Learning from each other

Through Culture for Cities and Regions, we have identified a very clear desire among cities to learn from each other. Among others, they all wish to improve non-financial support to the cultural sector; build better partnerships, including cross-sectoral ones; strengthen ownership; and promote a participatory approach to culture-led development by encouraging co-design in shaping their cultural agenda.

Since 2015, we have launched numerous calls for European cities and regions to participate in mutual learning programmes, and have received hundreds of responses. This clearly proves that cities and regions need a Europe-wide peer learning scheme that allows them to hold regular exchanges and learn from each other. It now falls on us to build on the successes of the Culture for Cities and Regions programme and to sustain a permanent learning community of cities and regions interested in investing in culture. We are currently preparing thematic toolkits to provide cities and regions with constant inspiration.
This toolkit will soon be available at www.cultureforcitiesandregions.eu

The Culture for Cities and Regions team

Culture for Cities and Regions in a nutshell

Running until October2017 and funded by the European Commission under Creative Europe, it aims to:

  • Identify good practices in cultural investments in cities and regions throughout Europe.
  • Help selected cities and regions improve their cultural strategies through coaching and tailored advice.

Activities in 2017

Eight new coaching visits aiming to provide practical and targeted recommendations.

What’s next?

The CCR programme will end in October 2017. Until then, stay tuned!

Reading corner

You can download all reports on Culture for Cities and Regions study visits organised after September 2015 here. Reports on the coaching visits and the related presentations are also available on our website.

KEA has launched a new publication to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty European. What about Union? This collection of articles reflects on the relationship between the European project and culture.

Kaunas to be European Capital of Culture in 2022

In 2022, Lithuania will host its second European Capital of Culture year after Vilnius in 2009. Kaunas has been recommended for the title by a panel of independent experts. Kaunas is also one of the ten cities and regions selected for expert coaching by the Culture for Cities and Regions programme. The report on the December 2016 coaching visit is available here.

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Zoom in on...


International hub for tapestry and woven art: promoting and renewing a traditional craft with contemporary creations.

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Creativity For.Th, a participatory initiative towards strategic actions for CCIs.

More info


Development and Outreach programme: Culture as a means to tackle social issues.

More info

Save the date

In October, Culture for Cities and Regions will be featured at the EUROCITIES autumn forum in Ghent. Watch this space for updates.

See you at the European Culture Forum

In December, the European Commission will organise its biennial European Culture Forum, and Culture for Cities and Regions will be represented. Further details coming soon.

Coaching visit to Angers

Culture for Cities and Regions organised a coaching visit to Angers in March. Experts included Arthur Le Gall from KEA European Affairs, Tom Fleming from TF Creative Consultancy, and city peers from Lincoln.

The visit focused on Angers’ needs in terms of governance, leadership, and strategy for the local cultural and creative industries. The city council’s departments of culture and economic development both have dedicated policies and strategies, as well as shared needs and concerns. The coaching team aimed to help Angers understand and combine these cultural and economic inputs and assets, and to build bridges between these strategies.

More information


Chemnitz: one city, two names, one cultural strategy

Credits: Daniela Schleich

Between 18 and 21 April, the Culture for Cities and Regions initiative organised a coaching visit to Chemnitz to help the city develop its new cultural strategy. The visiting team included urban expert Nils Scheffler, the director of the Budapest Observatory Péter Inkei, and the heads of the departments of cultural affairs of the city councils of Birmingham and Espoo.

Since 2016, the city has been working on a cultural development strategy as part of a broad reflection on its future. This strategy will cover the period between 2018 and 2030, and is intended to become a driver of Chemnitz’s urban development.

In its recommendations, the coaching team pointed out that the signs of success are already there but Chemnitz may want to answer a few important questions along the way such as the issue of leadership, critical to the success of the proposed strategy, or the importance to bring relevant cultural stakeholders together and build up trust and confidence between them. Eventually, all the city’s stakeholders should become ‘owners’ of the strategy. Planning requires significant resources and attention, they concluded, but the results are already promising.

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European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: what’s in it for cities and regions?

Thirty organisations out of 300 have been selected by the European Commission to take part in the stakeholders’ committee that will assist it in implementing the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 at EU level. This clearly shows the interest of stakeholders in contributing to the year’s events.

The objectives of the European year are to: encourage the sharing and appreciation of Europe's cultural heritage as a common resource; raise awareness of our common history and values; and reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. The year will highlight what the EU can do in the fields of conservation, digitisation, infrastructure, research, and skills development.

Events will be organised across Europe, along with information, education, and awareness-raising campaigns. National coordinators have been appointed (mostly national ministries in charge of culture), who will identify projects and events based on the objectives of the year. At European level, the year will be jointly organised and coordinated by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of the Regions, and the European Economic and Social Committee.

A dedicated Creative Europe call should be published in the second half of 2017. The year will officially be launched during the European Culture Forum, to be held in December 2017.


EUROCITIES Culture Forum discusses innovative governance and partnerships in Tallinn

At the end of March, the EUROCITIES Culture Forum met in Tallinn to discuss innovative models for cultural governance and partnerships in cities. Examples from the Culture for Cities and Regions programme were presented to and discussed by participants.

This forum elaborated on the learning needs identified within the Culture for Cities and Regions programme, and highlighted the steps taken by cities and regions to create new partnerships with the business sector (in Sofia) and to form creative clusters (in the Norte region of Portugal).

Participants concluded that local administrations interested in developing innovative forms of governance and partnerships should have a clear political vision, a willingness to work in a different way (sometimes cross-sectoral), and sufficient human resources.

Further takeaways are available here and on Storify.


If you are receiving this newsletter, you have been added to our mailing list. In the coming days you will receive a log-in and password you can use to participate in our online forum, ask your questions about activities and events and interact with other participants. Just click on “Partners login” in the Culture for cities and regions website.


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Contact :
Cécile Houpert - project support officer culture