Mary Ann DeVlieg

Mary Ann DeVlieg is an independent consultant, and a PhD candidate (2019-2022) critiquing the gap between policy and practice in both arts and migration policies, as well as rights of artists impacted by displacement.  Her thesis examines a decade of working with artists impacted by displacement when relocated to safety in Western Europe, using a model that similarly supports human rights defenders.  Mary Ann was a case worker for persecuted artists since 2009. A co-founder of IARA (International Arts Rights Advisors), she founded the EU working group, Arts-Rights-Justice; was freeDimensional’s Director of Strategic Development (2013-2015); and is a co-founder of the Arts-Rights-Justice Academy, University of Hildesheim. She evaluates and advises international cultural collaboration projects, policies and programmes for the European Commission, arts councils and private foundations. A former Secretary General of IETM (1994-2013), international network for contemporary performing arts, she founded On the Move, a network and resource for artists’ international mobility and co-founded the Roberto Cimetta Fund for Mobility in the Mediterranean. She is Board member of Ettijahat – Independent Culture, has been advising the annual Malmö Safe Havens conference for artists, activists and policy makers since 2013, and with Sara Whyatt is currently collaborating on a project on artistic censorship for the Council of Europe. She represents IARA at the EU Temporary Relocation Platform (EUTRP)Working languages: English, French, Italian

Examples of Mary Ann’s work:


Freemuse (2015, 2016), feasibility and strategy planning for artistic freedom advocacy to European Commission and European Parliament; feasibility and planning workshop for funding from the European Commission

freeDimensional (2013-2015), responsible for strategic organisational development


Co-planner, coordinator and academy host/moderator: Arts Rights Justice Summer Academy University of Hildesheim (2015 – 2017)

 City of Malmö Safe Havens, (2015) training on hosting relocated artists-at-risk

 ICORN (2014), training on hosting relocated artists-at-risk

 Connecting and Mapping

Secretary General of IETM, (1994 – 2013) a 600-organisation/60-country strong professional network for contemporary performing arts, where she led on arts mobility, developing relations with the Mediterranean countries, policy advocacy and artists’ rights.

EU ProtectDefenders, ICORN, York University Centre for Applied Human Rights, Artists Protection Fund, freeDimensional and others (2012 – ongoing) brokering assistance for artists-at-risk.

 Founded or co-founded/co-founded funds, local development programs and information resources for artists (e.g. and Roberto Cimetta Fund for Mobility in the Mediterranean

Evaluation and Writing

 Freemuse (2016), Edited ‘Study on the Effects of War and Repression on Musicians, Performers and the Public of SWAT, Pakistan

 Drosos Foundation (2016), led the Mediterranean research team and foundation benchmarking in a six month research and evaluation process of foundation support for organisations developing life skills through creative projects in the Arab world.

 Evaluates funding applications to various programmes of the European Commission, such as REA (Research Executive Agency), DEVCO (International Development and Cooperation), Education and Culture.

Public Speaking and Events

ICORN (2014 – 2016), speaker, group facilitator, session moderator for ICORN’s annual assemblies and network meetings

Safe Havens Conference City of Malmö (2015 – 2022), speaker, session moderator, conference host/moderator

Artists Against All the Odds conference, El Mawred, Beirut (2016), co-planner, speaker, session moderator

 DEVCO (EIDHR/European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights), EU ProtectDefenders, speaker on artists as human rights defenders (2015, 2016, 2017)