Lyne Sneige - “The Diversity That the Seminar Offers Is Unique”




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Oct 25, 2013
by Oscar Tollast
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Lyne Sneige - “The Diversity That the Seminar Offers Is Unique”

Freelance cultural affairs consultant praises mix of participants at program sessions Ms Sneige waiting to contribute at the recent strategy session

Lyne Sneige, a freelancer and consultant on cultural affairs, has described the diversity of participants at Salzburg Global’s sessions as unique.

She returned to Salzburg Global for her second visit to take part in a strategy session entitled, ‘Promoting the Next Generation of Cultural Entrepreneurs: Planning for Success’.

Ms Sneige said: “You don’t get to go to many meetings with such diversity.

“I think that the diversity that the seminar offers is unique [with] the fact that you are able to listen to experiences that are so diverse and to problems that are so different – different and common at the same time.”

At this year’s strategy session, Ms Sneige engaged in creative idea development discussions to help design a new 10-year program to evolve from the 2012 Young Cultural Leaders Forum.

She took part in a number of brainstorming exercises, working within small groups to assist in fine-tuning components of the program.

Ms Sneige, who has 17 years of experience in international development in the Middle East, described it as a huge responsibility to be a part of group designing a project with a 10-year lifespan.

“It was very interesting to hear the experiences of the young cultural entrepreneurs who were here last year and that has helped us shed light on many things that we needed to know to be able to move forward.

“I think the brainstorming sessions were very valuable on their own and as a process to develop the project.”

On the first evening of the session, Ms Sneige spoke to participants as part of a fireside chat on global views on cultural entrepreneurship.

She spoke of the multitude of countries that exist within the region, each having their own specificities.

“I just wanted to highlight the shifting role of the artist within this [region] and the pivotal role they have played in actually trying to change their societies.

“I wanted to show that there are still very vibrant art scenes [and] that cultural entrepreneurs are taking things in their hands more than ever before.”

Ms Sneige highlighted the positive use of technology to allow projects to travel and reach more people with a click of a button.

She also emphasized the powerful role of places and what they can provide to different aspects of social life and the arts and cultural sector.

“We have seen in many, many countries how they have tried to occupy public spaces and to use them in a different way – to animate them – to reclaim the space.

“They have done that through artistic means with dance, performance [and] participatory art. I wanted to shed light on this because that is very important in the discourse here and the role and function of the cultural entrepreneur in the bigger picture.”

Ms Sneige previously attended Salzburg Global in 2010 for a session entitled ‘The Performance Arts in Lean Times: Opportunities for Reinvention'.

“I was invited three years ago to attend a session performing arts in difficult financial times and that has been an eye opener for me.

“I remained in touch with the fantastic network that it provided and with the core group here.”

Prior to freelancing, Ms Sneige was deputy director in relation to Lebanon and regional projects manager for arts and culture for the Middle East at the British Council.

She spearheaded several initiatives such as the creative economy and cultural leadership agendas in the region.

It’s perhaps because of her experience she was confidently able to provide a definition of what a cultural entrepreneur was, at least in her view.

“A cultural entrepreneur is somebody who is ambitious, who wants to change things in his or her environment for the better and who wants to use art and cultural tools – and mediums – to do that.

“They’re people who have a lot of ambition and not enough resources. They need to think very quickly and very innovatively to be able to work with little [and] who are dreamers.”