On June 8, 2021, the XNUMXth day of Fide with art, an annual meeting that Fide organized under the academic direction of Raphael Mateu de Ros, Founding Partner of Ramón y Cajal Abogados. Chairman of the Appointments and Corporate Governance Committee of Bankinter, SA Member of the Academic Council of Fidey Patricia Fernandez Lorenzo, Collaborator in Art and Cultural Heritage at Ramon y Cajal Abogados. This year's conference has dealt with Art Foundations and the relevant role that the figure of Trustees and Managers occupy in their respective fields of action.
The session began with the welcoming remarks of Cristina Jimenez Savurido, President of FIDE, and the introduction of Raphael Mateu de Ros, who moderated and gave way to the first block of interventions.
The first table dealt with the Challenges for Managers in Art Foundations. In this they participated Inigo Sainz de Miera, general director of the Centro Botín Foundation, Alexandra Silvestre, general director of the Hortensia Herrero Foundation and Cris Gabarron, general director of the Gabarrón Foundation, as well as Isabel Peñalosa, director of institutional relations of the Spanish Association of Foundations. The three foundations have art collections exhibited to the public in Santander the first, in Valencia the second, as well as in Mula (Murcia) the third, so they share concerns such as the projection to new audiences, measuring the impact your foundations have on society or the exploration of the access routes to extraordinary aid from the European Union, promoted to alleviate the effects of the pandemic, and its scope for a directly affected cultural sector.
In a round table format, the foundations presented themselves and explained their origin, their purpose, the priority activities for the foundation and to what extent the exceptional situation of the pandemic had altered their plans and projects. Next, Rafael Mateu de Ros went to the Spanish Association of Foundations to find out his opinion regarding which are the effects of good or bad management of the foundation and specifically, he asked about the report Analysis of the initial shock of the health emergency by Covid-19 in foundations published at the end of 2020. An interesting debate was also opened about European aid for culture in which Íñigo Sainz de Miera spoke about the complexity of accessing community aid from the position of a Foundation, a vision shared by Cris Gabarron.
Among the questions raised by the moderator, it is worth highlighting a question of maximum interest, such as measuring the impact of the foundation's activities. In this sense, the three foundations agreed on the desire to develop and improve the cultural life of the localities where they have established their headquarters. The Hortensia Herrero Foundation, in its attempt to return a historic Baroque building to Valencia by restoring the Valeriola Palace, which will house the new exhibition center of the foundation, has so far focused on quantitative evaluation criteria, such as the number of visitors . In the case of the Gabarrón Foundation, whose lines of action transcend culture and education, also generate a social impact on the youngest, its Center for the Study of Creativity works together with multiple universities and national and foreign institutions creating groups of control and work to evaluate the impact of their actions. Regarding the Centro Botín Foundation, its commitment to increasing creativity in Cantabria has led it to create its own meters in accordance with the objectives it wants to achieve, moving away from conventional numerical meters.
After a short break in which a video prepared by FIDE that showed in images the great social work of each of the participating foundations, the presentations were resumed with the second round table dedicated to addressing the Challenges that Trustees face in an Art Foundation.
Moderated by Patricia Fernandez Lorenzo, in this second session, the complexity for employers of ensuring the founding purpose established by the founder and the promotion of activities that, without renouncing its origins, allow the foundation to adapt to a changing context and get to reach new audiences.
The table featured suggestive contributions from Han Nefkens, founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation, Carmen Thomas deCarranza, patron and Raul Estevez, secretary, both from the José Caballero Foundation and Enrique Laborde Suarez-Zuloaga, patron of the Ignacio Zuloaga Museum Foundation, as well as Silverio Agea, General Director of the Spanish Association of Foundations. Although the three foundations work on different levels, it was clear from the beginning that they all shared an undeniable passion for the dissemination of culture. While the first foundation is dedicated to supporting the production of video art through patronage and the loan of its collection to numerous museums around the world, the other two foundations have in common the dissemination of the figure of a Spanish painter whose contribution is framed in the dynamic artistic context of the twentieth century, José Caballero and Ignacio Zuloaga. Their interventions served to share expectations before a desired public-private partnership higher in some cases and by a commitment to the collaboration in an international cultural network in others.
Although it was clear that the Patron represents the soul of the Foundation, Silverio Agea highlighted the importance of their professionalization and training since it takes charge of the good governance of the foundation. In this regard, he introduced the idea of being original and original, which means constantly questioning the reason for the creation of the foundation, as well as, without anchoring in the origin, the requirement to look to the future and try to contribute something new to the society. Han Nefkens bet on the idea of the innovation and the search for international collaborations, since its patronage is based on the trust placed in the artists whose works it produces and on generating new links in the art ecosystem. The Ignacio Zuloaga Museum Foundation also spoke in the same direction, who in the midst of a pandemic has opted to have a wonderful exhibition with Zuloaga's work in Tallinn, expanding new international horizons and making the figure of Zuloaga known internationally, as well as the José Caballero Foundation, who is committed to the opening of a new Museum in Huelva to spread the artistic and intellectual profile of one of the great artists of the s. XX.
Patronage, philanthropy, good governance of the board and management responsibility they were the subject of an enriching reflection that, beyond the particular vision of each of the aforementioned foundations, was contextualized in global terms thanks to the contributions of the Spanish Association of Foundations. The video made by FIDE for this day is the best reflection in images of the commitment and passion for culture, assumed and developed in an exemplary manner by the Art Foundations in Spain.
Summary prepared by Carolina Marti, Attorney at Ramón y Cajal Abogados. Department of Art and Cultural Heritage Law.