Curious and always on a quest to find quality in culture and cultural entrepreneurship. That’s Joost Heinsius summarized. Heinsius has been working for years in the fields of cultural entrepreneurship, artistic interventions and financing mechanisms. He triggers the questions and answers them. He is connected to the RegionArts project through Baltan Laboratories, one of the partners.

Q: Why are you interested in the collaborations between arts and ICT?

A: To me, they are exemplary of the role artists and creatives can play in different sectors of society. Artists have different forms of creative thinking of their disposal:  

  • they question or perception, for example by not accepting stereotypes;
  • they pose different kinds of questions, for example provoking questions, imaginative questions, questioning long-established procedures;
  • they use different comparisons, for example by association, by analogies and by combining different senses;
  • they use another language, for example by using a more narrative than just rational logic or by using poetic language, they use different concepts than usual within ICT. 


Q: What in your opinion are the biggest obstacles for integrating the arts in other disciplines such as ICT?

A: What kind of integration? Artists often function very well by being outsiders looking in. But not all artists are the same, some are better at asking questions at the start of a project, others work well along with programmers, others are excellent in bringing in the user-perspective. The obstacle is mostly finding the right people who understand the potential of the power of the arts, not just as an ornament but going to the core of ICT-projects. The right people have an inclination towards the arts but have often never thought of applying its power in their own work.  

Q: What, in your opinion, is the role of policies and instruments in facilitating and initiating collaboration between the arts and ICT?

A: Policies and instruments help in agenda-setting (putting the combination of arts and ICT on the agenda in both sectors and within policy-making), in connecting and matching both sectors, in stimulating the transition from single projects to long-term programmes and in making research possible into the effects and impact of combining the arts and ICT.    

Q: You have joined two Exchanges of Experience consortium meetings for RegionArts. What were for you the most relevant dimensions of these participations?

A: Unfortunately, the second EoE for me was cancelled because of the Corona-virus. But the first (in Brussels) reminded me of the diversity of perspectives deriving from the different national, regional and sector-specific contexts. The challenge lies in finding the right combination of content and context for your own situation instead of copy-pasting an instrument or policy from each other. 

Q: If you could choose two words/concepts to characterize the RegionArts project which ones would you choose?

A: Necessity and cross-sectoral. 

About the interviewee:

Joost Heinsius works on the crossroads of strategy, financing and societal value of the arts. Through his company Values of Culture & Creativity ( he works on the development of new financial instruments (loans, guarantees, crowdfunding, impact funding) and on the expression of the values of culture in other societal domains by connecting new partners. He has been involved in many EU-projects, such as Training Artists for Innovation ( and Connecting Arts and Business ( Joost Heinsius has been involved in the development of the EU Guarantee Facility for loans to the Cultural and Creative Sector.