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Lessons from the Ljubljana culture forum

  • culture

We share some of the lessons and insights from our culture forum in Ljubljana on 30 September to 2 October, which focused on new forms of cooperation and support.

A total of 82 representatives from 52 EUROCITIES member cities met in Ljubljana on 30 September to 2 October to discuss how cities work with local cultural organisations. The focus was on new forms of cooperation and support.

We share some of the lessons and insights from the forum:

1. New ways for city administrations to support local cultural organisations: It’s not about the money

When city budgets are limited, city administrations can support local cultural organisations in various non-financial ways, such as:

  • providing spaces, tailor made advice and solutions

  • acting as brokers and fostering connections between local actors

  • facilitating meetings between different actors involved during project development or in case of conflict

  • coordinating joint communications and promotional campaigns

2. Specialised independent cultural organisations implementing local cultural policies 

Delegating the implementation of sectoral cultural policies to specialised independent cultural organisations can be a smart choice. In Ljubljana, Španski Borci Culture Centre has become the only national centre for contemporary dance. In Nantes, Trempolino fosters the development of the popular music sector. Both structures are financially supported by the city and have become key players in the local cultural and creative landscapes.

3. Adapting to new expectations from local audiences

Local audiences are changing and many cities are adapting their cultural offers accordingly.  Many cities are facing demographic change, such as growing numbers of young families and senior citizens, and far more diverse populations. Local cultural actors increasingly have to work together to provide audiences with the most relevant content. This needs to reflect the desire of the local audiences for greater flexibility and more tailor made options.

4. Local creative centres in 2030: a focus on people

What will creative centres look like in 15 years’ time? “Their buildings will not matter as much; they will focus on people,” says Luka Piskoric, co-founder and managing director of the Poligon creative centre in Ljubljana. In the future, creative centres will instead be all about connections, communities and sharing. They will probably have assumed new roles, and social roles in particular: they will connect even more with their local neighbourhoods and develop specific programmes with and for the elderly and other groups that face difficulties accessing culture.

Our next EUROCITIES Culture Forum will take place in 's-Hertogenbosch and in Eindhoven on 16-18 March 2016. It will focus on connections between leisure, entertainment, science and art.



EUROCITIES staff contact

Julie Herve