EADA awards the Irene Vázquez 2023 Scholarship to cultural entrepreneur Elisabet Parés
EADA has launched the second edition of the Irene Vázquez Scholarship, in honour of the co-founder of the school, which is aimed at female entrepreneurs in the cultural sector who are seeking to improve their leadership and management skills. This scholarship covers 100% of the tuition fees for the PDG-Senior Management Programme, one of the first EADA programmes created over 65 years ago, designed to foster management growth and development in the areas of strategy, operations and talent.
The recipient of this year’s scholarship is Elisabet Parés, an entrepreneur who has set up her own cultural projects focused on raising the profile of professionals in the cultural sector.“ I am really happy to have been awarded this scholarship for the PDG programme at EADA, as it will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to launch new business projects and improve the profitability of those that are already in place”.
Parés has an extensive background in team management. In 2009, she started working in the unrelated sector of real estate, but it gave her experience in managing teams and projects. Three years later, she decided to study a Master in Cultural Management with the aim of redirecting her career and combining her two passions: management and culture. While working in real-estate development, she set up StendhalBooks, an independent publishing house specialising in poetry, photography and illustrations. In 2016, she made another leap in her career by promoting the graphic design studio, Karakter Studio, which is based in L´Hospitalet de Llobregat. Another of the initiatives Elisabet set up during this time was CREA, a meeting point for those working in the arts and cultural sector in L´Hospitalet, with debates, networking and activities that give visibility to professionals in this local sector.
As Elisabet explains, “CREA helped us to create the map of the network of creative professionals in L´Hospitalet, as well as meet them personally and discover their concerns and needs. This led to the creation of eldistrito in 2020, the first free online platform for professionals working in the cultural sector”. The main aims of this initiative are to revitalise the sector, communicate and disseminate their activities and provide professionals with free access to their services. In only three years, eldistrito has already achieved milestones such as the first edition of the Berdache Gender Art Festival in 2020, which aimed to create a framework for dialogue and debate regarding gender identity through art, the TV programme ‘L’Orgull de la Xarxa de Televisions Locals y Betevé (Pride of the Local Television Network and Betevé) – to give visibility to LGTBIQ+ diversity, and finally the promotion of the online gallery MyPlace which offers visual artists a digital space to exhibit their work as well as training support in digitalisation and online sales.
In November 2022, Parés made another leap in her career by setting up Palo Santo Cultura, her own brand dedicated to cultural productions, with a range of services including cultural consulting, artistic direction, training, cultural management and sponsorship, networking and technical and executive production. “I’m very proud and satisfied with my career so far and with the cultural projects that I’ve helped to carry forward”, Elisabet explains. However, she admits that there are still areas of business administration she needs to learn in order to calculate the profitability of her current projects as well as explore new business opportunities: “Intangible issues such as values, inspiration and passion are important in the cultural sector. But at the end of the day, they are businesses that must be economically sustainable just like any other company. After many years of working in this sector, I think that the PDG programme at EADA will help me to improve my management skills and have more inputs to lead new projects as well as consolidate those that are already in place”.
Elisabet is determined to continue working in the cultural sector, “because culture changes us as people, it makes us view a situation from multiple perspectives and be creative, but it also transforms local communities, bringing together its citizens and creating an identity”.