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Annela Laaneots: It Is Time to Start Thinking of Ideas for the European Capital of Culture Programme

If you wish to have your say in the experiences that the European Capital of Culture year will offer in Southern Estonia in 2024, start brainstorming now – the deadline for submitting an idea plan for your planned regional project is 1 October, the application round will open in January 2022.

Annela Laaneots on playground.
31. Aug Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu

Annela Laaneots. Photo: Heigo Teder

At the end of May and the beginning of June, the Tartu 2024 Foundation with Southern Estonian municipalities organised regional project application round information days, where participants received information about everything surrounding the idea application process.

At the information days, Tartu 2024 representatives introduced the concept and terms of the regional project application round and answered questions received about the round from the participants.

We thank all the people who took part in the productive information days, as exciting ideas for possible events already came up. All who could not attend can read the conditions of the regional project application round on the local government’s or Tartu 2024 website.

The regional project application round aims to find outstanding events for the European Capital of Culture programme that take place in Southern Estonia, in all municipalities of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 region.

We all want the European Capital of Culture year to be memorable in Southern Estonia and to proudly claim the title of Estonia’s top event in 2024. Thus, we encourage the creators of Southern Estonia to generate unique audience-oriented events for the application round, which create new value for Southern Estonia, Tartu, Estonia and Europe. Events that excite visitors and at the same time carry our values. Events that we would all like to visit ourselves.

What events are expected?

Anyone with a suitable idea for an European Capital of Culture event and a plan to carry it out, can submit their idea to the regional project application round. After the successful completion of the round, a production contract will be concluded with the organisers. The last stage sees the preparation and implementation of the event in cooperation with the Tartu 2024 team.

All events striving to be in the Tartu 2024 programme must reflect the values of the Tartu 2024 artistic concept “Arts of Survival”. These values are more environmentally friendly urban and rural culture, education and ingenuity, movement and mental health, generational co-creation, highlighting local uniquenesses, critical thinking and cross-sectoral regional and international cooperation.

The cross-cutting nature of events is especially important. This means focusing not only on the fine arts, but also on, for example, physical education, food or any other seemingly unexpected but specific area that characterises our local life. We consider it crucial that the projects are born out of meaningful cooperation between partners and are later carried out with the advice and support of partners from different cultural fields, be they artists, civic associations, institutions, companies or other actors.

The European Capital of Culture is Europe’s largest cultural event, so it is natural that the events require substantive international cooperation in the development and implementation phase of the project. These include partners from twin cities and municipalities. Preparing for the European Capital of Culture is undoubtedly a good opportunity to boost international cooperation.

We also want the European Capital of Culture to strengthen the links between the generations, which is why co-creation between different age groups is expected. Environmental awareness is also an important aspect of organising Tartu 2024 events, hence guidelines for environmentally friendly cultural management have to be followed.

We hope and assume that successful ventures will lead to a positive long-term impact – increased visibility of the region, increased willingness and ability to cooperate, and intensified international cooperation. After all, we all want Southern Estonia to be a very good place to live and locals want and can visit a wide range of cultural events.

The regional project application round seeks larger projects rather than many small ones. If the event is planned to take place in the territory of one municipality, then the expected co-financing rate is 30%, if the territory includes several municipalities, then the rate is lowered to 10%.

Descriptions of the ideas are expected in the SPOKU application site by October 1 (the form will open in autumn). The application round will open in SPOKU in January 2022. Find out more about the conditions of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 regional project application round on the Tartu 2024 website or on the municipalities’ websites.