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Honorary Fellow


2009 Honorary Fellow



Born in The Netherlands and graduating from the Amsterdam Theatre School in 1976, Carla Delfos worked in her alma mater as a drama teacher. From 1982 until 1989, she was a Board member of the School and played a key role in seeing through its transformation to the Amsterdam School of the Arts. From there she worked as an actress, theatre director and writer in Amsterdam and New York until 1988. Simultaneously, she was involved in the organisation of international events as the director of Foundation EuroTheatre from 1987 until 1989.

The same year, she began to develop the Founding Conference for the European League of Institutes of the Arts – ELIA, an international organisation now representing over 350 higher arts education institutions and universities in 47 countries. ELIA is primarily a membership organisation representing all artform disciplines. Through its network and nexus of relationships, ELIA represents unique bodies of knowledge, facilitates interactive dialogue, student and staff mobility and projects, research, and sharing of best practice between artists, teachers, managers and leaders; more importantly it represents some 250,000 arts students. ELIA is recognised in Europe as an influential voice representing and promoting the importance of the arts and higher arts education in our societies. Since the formal establishment of ELIA in 1990, Carla Delfos has been its Executive Director.

Currently, she serves on several national and international boards including the European Forum for Arts and Heritage; LabforCulture; Theatre het Amsterdamse Bos; WalterMaas Huis; Castrum Perigini.

In 1996, Carla Delfos was knighted by the French Government as Chevallier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2001, she was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Art by the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and in 2009 an Honorary Doctorate of Columbia College Chicago.