Ritva Mitchell 1947-2022

ERICarts commemorates an outstanding personality and colleague

With great sadness and dismay we have to announce that Ritva Mitchell – the co-founder and long-time President of the ERICarts Network and Institute – passed away July 2022. During the last 40 years, Ritva has undoubtedly been one of the most influential actors in European cultural cooperation and related research or documentation projects, including as regards the Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends, whose development she has significantly shaped since 1998. She brought her outstanding skills in conceptual planning, research and the communication of results to fruition in numerous research and consultancy projects, e.g., for the European Union, UNESCO or the Council of Europe; for the latter she worked for five years as a consultant on site in Strasbourg, for development cooperation organisations later also in Asia and Africa. Throughout her career, she performed in crucial positions for academic institutions and cultural policy in Finland and other Nordic countries, including from 2003 until her retirement as Director of Research for the CUPORE Institute of the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research in Helsinki. She was also involved in university teaching and particularly promoted the development of junior talents for cultural research. Numerous academic publications and conference papers attest to her innovative view of problems as well as opportunities for culture in Finland, Europe and the world (cf. a summary overview here). The Board and management of the ERICarts Network and Institute will never forget Ritva, her special, often challenging personality and her great achievements for an emerging European cultural space.
We received many condolences from her former colleagues, in some cases also a special tribute to Ritva on partner's websites, cf. the example of BalkanKult. A few snapshots with Ritva taken during ERICarts projects and meetings are enclosed here.