Announcing the Second Winner of the Dragan Klaić Lecturer Award

Current | 16.03.2015. 00:00

Dragan Klaić Foundation and UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management proudly present the second winner of the Dragan Klaić Lecturer award – Prof. Dr. Lidia Varbanova.


Initiated by the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Arts in Belgrade, the Dragan Klaić Fellowship Program is presented in memory of Prof. Dragan Klaić, PhD, theater scholar and cultural analyst. Supported by the Open Society Foundations and the European Cultural Foundation, it consists of 2 initiatives – Dragan Klaić Fellowship (student scholarship) and Dragan Klaić Lecturer(professor award), both given annually in order to contribute to the creation of a centre of excellence and attract the best students and professors to the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management. This interdisciplinary master study program is organized in cooperation with the Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France) and taught in English and French. For promoting international cultural cooperation, intercultural dialogue and mediation in the Balkans, the program received the UNESCO Chair title in 2004. 


Dr. Lidia Varbanova has over 20 years of professional experience as a consultant, educator, researcher and project manager in more than 50 countries. Her portfolio focuses on strategy, entrepreneurship, innovations, management, organisational development and change, online technologies, with a special emphasis on arts, culture and creative industries.

Lidia has been professor in prominent universities and training centers in Europe and Canada, among them: John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal; McGill University, Montreal; City University, London; Sibelius Academy, Helsinki; University of Arts, Belgrade; University of Cambridge, UK; The Open University, UK;  National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Bulgaria; UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, Belgrade; key capacity building programs of the European Cultural Foundation and Eastern Partnership Culture Program of the European Commission, and many more.  

Among her former positions are: Program Director at the Open Society Institute, Budapest and Dean, Department of Social and Cultural Management at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, where she has obtained her PhD in Economics.  

Lidia has received a number of awards, among them from the FULBRIGHT Program, Japan Foundation, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; ARTSLINK, NISPAcee, Webb Memorial Trust Oxford. Her latest book Strategic Management in the Arts, published by Routledge in 2013, looks at the unique characteristics of organisations in the arts and culture sector and shows readers how to tailor a strategic plan to help these diverse organizations meet their objectives.

Lidia has an insightful experience and knowledge in successfully consulting start-ups as well as established organizations, networks and online platforms in the field of arts and creative industries. An internationally acclaimed conference speaker and moderator, she provides consultancy and research services for government authorities, foundations, nonprofit and business organizations. Lidia is an active member of several professional networks in Canada and Europe. 

Lidia currently conducts online workshops on Cultural Planning and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Cultural Planning and Development, University of British Columbia. She is also the Business Developer of   Mojito Music - a new label for Latin and World Music. Lidia currently consults the Video Pool Media Arts Centre in Winnipeg on the development of their innovative fundraising strategy.



Dragan Klaić was a theater scholar and cultural analyst. He served as a Permanent Fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam and taught Arts and Cultural Policy at the University of Leiden. He obtained a degree in Dramaturgy in Belgrade and a Doctorate in Theater History and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University. Klaić worked as a theater critic and dramaturge, held professorships at the University of Arts in Belgrade and University of Amsterdam, guest professorships in the USA, at the CEU Budapest and University of Bologna, led the Theater Instituut Nederland, co-founded the European Theater Quarterly Euromaske, and served as the President of the European Network of Information Centers for the Performing Arts and of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage. His fields of engagement were contemporary performing arts, European cultural policies, strategies of cultural development and international cultural cooperation, interculturalism and cultural memory. He led complex international research projects, conceptualized numerous conferences and symposia, authored and edited publications. Klaić is the author of several books and hundreds of articles. He was the Chair of the European Festival Research Project. Dragan Klaić passed away in August 2011.

Lidia Varbanova's full CV is available below.