||What is IcExcellence for me? (in Hebrew)
Yaron Gottfried - Conductor and Composer
"When I look at the past four years I can certainly say that I never imagined how significant the presence of IcExcellence would be in my life as a creating and performing artist and as a music director... the foundationīs true greatness and success is its original, creative way of working, and its approach to the complex personality of each and every artist.
The personal attitude and sensitivity to your goals, the support for your unique projects, and the fact that the foundation will do anything to help you attain the "tools" you require to turn an idea into reality, are very rare these days...
I owe some of my most significant experiences during these past years to the foundation: starting with my trip to the marvelous MacDowell artistsī colony, where I spent a month writing a new composition, through my participation in an international convention for symphony conductors in Boston, participating in the annual seminars and the collaborations that arose between other foundation artists and the Israel Kibbutz Orchestra of which I am music director, up through building a first-rate website.
I know I have been privileged and that thanks to these experiences I am a spiritually richer person and certainly a better artist! For me IcExcellence is a supportive family of which I am proud to be a part, and I hope to continue being associated with it for many years to come."
Emanuel Gat - Choreographer and Dancer
The Foundation is in essence a collection of unlimited possibilities.
As such, for me it has fulfilled roles in the entire spectrum from art patron to psychologist, including a meeting place, business coach, networking source, external commentator, standard-setter, catalyst and a kind of safety net.
Overall, the beauty lies in its lack of predefined modes of operation, thereby sustaining a freshness and flexibility in which relations and cooperation flourish between the Foundation and its chosen artists."
Shlomi Shaban Musician
"...the possibility, through the personal program, of taking the time to focus intensively on one certain aspect of the business. For over a year now I have been studying voice. I donīt think I would have ever done that without the foundationīs guidance and support, and I havenīt the words to describe how tremendous the effect of these voice lessons has been on my development as a performing musician.
In this same regard, I must mention the seminars, which provide important tools, or simply assign names to familiar feelings and thereby legitimize and infuse them. Thats what happened to me with Aviad Goz and his "win-win" method.
Iīm happy to say that without my having planned it or knowing it was possible, I underwent a coaching process with Rachel Marani. During the course of our meetings I found out surprising, important details specifically about my professional personality, and so of course about my personality in general. I came to those meetings with a predefined goal (putting out a second CD) and without any visible means of reaching it. By the time I had finished the meetings the goal had been accomplished and the invisible tools had been acquired - for all time, I hope."
Yehudit Sasportas - Visual Artist
...My own encounter with Rachel Marani and the IcExcellence foundation came at a critical juncture in my personal and professional development. I owe so much to the foundation for the many insights that have helped me advance as an artist over the past years. The foundation is like a multidisciplinary, multifaceted artist with great, highly evolved flexibility on the personal, emotional, intellectual, rational and practical levels, with no fixed modes of operation.
The foundationīs vision is expressed in a very sensitive approach and assessment of each artist to understand the essence of his basic movement as a creator, and the specific adaptation of support to each individual. This exceptional kind of generosity includes a supply of uncommonly intelligent patience for the particular tempo each artist requires for development while supporting his unique, authentic voice. This basic quality in an organization that deals with so many different artists and fields of art is rare.
I owe many thanks to the seminars, which completely changed my creative thinking and the way I move in the field of art called life. The foundationīs support for my full year of living in Berlin and working in the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien was actually a decisive turning point, in which my vision and creative life force became the primary force motivating me, rather than the boundaries of fear and habit...
Associating with the finest artists in the Israeli cultural arena continues to be my center of belonging ... I owe so much to Shmulik Merhav and to Rachel Marani, the driving force behind this whole enterprise, and to all the advisory sessions with her throughout the years.
The sessions are always conducted on different axes of place and time, bringing with them up-to-date knowledge and experience from a broad perspective. And this is just the beginning..."
Adi Nes - Photographer (speech at the 2007 annual event)
"Suddenly I felt as if someone had removed a cataract from my eye. It was the foundation...it gives you backing, but not always in the form of financial support. This isnīt a good fairy like was written in one of the newspapers. The foundation doesnīt pamper you; quite the opposite. It forces you to make a lot of effort early on, to draft your request, to explain to yourself and the foundation whatīs important to your career, in a financed trip that isnīt a vacation but a business trip. You donīt allow yourself to kick back, knowing that you need to write up a report after your return about everything you did. So you hold within you an external policeman who helps you be practical and effective."
"The older you get, the harder it is to make new friends. Ever since joining the Foundation Iīve expanded my circle of friends - artist friends. The artistic process involves a great deal of loneliness....and here you suddenly have the privilege of meeting other like yourself, deliberating about the exact same issues - and this whole arena is created by IcExcellence, which brings together artists from different realms to the workshops on developing career skills and management models."
Gil Shohat Conductor
"In this foundation, the money is only a small part of the support. In my case, for example, we did mapping and strategic planning of my international career for the coming years. This was done by first-class strategic advisers.... I felt that I need another international course in conducting. Thanks to the foundation I met with Lorin Maazel, chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, whom I consider the greatest conductor alive. The foundation organized the meeting in Jerusalem, and at the same time sent me to Paris to study conducting with [Christoph] Eschenbach and [John] Nelson. The foundation paid for the trip, and I also received help from them for building a Web site. This is a model that I believe in. They tailor their assistance to suit each person."
From The Chosen People, Herald Tribune
Mirit Weinstock - Fashion Designer
"[Business Advisor Doron Nevo] helped me understand how you approach this subject from the business perspective. How you build a business, how you compete, how many items I need to produce in a season in order to make a profit, how much money to allot for salaries, for marketing; these are all things I had no idea how to approach."
Din Din Aviv - Musician
"Just being chosen by the Foundation - thatīs an achievement in itself in my eyes; thatīs already support. The Foundation is part of a support group...that lets me move up a stage of faith and self-confidence, both in my thinking about my artistic path and as a person. Besides all these values, through the foundation I acquired computer knowledge that enables me to make recordings and be less dependent on others. I was also given piano lessons, which gave me more self-confidence on the instrument both for the creative process and for accompanying myself. Recently, I asked to improve my English, and Iīve been studying privately for the past several months and feel much more confident and fluent in the language."
Yasmeen Godder - Choreographer and Dancer
"As the years go by, I understand the deep impact the IcExcellence Foundationīs had on my career and development. The seminars, the coaching sessions and the dialogue with other artists all gave me space to re-think and re-examine the ways by which I manage my own career and provided me with actual tools to apply these understandings to actions. I feel fortunate to have a forum where I can challenge my way of working with a group of incredible artists from different fields, whose input and insight deepen my thought process and at the same time provide me with a sense of a supportive community. I have also had the fortune of meeting Shmulik Merhav on personal coaching sessions. His approach has helped me greatly with defining and focusing my vision and applying it to my goals."
Adi Stern - Graphic Designer
In the past few years I have had the privilege of belonging to the group of artists chosen by the Israel Cultural Excellence foundation. With the foundations help, I was able to do masters degree studies in England. During my whole year there I focused on font design, enjoying a rare, high quality, intense experience that drastically influenced and changed the course of my career.
Yet studying in England, as wonderful as it was, is only part of what I gained from my association with IcExcellence. The skills I learned in the coaching process with Rachel Marani, as well as those acquired during the foundations seminars, are in use on a daily basis, almost every moment of my life. I cannot overstate how important and omnipresent these tools are in my life.
No doubt that the foundation has changed the way I view my career, my creative work and my life in general, as well as how I function in them.
Rutu Modan - Illustrator and Graphic Novelist
"The more time goes by, the more I feel and appreciate the impact of IcExcellence on my professional life. In contrast with other foundations, which come and go, this is a long-term investment on the part of both the foundation and the artist. This exceptional relationship helps artists develop through close accompaniment or not; the freedom to decide the boundaries of the support is its brilliant aspect. Its clear to me that I cannot, or dont wish to, differentiate between my professional progress in recent years and the fact that I am one of the foundations chosen artists. They have created a unique model of cooperation between artists and the foundation, and between artists from different realms. This is a joint creation with many participants, over time, with open boundaries that enable growth sometimes unexpected, sometimes raising questions, always challenging".
Eli Degibri - Jazz Saxsophonist
The Israel Cultural Excellence foundation has a vision, one that is original, ambitious, perhaps even pretentious, and mainly hard to achieve. I was lucky, and this vision crossed my path back when it was still in its infancy. Today, its already seven years old, but still wild and impudent, full of curiosity and enthusiasm for new things. It continues to take shape and evolve from day to day, sweeping along people who draw inspiration from it and become part of it, and it part of them. Over time, those people understand that they we are the vision itself; we are that original, ambitious child that the foundation nurtures with such devotion and loyalty. And they, we, I, are so grateful for that. For the opportunity, the ambitiousness, the originality, the support, the new family thank you!