Every year our Performing Arts students take a business tour to Brussels and Lille in the Spring. We meet cultural directors and learn how different strategies are put into practice based on the local economic, social and political climate of the cultural sectors.
Our first visit was with Sylvain Pasqua, Team Leader of Capitals of Culture, Creative Europe, at the European Commission. He gave valuable insights on how funds are granted to cultural institutions and non-profits. This is something that our students have prepared for in their classes given in Paris by Dr. Christel de Noblet, cultural heritage specialist and lawyer.
Another memorable visit was with Jasper Jenkins on the rooftop of Workspace Brussels, an artist residency platform and creative industries institution in Brussels. After explaining some background on the cultural ecosystem in Brussels, Jasper described how artists’ managers have a double role to play: they must be business-minded, encourage creative expression and show emotional intelligence vis-à-vis the artists. Our students then questioned Jasper how artists’ are managed in today and tomorrow’s economic climate and discussed the impact on the diversity of the cultural scene in Brussels, made up of both large and small institutions collaborating together.
We met Tom Bonte, director of the Beursshowburg. This multi-disciplinary artistic center is located the Bourse district in Brussels and has the mission of programming younger artists. Tom introduced us to his young and dynamic team and explained how he plans events up until one month in advance to reach younger audiences.We saw this in action when we went to two of the performances in the O Solitude program: Orian Maxted and Adva Zakai.
La Condition Publique, Roubaix
It was on a beautiful day in late March when we met with Jean-Christophe Lavassor, newly appointed director of the Condition Publique in Roubaix. We were able to explore the huge, 10 000m2 cultural incubator, which has been converted from an industrial factory and to see how they provide a lab for social, cultural and environmental innovation for the artistic and community stakeholders in Roubaix.
This business tour is a highlight of the Spring semester of the MSc in Arts & Cultural Management where students actively network with professional and learn cultural management hands-on.
Next stop, London in May!
Do you want to take part in next year's business tour?