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International Kultuurikompass Examines How Rural Areas Benefit from the European Capital of Culture

The culture forum Kultuurikompass brings together organisers, creative people and regional development experts from all over Europe to Valga to discuss how cultural cooperation supports regional development.

Kinos toimuv konverents.
Foto: Maanus Kullamaa
05. Sep Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu

On 7 September, the Kultuurikompass “How Does Cultural Cooperation Lead to Regional Development?” talks take a deeper look into how to create cultural ecosystems that move society forward. The event taking place in Valga (Estonia) Culture Centre and Cinema “Säde” maps how the cultural sector can contribute to the survival of small rural places.

Heads of regional cooperation from former European Capitals of Culture will travel to Valga, a town on the Estonian-Latvian border. They share whether and how cultural collaboration in their cities and areas has aided regional development.

According to Annela Laaneots, organiser of the forum and European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 Southern Estonia Coordinator, many people think of regional policy, economic and social issues when thinking about the development of rural areas, but culture also has a great ability to guide meaningful change.

“Let us find out together what the successes of previous European Capitals of Culture have been. Furthermore, what are the failures and lessons learned in order for one of the essential activities – cultural cooperation – to succeed and truly help the growth of our region,” said Laaneots.

On the next day, September 8, discussions on culture-driven development will continue in Tartu, where a seminar will be conducted to exchange experiences of regional collaboration between European Capitals of Culture. The combined debate will include regional cooperation leaders from Kaunas 2022, Tartu 2024, Bodø 2024, Operation Pirkanmaa, and Aarhus 2017.

The speakers of the event: Lene Øster (European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, Denmark), Lukas Alsys (European Capital of Culture Kaunas 2022, Lithuania), Anna Szalay (Culture Bank, Finland), Antti Sorri (Park Philosophy, Finland), Sini-Mari Lepistö (Culture Up, Finland), Annamaija Saarela (G Livelab Tampere, Finland), Triinu Laan (Tartu World University, Estonia), Laura Arikka (Timeout Dialogue, Finland), Elin Priks (Sauna year, Estonia), Jiri Tintera (Valga municipality, Estonia), Ilona Kyykoski (Operation Pirkanmaa, Finland), Annela Laaneots (Tartu 2024, Estonia), Maria Hernes Bær (Bodø 2024, Norway), Henri Turunen (Oulu 2026, Finland), Timo Soppela (Oulu 2026, Finland) and Sarah Caron (European Capital of Culture Esch 2022, Luxembourg).

Kultuurikompass is organised by European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 and the Tampere26 legacy project Operation Pirkanmaa. The forum welcomes cultural organisers and producers, as well as creative and social entrepreneurs, to collaborate and learn from one another. In January 2019, the first Kultuurikompass forum was held.