Final HERIWELL report published

Commemorating Victoria Ateca-Amestoy

During the last 3 years, the ERICarts Institute and its Italian partners IRS, Milan, and AEC, Rome, realised the complex Europe-wide HERIWELL research project ("Cultural Heritage as a Source of Societal Well-being in European Regions") for ESPON, the Luxembourg-based EU agency that focuses on territorial cooperation. The final report of the HERIWELL project, which included the active participation of many experts from the ERICarts Network, is now available on the ESPON website, together with detailed annexes and 8 case studies.

A final HERIWELL conference has been staged on 15..December 2022 in Milan to summarise and discuss the main findings of the project. A few days before the event, we received the sad news that Victoria Ateca-Amestoy suddenly passed away, Vicky has been one of the main authors of the report, realised a case study and represented ERICarts together with A.J.Wiesand in meetings of the project consortium. Both of them had actually prepared a joint presentation for this event. During the  conference, participants paid tribute to this brilliant scientist, whose important contributions to our Network and to empirical cultural research in Europe will never be forgotten.

Ritva Mitchell 1947-2022

ERICarts commemorates an outstanding personality and colleague

With great sadness and dismay we have to announce that Ritva Mitchell – the co-founder and long-time President of the ERICarts Network and Institute – passed away July 2022. During the last 40 years, Ritva has undoubtedly been one of the most influential actors in European cultural cooperation and related research or documentation projects, including as regards the Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends, whose development she has significantly shaped since 1998. She brought her outstanding skills in conceptual planning, research and the communication of results to fruition in numerous research and consultancy projects, e.g., for the European Union, UNESCO or the Council of Europe; for the latter she worked for five years as a consultant on site in Strasbourg, for development cooperation organisations later also in Asia and Africa. Throughout her career, she performed in crucial positions for academic institutions and cultural policy in Finland and other Nordic countries, including from 2003 until her retirement as Director of Research for the CUPORE Institute of the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research in Helsinki. She was also involved in university teaching and particularly promoted the development of junior talents for cultural research. Numerous academic publications and conference papers attest to her innovative view of problems as well as opportunities for culture in Finland, Europe and the world (cf. a summary overview here). The Board and management of the ERICarts Network and Institute will never forget Ritva, her special, often challenging personality and her great achievements for an emerging European cultural space.
We received many condolences from her former colleagues, in some cases also a special tribute to Ritva on partner's websites, cf. the example of BalkanKult. A few snapshots with Ritva taken during ERICarts projects and meetings are enclosed here.

HERIWELL Inception Report published by ESPON

The HERIWELL Team - IRS+ACUME / ERICarts / AEC - is happy to announce the conclusion of the first phase of the project on cultural heritage and societal well-being, realised together with experts from across Europe (many of them members of the ERICarts Network). The Inception Report with the conceptual framework + Annexes has been published by ESPON EGTC on its website. The next phases of the research focus on investigating the most relevant societal domains where impacts of cultural heritage can be observed as well as on the methodological framework, including an in-depth study of relevant data sources. Later in 2021, a number of case studies will test the methodology and should provide insights on how different target groups on the local or regional level (including residents, tourists, migrants and minorities) are involved in activities related to both tangible and intangible heritage. The final HERIWELL report is planned for Spring 2022.

To remain updated on the development of the HERIWELL project you can join our Supporting Partners network. Comments or additional contributions are greatly appreciated and could be directed to

Heritage and societal well-being (HERIWELL)

ERICarts successful in an EU tender

29 April 2020: A European consortium - ERICarts with Italy-based IRS (project leader), AEC and ACUME - has won the tender for a 2-year investigation on "Cultural heritage as a source of societal well-being in European regions" (short: HERIWELL). A first overview highlights the dimensions of this large-scale project, which has been issued by ESPON EGTC and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Over 40 thematic or country experts and other European specialists - the majority of them from the ERICarts Network - will be involved. The main goal is the development of a pan-European methodology and territorial analysis of impacts of cultural heritage that can be associated with "societal well-being", including but not limited to quality of life, social inclusion and educational benefits. COVID-19 effects will be taken into account in the study. We will keep you informed about important steps or results and would appreciate to learn more about your views or experiences regarding this topic.

Transnational Arts Awards

Opportunity for partnerships

The ERICarts Institute considers bidding in the EU "Creative Europe" Programme which would, if successful, include opportunities for members of the ERICarts Network. Details about the planned TAA project, that is to support the mobility of arts and media workers, can be found here. However, we still need additional partners (e.g. NGOs, governments or a foundation), investments in the range of ca. 40,000 € - are needed. We look forward to your suggestions!

15 Years: The Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends in Europe

Anniversary celebrated in Vienna, December 2013

When it all started in May and June 1998, the perspectives of what was to gradually develop into the "Compendium", as we know it today, were quite blurred: The ERICarts Institute had responded to a call for tenders issued by the Council of Europe, indicating that the planned new information tool should, at its best, take the form of a "database designed to act as an interactive, multilingual electronic space on the Internet", given that "the burden of bureaucratic procedures or high costs" should be avoided and up to date content secured. However, these and some other ideas could not be realised at once: Following an internal "0-number", later in that year, the first regular Compendium edition of 1999 came out as a loose-leaf-collection with 14 country profiles, published by ARCult Media.
Only after a 'probation period' of three more years, the Compendium could be fully established as a comparative, Web based information and monitoring system that is jointly run by the Council of Europe and ERICarts together with a dedicated "community of practice" of experts and government specialists, based on a grid with standardised specifications as well as on the feedback of users and advisors. Again and again, the Council of Europe proved to be a challenging partner, constantly on alert to see political issues or changing priorities being reflected in the system or suggesting new features and working methods. This fresh impetus as well as the support from many European governments, foundations, networks and universities kept the Compendium alive, turned it even into a model for information systems with a global outreach, such as
Reason enough to say thanks to the many contributors and supporters, which happened at the 12th Compendium Assembly with Public Forum on 12/13 December 2013 at the "Architekturzentrum" in Vienna.
More information on Compendium events is available on the Web platform as well as on its Facebook extension.

Board Discusses ERICarts Research Strategy

Meeting in Amsterdam on 14 December 2012

Insert Image:Amsterdam2012-red.jpgAll ERICarts Associates took part in a strategy debate of the Board of Governors, held at the Boekman Foundation in Amsterdam.

In the picture from left to right:   Vesna Copic (ECURES e.V.); Olivier Goebel (ERICarts Secretariat); Ritva Mitchell, President of the BoG (CUPORE);   Ineke van Hamersveld (Boekmanstichting); Rui Gomes (Observatorio das Actividades Culturais); Andreas Joh. Wiesand (Executive Director); Susanne Keuchel (Zentrum für Kulturforschung).
The Board discussed problematic issues (e.g. current tenders of the EU or institutional partnerships with universities), highlighted the Council of Europe/ERICarts Compendium as a "flagship project", and advocated new initiatives prepared by the Secretariat (e.g. the "Helsinki Participation Research Process" or the "ABC Directory") as well as an increased collaboration to assist projects of the Associates with regard to their potential "European dimension".

Compendium goes international

Decisive steps towards the launch of a global Internet information and monitoring system on cultural policies and trends based on the Council of Europe/ERICarts COMPENDIUM experience were taken September 5 at a preparatory meeting of different stakeholders in Brussels. Sarah Gardner, Executive Director of IFACCA (upper picture), explains the intended "federal" structure which foresees national profiles written by experts in collaboration with governments; regional coordination, quality control and funding assistance by IGOs, foundations and/or networks; and an international exchange and capacity building platform to be provided by IFACCA with the support of the ERICarts Institute, where the results of these exercises will be orchestrated. In the spirit of the OPEN COMPENDIUM initiative, some important steps towards internationalisation had been taken earlier, including e.g. successful implementations of the country profile grid in 8 Arab States and in Australia.

Happy with the results of the meeting (from left): Robert Palmer (Council of Europe Director of Culture/Heritage); Natasha Eves (IFACCA); Katelijn Verstraete (Asia-Europe Foundation); Tsveta Andreeva (European Cultural Foundation); Ineke van Hamersveld (Boekmanstichting); Anupama Sekhar (ASEF). Other participants of the meeting were Kathrin Merkle (Co-editor of the Compendium) and her team at the CoE Secretariat; Christine Merkel (German UNESCO Commission / Chair, CoE Culture Committee); Ritva Mitchell (BoG President, ERICarts Institute); J�rg Torkler (Compendium webmaster) and Andreas Wiesand (Executive Director, ERICarts Institute).

Culture and EU Structural Funds: a success story?

New study finds opportunities and deficits

Together with the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES), the ERICarts Institute conducted a study for the European Commission on the "Contribution of Culture to Local and Regional Development as part of European Cohesion Policy". In an effort to  involve as much practical experience from the field as possible, over 80 case studies were collected and edited by  the Institute (in charge: Olivier Göbel), several of them also by ERICarts' partners Péter Inkei and Jà¡nos Szabà³ (BudObs).
Over 100 experts involved in culture-based projects, officials responsible for developing or applying cultural or Structural Fund policies or people with a particular interest in how cultural activities impact on the economy and society participated in the study by either
- Providing information on cultural projects that have received EU Structural Funding and were successful or innovative; or  
- Attending a Seminar in Brussels which examined trends and evidence from projects funded over both the 2000-06 and the current programming periods.

The study, led by Mike Coyne (CSES), resulted in a number of conclusions and tools.  At the ERICarts Institute,  methodological and content input was coordinated by Andreas Wiesand who also presented some of the results and additional information on the issue at different European conferences.

Study on "Mobility Incentives for Cultural Professionals in Europe" submitted to EU-Commission

The study of the ERICarts Institute for the EU-Commission focuses on programmes and schemes supporting or influencing the mobility of cultural professionals in Europe.  The project began in April 2008, the final report was submitted in October 2008. The study was coordinated by Andreas Wiesand and Danielle Cliche with the assistance of Olivier Goebel; it is based mainly on existing resources, on information gained from national correspondents in the 35 participating countries, and on the contributions of six key experts: Suzanne Capiau, Rod Fisher, Ilkka Heiskanen, Dorota Ilczuk, Ritva Mitchell and Dimitrije Vujadinovic. The study and additional material can be found on the website - the Executive Summary in English, French and German can also be downloaded here.

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