What do we do?

Presentation of RCF |  | Partners

Presentation of RCF


Since 1999, the Roberto Cimetta Fund, named after an Italian theatre director, has been one of the major actors in the mobility of artists and cultural operators in the Mediterranean countries. 
The core of its mission is to promote and facilitate the circulation of cultural professionals by taking an active part in the debates on mobility and cultural policies, by allocating travel grants, by helping the structuring of organisations through guidance and professional training. 


In more than 20 years the FRC has enabled the mobility of almost 2000 persons.


The FRC has always been based on a vast network of artists and professionals from both sides of the Mediterranean and the world. It is a community of committed actors who share their experiences, expertise and experiments in all fields of art and culture for the benefit of mobility, i.e. the free circulation of people, ideas and works. 


Having always been a space of reflection open and attentive to international issues, questions of equity in mobility, environment and sustainability now run through all our projects. 


Mobility is an essential component of the trajectories of artists and cultural operators: it is akin to informal training by encouraging the exploration of new places, practices and aesthetics; it develops professional opportunities through partnerships and the discovery of new markets; it fosters a better knowledge of the diversity of the Mediterranean world and contributes to forging bonds between people and communities in this region and beyond. 


Since 2020, the FRC's activities have been based on four missions that we consider essential for understanding the issue of mobility in the Mediterranean: 

- To develop training and support processes on the issues of professionalisation of cultural actors and the inscription of their practice on their territory. 

- Support and encourage cooperation projects and networking 

- Allocate funding for the mobility of artists and cultural operators - Observe mobility needs and practices and develop advocacy


Our partners are both institutional and independent as we believe that the development of cultural sectors and policies can only take place in a concerted and dynamic way for the benefit of the cultural sector and the development of the territories.   


The FRC's expertise is made available to local and regional authorities in the North and South at local, regional or national level so that transnational mobility strategies can be set up and developed, offering a favourable environment for artistic and cultural actors and entrepreneurs. The aim is to promote an equitable attitude towards cultural exchanges to ensure their stability and sustainability in the Euro-Mediterranean geographical area and beyond.



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).



Isin Önol, Secretary

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



Giovanna Tanzarella, Treasurer

Actively involved in the Mediterranean civil society, she is currently vice-president of the REF Réseau Euromed France and a member of the iReMMO Institut de recherches et d'études Méditerranée Moyen Orient in charge of the Universités populaires. She was for a long time the general delegate of the René Seydoux Foundation. She regularly lectures at universities and political studies institutes.



Serene Huleileh, Administrator

Cultural activist, researcher, book editor, translator/ interpreter, Palestinian folk dancer and musician, Ms. Huleileh has been active in the community education and cultural scenes in both Palestine and Jordan since 1990. In 2000 she established the regional office of the Arab Education Forum in Jordan and served as its director until 2019, developing projects and partnerships with and for community educators and artists across the Arab world, such as Safar youth mobility fund and Hakaya collective. She is one of 12 co-founders of Al Balad theatre in Jordan serving on its board since 2005 and one of four co-founders of Bait al Nai also serving on its board since 2018.



Cristina Farinha, Administrator

Cristina Farinha is an independent policy expert and researcher specialised in heritage, culture and creative industries. Through her work, she is interested in contributing to the strengthening of the role of culture and creativity in governance and development; the building of capacity, networking, and entrepreneurship; and the promotion of international cooperation and mobility; She has started to study mobility in the arts and culture in Europe back in 2004 in the frame of her PhD and since then has been connected to the Roberto Cimetta Fund; becoming an expert for the Selection Committee in 2013 and now a proud Board member.



Khadija El Bennaoui, Administrator

A cultural practitioner with more than eighteen years of experience in the arts and culture sectors. With roots in theatre performance and an ongoing practice as a producer and curator, she is committed to working with artists to improve the conditions for their creativity to flourish. An important strand of Khadija’s career has been devoted to improving the conditions for artists’ mobility, in particular within the Global South. In 2005, she launched Art Moves Africa, the first mobility fund devoted to artists and cultural operators travelling within Africa.



The Team


Fanny Bouquerel, Development Manager

Fanny Bouquerel, PhD, is part time professeure associée at the European Studies Institute, Université Paris 8, and free-lance researcher, lecturer, trainer and adviser. Her areas of interest are cultural policies and the EU action for culture; arts and cultural professionals’ strategies and professional development in Europe and the Mediterranean; mobility and international cooperation. Since June 2020, she is charge of development for the Roberto Cimetta Fund.





The Fund is named after a well-known and respected director and theatre-maker, Roberto Cimetta, who passed away too soon, and who was at the origin of many initiatives that contributed to the development of the international theatre community: the Inteatro festival in Polverigi (Italy), IETM (Informal European Theater Meeting), the ACARTE programme of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal for contemporary performing arts.



Founding Members 

Vélia Papa, artistic director of the Inteatro festival and general manager of Marche Teatro, professor of economics and management of live performance at the Università Politecnica delle Marche. 


Mary Ann De Vlieg, member of the board of Ettijahat, co-founder of IARA - International Arts Rights Advisor, former secretary general of the IETM network.  


Fabien Jannelle, President of the Office artistique de la région Aquitaine, former Director of ONDA, Office national de diffusion artistique - France.  


Manuèle Debrinay-Rizos, member of the scientific committee of the National Institute of Research and Training/ Bucharest-Romania, Professor at the National Institute of Fine Arts of Tetouan-Morocco. Former director of the French Institute Romania, cultural attaché Bulgaria.  


Gil Mendo Valente e Branco, former Director of the Dance Department of the Dance Department of the Portuguese Institute of Performing Arts, Lisbon, Portugal.


Res Bosshart, former Director of the Master Theatre University of Zurich, former General Director of the Meiningen Opera, former General Director of the Kampnagel, Hamburg.

What do we do?

Presentation of RCF |  | Partners