotlight for the sector itself, the public, the media, and policy makers in Flanders. Roel Daenen has studied history in Ghent and Lisbon and has published many articles about (the history of) comics and a book about the arts of puppeteering. Mieke Deceuninck Project Manager NOCTURNES at the Brusselse Museumraad - Conseil Bruxellois des Musées - Martin Hope Director British Council EU & Benelux offices Joanna de Jong-Keogh Projects and Partnerships Manager - Benelux Region, British Council Netherlands Sylvie de Weeze Marketing and communications manager Onthaal en Promotie Brussel - Pablo Fernandez Cultural Consultant Former Deputy Artistic Director, BOZAR Vincent Thirion Programme coordinator of the Centre chorégraphique de la Communauté française, Charleroi/Danses After drama studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Vincent Thirion went on to acquire experience in communication and programming. From 1990 to 1996, he began with public relations at the Atelier Sainte-Anne. His varied experiences also led him to La Ferme du Buisson (national venue at Marne-la-Vallée), the Fondation Jacques Gueux and the Plan K group. He was then in charge of programming, coordinating and organising events at the Botanique for four years, mainly for theatre and dance. In 2001, he joined Charleroi/Danses as communications coordinator. He was also part of Les Rencontres Saint-Gilloises (for which he organised and coordinated the Parcours d’Artistes in 2001 and 2003) and worked at Les Tanneurs (as ad interim director) before becoming programme 16

Benelux Innovators Group Belgian Chapter coordinator at the Centre chorégraphique de la Communauté française, Charleroi/Danses, in May 2005. Veerle Vanderleen Veerle Vanderleen has been living and working in Brussels for 4 years. Between 2006 and 2009 she was responsible for the publications at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts. From 2008 onwards she took public relations under her wing. After a brief excursion into the world of classical music (Anima Eterna) she decides to re-engage in the cultural sector in Brussels. From December 2010, Veerle works full time for the association Brussels Kunstenoverleg, part-time for the project Lasso and part-time for the Brussels art project consultation.

ORGANISATION AND LOGISTICS The Benelux Innovators Group is co-ordinated in Belgium in partnership with the Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles. 2 meetings will be held before 31 March 2011, hosted in rotation by members of the Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles and/or by the Benelux Innovators Group. A high level of in-kind costs to be met by hosts, by offering meeting space and simple refreshments. Members based in the Benelux would be expected to finance their own travel to/from the meetings. Canan Marasligil will co-ordinate the meetings, and also act as a gateway between the Benelux Innovators Group and UK experts and other international cultural players, using the British Council network of offices worldwide (over 100 countries:

The Innovators group in Belgium is organised in partnership with the Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles, in the frame of the British Council Cultural Leadership International project.


Benelux Innovators Group: Audiences  

Complete report of the innaugural Benelux Innovators Group meeting of the Belgian chapter. The meeting focused on reaching audiences from an...

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