Music builds bridges – Discussion panel on private and public funding for music and culture for an inclusive Europe

In times of financial and economic challenges, a common reflex in austerity strategies of governments is to cut the funding for the arts and culture. However, arts and culture have the potential to create value economically and figuratively. Both arguments have to be used in search for new funding opportunities, but what is the difference between private and public funding, and what is the driving force behind the funders who support music initiatives, locally as well as on a European scale?



Esra Nilgün Mirze is the founder and the chairperson of Istanbul Association for Art and Design, has received 2010 European Culture Award and is barer of Silver Cross presented by the State of Hungary. In 1989 she joined Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. In 2000 she was one of the five NGO representatives who initiated Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture project, is a board member of Les Rencontres and also founder and Board Member of Heybeliada Association for Musical Sciences. Mirze also worked as Advisor for Cultural Affairs for the Municipality of Beyoglu, and worked as a lecturer on "Cultural Policies" in Culture University.

Ian Smith’s background is as a musician, performing with the Scottish National Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and directing Scottish Brass. He moved to the UK Musician’s Union in 1993 and was appointed Head of Music at the Scottish Arts Council in 2005. He has been Portfolio Manager for Music and Intellectual Property Development at Creative Scotland since its creation in 2010.

Xavier Troussard is Head of Unit “Cultural policy and intercultural dialogue” at the Directorate General Education and Culture (DG EAC). Before that he worked for the European Commission as Adviser for horizontal and international aspects of culture, Administrator and Deputy Head of Audiovisual Policy Unit. He holds MA in Law and General Administration (University of Rennes – International and European Law) and Postgraduate degree in European Law (Diploma of High European Studies – College of Europe).


Bart Van Looy is professor at K.U.Leuvenat the department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), Faculty of Business and Economics and has a (part-time) research affiliation at the University of Twente (Institute of Governance Studies, OOHR). In addition, he teaches at the MBA program of Flanders Business School (Antwerp) where he also acts  as scientific coordinator. Bart Van Looy is co-promotor of ECOOM and responsible for the research activities of INCENTIM (Research division K.U.Leuven R&D) which conducts applied and basic research in the field of innovation, technology and knowledge intensive entrepreneurship.


Simone Dudt studied Cultural Science in Germany and France focusing on Fine Arts and Music. She worked for the educational programmes of several museums and music schools, as academic assistant at the University of Hildesheim and as an assistant at the regional music council in Hannover. She has been working for the European Music Council since 2004 and is its current Secretary General.In 2010, she was elected to the Board of Culture Action Europe, a European umbrella organisation that advocates for culture at the EU institutions.