Meet the Young Cultural Heritage Professionals – Interview with Filipa Cruz

Meet the Young Cultural Heritage Professionals – Interview with Filipa Cruz

Young cultural heritage professionals
CHARTER has partnered with the European Heritage Hub to present a new series of interviews featuring young cultural heritage professionals. On this occasion, we will engage in dialogue with members of various organisations-members of the consortium who are, in various capacities and positions participating in this EU-funded project, to explore their perspectives on navigating the complexities of entering the sector, how their education has equipped them with the necessary skills and competencies, and their visions for the future of heritage!

New profile on the Young Cultural Heritage Professionals series:

Young cultural heritage professionals

What was your motivation to enter the cultural heritage field? Was it your first option?

I began my career as a researcher in the field of musicology and later pursued a master’s degree in cultural studies, wanting to integrate theory and practice and make a more significant contribution to the cultural sector. During my master’s degree, I completed an internship at the National Centre for Culture and became familiar with the European Heritage Hub project. This experience sparked my interest in heritage and inspired me to participate in projects that promote cultural exchange and sustainable development across Europe.


How was/is your transition from studying to working?

Although I admit that my education did not directly prepare me for most of the tasks I have carried out, I believe that my academic background and experience in the field of research have granted me with a set of skills and critical thinking that have proven crucial in this transition. In addition, I feel that the team at the Centro Nacional de Cultura has helped me overcome the initial adaptation phase and has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and develop a proactive attitude.


How are you looking/looked for a job in heritage?  And how do you experience/experienced the phase of search and application?

As previously stated, my initial experience in the heritage field was gained through an internship at the National Centre for Culture. This opportunity later developed into a collaboration on a European project. As such, I can only say that my motivation and willingness to take on different responsibilities within the scope of the project were decisive in this transition from an internship position to a work collaboration.


What skills and competences do you notice are demanded the most in job offers?

I think that, in most cases, employers are looking for people who have passion and academic or professional experience in the field of culture and social sciences and who are able to articulate information and tools from the multiple domains that influence work in heritage. In practical terms, proactivity, resourcefulness, diligence and attention to detail are perhaps the most valued skills.


Based on the profiles of job positions, do you notice skills or competences that your education didn’t provide you with?

Many of the roles related to heritage require some facility in dealing with governance and legal matters and an ability to manage resources. My education is mostly theoretical and did not cover this type of knowledge and skills, which I believe can only truly be acquired while working in the field.  


How do you think young people can be attracted to work in heritage? Do you have proposals?

The field of heritage can be associated with a conservative attitude that focuses solely on preserving the past and is averse to change and does not welcome diversity. I think that in order to attract new generations, individual and institutional representatives of the field need to connect the past with the present and develop a holistic approach to heritage, that invests on the creation of new forms of cultural expression and focuses on pressing issues, such as environmental and technological sustainability. 


How do you see the future of the cultural heritage field?

There are many different types of threats to cultural heritage on a global scale, but I prefer to think positively about the future. I believe that, as technology evolves and as we enter into a new period of political instability, history, memory and creativity become increasingly important and will continue to help us shape (and reshape) our identities and communicate and share experiences with each other. 



About the European Heritage Hub

European Heritage Hub

The European Heritage Hub is a two-year pilot project launched in May 2023 by a consortium of 20 partners, led by Europa Nostra and co-funded by the European Union, to set up a permanent and autonomous heritage hub in Europe.

Youth presence in the consortium is ensured by the partnership between Hispania Nostra and ESACH who are in charge of the coordination of youth activities throughout the project. ESACH, as a youth-led network of around 400 students and young professionals, contributes to the consortium as an associated partner and ensures the presence of younger generations in the debates and Hub activities. Learn more here!


You can find all CHARTER’s Young Cultural Heritage Professionals interviews here!

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