On May the 4th, four Culture Next member cities visited the Spanish city of Gijon for the first Network Mission ever.

Cultural managers from Aveiro (PT), Chemnitz (DE), Cluj-Napoca (RO) and Faro (PT) represented Culture Next in a pilot activity designed to offer advice and support for a fellow member city of the Network, to strengthen the European connections and to encourage local collaboration for a successful ECoC bid.

The agenda consisted of two extensive sessions with the local administration and the cultural community, presenting and discussing the specificities of European Capitals of Culture candidacies, starting from the study cases and individual stories of the Culture Next member cities represented in the meeting. Anne Kurzweg presented the Chemnitz approach which helped the city being awarded with the European title for 2025, Carlos Martins told the story of Guimaraes, the Portuguese city which held the title for 2012, Ștefan Teișanu introduced the Cluj-Napoca model of a successful implementation of a unsuccessful ECoC bid, and Bruno Inacio presented the plans of the city of Faro to carry on with their ECoC projects.

This was a first attempt for our Network to offer fast and effective support to our member cities facing various challenges specific to different candidacy phases. The success of this pilot mission in Gijon encourages us to design a model for similar Missions in the future, so we can be ready to accommodate any request from a city to connect with other fellow members of Culture Next around topics related to the European Capital of Culture project

Ștefan Teișanu, Secretary General of Culture Next

An internal mechanism to design and implement Culture Next Mission will be presented and discussed with the member cities in the next Culture Next Conference, to be held in Elefsina during June 9 and June 11, 2023.