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The European Commission announced yesterday, 1 March 2012, that the cultural cooperation project CreArt ( Network of Cities for Artistic Creation) in which participate 13 European cities and institutions, has been selected to receive EU funds for the next 5 years within the framework of the Culture Programme (2007-2013).


CreArt (Network of Cities for Artistic Creation) is one of the 14 projects selected in the 2011 Call under the strand 1.1 for multi-annual cooperation projects among the 54 proposals submitted from the 35 countries participating in the Culture Programme.


The evaluation report by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency emphasizes that it is a project of true European cooperation in which countries and cities from the four cardinal points of the continent participate. Furthermore, they point out that the project ensures a real exchange between artists and public and reveals clear evidence of transnational mobility of artists and artworks. Another section of the report states that the commissioning of a research unit active from the beginning will act as a quality assurance throughout the life of the project. The evaluators consider in a very positive way the communication plan and value of social media in the promotion of CreArt and its commitment to sustainability, at the same time that they praise the capacity of the team involved in the project management.


The CreArt project will be initially developed for 5 years (2012-2017) and has a total budget of 3.437.300 €. 50% of it will be provided by the E.U and the other 50% by the 14 organizations involved in the partnership.


CreArt is a European cultural cooperation project for the promotion of artistic creativity, which has been developed for two years through de coordination of the Municipal Foundation for Culture of the Valladolid City Council. CreArt consists of a network of 14 cities and urban spaces representative of Europe’s cultural diversity and richness and the collaboration of three private entities with large experience in cultural management. The partners (Aveiro–PT, Kaunas-LT, Kristiansand–NO, Linz–AT, Stichting id11–NL, Wroclaw–PL, Lecce–IT, Harghita–RO, Pardubice–CZ, Arad–RO, Siena–IT, Vilnius-LT, Futurecity -UK and Valladolid–ES) are cultural institutions working in diverse areas in terms of size, cultural tradition, geographical location, institutional development, and socioeconomic figures. Nevertheless, there are common characteristics among them and which are essential to the project: all have experience in the development of cultural activities (special attention paid to visual arts) and in the promotion of creativity at a local level.


From the basis of the local experience in the promotion of creativity, CreArt aims to facilitate its development at a European level, through a series of strategies ranging from the research and the incorporation of new working methods such as networking, up to the promotion of transnational mobility of artists, managers and local art works, as well as its participation in common projects which, at the same time, bring close the complex rich and diverse reality of the artistic creation to the total number of citizens of the network.


The benefits generated from this project, as a result of the exchange, teamwork, participation of citizens and artists, and the mobility of artists and artworks, will be not only cultural. The strength and professionalism of the CreArt network will facilitate the development of new projects in the field of cultural enterprises linked to the visual arts, of which this network can be only the tip of the iceberg.


   Finally, The Executive Agency highlights, in the evaluation report, the key elements for the success of CreArt: it ensures the quality of the itinerant exhibitions; it reaches a high level dialogue in the seminars and artists workshops and achieves the involvement of the citizens in the different open activities proposed in the CreArt programme. CreArt has the necessary ingredients to become a reference platform –physical and technological– for the European exchange of knowledge, ideas, innovation and for the promotion of creativity.  


 The CreArt project


Placing art and creativity at the centre of its activities, CreArt seeks to:


1. Foster creativity through the exchange of experiences, good practices and joint work among artists, artist groups and associations, cultural operators, researchers, industry and civil society bodies, educational institutions and the general public, from different countries and cultural traditions, including intergenerational exchanges.

2. Promote cultural exploration amongst target groups, encouraging the development of Europe’s cultural heritage.

3. Develop common training methodologies for specific groups (children, youth and adults) promoting creativity as a skill for personal development.

4. Establish a permanent and professional system of mobility, exchange and joint work experiences among artists and cultural managers.

5. Identify a methodology of professional management that generates sustainable cultural organizations in medium-sized cities, fostering public-private partnerships and civil society participation.

6. Support creativity networking among medium-sized cities.

7. Develop and better exploit technological tools and for the exchange of creativity and cultural resource management.

8. Create and standardize systems of analysis and research within the framework of local cultural policies, in order to maximize the sustainability of the project and its financial resources in the future.


In order to achieve these objectives, CreArt will establish a permanent and professional system of mobility, exchange and joint work experiences, in visual arts, among artists, groups and associations, cultural operators, educational institutions and the general public, focusing in 4 main actions:


a) Analysis of management models to support visual arts & creativity in Europe

c) Training, innovation and experimentation programme for the promotion of creativity.

d) CreArt European Travelling Exhibitions.

e) Dissemination and transfer of activities and results.


The  CreArt Programme


Between May 2012 and April 2017 the following will take place in the different CreArt cities:


- Annual Call of local artists in each CreArt city between 2012 and 2015.

- 4 itinerant European Exhibitions with the artworks of the selected artists that will travel along the different CreArt cities between 2013 and 2016 and a final exhibition in Brussels in 2017 with the best artworks.

- Development of educational programmes during the European Exhibitions: guided tours for general public and specific groups and workshops for children will be organised   

- Workshops in educational centres given by local artists selected in the annual calls.

- 3 Artist Workshops given by well-know artists of three-days length in Valladolid (2012), Siena (2014) and Vilnius (2016).

- Research on artistic creativity in medium size cities coordinated by the English agency Futurecity that will work with postgraduate and students from the University of the Arts in London and from other Universities of partner cities.

- 3 Seminars for artists and managers that will take place in Delft (2012), Arad (2013) and Valladolid (2017). The topics proposed will be related to the Research.

-  3 Encounters for artists and cultural managers in Kristiansand (2015), Pardubice (2016) and Delft (2017). The topics proposed are: Rethinking training for artists; Creative relationships in the world of art in Europe; Art in temporary spaces.

- 4 Conferences and meetings on European Cultural Cooperation that will be hosted in Harghita (2013), Lecce (2014), Aveiro (2016) and Brussels (2017). The topics proposed are: New ways to promote Creativity at a local level; New ways to manage and finance creative spaces in Europe; Creativity and mass media in Europe; European cultural creativity. Tasks of European administrations.

- Artist in Residence Programmes in Linz (Austria), Delft (Netherlands), Kaunas (Lithuania) y Wroclaw (Poland).  Every year from 2013 to 2016, there will be 2 residency periods for 8 artists from the CreArt Network in Linz and Delft. As from 2014 and until 2016 Kaunas and Wroclaw will join this activity with an annual offering for 4 artists each. A total of 88 artists will participate in the AiR Programmes.

- Network of CreArt Ambassadors: CreArt will establish a group of Artistic Creativity Ambassadors to promulgate the idea of creativity in Europe and to promote the European Day of Creativity. The Ambassadors will be global figures from the highest strata of artistic achievement, who appreciate Europe’s role in the world’s historic and contemporary artistic creativity.

- Launch an Annual Celebration of the European Day of Artistic Creativity: The European Day of Artistic Creativity is an initiative launched by CreArt with the objective to celebrate one day a year, and at a European level, artistic creativity in all Europe, with open activities in museums, public and private cultural institutions, visual arts centres, art schools, galleries, schools among others where artists and public can interact through the language of art.



CreArt cities


    Aveiro, "The Portuguese Venice", is one of the cities with the highest economic level in Portugal. Aveiro is notable for the variety of its rich museums. The Aveiro University is one of the most important research and teaching centres in Portugal.

Delft, one of the main cities in the Netherlands, located between Rotterdam and the Hague, famous for being the birthplace of the painer Vermeer and by their blue color pottery. The Foundation id11 in Delft organizes and offers residences for artists and accessible presentation and working places for artists, where experimentation can flourish.

Linz was European Capital of Culture in 2009. Crossed by the river Danube, is the capital of Upper Austria. Its strong industrial development contrasts with its vibrant and intense cultural life. The renovated Atelierhaus Salzmat under the authority of the Linz City Council develops an Artist in Residence Programme (Urban Interventions) with bilateral exchanges, a platform for interaction first at a local level combined in a second step with an interregional artistic exchange.

Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, was also along with Linz, European Capital of Culture in 2009. The historical centre of Vilnius, -the northern Jerusalem - is Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 1994.

Pardubice, is one of the most beautiful cities in the region of Bohemia. Located100 km from the capital city of Prague, and on the Elbe river, Pardubice has a major university and a prominent industrial centre.

Kaunas the city of museums, is the second largest city in Lithuania, and one of the great cultural centres and economic of Lithuania. Artkomas is a public institution established in 2006. Each year 40 exhibitions of visual arts are organised, besides musical projects and others related to scenic arts. Artkomas stands out as well in International cooperation programmes.

Wroclaw will be European Capital of Culture in 2016. This ancient city has an excellent location, in the heart of Europe. Wroclaw is also an important academic centre.  

Siena, the city of the Palio, is one of the Palio, is one of the cities of Europe with more history, and its historic centre has been recognized by the World Heritage Site by Unesco since the year 1995.

Lecce, twinned city of Valladolid, is known as the "Florence of the South" or "Capital of the Baroque" due to its magnificent architecture was one of the cities more artistically alive between the 17th and 18th centuries.

Kristiansand, Capital of the county of Vest-agder in southern Norway, was founded in the year 1641 by king Christian IV. It is the sixth largest city in Norway and one of the best cultural cities in the country.

Arad is located in the famous region of Transylvania near the border with Hungary. It is beautiful magic city filled with beautiful buildings.

Harghita is a county in the centre of Romania, in the region of Odorhei, east of the region of Transylvania, and whose capital is Miercurea Ciuc. Its population is mostly Szeklers, a people that came from Asia and continue to speak a language similar to hungarian.

London is the biggest European city and one of the financial and cultural centres of the continent. Futurecity is a leading placemaking agency set up in London, using culture and creativity to bring people and urban space together. As well as cultural masterplans and strategies, they are experts delivering art in the public realm from concept to completion.

   Valladolid, located in north-central Spain, it is the capital of the autonomous community of Castille and Leon. Valladolid is a welcoming city, socially cohesive and well integrated. The Municipal Foundation for Culture was created by the Valladolid City Council in 1982, and has been in charge of the organization of the cultural and recreational activities of the city since then