Culture Next Network Development – Creative Europe-funded kick-off meeting

On Monday, February 28, 2022, representatives of Culture Next member cities met online to kick-off the Culture Next 2022-2024 Programme funded by Creative Europe.

On this occasion, Ștefan Teișanu, Director of Cluj Cultural Centre and Secretary General of Culture Next, introduced the new structure of the network, consisting of a permanent Secretariat hosted by the Cluj Cultural Centre and a 3-year mandated Board of six member cities representatives.

The newly established Board has a mandate to draft extensive proposals on how the network work is designed and conducted: concept papers and strategic planning, membership and board regulations, ethical principles and external relations. The six members of the Culture Next Board are:
• Immie Jonkman, Director of Leeuwarden 2018 Legacy Programme
• Angeliki Lampiri, Cultural Strategy Director, Elefsina 2023
• Pamela Johson, Head of Culture, Leeds 2023
• Tereza Barčáková, International Relations Director, Trenčín 2026
• Henri Turunen, Production Manager, Oulu 2026
• Carlos Martins, Executive Board Member, Aveiro 2027
The purpose of this 3-year Creative Europe funded project is to catalyze the development of Culture Next and to help the network develop its capacity to accomodate more European cities in their journeys to implement culture-led sustainable development programmes locally.

The project includes:
1. Establishing a Network Strategic Board and a Cultural Policies Task-Force;
2. Creating the Guide for Local Cultural Strategies for Sustainable Development;
3. Organizing six Network Conferences in Leeuwarden, Aveiro, Elefsina, Belfast, Trenčín and Oulu;
4. Setting up a Network Mobility Programme with 18 short residencies;
5. Organizing thematic working groups on the reform of the European Capital of Culture project and two other significant topics of today’s culture in Europe, including policy recommendation papers, podcast series and public conferences on each of the topics;
6. Launching a new and improved edition of the Cities Fund for Culture;
7. Overall professionalising the Culture Next Network.

Culture Next is a network founded in 2017 with a present number of 26 European cities committed to culture as sustainable development. The project has an overall value of 1.030.657 euros with a co-finance amount of 824.525,98 euros from the European Commission, through the Creative Europe programme.