The inaugural WAF Conference was hosted on 28 – 29 September 2022, at the majestic Villa Arconati-FAR, Milan, Italy.
Fondazione Augusto Rancilio, WAF Conference 2022 Venue
Being the only dedicated gathering for all Art Foundations from around the world, the WAF Conference was a unique opportunity to reconvene following unprecedented times. Art-world leaders were evaluating the current landscape for Founders and Executives and discussing how to best support artists and engage even further with audiences to ensure financial sustainability.
Exploring the Strategic Role of Art Foundations to Strengthen Creative Potential
“The WAF conference is not only a meeting of minds by leaders of global art foundations, but it is also a meeting of hearts, of passion and commitment to furthering the role of art in society.” Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foudnation
Peter Deckers and Helena Stork, Co-Founders, World Art Foundations
Session 1: Panel Discussion – The Role of Art Foundations in the 2020’s: Reflection & Aspirations
- Reviewing the various institutional profiles and thematic focuses: What role do privately-run Art Foundations play in today’s art world?
- Art Foundations are renowned for ‘pushing the boundaries by providing a fresh, powerful viewpoint within the cultural landscape: What can we expect in the coming years?
- What are the advantages for private and public institutions to work together in today’s world?
- How can Art Foundations lead the way in ethical collecting, commissioning and programming?
Chair: Chris Dercon, President, Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais
Speakers: Sharon Corwin, President & CEO, Terra Foundation for American Art,
Vicente Todolí, Artistic Director, Pirelli HangarBicocca
Nusrat Mahmud, Co-Founder, Brihatta Art Foundation
Freda Isingoma, Founder & CEO, KIISA
Daniel Vega, Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Conservation, Fundación del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Session 2: Panel Discussion – Stimulating & Promoting Diverse Voices from Artists to Audiences
- How are today’s challenges shaping the new art landscape?
- Conversations of the world: How is programming providing a service to society?
- Keeping the collection alive: A reflection of the moment in dialogue with today’s cultural trends. How can this be achieved through programming?
- The role for artists within Art Foundations has become more comprehensive: How is it impacting the commissioning and curatorial process?
Chair: Markus Reymann, Director, TBA21 Academy
Speakers: Zoé Whitley, Director, Chisenhale Gallery
Cheryl Sim, Managing Director and Curator, PHI Foundation
Louie Jihyun Kim, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, D Museum | Daelim Museum
Kim Richter, Senior Research Specialist, Getty Research Institute
“The WAF conference 2022 was a fantastic meeting of minds. The whole conference was exceptionally well organised and created a wonderful feeling of trust and comradeship between participants.” Helen Turner, Artistic Director, E-WERK Luckenwalde
Session 3: Panel Discussion – Establishing & Retaining Founders’ Wishes
- Honouring Founders wishes whilst keeping the mission and objectives relevant
- Legacy and succession planning: Why, when, and how?
- Understanding the motivations to set up an art foundation, from societal needs to personal wishes
- Review of charitable objects and strategic Board developments
- Legalities around succession planning
Chair: Clare Hindle, Director, World Art Foundations
Speakers: Rodrigo Navia-Osorio Vijande, President, Fundació Glòria Soler & Fundació Suñol
Godfrey Worsdale, Director, Henry Moore Foundation
Aaron Cezar, Director, Delfina Foundation
Brigitte Bloksma, Director, Beelden aan Zee
Bishwajit Goswami, Co-Founder, Brihatta Art Foundation
Vittoria Bonifati, Founder & Artistic Director, Villa Lontana/Fondazione Dino ed Ernesta Santarelli Onlus
Session 4: Networking Roundtable Discussions
Theme 1: Successful Programming
- ‘Finding Balance Between Artists’ Values And Art Foundations Missions’ hosted by Cheryl Sim, Managing Director and Curator, PHI Foundation
- ‘Delivering Artists’ Residencies: Reviewing Experiences’ hosted by Belinda Holden, Executive Director, Yinka Shonibare Foundation
- ‘The Importance & Impacts Of Research’ hosted by Kim Richter, Senior Research Specialist, Getty Research Institute
- ‘Digital Programming: Are We Ready & Where Are The Opportunities?’ hosted by Jonny Hepburn, Director of the Creative Team, ngx
Theme 2: Collections’ Management
- ‘Best Practice For Art Storage: In-House vs. Third Party’ hosted by Claude Herrmann, MD, Fortius – Fine Art Storage and Logistics
- ‘State Of The Art In Preservation & Conservation Of Artwork’ hosted by Rob Green, CEO, Fortecho Solutions
- ‘Successfully Coordinating And Executing Touring Exhibitions’ hosted by Annika Erikson, CEO/Founder, Articheck
- ‘Decarbonising Spaces and Buildings for Art’ hosted by Andy Groarke, Co-Founder, Carmody Groarke Architects
Theme 3: Organisational Health
- ‘Effective Communication Strategies for Exhibitions & Public Programmes’ hosted by Andrea Walsh, Director of Communications, Judd Foundation
- ‘Fundraising And Philanthropy: Strategies For Financial Sustainability’ hosted by Leslie Ramos, Head of International Relations, Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght
- ‘Artists Legacy Planning’ hosted by Johannes Muselaers, Head of Collection, Philippe Vandenberg Foundation
- ‘Conservation, Legibility and Space: A Holistic Approach In The Presentation of Cultural Heritage’ hosted by Andrea Sartori, Business Development Manager, Goppion Technology
Drinks Reception hosted by Pirelli HangarBicocca
Session 5: Environmental Sustainability & the Impact of Art in a Decarbonising World
- What are the new technologies available to support the decarbonisation of Art Foundations?
- Reducing and offsetting Art Foundations’ carbon footprints from collections to exhibitions
- Art collection acquisition policies: How to ensure sustainable and ethical growth?
- Setting sectors’ standards to monitor and measure the environmental impact
Chair: Victoria Siddall, Co-Founder, Gallery Climate Coalition
Speakers: Daniel Vega, Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Conservation, Fundación del Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Nicolas Gitton, Director, Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght
Helen Turner, Artistic Director, E-WERK, Luckenwalde
Annika Erikson, CEO/Founder, Articheck
Andy Groarke, Co-Founder, Carmody Groarke
Session 6: Environmentally-Conscious Programming
- How are Art Foundations adapting to environmental concerns raised by artists, audiences and stakeholders?
- Can they adapt their missions to reflect and address today’s environmental challenges?
- How has programming evolved to reflect environmental concerns?
- Using artistic production as a catalyst for durable change
Chair: Annika Erikson, CEO/Founder, Articheck
Speakers: Adelina von Fürstenberg, Founder, Art for The World
Nathalie Guiot, Founder, Fondation Thalie
Koen Vanmechelen, Founder, Mouth Foundation
Belinda Holden, Executive Director, Yinka Shonibare Foundation
Anniina Koivu, Representative, Fogo Island Arts/Shorefast
“This has been the best and most incredibly conference I have ever been to. As organisations we have a duty of care to be open to opportunities and new ways of working. This kind of forum gives us the opportunity to accelerate and build on developing partnerships and the possibility of magical collision.” Belinda Holden, Managing Director, Yinka Shonibare Foudnation
Session 7: Innovative Approaches for Impactful Outcomes
- How can meaningful partnerships help to facilitate access to new territories in order to reach new audiences?
- Fostering partnerships to increase exposure, share knowledge, and provide greater support for artists
- Encouraging regional cooperation to promote regulatory transformations
- How to optimise partnerships to achieve a greater reach?
- Innovative collaborations to share collections and exhibition programmes
Chair: Michèle Ruo Yi Landolt, Deputy Director, Asymmetry Art Foundation
Speakers: Elise Herget, Director, Watermill Center
Skarlet Smatana, Director, George Economou Collection
Julia Höner, Artistic Director, KAI10 Arthena Foundation
Claude Herrmann, Managing Director, Fortius – Fine Art Storage and Logistics
Jonny Hepburn, Director of the Creative Team, ngx
Session 8: Successful Financing Models: Thinking Outside the Box
- What are the innovative and successful income streams today?
- Developing successful collaborations, with financial rewards
- How to ensure financial sustainability for future generations?
- Securing income through fundraising from private sources whilst retaining control
Chair: David Hrankovic, Managing Director, TBA21–Academy’s Ocean Space
Speakers: Elena Quarestani, Founder, ASSAB ONE
Bernhard Zuenkeler, Co-Founder, ESMoA
Naomi Potter, Founding Director, Esker Foundation
Julia Boadle, Founder & Chief Executive, ArtsAbroad