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EFC 2018 Conference: Culture Matters: connecting citizens, uniting communities

Taking place in Brussels from 29 May until 31 May, the EFC’s 29th  Annual General Assembly and Conference, will convene more than 600 philanthropic leaders and representatives from foundations, not-for profit organisations, academia and policymakers. It offers a unique opportunity for philanthropic actors from around the world to hear high-level speakers speak about current topics and trends and to meet with their peers, exchange know-how and experience, test new ideas, and form partnerships.

Inspired by the European Year of Culture, this year’s European Foundation Centre conference will feature a series of topical sessions, exciting exhibitions and thought-provoking visits on the theme of “Culture Matters: connecting citizens, uniting communities”. Taking place in Brussels from 29 May until 31 May, the EFC’s 29th  Annual General Assembly and Conference, will convene more than 600 philanthropic leaders and representatives from foundations, not-for profit organisations, academia and policymakers. It offers a unique opportunity for philanthropic actors from around the world to hear high-level speakers speak about current topics and trends and to meet with their peers, exchange know-how and experience, test new ideas, and form partnerships.

Our cultural heritage is a legacy that should be preserved and celebrated,” said Massimo Lapucci, Chair of the EFC and Secretary General, Fondazione CRT, a foundation well known for its work in the preservation and promotion of artistic heritage and cultural activities. “Philanthropy has a unique and important role to play in ensuring that culture is both an asset to be enjoyed now, and appreciated in the future.”

Culture is about shared experience, bringing different people together to share a common interest and creating personal connections to societies, communities, identities and most importantly to other people. “Brussels is the perfect location for this year’s event focusing on culture,” said Luc Luyten, Conference Chair and Chairman of the Belgian Federation of Philanthropic Foundations. “As the de facto capital of Europe, this international city, synonymous with diversity, has a unique atmosphere in which cultures mix and mingle together. Brussels is a city that embodies the importance of this year’s theme, connecting citizens and uniting communities.”

The three conference plenaries and over thirty sessions, addressing different aspects of culture, will feature a number of keynote speakers including the inspiring Jenny Sealey, artistic director at Graeae and Lemn Sissay, author, poet and broadcaster. Moderators include Katherine Watson, Director of the European Cultural Foundation and Vice Chair of the EFC and Jacki Davis, journalist, editor and Senior Advisor to the European Policy Centre think tank and Member of their Governing Board.

A unique and integral part of the conference is the “Walk and Talk” networking sessions during which delegates will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the soul of the city by discovering Brussels’ historical and contemporary culture by visiting various neighbourhoods, projects, iconic buildings and museums.

In addition to the many cultural activities and visits taking place, EFC member, the King Baudouin Foundation and other major European foundations are organising an exhibition in one of Belgium’s largest museums, the Musée du Cinquantenaire. It will display a selection of works of art highlighting philanthropy’s crucial efforts in the preservation and maintenance of cultural heritage.

The EFC will also host an exhibition in Philanthropy House. Showcasing its members’ diverse projects, the exhibition will display examples of restored buildings, parks, roads and museums that have improved social spaces, enhancing the lives of citizens.

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