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Arts Management Network Newsletter No. 121: The ENCATC Annual Conference 2014

"The most precious things in life are not those you get for money," said Albert Einstein. Cultural managers, artists, and cultural policymakers are well aware that the personal and social value of culture cannot simply be measured through funding. Nevertheless, policy often tries to convey the rehabilitation of its budgets through funding cuts in the cultural sector while cultural institutions and initiatives complain about the lack of money – not just since the economic crisis. In this context, the ENCATC (European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers) placed the question "Is it all about money?" at the center of its annual conference 2014.

With the transformation to a digital society, new ways of financing, such as crowdfunding, seem to open opportunities for the cultural sector. However, to bring the hoped-for success, structures are needed that are adapted to the digital world and put communication, participation and thereby the commitment of potential donors at the focus of cultural work. But instead, competition with the leisure sector is growing while the number of visitors in the various cultural areas has been stagnating or declining over the past years and, in turn, the revenue and the confidence of stakeholders as well.

Based on the EU's support program Horizon 2020, the dialogue between researchers and practitioners in cultural management, in terms of new funding plans, should been strengthened at the ENCATC Annual Conference 2014. In this context, the topics dealt with the call for more cooperation, innovation, and efficiency in culture or the measurability of its non-financial value. As culture should deal with how its funding, structures, and tasks can be made sustainable in the face of ever new international and intercultural conflicts, or a changing world economy. For this reason, we are pleased to present several of the presentations from the 2014 ENCATC Annual Conference in this newsletter. They show the diverse aspects under which one can view the issues of cultural appreciation and funding.

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Submitted by editor-in-chief on May 08, 2015