Mr. Vassili Golikov, Moderator of Conference

Mr. Vassili Golikov has worked with SSCW (Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare www.sscw.ee) since 1995, coordinating many Youth and Children programmes on children and human rights, youth empowerment, integration, democracy and intercultural dialogue, sustainable development and advocacy of children and youth organisations, including policy making in youth, education and culture policies.  His main mission is to catalyzing children`s and young people’s potential to make a positive community change. He’s worked closely with various different governmental and non governmental organisations of Estonia and international organisations to support children well being and youth – working on children right and intercultural issues. He is constantly participating on main international events organised by Council of Europe and European Commission as an expert. Vassili has a Master`s degree in Political Science and Bachelor’s in International Relations and has been working and studying in UK, Finland and Germany. Currently he is working in Euroacademy as lecturer in international relations, human rights, project management, international cooperation and politics.

Mr. Guido Bosua, Moderator of Conference

Guido Bosua (1970) works as a physical actor, drama teacher and theatremaker since 1989. He studied for two years at the Hogeschool Eindhoven (dramateacher) and one year at the University of Utrecht (Theatre Science). He worked for the Rotterdam based organisation Pacific Enterprises from 1996 till 2001. In this organisation he was working as an actor, teacher, director and producer. Pacific Enterprises was a small cultural NGO, making art projects for all kind of events; festivals, congresses, and opening spectacles. In 2001, when Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture, Pacific Enterprises was involved in three big projects.From 2001 till 2008 He worked as coordinator, teacher and director for Jeugdhteaterhuis Zuid- Holland, at that time one of the bigger youth theatre schools (around 1.000 children and young people between 6 and 18 years old following classes in 6 different municipalities) . From 2009 till 2017 he was coordinating the Dutch network of youth theatre school. Later this network changed into PLATFORM THEATER, one of the organisations initiating CONNECT.

Conference experts

Mrs. Juliane Lenssen, Das Letzte Kleinod,Germany

Juliane Lenssen studied Object Theatre from 1985-1990 at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart and completed the studies with a diploma. As part of a DAAD scholarship she studied in 1988/89 at the University of Warsaw in the department of directing puppet theatre. From 1989-1995 she worked as a lecturer at the theatre academies of Amsterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands and as a puppeteer at the Royal Youth  Theatre in Antwerp/ Belgium as well as at Théâtre du Fust in France. She staged several performances on locations as a solo-actress or director and is the co-director of das Letzte Kleinod, staging documentary theatre since 1995. Since 2004 she wrote and directed children’s theatre plays which are staged in a train-wagon theatre. Since 2005 she staged youth theatre pieces at the theatre Das Letzte Kleinod and works as a project and PR manager for the company. Since 2014 she realizes youth-theatre-projects with young refugees and students (site specific) and leads theatre-workshops for young people. Juliane Lenssen speaks German, English, Dutch, French, Polish and Spanish.

 Mr. Bart Nagels, Met-X ,Belgium

Bart Nagels started his career as a youth worker in 1992, as a volunteer doing his civil service in Vilvoorde, a more industrial small city close to Brussels . Since 1994 he is working as a professional youth-worker in Molenbeek, a vulnerable neighborhood in Brussels. In 2000 Brussels became the cultural capital of Europe, and for the first time Zinneke-parade was organised. He participated in a musical project with some of the kids of the youth-centre, and the experience was so interesting that he founded Fanfakids, in collaboration with Jo Zanders who was working for Met-X (called the Krijtkring that time), a production house for urban music. The project Fanfakids shows that a good long term collaboration between a youth worker and an artist can led to beautiful projects, also with so-called difficult children from vulnerable neighborhoods.

Ms. Anu-Maaja Pallok, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Adviser on Creative industries

Holding a master degree in international business administration, I have worked over ten years in Enterprise Estonia, which is one of the largest institutions in our national ecosystem for supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, tourism and regional development. After being responsible for designing and implementing different initiatives, measures and development programs for various sectors and entrepreneurs, creative economy became one of my passions. Therefore since 2009 the development of cultural and creative sector from the economic, entrepreneurial and innovative perspective has become my main focus both in national and international level. In 2014 I joined the Ministry of Culture as the ministry became responsible for designing policies and instruments for implementing the EU structural funds for the development of cultural and creative sector in Estonia. On EU level I have been a member of two OMC working groups of member states’ experts dealing with cultural and creative sectors (access to finance, entrepreneurial and innovation potential, etc). I also participate in the work of China and Central and Eastern European Countries cultural cooperation, UNESCO 2005 convention, etc in order to gain and share the knowledge and expertise of endless potential about cultural and creative sectors.

Mr. Jim Tough, Amateo Network, UK

Jim Tough is the part time Coordinator for Amateo’s Arts Take Part project. Spent several years working in community learning and youth theatre before joining the Scottish Arts Council where he became the CEO. Hs also held senior positions at the Arts Council England and was Director of the Saltire Society which is a cultural charity in Scotland. Continues to work as a coach, consultant and aspiring writer.

Ms. Valentina Dačnik, Amateo Network, Croatia

Valentina Dačnik studied Art history and Ethnology at Zagreb University and completed the studies with a diploma in 2005. During college days she took part in a research project at Department of Ethnology and cultural Anthropology at Zagreb University about Bunjevci culture in Ličko-senjska County. The result was a published article with her colleague dr.sc. Sanja Lončar about prematrimonial rituals of Bunjevci. She started to work as an expert associate for dance at Croatian cultural association in 2008. This job includes organisation of different cultural events, dance festivals and education programs in Croatia and abroad. Direct connection with NGO organisations and Ministry of culture is included. She is also an editor of two editions about folk dance and costumes in Croatia. As a Head of dance department at Croatian cultural association she participated in international conference on amateur dance culture in Czech Republic in 2017. Valentina entered Amateo Board in 2011. Currently she is a vice-president and active member of Courses and Conferences team of Arts take part project. She is also a folk dancer and starting her PhD in Ethnology and Anthropology at Zadar University. The theme is Sustainable Development of Folklore Festivals as a form of Presentation and Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Mr. Siim Aimla, Goerg Ots Music school, Estonia

Siim Aimala is a Jazz musician, conductor and composer. He plays saxophone, flute, clarinet and he is  a leader on different Big Bands (Estonian Dream Big Band, Estonian Police Big Band, Big Band of Goerg Ots Music school). He also has numerous different smaller band and project, 2014 was he also conductor of Estonian Song Festival (about 15 000 singers). Siim has musical connections with almost all Estonian musicians and he has played with jazz-superstars, like Randy Brecker, Dee Dee Bridgewter, Lizz Wright, New York Voices etc. He has composed and arranged mostly jazz music (from duos to big bands) and choir music. He has released many CD-s and LP-s. Currently Siim works at Georg Ots Music school as leader of Jazz department.

Eduard Odinets, Head of External Funding of Ministry of Culture of Estonia

Eduard worked a years as a manager of Estonian language learning programmes financed by European Union in Estonian Integration Foundation, has been a Councillor to Minister and Head of Office of Minister for Population of Estonia. Also been an expert in several Estonia-based and international projects in field of integration policy. Eduard has MA degree in Education from Tallinn University as a teacher of Estonian as a second language and diploma in public administration from Tartu University. At present he is a PhD Student in Linguistics of School of Humanities of Tallinn University.

Matjaž Šmalc, Slovenian Public Fund for Cultural Activities

Matjaž Šmalc graduated from the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubjana as a theatre and radio drama director. After a few years of being a freelancer he started to work at the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities as the Head of the Theatre and Puppet Theatre Department. He is the director of several national festivals, including Festival Linhartovo srečanje – Slovenian national amateur theatre festival, Festival VIZIJE – festival of youth culture, Festival of Children Theatre Groups, Festival of Puppet Theatre Groups and the Playwright festival SCREAM!  He organises and runs many workshops in the field of theatre. For the last 8 years he has organised the International Drama in Education Conference.

Irene Käosaar, Integration Foundation

Irene Käosaar has been the Director of the Estonian Integration Foundation since 2017, with responsibilities of managing and coordinating the activities stemming from the Estonian Integration Plan 2020 in accordance with the priorities of the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education and Research. In 2007-2017 she worked at the Ministry of Education and Research as the Head of the Minorities Education Department, later as the Head of the General Education Department. Between 1999-2007 she worked as the Manager of Estonian Language Immersion Centre at the Non-Estonians Integration Foundation. For eight years she was a teacher of Estonian language at Tartu Alexander Pushkin School. Irene Käosaar is a member of several supervisory boards & associations, among others the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association, and the steering group for the Estonian Integration Plan 2013-2020.

Mr. Sjoerd Bootsma, Leeuwarden-Fryslân,
European Capital of Culture 2018, Holland

Mr. Sjoerd Bootsma is artistic director of the legacy organisation for Leeuwarden-Fryslân, European Capital of Culture 2018. From 2011 until 2013 Bootsma was involved with the team that wrote the two winning bid books that got Leeuwarden the ECOC-title. From 2014 till 2018 he was part of the artistic team that delivered the programme, from 2017 as co-artistic leader. The programme of LF2018 reflects the urgencies of an agricultural region, where city and countryside, native and newcomer must work together. The programme therefore offered surprising combinations: artists with biodiversity, theatre with immigration, festivals as a lab for sustainable innovation. It’s not art for art’s sake, but art as the medium for change, the artist working within communities to shape a new environment. A rich banquet of a programme created by a grassroots movement, which in Fryslân is called ‘iepen mienskip’ – an open sense of community. Mr. Bootsma is also artistic director of the festivals Welcome to The Village and Explore the North, and founder of Innofest (a foundation that enables entrepreneurs and start-ups to test sustainable prototypes at festivals). In general he’s a happy activist.

Jade Schiff, Roots & Routes International, Holland

Jade Schiff is an experienced manager in the cultural sector. She holds a master degree in Cultural Anthropology and combines organisational skills, a diverse network with a big passion for youth and culture. For the past 10 years Jade worked at Roots & Routes, an international network promoting diversity in performing & visual arts and supporting young artists all over Europe. Here she initiated and coordinated large international projects Next Generation Speaks – Spoken word as a driver for youth development and Mind Ur step – Connecting Urban Dance and Theater, which is currently touring through Europe. Next to that, Jade is coordinator of the Brassbandschool, the only musicschool in The Netherlands dedicated to Caribbean Brass.

Ms. Merilin Laager, NGO Creative Estonia

Merilin Laager is cultural & creative industries development projects manager in Loov Eesti. She is also the adviser of Creative Europe Culture Programme co- operation projects. Loov Eesti is a non-profit organization engaged in the implementation of nation-wide, all-inclusive, creative industries development activities since 2010. Merilin’s past experience comes from entrepreneurship, consulting mainly public, third and private sectors development projects about regional and European Union financing in various fields: culture, education and social sphere, environment, infrastructure investments, research and development. Merilin owns a MSc in Law from University of Tartu.

Ms. Evelyn Valtin, Estonian National Foundation of Civil Society

Evelyn Valtin has been contributing to international co-operation area since 2004 when she became a volunteer at the international student organization AIESEC. Developing co-operation and carrying out joint projects with foreign partners was part of his work in the Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals from 2008 until 2013. By now, Evelyn has worked as a coordinator of the international cooperation grants in National Foundation of Civil Society and the Europe for Citizens Funding Program for over two years. NFCS supports the development of NGOs with the aim of increasing the capacity of Estonian associations and promoting active citizenship. The Europe for Citizens Funding Program is designed to involve the citizens of the European Union, and to develop a common understanding of the history, values and cultural diversity of the European Union.

Külli Hansen, Specialist of culture department, Tartu City Government 

Külli Hansen works for the Cultural Service of Tartu City Government and is responsible for strategical planning of the city´s cultural life, including development of financing systems and foreign relations. Külli has long-term experiences in creative industries. She has worked as a microentrepreneur in arts management and as a development manager and entrepreneurship coach for creative start-ups in Tartu Centre for Creative Industries. She has also experiences in working as a lecturer in Estonian Business School and Tallinn University Haapsalu College where her topics were connected with business planning and creative training.

Kalle Paas, Tartu 2024/Tartu City Government

Kalle Paas works as a project manager at Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture Candidacy Team since the beginning of 2018. Kalle leads the development of budget, marketing and management strategies for the upcoming Tartu 2024 final selection bid book. Previously, he held managerial positions at Tartu JK Tammeka, one of the biggest football clubs in Estonia. There, Kalle worked on a number of successful community and marketing projects like the biggest ever Estonian sports crowdfunding campaign for the development of Sepa jalgpallikeskus. He has also worked as a volunteer for different Tartu sports and youth initiatives.

Heili Jõe, adviser on International cooperation, Estonian Ministry of Culture

Heili Jõe has been working at the Estonian Ministry of Culture since 2016 as EU Adviser. One of her main tasks are managing EU co-operation in the field of culture, audiovisual and sports and also Creative Europe Programme. At the moment she is also the Head of International Department at the Ministry and dealing also with international cultural relations  in general. She has a degree in sociology from Tallinn University.