Vittorio Bianco coordinates European projects for Rete delle Case del Quartiere network in Turin, Italy, and for several other non-profit organizations.
With a major in Natural Sciences, he started his career in Legambiente, the main environmental organisation in Italy, with a focus on urban ecology and sustainable development. He then expanded his field of activity to other aspects of sustainability in the urban context such as social inclusion, culture, health, and solidarity economy.
Throughout his career, he has been promoting cooperation between non-profit organisations and private and public bodies participating in bottom-up participatory processes that gave birth to several local networks.
Vittorio has been Vice-President of Mirafiori Community Foundation and of the Agency for Local Development of San Salvario, and is currently co-coordinator of Hub Multiculturale Cecchi Point – Casa del Quartiere Aurora. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Bici-t, a start-up offering sustainable mobility services.
On an international level, he has experience in European programmes such as European Voluntary Service, Horizon 2020, Life+ and Interreg, and worked in the Sino-Italian Cooperation Programme for Environmental Protection with Venice International University, the Italian Ministry of Environment and several ministries and city administrations of the People's Republic of China.
Tere Badia holds a degree in Art History from the Universitat de Barcelona and a MA in Information and Knowledge Society by the IN3 (Internet interdisciplinary Institute) of the UOC.
She is dedicated to cultural research and production in various formats. She has carried out several studies on cultural policies, networks and R+D+i for visual arts. Tere has curated exhibitions and projects of contemporary art. She has been professionally linked to the Interarts Observatory in the 90’s, the communication and multimedia agency Goetzinger&Komplizen (Karlsruhe). Tere coordinated the platform DISONANCIAS in Catalonia for the promotion of the relations between artists and research departments of companies and organizations, as well as the network of visual arts production spaces of Catalonia xarxaprod. Until January 2018, Tere Badia was director of Hangar – center for artistic production and research in Barcelona.
Sabine Zimmermann studied Interior Architecture and Metal Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts HAWK in Hildesheim. She works as a designer and teaches at the University HAWK. Her main focuses are the project and professional management of the Netzwerk Kultur & Heimat Hildesheimer Land e.V. This organisation, founded in 2005, operates in the non-urban region of Hildesheim, Germany. It aims to stimulate and enhance cultural life in the region by implementing cross-sectoral projects, represents its members‘ needs and is in constant exchange with many individual and institutional regional, national and European partners. The network was also one of the city’s partners during Hildesheim's bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2025.
Milan Vračar studied Management in Culture and Media, with a focus on international theatre festivals. He is an independent cultural producer, an experienced and certified youth worker, as well as the president of the Association Kulturanova.
Over the years, Milan has been involved in many international projects and has collaborated to many events in Novi Sad and Serbia, as well as producing and coordinating innovative art initiatives.
He has held several university lectures in Serbia and in Europe and has collaborated with many institutions such as the Swiss Development Cooperation, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Europe.
Milan has worked as a marketing manager in a cultural centre of Novi Sad and coordinated the candidacy of Novi Sad for European Cultural Capital.
In 2017 he co-founded the independent cultural centre and coworking LAB.
He is also a board member of OPENS - the body that coordinates the title of Novi Sad being European Youth Capital.
Milan brings to the ENCC his expertise on diversity and community outreach as well as his knowledge and experience in the Balkans.
Born in Italy in Florence in 1976, Lapo Bettarini has always been divided between a strong scientific and intellectual curiosity and a very active social and cultural commitment especially in daily practice. As a scientist he travelled extensively (Europe, China, USA, ...), working in dynamic and multicultural environments of very high level and winning several awards and scholarships. In 2008, he finally decided to stop in Belgium and to immerse himself in its associative and socio-cultural world. After having created and managed two non-profit associations for several years, in 2016, he became the coordinator of a regional network of cultural centres in the proximity of Brussels, and in 2017, he became director of La Concertation, the Brussels regional network of cultural centres and several other associations working in different artistic, cultural and social domains.
Leen Vanderschueren has a bachelor’s degree in Fashion design from the KASK Royal Arts Academy and a master’s degree in History of Art from the University of Ghent, Belgium.
With her thesis focusing on the boundary between film and fine arts, she started working for the Flemish Film Fund (VAF) in 2014. Her work there was related to public activities such as film festivals, cinemas, educational or youth initiatives and talent development.
Since 2019 she has been the coordinator of the network of cultural centres in Flanders and Brussels, formerly known as VVC. Together with her small but brave team and board, she is working on the renewal of the organisation, which recently culminated in a change of name into cult!. Her aim is to strengthen this network structurally, make it future proof, and take it to an international level. The past challenging year was definitely a confirmation of the necessity of a lobbying organisation, especially for the smaller, regional cultural centres to be heard. Among other lobbying actions, cult!, participates in a Crisis Cell for Culture, together with lobbying organisations for subsidized arts, artists and amateur arts, events and the socio-cultural sector.
Piet Forger is head of the Department for Culture of the city of Leuven, Belgium, since 2015. Before that, he directed several cultural centres as well as Vlabra'ccent, the umbrella organisation of cultural centres in the province of Flemish Brabant, and Fevecc/VVC, the umbrella organisation for Flanders. For over 5 years he was the Deputy Director of CultuurNet Vlaanderen (now called 'publiq'), an expertise centre on the Flemish level that focuses on cultural communication, participation and audience development. Piet was also a member of the National Advisory Board Body for the Minister of Culture in Flanders for over 10 years. For many years he was the president of the board of high level independent performing arts organisations in Flanders and he is currently a member of the board of several art organisations in the city of Leuven. He is the initiator and vice-president of Vitamine C, a Flemish network of people working in the cultural field who stand up for art and culture as vital vitamins for young people. Piet has been connected to the ENCC since 1996 and has participated in many of its activities.
Nicolas Combes, vice-general director at the World Heritage site Saline Royale d'Arc-et-Senans (EPCC), is specialised in European projects and funding. He has been interim director of the EPCC, former general administrator of the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, and co-coordinator of Jordi Savall's tri-annual residency and the ORPHEUS XXI project.
After obtaining a Bachelor in Theatre Studies and Italian at the University of Malta, Daniel Azzopardi completed a Masters in International Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Warwick.
Since August 2020 Daniel Azzopardi is the Artistic Director of Spazju Kreattiv - Malta’s National Centre for Creativity. In his position he is responsible to develop and foster the organisation’s vision and strategy, and in so doing curate an annual multidisciplinary programme of over 400 events. Apart from hosting projects at its venues at St James Cavalier in Valletta, the organisation seeks to engage a wider spectrum of audiences with strategic community initiatives around Malta and Gozo. Such creative exchanges are facilitated through residency programmes for artists working in core towns and villages, cross-collaborations involving other public entities, as well as events fostering direct participation by marginalised groups. Such encounters are also facilitated through Spazju Kreattiv's growing international network created through the years and which continues to be developed with special attention to the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Previously, he occupied the role of programme senior manager within Fondazzjoni Kreattività, overseeing the production of its programmes, including festival events such as the Valletta International Visual Arts and youth fest MalTeen. Between 2016-2019 he also served as Festival Director of ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children and Young People. In addition, since 2010 he has been active as a cultural and creative entrepreneur, lending his expertise to policy-making, artistic development, strategy planning and project coordination. He managed a number of national events such as the WOMAD fest back in 2013, and the 2015 Malta Showcase international gathering.
Last but not least, Daniel Azzopardi is also an award-winning actor having received extensive performance training in Malta and abroad. He acquired distinguished accreditations from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), amongst others.
Ivo Peeters was born in 1954 and has a master's degree in Political and Social Sciences. In 1994 he co founded the ENCC and coordinated the network for 10 years as General Secretary. In those first 10 years he organised many international meetings and the ‘cultural management course' that became the current BECC staff exchange/training programme. He has been the director of De Zeyp cultural centre in Brussels for many years, is on the Board of Directors of the Flemish Association of Cultural and Community Centres and he is currently the Chairperson of ENCC Board of Directors. He has been involved in conceiving and facilitating many European cooperation projects, with a special focus on arts and disabilities.
Petra Eckmayr, born in 1984/Austria, works for IG Kultur Österreich and is there primarily responsible for membership management. IG Kultur Österreich is the association of independent cultural initiatives and centres in Austria, focussing on contemporary cultural expressions and community-driven initiatives. Our main goal is to improve the working conditions for those working in the field of contemporary arts and culture – from culture professionals to volunteers.
Providing networking possibilities for practices among cultural initiatives (ex. finding partners, capacity building programmes) is one of the priorities for the network.
IG Kultur Österreich has established a wide network on national as well as European level: As the umbrella organization IG Kultur Österreich coordinates the network of regional interest groups of cultural initiatives, engages in associations active in the field of arts and culture as well as in NGO-networks, participates in political committees and holds regular contacts to relevant actors in the fields of science, education, media and politics.
Petra Eckmayr holds an MA degree in media management and studied graphics and design at Vienna’s die Graphische.
Dagna Gmitrowicz is a senior trainer in the field of non-formal education. She has been conducting international and national training, seminars, and conferences.
She is the creator of innovative educational tools bridging visual art and personal growth empowering learners in defining and pursuing their goals (Colours of Feelings and Needs, Large marionettes in public space, Sparkcatcher, Go Visual etc.). Dagna is a member of the art collective and several international trainers' pools.
She is a member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning and the founder of the ARTE EGO foundation. She contributes expertise on learning, inclusion and creativity. As a certified art therapist and professional painter, she empowers participatory art and is searching for beauty and balance through visual expression.
Dagna is a passionate supporter of the ENCC’s BECC programme
Cristina Ortega Nuere
Dr. Cristina Ortega Nuere is the Chief Scientific and Operating Officer of World Leisure Organization (WLO) since January 2015. She combines her main professional activity with teaching at master level at the Universitat Oberta of Catalunya and the European University of Miguel de Cervantes. Doctor in Leisure and Human Development, with a master’s degree in Leisure Management, she graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy from the University of Deusto, Spain, and completed her studies in London, Middlesex and at Westminster University. She has combined her academic activity as researcher and professor for over two decades at the University of Deusto -over 50 research projects, dozens of publications and editor-in-chief of several scientific journals- with other institutional responsibilities. She was for 4 years the President of ENCATC, the leading European Network of Cultural Management and Policy, and the Chair of ENCATC’s Policy Group Monitors of Culture, made up of over 40 cultural observatories worldwide. She is a specialist in the evaluation of cultural projects and became a Jury Member of the European Capitals of Culture. In the Basque Country, she has been a member of the Basque Council of Culture and an Expert Evaluator of the Basque Cultural Observatory for 10 years. She usually participates as speaker in international scientific conferences worldwide and she is the author of the reference book Observatorios Culturales. Creación de Mapas de lnfraestructuras y Eventos (Barcelona: Ariel, 2010), in which she developed a cultural infrastructures and events utility model that has been applied in different cities and countries. Her area of specialization is leisure and culture, policies and evaluation
Helga Massetani Piemonte
National Professor of Visual Arts at the National University of Arts in Buenos Aires, where she obtained a grant for the Postgraduate Degree in Cultural Management and Administration at the University of Palermo (Buenos Aires). She is currently studying a degree in Sociology at UNED.
She is the founder of the collective of Artistas Artitadetó (which became an Association in 2009) with which she made artistic interventions in different cities around Europe; and Bitamine Faktoria, where she currently works as Director, Content manager and Internationalization programs designer.
In Buenos Aires she developed a cultural management project at the Casal de Catalunya for which she was sent to the Forum of Cultures 2004 in Barcelona. Since her arrival in the Basque Country, she has worked in different institutions within the artistic and cultural sector. She has joined to Arteleku, a Contemporary Art Center based in San Sebastian as a resident artist (2006-2010), she has worked for the culture departments of different municipalities: Donostia, Zizurkil, Villabona and Irun, as well as for Bidasoa Activa, Development Agency based in Irun. She has participated in educational projects on both sides of the border, being “Donne-moi un visage” (Art & Project), Art du collage (Itzal Aktiboa) or ESTRAN (Nekatoenea) some of those carried out in the French Basque Country.
She is a curator and jury at Bitamine Faktoria and also for the Irun City Council, the Olatu Talka festival and the Nekatoenea international artist residence.
From Bitamine Faktoria, she formalizes several international collaboration networks such as:
- MUGAKIDE: cross-border network together with Nekatoenea where networking for contemporary arts and culture in the region has been promoted since 2015.
- Artists Mobility Program of the Aquitaine-Euskadi Euroregion 2016-2017: together with GARAPEN (Euskadi) and FABRIQUE POLA (Bordeaux).
- VASE: European mobility program together with the English network “A SPACE” ARTS and the AGORA creation factory in Berlin.
- EAS programme: Residency Program for the internationalization of Basque art in Latin America. EAS-EZE, since 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and EAS-RIO, since 2018 in collaboration with the Capacete artist residence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- INTEX 2.0: Exchange of artists in residence with the Pensule Factory in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca. 2021.