The Spanish Association for the Heritage Management (in Spanish, Asociación Española de Gestores de Patrimonio Cultural, AEGPC.) is an independent, non profit organization, which aims to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the Spanish and Latin American Cultural Heritage.
It has currently more than five hundred members, professionals and institutions involved in the management of cultural heritage resources. The AEGPC was founded in 1997 by a group of professionals and researchers that had completed one of the first postgraduate programmes on cultural heritage management in Spain at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). The office of the AEGPC is still in an office of the UCM campus.
AEGPC promotes the professional management of cultural heritage resources and advocates for the recognition of the value for the society of the efficient implementation of cultural programmes. Apart from its own advocacy works, it contributes to the articulation of the cultural sector. It is a founding member of the Spanish Federation of Associations of Cultural Managers (http://www.feagc.com/), and holds currently the Presidency of the Federation.
To achieve its aims, the AEGPC has signed agreements with many universities, public organs and private companies for the co-operation in activities related to the preservation and enhancement of the Spanish and Latin American Cultural Heritage.
The AEGPC has organized its activity around the following areas, all of them considering and updating the training and communication needs of cultural heritage managers. Starting from the research and debate of the professional practice, the association has designed and managed training and dissemination tools to enhance the professional competences of cultural heritage managers. In doing so, the association promotes professional and institutional cooperation within European and Latin-American networks and supra-national institutions.
There is a continuous update of the relevant professionals and stakeholders on cultural heritage managers. In the last years, there is an increasing interaction between conservation, management, technical and analytical profiles. Most of the research projects are focused to the identification of professional profiles and technical skills. Some of the projects are:
- Code of ethics and reflections on the professional management of heritage resources.
- Job descriptions and profiles (in cooperation with the Spanish Federation of Associations of Cultural Managers)
- Directory and data research of a “Who is Who” of Cultural Heritage agents in Spain (completed)
- Data research on institutions and professionals in Latin American countries (in progress)
- Bibliography compilations and literature review on Cultural Heritage Management (in progress)
- Directory of funding sources for Cultural Heritage Latin American institutions.
- Committee for the design of quality assessment and management in Cultural Heritage Management (together with the Spanish Association of Quality – AEQ – tourism and services area). A training scheme was designed and successfully implemented with the Spanish Ministry of Culture and with the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico.
- Appointed to the Committee of Good Practices in the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
- Invited to the Spanish Council of Cultural Heritage.
- Appointed to the advisory team of the editorial board of the PH Journal (edited by the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico).
- Participation in the “+ Culture = + Inclusion” project as a partner. This is project promoted by the Federation of Organizations for Persons with Intellectual Disability to facilitate access to culture for people with intellectual disabilities, as spectators and receivers, and as cultural creators and managers.
Since 1998, the AEGPC has worked on the design and implementation of training programmes (in-site and on-line) to provide cultural managers with new skills. Though skills and tools have changed, there have been main areas such as: technological competences (communication, graphic, programming), project design and implementation, funding (sponsorship, applications at competitive calls…), quality and entrepreneurship.
Some of the most relevant achievements in this area have been jointly developed with cultural institutions, such as the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Fundación Carolina, or the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico.
The courses organized in this period have covered the following areas:
- Design and evaluation of cultural projects
- Quality management in cultural organizations
- Design of communication and graphic tools for heritage conservation
- SMEs and start-ups in the Heritage Conservation Field
- Cultural marketing
- Cultural heritage as a resource for community development
- Funding of cultural heritage programs
Moreover, the AEGPC designed and managed for the Fundación Carolina the Program of Excellence in Heritage Conservation (Becas Carolina). This programme, aimed at Latin American professionals in the Cultural Heritage Conservation fields (architects, archaeologists, historians, lawyers, urban planners…) consisted on a 15 months training in Spain which combined formal training (160 ECTS), field visits, internships and mentoring programmes (more information in www.fundacioncarolina.es)
Since it foundation in 1997, the AEGPC has tried to contribute to the dissemination of relevant information about training, job and business opportunities for cultural heritage managers. We have tried to raise the awareness of the relevance of professional management of the cultural assets, and have brought new insights and challenges to the Spanish debate.
- Publications: We have printed 23 numbers of “Areté” book-magazine (some of them are the fist monographs published in Spanish on topics such as intangible cultural heritage management). We publish the monthly digital newsletter “Areté Digital”, which has a significant Latin American section, with around 1000 subscriptions from mostly Iberoamerican countries. Apart from this, it is displayed in the issuu electronic publishing space of the association since 2012 (issuu.com/aegpc).
- Organization of events: brokerage events, conferences, seminars, scientific symposia.
A relevant landmark was the organization of the 1st Latin American Congress of Cultural Heritage (Madrid, 2001). More than 200 specialists of different Cultural Heritage fields were selected for the scientific programme. The activity gathered more than 600 attendants (www.salon-ryr.com). Another landmarks are the contributions to the Spanish Conference of Culture (2012 and 2015 editions), organized by the Spanish Federation and that promoted the “Cultural Contract” in Spain, a document agreeing the rights of duties of public administrations, cultural managers and citizens in the production and access to culture.
- Website aegpc.org and social networks. The AEGPC edits a profile in facebook with more than 2750 followers, as well as a profile in twitter with 470.
The AEGPC promotes the integration of cultural heritage managers in both European and Latinamerican networks. This will contribute to the suitability for coordinating the Dissemination WP, and to the creation of a wide community of users and of stakeholders to which extend the results.
In the LAC area, the AEGPC has organized and contributed to the following institutions and activites:
- Latin American Network of Cultural Heritage.- (in Spanish, Red Iberoamericana del Patrimonio Cultural, REDIPAC). Launched in its first years with the economic support of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, REDIPAC is a network of public and private bodies, associations, foundations, professional entities and companies in any of the fields related to Cultural Heritage. Adscription to the network is free and grants access to services provided by REDIPAC’s “Reference Institutions” (this is mostly technical support and expertise). This is a very successful project as, in less than two years, nearly four thousand Latin American institutions were admitted into the Network (www.aegpc.org/Redipac.htm)
- Coinciding with the 1st Latin American Congress of Cultural Heritage, on the 1st of December 2001, the 1st General Conference of the Latin American Network of Cultural Heritage was held in Madrid.
- AEGPC has promoted the existence of peer-organizations in Latin America. It was invited to the consultation and creation process of the Mexican Association for the Cultural Heritage Management. Founding principles (statutes, code of ethics, definitions and operating principles were adapted and shared). Other associations are in course of been implemented in other Latin American countries.
- The AEGPC has made contributions to the consultation launched from the management team of the Rio project. Http://proyectorio.org/consulta/. To contribute to the regional coordination and strengthening of the Latin American cultural movement. This pursuits a comprehensive identification of networks and other forms of existing collaborative social organization in the cultural sector of civil society in Latin America, promoting cultural rights and the sustainability of our cultural productions.
In Europe too, the AEGPC contributes to several communities of practice and research:
- The AEGPC is registered in the Transparency Register of Interest Groups of the EU, and participates in open consultations. In the last years, it has contributed to the consultations on the Green Book of CCI, on the survey on financial needs of CCI, and was required by the Spanish Ministry of Culture to comment on the proposals of Creative Europe.
- AEGPC is associated partner of the project RICHES (Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society), funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU. The project explores how institutions, agencies and professionals working in the XXI century with the Cultural Heritage of Europe are able to meet the challenges of balancing the demands of conservation and innovation, cohesion and diversity, tradition and Novelty: cultural, social, economic and technological. http://www.riches-project.eu/
- The AEGPC was associated partner to the Lifelong Learning Project “The Learning Museum (LEM)”. As the project concluded a few months ago, we were invited to join as a workgroup of NEMO, the Network of European Museums Organisations, being one of the two Spanish institutions in the group. We currently contribute to that network and its research and dissemination activities. http://www.ne-mo.org/
- The AEGPC joined the European Platform EVoCH Economy of Cultural Heritage. This is a European initiative launched by the Castilla y Leon (Spain). http://www.jcyl.es/web/jcyl/EVoCH/es/Plantilla66y33/1284160887673/_/_/_
The Association has further participated in many European consultations and conferences:
- Conference “Sustainable Patrimony. Benefits & Solutions” held in May 2013 in the city of Barcelona.
- Consultation from the research project “” Impact assessment and the making of regulation in Europe: a comparative perspective” (Centre for Law, Economics and Society, CLES at University College London, and Ecole Nationale d’ Administration, ENA)
- Participation in the Observatory on Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property ICOM International.
- “Management of Cultural Heritage” at the conference by the Universidade Lusíada, the Câmara Municipal de Cascais and Heritage Research Center (Portugal, 2012).
- Participation in the lecture series “Management of Architectural Heritage” Universidade Lusíada (Portugal, 2013 Lisbon) “Economic aspects of historic preservation”.
- Multiplier event of the “MODI-FY project. Maintaining Historic Buildings and Objects through Developing and Up-grading Individual Skills of Project Managers: Fostering European Heritage and Culture for Years to come” ERASMUS + Program of Union Europe (Cascais, 2015).
Research meeting of Smartculture by invitation of Madrid Network: http://www.smartculture.eu/