TM2021 Cultural Café: a participative process for the completion of the cultural program proposed in the candidacy file
Thursday, March 31 2016, the Timisoara European Capital of Culture Association invited cultural operators (cultural institutions and the independent sector) from Timisoara and Arad to attend TM2021 Cultural Café, a workshop aiming to complete the cultural program proposed in Timisoara’s candidacy to the title of European Capital of Culture in 2021, using the “world cafe” method: a simple, efficient and flexible method of hosting dialogue with a large group of interested persons.
TM2021 Cultural Café follows the pursuit carried out at the beginning of this year, during the Thursday meetings – “Together, we build TM2021” – and aims, through the approach of European themes, to contribute to the development of the cultural program proposed for 2021. The event took place on Thursday, March 31, 2016, between 4PM and 8PM, at Zai Après Café ( 5 Florimund Mercy Street, Timisoara), in the presence of European guests Jiří Sulženko, head of the artistic program of Plzen 2015, Elsa Soro, cultural expert from Italy and Mattijs Maussen, expert for the candidacy to the European Capital of Culture title. Participants had the chance to contribute to each of the programs in the candidacy file and talk to our European guests.
“The collaborative composition is a complex task, with many stages. The community’s involvement in the city’s candidacy, throughout the six years since Timisoara officially announced its intention to enter the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture, was like an ace up our sleeve before the European jury during the preselection stage, and we would like to continue this open approach because, regardless of the result of the competition, what we want to leave behind is a community spirit and cohesion around common projects of the city,” says Simona Neumann, Executive Director of Timisoara European Capital of Culture Association..
Andrei Ando, Executive Director of Arad 2021 Association, who was present at the meeting together with the cultural operators in Arad, said: “I would like to congratulate Timisoara for being shortlisted and for taking forward an extremely important project for the Romanian West. I am sure Arad can contribute to the improvement of Timisoara’s candidacy program and that we can move past old rivalries between these two cities, whose origins nobody knows anymore. Our objective is for Timisoara to become European Capital of Culture of 2012, and for Arad to become a gate to this beautiful capital.”
Jiří Sulženko, Pilsen European Capital of Culture 2015 Program Director: “The title of European Capital of Culture is large project, which makes you think about its size, the scope that it can cover, the connection to European topics and themes. And in spite of being that large, the main goal of this title is to strategically change the city by means of culture. It is not a festival – no fireworks here: it is a concept, a contribution of artistic and cultural organizations and of the independent sector in order to indeed change the city for the better. We must take all these into consideration and avoid coming up with an idea for a project that is more cultural than able to propose this strategic change.”
Elsa Soro, cultural expert, has worked with candidate cities in Italy for the European Capital of Culture project: “Timisoara has reached the stage of final selection, so we must answer the jury’s questions in order to complete the candidacy file, and we want to do that with the help of its citizens, cultural operators, the independent sector, the artists of this city. The way we reflect the European dimension, the way we highlight the diversity of our continent, the way we address European urgencies – these are only a few of the selection criteria. Then there is the cultural program and its contents. We must combine the local cultural heritage with the independent scene and local experiments. This is Timisoara’s chance to make this title be a catalyst, changing the city in this direction.”