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EMCY is happy to collaborate with the European Music Council and other seven partners in SHIFT – Shared Initiatives for Training, a project co-funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

Climate change, gender equality and inclusion of minorities are key challenges for our rapidly changing world. Arts and culture have a recognised role in shaping societies and have the potential to significantly contribute to a better and more sustainable future for all as recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project SHIFT will provide training initiatives for cultural leaders, working together and creating paths to face such global challenges. Implementing changes where needed and passing on the gained knowledge to leaders and staff members of cultural networks and the broader cultural sector are key targets of the project. The partners will produce online manuals and guidelines during these two next years (December 2019-December 2021) on the following themes: Cultural leadership, Climate change, Inclusion, Gender & Power-relations.


Cultural Leadership

Cultural leadership is one of today’s buzzwords. Yet there is no common understanding on the concept of Cultural Leadership. Today people agree on a community-oriented approach and therefore a shared leadership, which doesn’t have to be neutral and universal, but is aware of its subjectivity and dependence on group identities and values. This new paradigm gives space for a humanistic managerial approach which will benefit to the whole cultural sector.

Climate Change

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives on local, national and global level. This project will provide capacity building for leaders and staff of cultural networks on how to claim a role in the action required to achieve the climate change goals of the UN SDGs. Claiming that role means embedding environmental sustainability into the way we work and collaborate.


While the topic of inclusion in itself is not new, there are no general guidelines for cultural networks about how an organisation can adapt its work, its communication and its activities to reach more people in danger of being excluded. These guidelines will be the first document aimed at networks, organisations and institutions active in the field of culture. It will also have a special focus on leaders of these networks and organisations, with the aim of training them and reinforcing their capacity to increase inclusion and accessibility and to reduce inequality in their organisation and its activities.

Gender & Power-relations

The #METOO movement, and other movements and campaigns, have increased the awareness and empowered employees around the globe to report sexual harassment and other inequalities in the workplace. They have also brought to the surface the vulnerability and a lack of effective protection mechanisms of anyone facing power abuse, regardless of age, class and gender. The aim of this foreseen code of conduct and toolkit is to contribute to a lasting impact of this wave of empowerment on professional and societal culture.

  • The European Music Council (project’s coordinator) has been active for over 40 years at the crossroads of cultural policy and music. The organisation have also initiated and led projects which have managed to bring about fundamental change for the music sector. As a regional group of the International Music Council, the EMC also operates on an international level. More here.
  • The European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) a network of music competitions for young people across Europe.
  • The European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (ECA-EC) is a network with over 60 member organisation in 30 European countries as well as several hundred member choirs and individual members in the choral/vocal field in Europe. More here.
  • The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) is a globally connected European network of Higher Arts Education. ELIA has 250 members in 47 countries. More here.
  • The Fresh Arts Coalition Europe (FACE) is a platform promoting international cooperation and fresh practices in the performing arts, connecting cultural operators and artists to new perspectives and opportunities. More here.
  • The International network for contemporary performing arts (IETM) is a network of around 450 performing arts organisations and individual members working in the contemporary performing arts worldwide: theatre, dance, circus, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media. More here.
  • The International Music Council (IMC) is the world’s leading membership-based organisation dedicated to the promotion of the value of music in the lives of all peoples. More here.
  • On the move is the cultural mobility information network active in Europe and worldwide. A 15 years old initiative, it nowadays represents 50+ member organisations and individuals in Europe and worldwide. More here.
  • Trans Europe Halles (TEH) is a Europe based network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists that has been at the forefront of re-purposing Europe’s industrial buildings for arts, culture and activism since 1983. More here.
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EU co-funded projects