The Academic Chair Jonet on Social Action & Music-Making

Promotor: Prof. dr. Francis Maes

Chair holder: Prof. dr. Lukas Pairon

More than ever, the world needs societies that embrace diversity, inclusion, and equity. Time and again, music and music making appear to be a powerful tool that can be used to promote such humanistic values, to bring hope and to foster determination.

The Academic Chair Jonet [1] on Social Action & Music-Making has been since October 2022 created at Ghent University (UGent) and University of Applied Sciences and Arts Ghent (HOGENT). It plans to investigate the diverse domain of socially engaged music practices, and to contribute to the further development of music practices which tap into the empowering nature of music making to generate social impact and help build a society which values and fosters diversity, inclusiveness, and equity. 

In addition, and building on this research, the chair will contribute to the training and professional growth of musicians and cultural workers who wish to engage in facilitating music making and social action.

In doing so, the chair not only responds to a growing need for more in-depth research but also for high-quality and sustainable training in the domain of music making and social action. Indeed, despite the emergence of many social music projects in recent years, both nationally and internationally, and despite an ever-growing number of musicians and cultural workers who want to be active in this field, this need is pertinent in view of advancing this domain.

To organise and facilitate its activities, the chair establishes the Centre for Social Action and Music Making (CESAMM). As currently no research and training centre dedicated to his domain exists, this centre will hold a unique position in the world.

Spearhead of the CESAMM will be the synergy between research and practice through intense collaboration between scholars and practitioners, between arts and science and between research and artistic-educational initiatives.

Promotor of the chair is Prof. dr. Francis Maes, professor of musicology at Ghent University and senior lecturer with the Department of Art, Music and Theatre Sciences. The first chair holder is Prof. dr. Lukas Pairon, who is founder of the research network SIMM and Music Fund and co-founder of the music ensemble Ictus. Dr. An De bisschop will be the chair holder from 2024 on. Prof. Dr. Luc Nijs will stay closely involved in the chair as visiting professor. In 2023 Filip Verneert will join the team as post-doctoral researcher.

The creation of the Academic Chair is made possible thanks to the financial support of 2 main sponsors - the VGP Foundation and the Fondation Futur 21 - and of 7 major music centres, which will also take on the role of 'hubs' to bring together practitioners of social and community music projects in their region: Brussels Philharmonic, deSingel, Concertgebouw Brugge, De Centrale, Handelsbeurs, Musica, and the Klara Festival.

[1] The title of the academic chair is named after Martine Jonet, president of the Fondation Futur 21 (first sponsor of the academic chair).