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Oct 23, 2013
by Oscar Tollast
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Jimena Lara Estrada: "It’s a privilege to participate"

Young Cultural Leaders Forum Fellow praises value of session work Jimena Lara Estrada brainstorming during this year's strategy session

The director of international affairs at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico has credited Salzburg Global for aiding her career.

Jimena Lara Estrada attended the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum, where she joined 46 other participants from 37 countries for an intensive leadership development program.

Ms Lara Estrada said: “I do think that being here and participating here was definitely something that bolstered my career.”

Prior to her current role, Ms Lara Estrada was program coordinator at the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, where she coordinated grant and funding requests from Mexican artists.

She also generated new programming and developed partnerships to promote Mexican culture in New York.

“My responsibilities now require a broader sense of international relations in terms of culture. The skills and the participation here in the Seminar and the people that I met certainly feed my capacity of giving back to my organization.”

Ms Lara Estrada was recommended Salzburg Global by a former manager. It proved to be a trustworthy endorsement, as she explained how she took away from the session a deeper perspective of the work produced by cultural leaders.

“It was a very enlightening experience of understanding problems that are present in organizations throughout the world.”

Alongside other participants, she shared problems and goals that helped create an atmosphere for participants to learn from others.

“It gave me much more self-awareness of where I was standing and what were the next steps that I needed to take in terms of management and skills that I needed to acquire.

“It did give me a set of new tools, practical tools that I think have influenced my work within a year, especially because I changed jobs from last year to this year and they were really useful in my new role.”

This year, she returned to Salzburg Global to take part in a strategy session entitled, ‘Planning the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’.

Ms Lara Estrada and other participants helped design a new 10-year program to evolve from the Young Cultural Leaders Forum.

She revealed to Salzburg Global that she jumped at the opportunity to return to Schloss Leopoldskron.

“I was grateful for the opportunity because last year was an incredible experience for me. It really helped me at that point of my career in terms of networking, skills, and global perspectives of what we do as cultural entrepreneurs.

“It’s a rare opportunity to be part of a group of such inspiring people that are so active in so many different ways with a shared passion and a shared goal in such inspiring environments.”

“The level of depth and analysis of conversation is really a unique opportunity. It’s a privilege to participate.”

Ms Lara Estrada joined other participants in discussing the concept of cultural entrepreneurship. She explained to Salzburg Global what it meant to her.

“I think for me the word entrepreneurship tells me about motivation and passion for something in starting new things.

“For me, as part of the Ministry of Culture I do see it also as public management for the arts. Even though we belong to bigger organizations that have been going on for many decades, there’s always the opportunity to start new things, to start new projects, new ideas, and new ways of doing things.

“I see it as a very broad category that encompasses a large ecosystem where we all participate towards the same goal.”

Whilst reflecting on her second visit to Salzburg Global Seminar, Ms Lara Estrada said she hoped to continue her positive relationship with the Seminar, which she described as giving her a “big feeling” of belonging and responsibility.

“I see myself hopefully - if I have that privilege to be involved with the Seminar - to be able to give back and also to create more awareness in my country about this place, which is a unique oasis to come and think and get inspired by the things that really motivate us and move us in our everyday life with an incredible combination of people.”