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Presentation of RCF


Presentations of the Fund are available in Greek, Italian and Portuguese.

A more detailed presentation of the Fund is also available in English.

RCF has two wordpress websites which you can visit here and there.


The Roberto Cimetta Fund, is an international non-profit making organisation created in 1999 to respond rapidly and directly to individual artists and cultural managers wishing to travel in order to develop contemporary artistic cooperation projects in the Euro-Arab geographical zone and beyond. It is the Mobility Fund for artists and cultural operators in Europe, the Arab world and the Middle East. Since 2014, RCF is also providing sustaining support grants for venues, platforms and networks in the Arab geographical zone exclusively.


The Board of Directors of the Fund, the Committee of experts and the staff have built up considerable expertise on the development of funding mechanisms and management of funding for the benefit of international cultural co-construction processes within the artistic community at large.


This expertise is offered to local, regional, national and international governing bodies and private entities to implement well-planned strategies in international cultural relations that provide an enabling environment for artists and cultural operators, promoting a fair-trade attitude to culture, that entails stability and sustainability in the Euro-Arab geographical region and beyond.


RCF is fully engaged in the aims of the European Agenda for Culture in a globalised world that promote culture and mobility as essential tools in the external relations of the European Union.


RCF addresses the recommendations of the UNESCO Convention and the Agenda 21 for Culture that call for the strengthening of multilateral relations between North and South and preferential treatment to artists and professionals from developing countries. RCF is alined with the cultural conference of the Slovenian EU presidency in 2008, paying special attention to relations between Arab and Balkan artists. In 2011, RCF issued an action plan at the meeting organised in Paris at the French Ministry of Culture.


The Cimetta Fund considers that mobility is an essential learning tool and a legitimate policy that recognises the free circulation of cultural connecters, agents and practitioners. It addresses the questions of reciprocity and equal exchange, it gives equal support to incoming and outgoing artists, it provides interconnections in multicultural urban societies, it extends partnerships internationally… Mobility means intercultural dialogue where the artistic community can acquire intercultural competencies through confrontation, curiosity and permeation allowing for new forms of art and culture to emerge. Exchange and dialogue form an integral part of the values promoted by the Ethical Charter of the Fund to which artists should agree before receiving their grants. This Charter was first drafted in Amman, Jordan in September 2012. If you want to download it, click here.



Board of Directors


Manuèle Debrinay-Rizos

Manuèle Debrinay-Rizos, President

Professor, speaker, consultant in politics, diplomacy and cultural management. After 18 years of producing live performances and 7 years in the French diplomatic network (Romania and Bulgaria), Manuèle is a lecturer in cultural management, international cooperation and cultural diplomacy in various institutes and universities (Lyon2 University, Aix-Marseille University, IHEC Tunis, Mohamed V Rabat University, INBA Tetouan, University of theater and cinema in Bucharest, etc.). After 6 years as vice-president of the Encatc network, she is also a member of many organizations and networks, such as the National Institute for Cultural Training and Research (Ministry of Culture, Bucharest, Romania), the Observatory of Cultural Diversity (France), as well as the Master in Development of International Artistic and Cultural Projects (University Lyon2/France).


Dounia Benslimane, Secretary

Dounia is a medical doctor (2003) who dedicated herself to cultural activism and management. In 2010, she co-founded Racines in Casablanca (Morocco) and she is currently its Development & Partnership Director. From 2011 to 2013, she was in charge of the programming and management of "La Fabrique Culturelle des anciens abattoirs", an independent urban and contemporary arts space in Casablanca. Dounia is a member of several cultural NGOs in Morocco, Africa and Europe. She produced many reports and studies on cultural policies, artistic freedom and cultural management for the British Council, Freemuse, MedCulture, Istanbul Bilgi University... She obtained the European Diploma on Cultural Projects Management of Marcel Hicter Association (Brussels, Belgium) in 2014. She is an alumni of the International Visitors Leadership Programme of the US Department of State (2017).



Velia Papa, Administrator

Director of Inteatro since 1998, world reknowned performing arts festival held annually in Polverigi, Italy.  Since 2014, Velia is also Director of Marche Teatro and she is also Professor of "Performing Arts, Economics and Management" at Università Politecnica delle Marche since 2004. She has a particular expertise in artistic innovation, in discovery and promotion of new talents and emerging artists of the national and international scene. Moreover, she has participated in founding several European networks such as IETM. She was also a member, in 2008/2009, of the Music Commission set up by Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (MIBAC) and a speaker in international panels, conferences and seminars (San Francisco, Curitiba, Barcelona, Murcia, Tunis, Zurich, etc.). 


Hanan Kassab Hassan, Administrator

Syrian Professor of theater at Damascus University, and at Saint Joseph University (Beirut), she was also the General Manager of Damascus Opera House, the General Secretary of Damascus Arab Capital of Culture 2008, the Dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus and a member of the Strategic Commitee of the "Conseil Culturel de l'Union pour la Méditerranée" in France. 

She worked also as an external consultant for the IFPC and ICH, UNESCO. She wrote many researches in the field of theater and culture, and she translated from French into Arabic many books including plays of Jean Genet, Koltes and Beckett. 



Isin Önol, Administrator

She is an independent turkish curator based in New York and Vienna. She is a member of Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University, New York. She works as a guest critic at the Arts & Design MFA program at Montclair University, New Jersey and as a visiting curator at the Social Design – Art as Urban Innovation MA Program at University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Besides teaching, since 2009, she has produced number of exhibitions in various countries as an independent curator. Prior to that, she leaded the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art as its director and curator in Istanbul for three years. (2006-2009). She is the founder and program coordinator of Nesin Art Village, Sirince, Turkey


Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio, Administrator

He is a researcher, writer, editor and curator, based in Barcelone and Rome, working across different disciplines, territories and cultures. He holds a PhD in “Art History, Theory and Criticism” from the University of Barcelona. He is also Lecturer at the Cultural Management Programme of the University of Barcelona, and faculty member and core advisor at Transart Institute (NY-Berlin). His main interests and research lines are focused on the practices of intercultural processes, cross-cultural encounters, cultural cooperation, participation and mobility through the artistic, creative and educational experiences. He has participated in numerous conferences and developed projects and research residencies internationally. As an art critic, editor and independent curator he collaborates with several organizations and institutions worldwide and writes for different international magazines.



As a regranting organisation, RCF is committed to being accessible (wide-outreach/open calls), transparent (impartial selecting system), efficient (in respect of artists’ timeframe) and accountable (consistant evaluation of impact).


In order to select candidates of travel or sustaining support grants, the Board assigns experienced arts professionals with the role of expert on the evaluation committee. There are currently 56 experts from 35 countries from both Europe and the Arab-Middle East geographical zone. They are members of the General Assembly of RCF. An expert that becomes a member of the Board of RCF is no longer an expert for the term of his or her mandate. In respect of privacy, the names of the 56 experts currently on the RCF Committee will not be indicated on this website. The former experts of RCF are Zeina Arida, Aisha Ayari, Valérie Baran, Radhouane El Meddeb, Ghislaine Glasson-Deschaumes, Alice-Ann Jeandrel, Susa Popp, Charlotte Bank, Mais Irqsusi, Samar Martha, Loubna Joheir, Khouloud Soula, Lina Mouzner.


Requests are examined by the experts of each artistic discipline: Interdisciplinary digital arts/performing arts, theatre, dance, music, interdisciplinary performing arts/visual arts/architecture/film, cinema, photography, design, fashion, architecture, documentaries, digital arts, video arts, literature, poetry, dramaturgy, storytelling. Requests from cultural operators are examined by experts in cultural management or who are specialised in local cultural development in the country concerned. 


Measuring the impact of what we do

RCF presented its first Assessment on the impact of its funding scheme for mobility in 2012. This evaluation highlighted the fact that individual mobility leads to a better integration into one’s art field/practice and that rapid concrete results were obtained such as follow-up projects, publications, performances, screening, press coverage, concerts and not only touring as one could more readily imagine. 97% of artists stay in touch with their hosts. 56% plan to return to their hosts in the near future or to continuing circulating in the region. The assessment is available here.


A study on the impact of the cultural and artistic mobility funding line between the County Council of Bouches-du-Rhône (France), its cooperation zones in the Euro-Arab region and the Roberto Cimetta Fund was issued in 2013. Assessment available here.


A survey on Access to funding and funding needs was carried out in 2014 but the results are not conclusive and a new survey will be undertaken soon.


In Memoriam

The Roberto Cimetta Fund is named in memory of the well-known and respected theatre and festival director, Roberto Cimetta, whose career ended far too early. He initiated projects that contributed deeply to the development of the international theatre community: the Inteatro Festival in Polverigi, Italy; IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting); ACARTE, the contemporary performing arts programme of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, etc.


Founding Members 

Vélia Papa, Director of the International Theatre Festival, Inteatro, Polverigi, Italy 

Mary Ann De Vlieg, General Secretary of IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts

Fabien Jannelle, Director of ONDA, French National Office of Artistic Distribution

Manuèle Debrinay-Rizos, Producer, France

Gil Mendo Valente e Branco, Dance professor and Head of Dance Department of the Portuguese Institute of Art and Performance, Lisbon, Portugal 

Res Bosshart, Artistic Director, Germany & Switzerland

What do we do?

Presentation of RCF |  | Partners | Local cultural development
Resources | Fil Manfa - host organisations for artists in exile | Creative Tracks

Roberto Cimetta Fund

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13 bis rue Henri Monnier
75009 Paris - France


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