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Report Closing Conference Training Artists for Innovation - 9th April 2013, Brussels

02 May 2013

This conference presented the results of the TAFI two-year cooperation project and reflected on training artists to deliver artistic interventions as a tool for innovation. ELIA Executive Director Carla Delfos spoke about the role of changing society in  relation to good practices for higher education and partnerships.

Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning, Chairman of the European Creative Industry Alliance (ECIA) Policy Learning Platform was moderator of the event.

After a welcome by Marta Marín, Basque representative to the EU, the conference was opened with a musical intervention by Kenneth Agerholm, a Danish trombone player. Kenneth is an international performing jazz musician but the also works as a professional coach. He has many years of experience leading workshops for large companies and leadership groups. He demonstrated this by an energizing song, that was performed by the 70 participants of the conference.

Project partner Anna Grzelec from TILLT gave a presentation of the results of Creative Clash.

What are artistic interventions, what are the values and effects of artistic interventions were the questions that were answered. 

Gerda Hempel (Artlab) showed a video with organisational and artistic voices on the competencies needed for artistic interventions.
See the video on the project website:

Joost Heinsius (Cultuur-Ondernemen) presented the content of the TAFI-project and its deliverables: the research into organisations and artists, competencies needed by artists, how to set up a curriculum for such training and how producers of artistic interventions contribute to a learning environment for artists.

What do artists need for successful artistic interventions: competencies and training?

This question was answered in a panel-interview and discussion by with:
Erik van Duijvenbode (artist), Besides projects as a dancer and choreographer Erik develops artistic interventions with dance and movement for various organizations (in education, government, industry). In his work the body is a central source of information, inspiration and communication. Eric said that if the situation in an organisation is difficult, his experience is that the artistic activity creates energy. The co-worker gets appealed to as a person in the organisation and is no longer an anonymous part. In his opinion the intervention generates a special momentum in organisations.

Alejandra Mørk (CEO of Klifo and board of directors of Bang & Olufsen Medicom) has more than 20 years experience with drug development in the areas of clinical development, regulatory affairs, project management as well as strategy and business development. She worked for 18 years for Nycomed Pharma in various positions and purchased more than 35 artistic interventions for the company.
Alejandra stated that she was triggered by a special energy that artistic interventions bring to the working floor.  99% of the work in her company is following procedures. The last 1% is innovation, and therefore very important. The artists can make the difference by appealing to a part of the brain where you seldom come. They go to goals where no one thinks he could get to.
Artists should be good in their art but also realise: what drives the market?
  • competition
  • the need
In the past technicians and ict-ers have learned that marketing is important. You get to know what to deliver. Artists also have to develop these competencies but also remain artistic! In her experience the artistic interventions have contributed to processes within the company that they could not think of themselves.

Kai Lehikoinen from the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki  has an extensive experience on arts-based services from running a unit of continuing education in Performing Arts over six years, first at the University of Art and Design Helsinki and subsequently at the Theatre Academy Helsinki. Kai stressed the importance of art and creativity: Artisticity is needed to let others grow, said Kai. You need to shift positions to let others grow. That is different from the situation till now. He emphasised the importance of national and regional support. In Finland art based creativity is part of a programme on social and economic strategy in 2020.

Kenneth Agernhorn stated that with artistic interventions both artists and companies have a responsibility for success. Artists have to move up. They should not just think in their own environment. Working in companies as an artist is effective. You can earn money. Companies know that they need other input. What is the need for an artist? To use their skills to really get clear what the question is. Be interested in your client. “That is hard for us/artists as we are sometimes very self-centred.”


Artistic Intervention

After the panel discussion artists Erik van Duijvenbode (movement), Tamara Rumiantsev (music) and Willemijn Schellekens (design) demonstrated the effects of an artistic intervention.          

The final scene: handing over the project
TAFI presented the book Training Artists for Innovation, Competencies for new Contexts and policy recommendations to Carla Delfos (Executive Director ELIA) and Ann Branch (Head of Unit 'Creative Europe Programme - Culture', DG Education and Culture, European Commission) 

Carla Delfos (ELIA – European League of Institutes of the Arts) spoke about the changing society, it is necessary to rethink higher education and address/share good practices and practices for partnerships. The new generation of artists has new responsibilities: to challenge the status quo, to act as powerful cultural agents to inspire individuals. It is not easy to advocate and convince policymakers. In the field of higher art education, most of the institutions are aware of the challenges for both teachers and students. ELIA will inform, discuss and stimulate debate in this subject; it will recommend the book and contribute to the implementation of the recommendations it contains, notably by means of working together in training schemes.

Ann Branch - DG EAC emphasised  that we should not only focus on bringing artists into the business world, but also to public administrations. It is important to find key trend holders that make it fashionable and spread it. She stated that TAFI was a wonderful project and it is important that it has a long-term impact both in terms of transversal benefits for the arts and also on the demand side. DG EAC is convinced of the transversal benefits for the arts and working on it (funding programmes); the sector’s spill-overs and its contribution to growth show how much work/employment there is in the field: Creativity will be one of the key assets in the future. The new possibilities for the art sector are not easy. Ann Branch is very happy that TAFI refers to the European Qualifications Framework, which will allow to pass it on to the education colleagues (Erasmus for All Programme). Creative Europe will deal with practices and capacity building. It is important to share experiences and learn. The European Capitals of Culture connect culture to other sectors (social, business) and pilot initiatives could be introduced in these projects. Other suggestions are to work with cities networks (Eurocities) and business networks (Corporate Social Responsibility Europe).

To read Training Artists for Innovation, Competencies for new Contexts click the following link: http://www.cultuur-ondernemen.nl/documents/17339/0/TAFI+book+2013.pdf


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