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European Capital of Culture

European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 is the main event in Estonia and the largest regional cooperation project between Tartu and Southern Estonia

We bring over 1000 events to individuals of all ages. The year-long programme in Tartu and Southern Estonia presents the story of the Arts of Survival – the knowledge, skills, and values that will help us lead a good life in the future. As a community, we want to share this information while also learning from others. Inspired by culture, we build a better tomorrow.

European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 is versatile both in its nature and in its programme. On the one hand, it is a great cultural celebration that draws visitors from Estonia and abroad, and on the other, it is an opportunity to include as many people as possible in laying the groundwork for long-term change in Tartu and Southern Estonia.

European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 goals:

  • creating a programme for the public inspired by the artistic concept Arts of Survival;

  • highlighting Tartu and Southern Estonia's uniqueness to both local and international audiences;

  • reaching a total of 1 000 000 visits by the end of 2024.

Arts of Survival

Arts of Survival are the knowledge, skills, and values that will help us lead a good life in the future. These are the knowledge, skills, and values that we endorse, cherish, share with and learn from Europe.

The four most important Arts of Survival featured in the Tartu 2024 programme are uniqueness, sustainability, awareness, and co-creation.

Arts of Survival, or Ellujäämise Kunstid in Estonian, is the artistic concept of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024.

  • Tartu 2024 is proud of the regional traits of Tartu and Southern Estonia.

    The programme that explores these unique features of ours, its engaging presentation in Europe, and the warm welcome that visitors will receive here will inspire people to travel and spend time here, as well as to return.

    As a culturally minded international city and region, we will establish new ties with the wider world and raise awareness of Tartu and Southern Estonia abroad.

  • After us, there will be no flood.

    The Tartu 2024 programme seeks answers to questions of how to lead a good life in the future as individuals, as a society, and as an environment – both in the city and in the countryside.

    Sustainable culture is socially and environmentally responsible.

    This means that the events, activities, and public communications of the European Capital of Culture will be environmentally friendly and accessible to people with different needs.

  • As European Capital of Culture, we will exhibit the traits of education and smartness that characterise Tartu and Southern Estonia.

    Critically aware, we will explore the relationships between people and technology, information, knowledge, and sciences through the arts.

    With entrepreneurial awareness, we will promote participation in culture by creating new experiences and environments.

    We believe that it is precisely the awareness engendered by culture that connects young people to Tartu, Southern Estonia and Europe.

  • The Tartu 2024 code contains cross-generational, cross-sectoral, and transnational co-creation.

    Tartu 2024 is the European Capital of Culture for grandparents, mothers, fathers, and children alike. By creating together, we can create a more connected society.

    This co-creating European Capital of Culture will be realised through networks by mutually supportive cultural event organisers working with Estonian and European partners in the fields of arts, sciences, and entrepreneurship.

350+ projects in the programme Tartu 2024 x iLLIMOR 1000+ events Take a piece of the European Capital of Culture with you Tartu 2024 Souvenirs

Southern Estonia

A quarter of Estonia united in the name of the European Capital of Culture. A total of 20 Southern Estonian municipalities will share their Arts of Survival and show their uniqueness through culture.

European Capital of Culture is organised by: Antsla Parish, Elva Parish, Kambja Parish, Kanepi Parish, Kastre Parish, Luunja Parish, Nõo Parish, Otepää Parish, Peipsiääre Parish, Põlva Parish, Rõuge Parish, Räpina Parish, Setomaa Parish, Tartu city, Tartu Parish, Tõrva Parish, Valga Parish, Viljandi town, Võru town and Võru Parish.

A signed cooperation agreement paves the way to the European Capital of Culture title year. We stand together for the European Capital of Culture.

A map showing all the cities and parishes taking part in Tartu 2024.

Five steps towards a sustainable future

Tartu 2024 strives towards five large goals, which we believe can be reached and we encourage Tartu and Southern Estonian cultural managers to contribute to reaching the goals in cooperation with us.

  • 1

    By 2025, a cultural management equipment pool (affordable services) will be created in the local authorities involved in the Tartu 2024 project which is rented to and shared with each other (decorations, waste container frames, tableware, etc.), and which allows the organisation of public and cultural events without the use of single-use solutions.

  • 2

    By 2025, environmentally friendly food will be provided and redistribution of surplus food from events has become the standard. Environmentally friendly food is local (Southern Estonia), organic and has vegan options.

  • 3

    By 2025, separate waste collection has become the standard for events.

  • 4

    By 2025, communicating environmentally friendly transport information will have become the standard. 90% of events inform their potential audience about environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

  • 5

    By 2025, event organisers will be more aware of which energy solution is used at their events.

Woman and child play table tennis at Aparaaditehas.


There are a total of nearly 120 general education schools in the four counties of Southern Estonia, where more than 29,000 students study. Young people are one of the focuses of Tartu 2024.

More than 60 projects from Tartu 2024’s main programme are linked to school or educational activities, all of which promote the artistic theme of Arts of Survival. That is why our programme is called Tartu 2024 culture and education programme.


Together with organisers, supporters and audiences, we create an European Capital of Culture, in which as many people as possible can take part, each in their own special way.

Tartu 2024 programme has many different events that are accessible to different audiences. In cooperation with the organisers of the events, we try to inform the audiences with clear information, which events are accessible to whom and to what extent.