international cultural policies

ifa – Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations

The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations – ifa is the leading German institution for international cultural exchange operating worldwide and resting on the idea that cultures are changeable, movable and permeable, but also conservative and restrictive as they can cause conflicts, but also transform and resolve conflicts.

Ifa aims to establish dialogue between civil societies, provide information about foreign cultural policy and bring together people from different cultures through exchange programs and international conferences.

Ifa devises and organizes German contemporary art exhibitions worldwide, funds artists’ exhibition projects and award scholarships, hosts contemporary art, architecture and design from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe in  Stuttgart and Berlin ifa galleries. Special media programs enable support for the development of structures in civil society. Ifa is also active in a wide variety of other projects in co-operation with foundations and other civil society organizations both nationally and internationally. Ifa is funded by the German Foreign Office, the State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Stuttgart.

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Risto Ruohonen

Risto Ruohonen is a policy maker and policy analyst based in Finland. Before being appointed Director General of Finnish National Gallery in September 2006, he was a Director of Arts and Cultural Heritage and Special Government Advisor at the Ministry of Education, Finland since 2003. Since 1998 he was the chairman (CEO) of the Arts Council of Finland. He has also served as the President of the ARSBALTICA network since 1999 and was the Chair of the IFACCA network.

Before joining the Arts Council, he was the Managing Director and Theatre Director at the Lahti Municipal Theatre and at the Helsinki City Theatre as well as the Chairman of the National Council for Dance. In the 1980s he worked as the Director of Culture in the cities of Turku and Vantaa. Mr. Ruohonen holds a Master degree in Political Science from the University of Turku.

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Ragnar Siil

Ragnar Siil has been Undersecretary for Fine Arts at the Ministry of Culture in Estonia since 2011. Since 2005 he has been working at the Estonian Ministry of Culture as a Minister’s Adviser, Development Adviser and since 2007 until 2011 as the Head of the Development Department responsible for strategic planning and creative industries policy and for the creative economy agenda at a state level. His main interests are in the field of arts and cultural policies, cultural and creative industries, international and national cultural policies, cultural management, cultural districts and regeneration. In 2005, Ragnar graduated in political science from University of Tartu, specializing on international relations and public administration.

Ragnar is a member of European Commission’s working group on creative industries and a chairman of the European Union’s working group for cultural and creative industries and a member of the Steering Group of Northern Dimension Partnership for Culture. Also, Ragnar is heading the Estonian Commission of UNESCO Convention on diversity of cultural expressions, and is the president of the European Union Working Group on Cultural and Creative Industries. He is also active lecturer in the fields of strategy and communications. He teaches public speaking in secondary schools and coaches Estonian teams for the world championships in debating. He is Member of the Board of the Public Speaking Academy since December 2004.

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Emil Brix

Emil Brix is an Austrian historian and a diplomat. He has been in the diplomatic service of the Republic of Austria since 1982. As of April 2010, Emil Brix was appointed Austrian ambassador in London. He is also a Vice Chairman of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe , the Director-General for Foreign Cultural Policies at the Austrian Foreign Ministry and a Member Governing Board of Austrian Research Association. Additionaly he has been Secretary General at the Austrian Research Association, Head of the research group “Civil Society in Austria” and the Director of the Austrian Cultural Institute in London. Emil Brix published numerous books and articles on Austrian and European History. He studied English and History at the University of Vienna and gained honorary degrees at the University Drohobytsch and University Cluj/Napoca.

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