Words of thanks on receiving the 2023 ENCATC Outstanding Contribution Award (Helsinki, 13 October 2023)

Hyvaa huomenta!

First of all, I want to thank the honour of receiving the ENCATC Outstanding Contribution Award 2023. I want to thank in particular the members of the jury for selecting me for the award, and Milena Dragicevic-Sesic for proposing my candidacy.

ENCATC has been my main international reference network. Despite having served on the board of other international associations (ACEI, AAAE, ECURES...), chairing it was a great honour, a learning school on how to cooperate internationally, and a visibility factor on a European and international scale. I remember the challenge of changing the headquarters from Copenhagen to Brussels and finding a replacement for Isabelle Schwartz who was leaving for the ECF. We shouldn't have chosen better since Giannalia Cogliandro has been a crucial straw of our association for these 20 years. Giving generously (serving on a board involves a lot of work) brings many more benefits in the long run. And now even a prize!

But I wouldn't have come this far without 2 key factors: growing up in a family that gave me a very good education and a fantastic cultural environment (as you could see in the projected photos), as well as the influence of two personalities that, among others, helped and inspired me at the beginning of my professional career: Eduard Delgado and Mark Schuster, both of whom passed away prematurely.

Eduard Delgado (one of the key instigators in the foundation of ENCATC from his position at the Council of Europe, alongside Ritva Mitchell, Gabriele Maza or Raymond Weber), the promoter of the Master of cultural management that I have led for so many years, who threw me onto the international scene. He invited me to participate in CIRCLE activities and sent me as his substitute to give talks - often to the perplexity of the person who had invited him. Giving opportunities to young people was one of his great legacies!

And Mark Schuster, professor at MIT, editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics and great enthusiast of cultural events. He invited me to collaborate on a course on cultural policy at MIT and we did research together comparing international models of funding and cultural policies. He definitely opened me up to new ways of teaching and research, much more interactive and analytical.

I also want to thank the enormous support received from all the professionals - researchers (especially the co-authors of my publications), lecturers and technical and administrative staff - who have collaborated with me during the last 40 years of professional career, first at the Centre d'Estudis de Planificació (CEP) and the CERC, and then at the University of Barcelona and in all the international adventures in which I have participated. I wouldn't have gotten to where I am without them! Also, to the cultural professionals and students from the UB and from all over the world who, with their critical comments, have helped me to be better.

I have tried to lead more than to direct, to inspire by giving autonomy rather than to control the details, to have a prospective, holistic and long-range vision rather than being an executor or process manager. For this reason, I have been helped so much by those professionals who complement me by controlling what I have left in the air.

The international perspective, as a bridge between Europe and Latin America, and in contact with the other continents, has never involved abandoning the roots or the commitment to my country, Catalonia. I have tried to build bridges between the Catalan cultural reality and that of the rest of the world, offering opportunities, but also, when necessary, providing a critical perspective with the aim of trying to go further, always committed to a freer country, in dialogue with all kinds of diversities. Conectando también con los hermanos de España y de Latinoamérica!

- I finish, with a very special thank you to my mother who is 98 years old and to my husband Joan! Thanks to all the friends of ENCATC who have accompanied me all these years!

Thanks Gerald, thanks Dea, thanks GiannaLia !

Kiitos palyon!

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