by Eleonora Pedron MONACO. AIDA (Association Internationale d’Actions Artistiques)  is a non-profit association based in Monaco just two years ago, and yet a must among VIP and Celebrities frequenting the Principality. Founded by Mikhail Kuliniak and Calypso de Sigaldi, AIDA’s mission is to explore every facet of the arts, both classical and contemporary, with the aim being to organise cultural projects in the Principality of Monaco that can be taken abroad. Both founders have been educated in the arts, each representing a culture and different modes of expression.Through AIDA, Mikhail Kuliniak and Calypso de Sigaldi want to share this passion they have in common for the art world. A violinist by training from the Kiev Music Academy he began his career in the prestigious Red Army Choir, before promoting his country’s culture as Ukraine’s Minister of Culture from 2010 to 2012.  During his time as minister, his projects there were aimed at modernising Ukraine’s cultural policy for further Euro-integration, and were recognised as being the most revolutionary since Ukraine independence.

The Ukrainian musician Mikhail Kuliniak is the President of the Association AIDA
The Ukrainian musician Mikhail Kuliniak is the President of the Association AIDA


Johann Pinzel: sculpture on the baroque church (1751) of the Basilian monastery in Buchach
Johann Pinzel: sculpture on the baroque church (1751) of the Basilian monastery in Buchach


The best illustration of the effectiveness of his policy was the mounting of a big exhibition by Ukrainian Baroque sculptor Jogan Pinzel at the Louvre Museum in Paris (Nov.2012-Feb.2013). He was also behind the organisation and patronage of the first International Biennial Contemporary Art event, ‘Arsenale’, in Kiev (June-July 2012) and introducing contemporary dance to the stage at the National Opera in Kiev. He achieved this by inviting Denis Matvienko to be the artistic director to introduce Ukrainian contemporary composers to the public by promoting new trends in choreography. Now a Monegasque resident, Mikhail Kuliniak has not forgotten his roots and is still passionate about music for its beautiful melodies and the scope of its heritage as the common ground uniting the two communities. He is also a staunch defender of the wealth of Slavic arts culture in all its forms, Ukrainian in particular, which he wants to introduce to the world through shows and exhibitions to encourage a dynamic common to all nations.

Calypso de Sigaldi is the vice-president of the Association. Born into one of the oldest Monegasque families, Calypso is also a descendant of a line of artists who embraced contemporary means of expression. Her grandmother, Emma de Sigaldi (1910/2010) was one of the great sculptors of her era. After a first career as a Prima Ballerina in the Munich Opera where she revolutionised established codes with her affiliation to the expressionist trend, she joined the Bauhaus movement and then trained as a sculptor. Her father, Fabien de Sigaldi (1934/2005), was a talented illustrator in Paris working in the world of fashion and advertising, which at the time was a favourite playground for those who succeeded in getting illustration recognised as a major art form. With such a diverse cultural background in her family, it was only natural that Calypso should turn to a form of artistic expression from her generation, fashion photography, before moving into art photography. She started as a privileged spectator during her modelling career, then became a photographers’ agent before picking up a camera herself in 2006. Since then, she has been expressing her view of society in a series of exhibitions in galleries and museums alike where her experience of the fashion world remains palpable. A big fan of Pop Art, she is an ardent supporter of the move to gain recognition for applied arts as a Major Art form, as the former are often the first to attract new converts into becoming art lovers, thereby opening them to culture.

Calypso de Sigaldi with Laurent Amar, co-founder of Les Objets connectés and Wendy Lauwers, owner of Multi Art Gallery Monaco
Calypso de Sigaldi with Laurent Amar, co-founder of Les Objets connectés and Wendy Lauwers, owner of Multi Art Gallery Monaco

Herewith a recent interview released by Mr Kuliniak and Mrs de Sigaldi during the opening of the Painting Exhibition “Fantasmes d’Orient” by Elizabeth Wessel, still opened to the public at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A four Seasons Hotel, until August 20th.

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Q. Mr Kuliniak, can you tell us something more about AIDA?

A. Together with Calypso we want to pool our different approaches and arts cultures to enrich a core curriculum with the aim being always to foster a sharing dynamic between nations and people. In the image of the Monegasque model, AIDA aims to encourage a dynamic of sharing: between classical and contemporary cultures, between diverse forms of artistic expression, between different peoples, their cultures and way of thinking through aesthetics and musicality… Sharing between elders and young members of their family, sharing between all those who experiment through artistic creation. Defending a cultural identity does not mean we should ignore others; this is also true between generations or diverse forms of artistic expression. Moreover, AIDA wants to bring together in one entity Active and Benefactor Members who have a desire to promote knowledge through artistic creation.

Q. Is AIDA planning to produce arts events that will interest an international audience?

A. Yes, AIDA plans to produce arts events that will interest an international audience with world tours. AIDA aspires to produce arts projects of an international stature that will bring nations and generations together in mutual understanding. Everyone talks about globalisation and yet today’s society often seems riven by individualist impulses and with some communities in decline.

Q. Has AIDA any representative abroad?

A. Yes, Lessia Oliinyk is our representative in Ukraine. She is a remarkable and irreplaceable person for AIDA. In EU, we count on the expertise of Alexander Bazhenov, our representative in Germany, whereas Alain Sarfatti, a man with international skills, is our Correspondent in the USA and Asia. Of course here in Monaco we have a Treasurer, Jeanne Kostenko, who brings her administrative skills to AIDA to ensure projects are well run. And recently Fréderic Garcin accepted the mission of “Director of Membership” of the association AIDA.

Q. Mrs de Sigaldi, can you tell us what is your idea of art?

A. Culture is a passport to the soul; it opens the door to humanism. Far from being rigid, art is one of the most playful mediums leading to knowledge of oneself, of the world and the history of humanity. Beyond its aesthetic and poetic aims, art is above all a channel for reflection. By touching the soul through the subjective and the emotions, art speaks to our subconscious helping us to better understand the conscious, which contributes to the development of tomorrow’s society.

Q. Why have you decided to base AIDA in the Principality of Monaco?

A. The initial focus on the Principality of Monaco is due to the unique image of the Monegasque model. Due to the diversity of its population where more than 120 nationalities live in harmony, the Principality of Monaco is an ideal cradle of cultural exchange. It also represents a beacon of harmony between cultures and countries with evidence almost every day of how this country is a laboratory of ideas contributing to the development of tomorrow’s society. The Sovereign HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, through his commitment to protecting biodiversity, is a driving force for this exchange between cultures to the benefit of all.

Q. Mrs de Sigaldi, our magazines reported AIDA’s events 2015-2016. What is the 2017-2018 program?

A. Our very young association worked to offer a coherent cultural program, interspersed with private and elitist events such as the Baroness Beatrice Ball, which sets up to become a recurring summer event and free events, opened to a large audience to accomplish the cultural mission which is ours. After the great success of the AIDA Launch Party in 2015, as you know the 2016 was the Year of “La Belle Epoque” and we had events like “The Fashion from 1948 to 2002 through the eyes of René Grualt”, “The Century Anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin”, “The Winter Swallows”, the first “Baroness Beatrice Ball”, and “Belle Époque of the Courtesans” “Exotic Passion” and “Your Portrait as a Masterpiece.” In 2017, the Orient is the leading theme with “Orientalism & Japanism influence all arts”.

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The Baroness Beatrice Ball 2017 hosting 150 VIP guests was based on Orient&Japan”, and next we will launch “Fantasmes d’Orient through their famous defenders”, to be continued in 2018 with a calendar of events as dynamic than surprising and in line with the idea that art and culture are daily and playful companions which help to cultivate harmony among beings, communities and generations.



Last but not least, herewith AIDA is proud to present its Board of Directors : it is a dynamic team where creative and administrative personnel have the same desire to share: to share experiences, knowledge and expertise to ensure the association’s projects are well thought-out and run.


Mrs Jeanne Kostenko is AIDA’s Treasurer.VIP Jeanne-Kostenko


She is an art lover to the core of all forms of art and wife of the manager of the Monaco jewellery brand ‘Kalina’ which draws all nationalities, she is particularly active in the community and involved in cultural exchanges.



Mr Fréderic Garcin is the Director of memberships.


In parallel of his role at AIDA, Frédéric is President at Monte Carlo Superieur Capital perpetuating a 4 generations old family tradition of real estate investments in and around Monaco. He is also a director at a Zurich based Family Office focusing on alternative and liquid investments. Previously in London, as a principal at Argenthal Private Capital, Frédéric developed private equity projects with his brother François after gaining experience as a European sales manager at Structured Retail Products ltd advising in particular regulators, among which the AMF. Prior to this, he was a strategic analyst in Milan for a merger project in the field of health insurance for which he received the first prize of Financial Performance from the French Ministry of Foreign Trade. Frédéric studied in Prépa HEC, at Bocconi in Milan and holds a master’s degree in business from Sciences Po Paris. Frédéric speaks French, English, German, and Italian and his passions are philanthropy and art. Frederic actively participates in the Monegasque artistic and philanthropic agenda.

Mrs Lessia Oliinyk is AIDA’s representative in Ukraine. 

VIP Lessia-Oliinyk

Art Historian, Doctor of Philosophy. Vice-Rector at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine on scientific and creative work and foreign relations. Secretary of the National Union of Composers of Ukraine on Foreign Relations. The Secretary General of the National Committee of Ukraine of the International Music Council (IMC). Member of the National Committee of Ukraine for UNESCO. Co-founder and board member of the International NGO “New Music Association”. The representative of Ukraine in the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (1997-1999). Artistic Director of the International Festival “Musical Dialogues”. Creator and organizer of the international project “Musical Dialogues”, running since 1991 to this day in cooperation with the embassies accredited in Ukraine. Co-founder of the International Festival of Contemporary Art “Two Days and Two Nights of New Music” (Odessa). Co-organizer of several international music competitions and festivals. Author of scientific books and publications. As a music journalist and critic, she is the author of over 200 articles and more than 700 radio and television programs, including ones for the “Free Europe” radio station. Music producer of a number of CDs and CDRs. Honoured Artist of Ukraine. She was awarded the Order of St. Barbara Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

 Mr Alexander Bazhenov is the representative in Germany.

VIP Alexander-Bazhenov

Born in 1969, his father is the distinguished violin professor, Anatol Bazhenov (Kiev). Alexander started his musical training at a very young age from 1976 to 1987 at the Ukraine Ministry of Culture’s Special Music School and at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Professor O. Krysa, assistant to David Oistrakh, and Professor A. Korsakov, assistant to Leonid Kogan. He completed his post-graduate education at the Ukrainian Academy of Music where he became a music teacher. From 1988-1990 he assisted Professor Shirinsky at the Moscow Conservatory, then Professor Bazhenov from 1992-1993 at the Ukrainian Academy. Meanwhile, he successfully completed his diplomas and State exams as a violinist (soloist and quartet), the State qualification, and his diploma to teach violin. From 1992 he performed as a soloist and chamber musician as a member of the Ukrainian Lysenko Quartet. From 1994 to 2004 he was a member of the Beethoven and Bonn Philharmonic Orchestras. In 1997 he founded the Prometheus Quartett for strings in Cologne, which he manages and plays first violin. Since September 2003 he has been director of the Cultural Education Institute. Alexander Bazhenov performs in concert tours throughout Europe, the USA, Japan, Turkey and Korea, and has appeared on TV programmes and recordings in Germany, Ukraine, Finland, Russia and The Netherlands.

Mr Alain Sarfatti is the Correspondent in the USA and Asia.

VIP Alain-Sarfatti

Based in Shanghai since seven years, Alain Sarfatti has spent most of his professional career outside of France, his native country… and especially in the USA, a country where he became a citizen. For over 30 years he has been associated with various International Business Clubs, including his own one in California, all vested in the defence of a certain Lifestyle. Thanks to this very international route, he defines himself as a world citizen who has spent his life promoting the European traditions, its culture and arts. Through his involvement with AIDA, Alain Sarfatti, wants to build a bridge between Asia and Europe in order to boost cultural exchanges between two continents that prove, through their current trade, how much everyone is hungry for a better knowledge of each other.


AIDA – Association International d’Actions Artistiques – Providing services for the society of tomorrow – invites you to become a member of the Association. Feel free to contact Frédéric Garcin by phone at +41 792 649 232 or via email at:  for more information on the various memberships proposed.

Prime Office Center, 14 bis rue Honoré Labande 98000 MONACO – Tel: (+377) 97 77 17 76 – Email:

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