Brexit and a cultural way forward, together

Collaborations in Europe have been through turbulent times before; Europe has overcome many severe crises and has bridged deep divisions in the past. And today, now that United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union has become a reality, we, foundations & cultural institutions working in Europe respond by strengthening our ties.

Brexit is a symptom and not a cause, and it is an indicator of social and cultural fault lines in British society. Moreover, ‘Brexit’ is a Europe-wide, even global phenomenon in it representing growing gaps between communities, between citizens and their political representatives, and between political ideas. We consider Brexit an igniting moment in time that creates a new positive sense of urgency and forges a renewed commitment to building and strengthening shared European cultural spaces, of which the UK has always been and will always be part.

We are convinced the ongoing political and institutional alienation between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU must not lead to a more cultural and societal separation, neither in the UK nor in other European societies. We want to look beyond the institutional realities and emphasise the importance of relating to each other in person, through both everyday encounters: at work, while travelling, in libraries, cafés and pubs, and also online interaction.

True cultural exchange and European experiences can counter the widening gaps between people and can help to overcome political divides. We believe in an open, democratic and inclusive Europe. Culture plays an important role in that, as the space for exchange and dialogue about differences, and the goal is to unearth frictions – we don’t need to all agree but we do need to talk to each other.

Based on our experiences, long-standing cooperation and broad networks, we are committed to creating even more European sentiment, through shared European experiences and more European exchanges. For all Europeans: in the countryside or in cities, living in the East or in the West, in the North or the South, born here and arrived here. We need to work, learn and live together.

Therefore, we will intensify our activities and efforts to enable communities and individuals across Europe to co-shape their dreams, their futures, a common cultural space, with creativity and in cooperation. We will develop new initiatives and programmes that will maintain and regenerate institution-to-institution, network-to-network, but most importantly people-to-people contacts. With this we will engage as many people from different walks of life and divergent opinions as possible.

We invite you – citizens, socially engaged practitioners, opinion makers, cultural workers and representatives of institutions – to join us in co-shaping a European cultural space!


Allianz Kulturstiftung [Esra Kücük, Managing Director]
British Council [Andy Mackay, Regional Director EU, and Kate Arthurs, Director Arts]
Compagnia di San Paolo [Matteo Bagnasco, Head of Goal Culture, and Paola Sabbione, Goal Culture]
European Cultural Foundation [André Wilkens, Director]
Goethe Institut [Elke Kaschl-Mohni, Regional Director Southwest Europe, Delegate for European Affairs, and Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Director, Head of the London Office and the Northwestern Europe Region]

Are We Europe [Kyrill Hartog, Editor-in-chief]
ASSIFERO [Carola Carazzone, Secretary General]
Association France-Grande Bretagne [Patrick Hénault, President]
Atlantis Culture [Nora Hadjisotiriou, Founder and Director]
Bafe – Bellevue Association, part of Bosch Alumni Network [Giuseppe de Simone, President]
Balkan Producing House [Kalki Aporia and Vivien von Abendorff, Founders]
Balkans Beyond Borders [Konstantina Karydi, Co-founder and Non-executive Director]
Bergen International Festival [Anders Beyer, Chief Executive & Artistic Director]
Beyond the Border Wales International Storytelling Festival [Naomi Wilds, Artistic Director]
BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt [Michael Schaefer, Chairman of the Board]
BOZAR [Paul Dujardin, CEO and Artistic Director]
Brave New World producties [Claudia Woolgar, Creative Producer]
Callias Foundation [Jan Moritz Onken, Artistic Director]
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation [Rui Esgaio, Secretary General]
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch [Andrew Barnett, Director]
CaravanCultura [Yelena Kharitonova, Founder]
Chorus [Yannis Pappas, Co-founder & Treasurer]
Circostrada Network [Stéphane Segreto-Aguilar, Coordinator]
City Proms Festival [Margot Hoiting, Director]
CreArt. Network of Cities for Artistic Creation [María Mozo, Coordinator]
Cultural center “Nikola Djurkovic” Kotor [Milica Popovic, Marketing Consultant]
Culturepolis [Vasileios Laopodis, President and Founder]
Culture Action Europe [Tere Badia, Secretary General]
Culture Liverpool [Claire McColgan, Director]
De Balie [Yoeri Albrecht, Director]
Diadrasis [Laura – Melpomeni Tapini, Managing Director]
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte – DGUF [Diane Scherzler, President]
Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe – DAFNE [Max von Abendroth, Executive Director]
Dutch Culture [Cees de Graaff, Director]
ECHO – European Concert Hall Organisation [Andrew Manning, Secretary General]
EDN – European Dancehouse Network [Gaja Lužnik, Production and Network Manager]
East of Elsewhere [Clementine Butler-Gallie, Co-Founder]
EFA – European Festivals Association [Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General]
Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture [Maria Panayides, Chief Executive Director]
ELIA [Maria Hansen, Executive Director]
ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centers [Sara Turra, Coordinator]
Europa Nostra [Sneška Quaedvlieg – Mihailović, Secretary General]
Europa Nostra UK [Sara Crofts, Chair]
European Choral Association – Europa Cantat [Sonja Greiner, Secretary General]
European Community Foundation Initiative [Anja Böllhoff and James Magowan, Coordinating Directors]
European Creative Business Network [Bernd Fesel, Director]
European Democracy Lab [Marie Rosenkranz, Research Associate]
European Economic and Social Committee [Luca Jahier, President]
European Folk Network [Nod Knowles, Administrator]
European Foundation Centre [Massimo Lapucci, Chair and Gerry Salole, Chief Executive]
European Jazz Network [Giambattista Tofoni, General Manager]
European Music Council [Ruth Jakobi and Simone Dudt, Secretaries General]
European Press Prize [Thomas van Neerbos, Director]
eurozine [Filip Zieliński, Managing Director]
Erste Stiftung [Boris Marte, Deputy Chairman of the Board and Franz Karl Prüller, Senior Advisor]
Evens Foundation [the Evens Foundation team]
Franco-British Connections [Jean-Pascal Sibiet, Founder, Lise Peron, Vice-President, Harry Edwards, Vice-president, Alex Lake]
Fondation de Luxembourg [Tonika Hirdman, Directrice Générale]
Fondazione CRC [Giandomenico Genta, President, Ezio Raviola and Giuliano Viglione, Vice Presidents, Davide Merlino, Paolo Merlo, Michelangelo Pellegrino, PierGiorgio Reggio Members of the Board of Directors, and Andrea Silvestri, Managing Director]
Fondazione CRT [Massimo Lapucci, Secretary General and Stefania Coni, International project coordinator]
Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli [Massimiliano Tarantino, Director]
Fondsen in Nederland [Siep Wijsenbeek, Director]
Forum on European Culture [Yoeri Albrecht and Cees de Graaff, Curators]
Foundation for Open Society DOTS [Ieva Morica, Executive director]
4Change [Sandra Oliveira, President of the Board]
4iS – plataforma para a inovação social [João Pedro Sousa Rosa, Director]
Green Music Initiative [Jacob Sylvester Bilabel, Founder]
Groningen University, Cultural Leadership Research Master Programme [Katherine Watson, Cultural Leader in Residence]
Haarlem Artspace [Olivia Punnett, Catherine Rogers, bev Shephard, & Geoff Diego Litherland, Directors]
Head 4 Arts [Kate Strudwick, Creative Director]
Helmut K. Anheier [Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare UCLA Luskin, and Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School]
HR Advice & Coaching Wijnhoven [Gill Wijnhoven, Director]
iac Berlin [Darius Polok, Managing Director, and Vinzenz Himmighofen, Bosch Alumni Network Coordinator]
IDFA – International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam [Cees van ‘t Hullenaar, Executive Director]
IepenUP [Jacco de Boer, Editor in Chief]
Incorporated Society of Musicians in the UK [Jeremy Huw Williams, President]
Intercult [Iwona Preis, Director]
Irish street arts, circus and spectacle network [Lucy Medlycott, Director]
İKSV – Istanbul foundation for culture and arts [Görgün Taner, General Director]
Johannes Harm Hovinga [artist]
Katapult [Oli Pinchbeck and Declan Mee, Directors]
Leeuwarden [Sjoerd Feitsma, Deputy Mayor for Culture]
Leeuwarden-Friesland, European Capital of Culture 2018 [Sjoerd Bootsma, Artistic Director]
Leeuwarden UNESCO City of Literature [Marleen Nagtegaal, Artistic Director]
Literature Wales [Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive Officer]
Madeleina Kay [#EUSupergirl]
Manchester Jazz Festival [Steve Mead, Artistic Director]
MitOst [Jotham Sietsma, Managing Director, and Naomi Martin, Program Manager Actors of Urban Change]
Moleskine Foundation [Adama Sanneh, Co-founder and CEO]
More Europe [Sana Ouchtati, Director of ‘external culture relations’]
National Centre for Early Music [Delma Tonlin, Director]
NEMO – Network of European Museum Organisations [Julia Pagel, Secretary General]
New Noardic Wave [Joris Hoebe, Director]
Oerol Festival [Siart Smit, General Director]
On the move [Marie Le Sourd, Secretary General]
Oranjewoud Festival [Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, Artistic Director]
Orthos Logos [Alexopoulos Constantine, Founding Publisher]
Other Music Academy [Valentin Schmehl, Project Manager]
Parrabbola [Philip Parr, Artistic Director]
Pigeon Bridge [Zane Estere Gruntmane, Founder and Managing Director]
Pier21 [David Lelieveld, Producer]
Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds [Adriana Esmeijer, Director]
Pro Helvetia [Philippe Bischof, Director]
PRS Foundation [Joe Frankland, CEO]
Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture [Emina Višnić, CEO]
Rosetta Arts [Sanaz Amidi, Chief Executive]
Sadler’s Wells [Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive]
Schwarzkopf Foundation [Anne Rolvering, Executive Director]
Sense of Place [Joop Mulder, Artistic Director]
Studio Vezza Pellegrino [Alessandra Salvadori, Fiscal Advisor]
Talking Transformations [Manuela Perteghella and Ricarda Vidal, Project Leaders]
Teatro dell’Argine [Micaela Casalboni, Co-Art Director]
Theatertreffen [Yvonne Büdenhölzer, Director, Maria Nübling, Head of Theatertreffen Stückemarkt and Necati Öziri, Head of Theatertreffen International Forum]
Theatr Iolo [Lee Lyford, Artistic Director]
Theatre Entropia [Marilli Mastrantoni, Artistic Director]
The Artists’ Association of Finland [Teemu Mäki, Chairman]
The Everyone Foundation [Richard Watts]
The Festival Academy (an initiative of the European Festivals Association) [Inge Ceustermans, General Director]
The Green Room [Gwendolenn Sharp, Director]
The Museum of Loss and Renewal [Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen, Directors]
Trac Scotland [David Francis, Director ]
Trac Wales [Danny KilBride, Director]
Trans Europe Halles [Mieke Renders, Managing Director]
Van Gendt Philanthropy Services [Rien van Gendt, Director]
Veszprém-Balaton 2023 [Zoltán Mészáros, CEO, and Can Togay János, Creative and Artistic Director]
Voorheen de Gemeente [Agnes Winter, Artistic Director]
World Cities Forum [Genevieve Marciniak, Relationship Manager]
World Press Photo [Lars Boering, Managing Director]