On 17 January, the international jury selected five pilot projects of the preparatory action “European Houses of Culture”, which was launched in April 2019 with the publication of a call for ideas. The selected projects should be implemented between March and October 2020 with a budget of €50,000 each.
What is the European Houses of Culture pilot project?
The pilot project “European Houses of Culture” is testing new ways of working together among EU Delegations, EU National Institutes of Culture and the local cultural sector to help deliver the European Union’s strategy on cultural relations.
The Preparatory Action was initiated by the European Parliament to test and implement innovative collaboration models between European actors (EUNIC members and EU delegations) and local stakeholders in non-EU countries.
The term ‘Houses’ is to be understood rather symbolically: the project tests collaboration models and practices in a broader sense, that create spaces, whether physical or digital, permanent or temporary, for cultural exchange, co-creation and people-to-people contacts.
What are the selected projects?
Benin: Urban Cult Lab' Africa
The Urban Cult Lab' Africa project extends to the cultural and creative activities developed in six partner countries of Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania and Togo). It aims to strengthen the network logic, carry urban forms of creation in the participating countries and connect with operators identified by the European partners.
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras: Triángulo Teatro (Central American European Theatre Circuit)
“Triángulo Teatro” (Central American European Theatre Circuit) consists of creating a circuit for exhibition of theatre plays, based on the contemporary creation of European dramatic art, with the support of cultural agents from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Mongolia: Nogoonbaatar - International Eco Art Festival
The project proposes the first-ever eco-art festival named Nogoonbaatar (The Green Hero) in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar where half of the population of the country lives and is one of the most polluted capitals on earth. Mongolian and European artists will work with the youth to address environmental issues through art.
Sri Lanka: 'On Language and Multitudinal Belonging'
This project is part of the interdisciplinary arts festival Colomboscope. Activities include workshops on professional development in the arts, mentoring circles, tandem residencies across four regions in Sri Lanka with European and local cultural producers.
USA: ‘The Grid’
The project “The Grid”, which is a cooperation of EUNIC Silicon Valley, the EU Delegation in Washington D.C. and several partners, incorporates art thinking into the development of new technologies and jump-starts a conversation between artists, technologists, and policy makers from Europe, Silicon Valley and beyond.
What was the selection process?
After the publication of the call for ideas in April 2019, the international jury selected 10 project ideas out of 44 applications at a selection meeting in July. The 5 projects detailed above were selected based on a list of criteria, developed by EUNIC.
As observers, colleagues from EUNIC Global, the Directorate General of Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) were present at the selection meeting. The results will be presented during a conference in Brussels at the end of this year.
The overall budget of the project is € 833,419. over two years and it is co-funded by the European Commission (90%) and by EUNIC Global (10%).