European Academy of Participation sketches the connections between participation, arts, identity and contested heritage that have been the focus of a series of EU funded projects by Goethe Institut and Stichting H401 in the last 15 years. Collaborators and partners in these projects reflect on the definition, potential and limitations of participation in the arts. Contributions range from policy recommendations to academic articles and friendly conversations: a resourceful collection of food for thought on inclusive and accessible participation in the creative and heritage sector.
Joachim Umlauf is the director of the Goethe Institut in Bucharest Romania. Umlauf graduated in German Studies and Romance Languages and Literature in Düsseldorf, Nantes and Frankfurt/Main. In 1993 he obtained his PhD in comparative literary studies and the history of art. After being a teacher trainer at the Goethe Institut in Prague in 1994 he worked as a lecturer for the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) from 1995 to 2000 and was director of the Maison Heinrich Heine in Paris. From 2000- 2005 he worked as department director at the DAAD in Bonn. He consequently became the director of the Goethe Institutes in Amsterdam, Paris, Lyon and Marseille. He teaches cultural management and theory in several Universities (Sorbonne Nouvelle, University of Bucharest). His latest publications include books about cultural exchange between Germany and France in an European context.
Lars Ebert is the Secretary General of Culture Action Europe, the major European network of cultural networks, organisations, artists, activists, academics and policymakers. In this role he advocates for access to the arts and participation in culture as a fundamental right of every citizen and lobbies for public investment in culture and the arts as the main force for the development of a sustainable and more cohesive Europe. Previously he was deputy director of ELIA—The European League of Institutes of the Arts and co-director of H401 in Amsterdam, where he today serves on the board. He has a long track record of successfully initiating and implementing EU funded multilateral projects on heritage, participation, education and research in and through the arts that he always developed in parallel with local inter-disciplinary art programmes at H401 in Amsterdam. Lars is engaged in various organisations in arts, culture, education and research such as ArtFutures or EQ-Arts, which he co-founded and where he currently is the chair of the board. He lives and works in Brussels and Athens.