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Art Forward: Cultural Management in Conflict and Context

Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 12:00 pm – Sunday, October 1, 2023, 2:00 pm

Have you ever wondered how to make concerts more sustainable? How can arts and culture promote change, social discourse and cohesion? How can arts and culture be manipulated to drive oppression and propaganda?  

Do you want to learn about the ways globalization affects the activities of museums? How may management restructuring help cultural projects to thrive? Are you interested in the everyday challenges experienced by cultural managers?  

The Art Forward conference and training program aim to present the diverse palette within cultural management research and practice. The program includes thought-provoking academic lectures from renowned professors and young researchers, panels comprised of actual practitioners, interactive workshops, concerts, and an exhibition that focuses on conflict and context, sustainability in international arts management and change management issues.  The aim of the program is to create awareness about sensitivity issues in cultural management and to focus on sustainable and cutting-edge ideas and objectives in areas of conflict in the age of globalization. Altogether, we offer an immersive experience that we believe will broaden your perspectives on cultural management.    

The conference and training are a collaboration between the Cultural Heritage Studies and the Culture Hub of the Central European University, C’Man Erasmus+ Project (The Green Room, KEA, Pro progressione) the Arts Cultural Management Conference. 

There are two ways to attend the Art Forward conference and training program. The conference takes place between 27-29 September and the training program runs between 26/09-1/10 and includes all the conference programs. You can register for the training and conference or sign up for only the conference.

Application deadline for the training program: September 20, 2023

Registration for CEU members jointly for the training program and the conference:  

General registration:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at


 Detailed Program 

 Date: 26th September, Tuesday 

Location: Central European University, Quellenstraße 51, 1100 Wien 

13:00-13:30 Registration 

13:30- 14:00 Welcome speeches  

Barna Petrányi, Managing Director, Pro Progressione (HU) and Zsuzsanna Szálka, Lecturer in the Cultural Heritage Studies Program and Coordinator of the Culture Hub, Central European University (A) 

14:00- 15:00 Introduction to the C’Man training and conference structure  

15:00-16:00 Presentation Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus in Vienna 

Astrid Exner, Head of Communications, WUK  

The Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus in Vienna's 9th district is an arts and culture center focused on innovative, experimental, interdisciplinary, critical arts and culture at local, regional, and international levels. It began its work 42 years ago and welcomes 200,000 people annually. This presentation on the history and organization of WUK offers a look at some of the challenges and solutions experienced within this open cultural space at the intersection of art, politics and social issues.   


Date: 27th September, Wednesday 

Location: Central European University, Quellenstraße 51, 1100 Wien  

9:00-10:00 Art Forward conference Welcome breakfast and registration
Location: Auditorium

Denisa Damaris Boca President of the ACMC; Vera Riesz Vice-President of the ACMC; Emma Gábor Founder and President of Salon de la Sagesse, József Laszlovszky and Zsuzsanna Szálka, Cultural Heritage Studies, CEU

10:00-11:00 Keynote talk Between Context and Conflict: The Role of Arts and Cultural Management 
Location: Auditorium

Olga Kolokytha, Academic Director of the Master in Music Management and the Master in Music for Applied Media programs at the University of Krems, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Communication - University of Vienna 

The topic of the talk revolves around the various crises our society has faced in the past and those it is still facing: the financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and, the war in Ukraine war as well as the energy crisis. All these events have played a paramount role in the shaping of our everyday lives and our societies. The talk will deal with these crises and the impact they had or have had on our lives. The speaker will elaborate on what was and what is the role of arts and cultural management regarding both the cultural sector but also society in general. 

11:00-12:00 Panel discussion Arts and culture, soft power on the world stage - Culture's diplomatic impact: Global perspectives 
Location: Auditorium

Moderator: Cäcilia Regner, Youth Representative at the Austrian Commission for UNESCO 

Matic Gajsek, Director for Europe - Europe Asia Center, lecturer at Breda University and doctoral researcher at Tilburg University 

Olga Kolokytha,  Academic Director of the Master in Music Management and the Master in Music for Applied Media Programs at the University of Krems, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Communication - University of Vienna 

Alain Matton, Communication and Public Information Officer – Delegation of the European Union to the International Organizations in Vienna  

Klara Kostal, Austrian contact point for the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions  

This panel session will explore power relations between countries, regions, continents, or political alliances such as the European Union and where arts and culture fit within these dynamics. Some of the questions to be addressed include: 

How important is culture in diplomatic agendas? How has art and cultural content been used or could be used to reduce or, conversely, even accentuate conflict at international levels? How do arts and culture influence such power dynamics between countries? 

12:00-13:30 Lunch break 

13:30-15:10 Workshop Critical Cataloguing and Silences in Museums 
Location: Tiered Room D-001  

Robyn Dora Radway, Associate Professor of History, Department of History, Central European University  

Cataloguing is an epistemological practice. Institutions catalog objects (such as works of art, books, or archival funds) to provide metadata that enables users to discover and access their collections. As materials are described and categorized for documentation purposes following established guidelines, knowledge is produced for internal databases. The increasing pressure on institutions to make their collections accessible online has highlighted the evolution of scientific standards in the documentation of material culture. The interpretations, biases, and judgments of the persons doing the cataloging mediate between objects and viewers. This has implications for how users’ access and engage with collections.  This workshop explores recent critical approaches to knowledge organization and their implications. We will survey scholarship on mitigating the power of classification regimes that reproduce hierarchies of oppression and follow a handful of case studies before trying out some critical cataloging techniques of our own. 

14:00- 15:00 Presentation Fair Pay - Fair Play? The fairness process in Austria as a study in contradiction 
Location: Auditorium 

Eva-Maria Bauer, Vice-president of the Austrian Music Council, Music Researcher and Lecturer - University of Krems 

As vice-president of the Austrian Music Council and a music researcher focusing on music sociology and the economic framework of the music market, Eva-Maria Bauer will share her experience as a representative of the music branch of the arts in the 2020 fairness process launched in Austria. Through the presentation of the principles of fair pay and the challenges in implementing fairer wages and fees in the cultural market, the session aims to stimulate discussion and raise awareness on fairness issues in the cultural field. 

15:10-15:30 Break 

15:30-16:30 Call Applicant Session Conflict & Context: Different perspectives on the role of arts and culture
Location: Auditorium  

Mahmoud Barakat: The Cultural Landscape of Ancient Villages of Northern Syria in the 

Memories of Displaced Locals and the Diaspora: Cultural landscape impacts in the post-war recovery 

Aswini Prabhakaran: Art versus Conflict: A case study of wall paintings overcoming violent suburb conflicts in Salcedo in the Dominican Republic 

16:30-17:30 Panel discussion Behind the Beats Talk: Women in the Music Industry 
Location: Auditorium 

Moderators: Sandra Allmann, Co-founder - Behind the Beats and Odelia Raza, Co-founder - Behind the Beats, Publicity and Event Executive - A&A Records 

Chiara Leoni, Photographer and Music Director, Manager – Interxenial 
ELAV, Musician 
DJ Joanna, Musician 

Art and music are for everyone and should be made by everyone. Not only male voices and influences deserve to be heard.

The lack of inclusivity in the music industry is illustrated by studies that look at the representation of women. In almost all significant milestones that are considered successes for artists, men are significantly more represented. To make the issue understandable for people who are not directly affected, it is of particular importance to give those concerned a voice and thus the opportunity to share their experiences. In addition to highlighting gender discrimination in the music industry, we will ask our guests to share their experiences as women in the industry and to talk about their specific wishes for change. Along with exploring this issue through the personal experiences of our guests, we will actively discuss concrete solutions and involve the audience. Our goal is to give the audience an impression of the position of women in the music industry and to include all aspects related to it. Opinions and prejudices will be critically examined from different points of view. Furthermore, concrete suggestions for improvement for different actors in the industry will be examined and discussed. As an open, creative and colorful scene, we should set ourselves the goal of working together against the structural discrimination of women in the music industry, in order to make our contribution to improving the overall situation.


Date: 28th September, Thursday 

Location: Central European University, Quellenstraße 51, 1100 Wien 

9:30-10:00 Registration 

10:00-11:00 Keynote Opera Aperta: how to make Opera in a Museum during wartime
Location: Auditorium  

Illia Razumeiko, Co-founder, Opera Aperta 

In February-March 2022, with the outbreak of a full-scale Russian invasion on Ukraine, all artefacts of the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts in Kyiv were moved to shelters. The historical interior of the museum became empty, as it was during the Second World War. In the summer of 2022, artistic group Opera Aperta found themselves inside an empty museum and started to create an opera "Genesis" that would rethink the history of the museum, opera, and the wars of the last centuries.  On October 10, 2022, a week after the premiere of the opera, Russia fired 70 missiles at Kyiv, starting a new phase of autumn-winter air terror. During this attack, one of the rockets hit the square in front of the museum. The blast wave damaged the windows and ceiling of the historic building. Currently, the work on the opera continues in the form of the creation of a documentary book "How to make Opera in a Museum during wartime?", supported by the program "Documenting Ukraine", launched by the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). 

Opera Aperta is a laboratory for contemporary opera, based in Kyiv, Ukraine, founded by Ukrainian composers Roman Grygoriv and Illia Razumeiko. Since 2015, they have created over 10 operas and music-theatre productions that were successfully presented in theatres and opera festivals in Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Two operas, IYOV, and Chornobyldorf, were listed among the best modern music-theatre productions at the Music Theater Now competitions.  

11:00-12:00 Presentation They stole the past and betrayed the future: An investigation of the Russian looting of the Kherson Art Museums
Location: Auditorium 

Deniz M. Dirisu & Agata Pyka, Journalists – The European Correspondent 

Since April, a team of five researchers has been tirelessly working on identifying key collaborators in potentially the biggest art theft since the Second World War. It occured in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson. In an especially shocking case of Russia’s war against Ukrainian culture, over 10,000 art pieces were stolen by retreating Russian occupation forces ahead of the city’s liberation last November. Two members of the investigation team will join us to present their findings. 

12:00- 13:30 Lunch break 

13:30-15:00 Workshop Creative Writing, Navigating Conflict through Creative Expression
Location: Senate Room B-319  

Borbala Farago, Lecturer, Academic Writing Instructor, Academic Writing Center, Undergraduate Studies Central European University  

People pay attention to the world around them, but writers do something different. A writer’s task is to make every and any little detail or moment feel new – as if it has never been experienced from that specific perspective ever before. But how do writers witness conflict and themselves in it? How do we write about others with responsibility? How do we give testimony and also bear witness to things and events beyond our full understanding? What are the differences in writing about conflict as a witness, a bystander, a participant, a spectator, and/or an ally? In this workshop we will explore such questions through reading short texts, responding to writing prompts and sharing our work with each other. No previous writing experience is necessary, just bring your laptop or pen and paper along! 

14:00-15:00 Panel discussion Writing in times of Crisis: Hope through the lens of Young Thinkers 
Location: Auditorium

Moderator: Faustas Norvaisa, Chief Editor of the Journal d’Ambroisie 


Alitza Cardona, Writer for the Journal d’Ambroisie 
Anja Radonjic, Writer for the Journal d’Ambroisie  
Robert Isaf, Poetry Editor of the Journal d’Ambroisie  

The Journal d’Ambroisie panel will explore the profound role of writing during times of crisis, touching on personal experiences, generational perspectives, practical challenges, audience considerations, genres, and mediums. Our panellists will delve into the potential for writing to offer solace and hope, the impact of the digital age on young writers, the importance of collaboration and community in fostering hope, and the advocacy and action that writing can inspire during crises. They will also inquire about self-care and resilience strategies for writers in challenging times, and the future outlook for the evolution of crisis-related writing. Ultimately, the panel aims to shed light on the multifaceted ways in which writing serves as a powerful tool for coping, advocating, and conveying hope amid adversity. 

15:00-15:20 Break 

15:20-16:00 Call Applicant Session Conflict and Context: “Different perspectives on the role of arts and culture"
Location: Auditorium

Faustas Norvaisa: Fear and Trembling: The Sublime-Terror in Seneca’s Octavia 
Nellya Dzhamanbaeva: Art-activism in Kyrgyzstan 

16:00-17:00 Presentation Fostering Community and Perspective through Music 
Location: Auditorium

Péter Újvári: Main organizer of Udvar Fesztivál, mentor at Szimfolk Zenei Műhely (Szimfolk Music Workshop) 
Milán Rafael Bartis: Szimfolk Zenei Műhely (Szimfolk Music Workshop): co-founder, mentor 
Róbert Velkey: Szimfolk Zenei Műhely (Szimfolk Music Workshop): founder, mentor 

There is a common thing between the Ukrainian refugees and the people living in deep poverty: the lack of stability and perspective in their lives. A strong community can help to overcome these obstacles. There are several ways to create one, but there is a method that has worked for us for thousands of years: playing music together. We at Szimfolk Zenei Műhely (Szimfolk Music Workshop) have been working for 3 years in Arló and now in Budapest as well to help the younger generations living in uncertain conditions to find their way forward. 

16:30-17:00 Presentation Preserving Difficult Heritage? Decontextualizing or Recontextualizing After Conflicting Times? A Set of Provocations
Location: Senate Room B-319

Marcell Sebők, Associate Professor in the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University

This session will address questions of difficult artistic heritage, removals and attempts of erasing memory, the significance of contexts, and present-day claims of "cancel culture". As it is intended on a set of "provocations", examples will cover the faith of controversial statues and memorials, the shifting meaning of artistic representation, and questions of de- or re-contextualization.

18:00- 20:30 Exhibition Conflict and Context 

Location: Garage Grande Deinhardsteingasse 12, 1160 Wien 
Curators: Grazia De Colle, Jessica Rosen 
Maurício Ianês
Georgij Melnikov 
Mirjana Mustra 
Ziliä Qansurá 


Date: 29th September, Friday  

Location: Central European University, Quellenstraße 51, 1100 Wien 

9:30-10:00 Registration  

10:00-11:00 Presentation What does Education Mean in the Museum Today? Wien Museum Neu as a space for Dialogue, Exchange, and Belonging 
Location: Senate Room B-319 

Nathaniel Prottas, Director of Education and Visitor Services at the Wien Museum 

With the re-opening of the Wien Museum Karlsplatz after a multi-year renovation, the Education Department is preparing to launch an entirely new set of programs, ranging from family workshops, to community projects, to formats for seniors.  What does it take to create programming for a multi-language, multi-cultural city like Vienna? How can a city museum work towards inclusive, polyphonic programming while facing the realities of a large portion of the public’s lack of connection with museums? In this discussion, we will think together about how museums can be welcoming spaces and the challenges that face the museum today. 

10:00- 11:00 Call Applicant Session Conflict and Context: Different perspectives on the role of arts and culture 
Location: Auditorium 

Harriet Simons: The Role of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Post-Conflict Settings  

Samar Abdelaal: Echoes of Resistance: Forging a Collective Narrative Through Semsemya's Melodies in the Face of Colonialism and Beyond

Robert Isaf: The Nakbat Dimashq (in Translation)- Ahmad Shawqi's Response in Poetry to Calamity and Colonialism 

11:00-12:00 Panel Sustainability, Heritage, and Films  
Location: Auditorium 


Moderator: Andrea Velich, Associate Professor – Department of English Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.  

Éva Mészáros, PhD researcher in the Medieval and Early Modern English Culture and Literature Program at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.  

Eimear Conlan, Event Manager, CHARM-EU Global Challenges for Sustainability MSc graduate  

David Fajayomi, CHARM-EU European sustainable development MSc graduate  

Sara Lang, Environment and Sustainability Manager at Vestel UK Ltd, CHARM-EU Global Challenges for Sustainability MSc graduate  

Bob Steenmeije, CHARM-EU European sustainable development MSc graduate  

The purpose of this panel discussion is to highlight the role of and need for raising awareness and sustainable education in the heritage and film industry as well as their sustainable transformation using a case study from Hungary. The panelists will present their research, conducted last year within the ELTE-CHARM EU research program. The panel will address the interconnectedness of the sustainability aspects of film and national- and cultural heritage.   

12:00- 13:30 Lunch break  

13:30-16:30 C’Man workshop Design, Develop and Deliver: Strategic Cultural Project Management
Location: Auditorium

Barna Petrányi, managing director, Pro Progressione  

This workshop is designed to upskill emerging cultural managers, providing practical skills and techniques to enhance your project planning and execution skills. The workshop will be comprised of a small group of like-minded professionals, fostering a collaborative learning environment from practitioners in the field. There will be an introduction to project management tools that will enable individuals to write applications for grants, funding, and sponsorships with more confidence. Participants will gain hands-on experience utilizing proven project management practices, boosting the team’s efficiency. Through interactive exercises and case studies, you will learn how to effectively communicate ideas and develop viable project plans. 

​​​​​​​19:00 Concert Colors & Chords, Networking Event

Location: Das Café/Möbel Café, Burggasse 10, 1070 Wien 
Musicians: Ned StrangerGood Lee, Elskling  
Performing Visual Artists: Anka Arnóth, Zsófia Nóra Demeter 

The conference's closing and networking event: ACMC colours and chords, is an evening of live music and visual artistry in Vienna's central Das Café. The event will feature captivating musical performances, including intimate guitar-based songs, uplifting electronic music, and a multi-instrumental journey through various genres. In addition, visual artists from Budapest will transform the space with experimental and thought-provoking art installations and a live performance blending visual and auditory elements. It's an opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of the ACMC's 6th edition with an unforgettable fusion of creativity and talent. 


Date: 30th September, Saturday 

Location: Central European University, Wien 

9:00-12:00 C’Man workshop Navigating the complexities of working in the cultural sector: anticipating and adapting to change  
Location: Auditorium

Arthur Le Gall, director, KEA  

Working in the cultural and creative sectors is often a matter of juggling between various unexpected changes. Cultural managers need to tackle the difficulties of the ever-changing setting of the environments they operate in. Learning how to anticipate changes that impact operations and activities is a crucial skill, especially in the cultural industries. In this workshop, we will work on those skills and teach you all the basics of change and risk management so you become familiar with them. In addition, you will exchange ideas with experienced cultural professionals and hone your abilities to develop a risk management plan.  


Date: 1st October, Sunday  

Location: Central European University, Wien 

9:00-12:00 C’Man workshop The New Normal: Integrating Environmental and Climate Change Issues in our Professional Practices  
Location: Auditorium

Gwendolenn Sharp, director, The Green Room  
Cécile Pavec, administrative and project manager, The Green Room  

Join us for this practice-oriented workshop in which you will be able to learn about the effects of climate change on cultural industries! In this interactive session, you will gain an understanding of the current obstacles and opportunities within this sector. In addition, you will get the chance to participate in open discussions centered around how the cultural industries can adapt to the consequences of anthropogenic climate change and align their activities with low-carbon goals and sustainable practices. The workshop will deal with the question of how cultural managers can integrate environmentally friendly and sustainable practices in their projects and organizations. It will provide participants with an understanding of the key impacts of climate change on the cultural sector.