The European Capital of Culture expert commission examined Tartu 2024 activities, events, and plans

Last week, the Tartu 2024 team met with the European Capital of Culture expert commission to give an overview of the state of the preparation work that has begun in Tartu and Southern Estonia. The international commission examined Tartu 2024 activities, events that have taken place and plans for the following years. Prior to 2024, two similar meetings will take place and if they go successfully, the Capital of Culture will be awarded the Melina Mercouri prize worth 1.5 million Euros.

The activities and plans of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 were introduced by the Tartu 2024 Foundation Chairman and Tartu City Mayor Urmas Klaas, Tartu 2024 CEO Priit Mikk, Programme Coordinator Erni Kask, Regional Coordinator Annela Laaneots, Communications Manager Kalle Paas, Financial Manager Toomas Peterson and Programme Line Manager Triin Pikk.

“At the heart of every European Capital of Culture is the culture programme – that was what interested them the most,” said Erni Kask after the meeting. “COVID-19 is a big problem in both the Estonian and European cultural sphere; hence we received many questions about how the crisis has affected our preparations and how it has changed our previous plans. We were pleased to confirm that the preparations have not strayed from the initial timetable, even though we have had to make adjustments like everyone else.”

The CEO of Tartu 2024 Priit Mikk said that for the current year, the foundation’s objective is to launch the comprehensive preparation process in cooperation with the State and local governments. “An active organisation has been established that is tasked to carry out the European Capital of Culture,” he confirmed.  

“We have begun assembling the planned Tartu 2024 culture programme and training activities,” Mikk listed things that have been done. “As a result of discussions that have taken place in Southern Estonian local governments and counties, a cooperation agreement has been drafted, which within a month has been approved in 13 municipalities and cities. This is only the beginning and most of the work is still ahead of us. Every year we will reach more people who can take part in Tartu 2024 as organisers, audience or in other roles.”

The Tartu 2024 team met with the expert commission through a video call that was set up in Estonian National Museum. Cultural managers, researchers and creators form Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, France, Romania, and Germany make up the commission that monitor and advise the Capitals of Culture. The representatives selected by Estonia in the commission are Mikko Fritze, who led the Tallinn 2011 foundation and Anu Kivilo, the Managing Director of the Arvo Pärt Centre.

The commission will also compile a report, where they will give an overview of the meeting and additional recommendations for preparations in the years 2021-2022. The report will be published on the European Commission homepage. The next meeting will take place in the spring of 2022, which will be followed by a meeting in autumn 2023. Tartu with Southern Estonia will be the European Capital of Culture in 2024.

Photos: Mana Kaasik

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