The ECOC is the most ambitious European project, which has been implemented since 1985 and has brought to the candidate cities since the beginning of the application, the so-called bidbook, new wind and energy. The project connects people, institutions, brings various ideas and new approaches to the functioning of culture.
"A successful Capital of Culture is accessible and useful to its citizens," said Marija Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
There are several Slovak places in the game
The European Capital of Culture title significantly strengthens urban development, boosts the domestic cultural scene and, in the event of a victory, significantly improves the city's international image. The ECOC 2026 winner will also receive the Melina Mercouri Prize of € 1.5 million from the European Commission Creative Europe resources and kick-start the city’s cultural growth.
If we do our job well, the ECOC will help us not only in the development of cultural events, but also in areas such as public space and the environment.
In 2026, Slovakia will share the title with one Finnish city. The programs of the two countries should naturally overlap. In Slovakia, in addition to Trnava, Prešov, Banská Bystrica, Žilina, Trenčín, Nitra and Hlohovec also aspire for the title.
Trnava has matured since the first candidacy
Peter Cagala, who leads the project, thinks that Trnava currently has great potential. "I was not at Trnava's first candidacy in 2007, but I think that Trnava has matured today, just as we did. The city management supports and complements the project with its activities, the Trnava region and its cultural institutions have undergone the necessary generational change, which is very important for the project, and the city also has an independent culture in the form of Little Berlin. In short, excellent conditions were created for the cooperation of all actors in Trnava, so we decided to make full use of it. "
“If we do our job well, the ECOC will help us not only in the development of cultural events, but also in areas such as public space and the environment. We are also preparing various audience development programs, thanks to which we believe we will attract new audiences to the culture, ”says Michal Klembara, who represents an independent culture in the team and is the program director of the project.
In the first round, the Trnava team plans to involve the entire artistic community of Trnava and the public in the creation process. The team is currently working with the city, the region and cultural institutions on the city's historically first cultural strategy. It will define the direction of Trnava's culture for 10 years and will also be the basic basis for application to the ECOC.
"We will do our utmost to create the best possible project. Trnava has been waiting for this moment for 13 years. No investments, whether human or financial, will be wasted. At least we will be able to materialize the project into a strategy and define what Trnava should be in 2030. We can answer the question: "What problem can culture solve in our city," Peter Cagala.
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