Culture for All

Culture for All

February 29, 2016, 11:13 am

 

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TAGS-CULTURE-FOR-ALL

Title of the project: Culture for All

 

Please describe your action/project

Initiated in May 2010, the “Culture for all” is an EU funded project managed by the
European Union Office in Kosovo which aims to contribute to the cultural and
socio-economic development of Kosovo by strengthening the cultural sector in
Kosovo, through the promotion of cultural activities for all communities and by
promoting inclusive educational and recreational activities through increased
interaction between children form different communities and backgrounds.

The specific objectives of the project include the following:

▶ To enhance the development of the cultural sector, by providing assistance to
public and private cultural operators which are expected to contribute to the
overall economic and social development in Kosovo.
▶ To strengthen the cultural sector as a vector of creativity and social innovation,
enhance cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue in Kosovo and to develop
cultural industry as an asset for Kosovo’s economy and competitiveness.
▶ To support notably female artists and cultural operators in the strengthening of
their capacities and visibility in the cultural scene of Kosovo.
▶ To increase inclusive educational and recreational activities in Kosovo, fostering
interaction between children from different communities and backgrounds and
to support, as appropriate, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology
and education stakeholders in the development of the new curriculum related to
the arts.

The project is structured in 3 phases. The 1st phase (pilot phase) of the project,
implemented from May 2010 to October 2012, focused on supporting the civil
society organisations and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of Kosovo
(MCYS) by providing assistance to different cultural activities including film,
theatre, fashion festivals and small scale cultural activities throughout the country.
During this phase, the first assessment report on creative industries in Kosovo was
produced. The 2nd phase of the project, initiated in April 2013 and finalised in April
2015, continued providing support to cultural operators (public and private) and to
existing and new cultural events organised in the main cities in Kosovo as well as to
activities fostering inter-community cultural cooperation and exchange. For
instance, during this this phase two calls for applications to support local cultural
initiatives were launched; study visits for Kosovo’s cultural operators to Napoli
Teatro Festival in Italy in June 2013 and “Maison et Objet” in Paris in September
2014 were carried out; Women’s regional festival “Femmes fatales” involving
participants from Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Albania,
Montenegro, FYROM and Turkey was organised in May 2014; and “Creative
Economy” workshop was held in September 2014, among other activities. The first
two phases were implemented by ARS Progetti – Ambiente Risorse e Sviluppo.
The 3rd phase of the project, implemented by Interarts Foundation for International
Cultural Cooperation (INTERARTS), in consortium with ARCS-Arci Cultura e
Sviluppo and Culture Action Europe (CAE) and currently ongoing, aims to ensure
the continuity and sustainability of the previous actions as well as to provide a
long-term oriented strategic support to the cultural sector in Kosovo. It also
includes aspects related to culture and education by supporting educational and
recreational activities, fostering interaction between children from different
backgrounds and communities, and promoting the inclusion of culture as a subject
within the Kosovo’s education system. The 3rd phase of the “Culture for all” project
officially started on 3 November and will run until the 2 November 2016.

Tell us something more about your project/activity:

The ongoing 3rd phase of the project is structured into IV Components:
Component I: Support to cultural operators (public and private, university, media
and civil society) and to cultural events organised in Kosovo

a. Support to at least 10 annual existing and/or new cultural events in main towns in
Kosovo
b. Organisation of at least 10 annual inter-ethnic cultural activities and/or activities
involving vulnerable groups
c. Production of at least 3 documentaries and/or short artistic films
d. Organisation of an exhibition in the main towns in Kosovo
e. Support to annual activities to mark World Book Day on 23 April, Pristina open
music night and/or fashion design activities

Component II: Promotion of cross-border/regional cultural activities and exchange
including networking activities and support to mobility of cultural actors in and out
of Kosovo

a. Organisation of at least 10 study visits for 20 participants to EU Member States
and IPA countries to enable artists and journalists from Kosovo to actively
participate and cooperate in European and/or regional cultural events/activities
and ensure related media coverage in Kosovo
b. Organisation of at least two regional activities to bring together up to 30 cultural
actors from Kosovo and neighbouring countries in order to foster cross-border
cultural exchange and enhance inter-cultural dialogue and understanding/
Organisation of one regional conference in order to foster cross-border cultural
exchange and enhance inter-cultural dialogue and understanding

Component III: Raise the international cultural profile of Kosovo, build the skills
and capacities of respective institutions, cultural operators and cultural civil
society organisations and develop the cultural industry as an asset for Kosovo’s
economy and competitiveness

a. Support to relevant cultural, youth and sport institutions overseen by MCYS and
relevant departments in municipalities, in matters related to cultural policies and
the development of cultural industries
b. Continuation and sustainability of interactive web portal is ensured and
sustainability ensured through a local partner
c. Organisation of at least 5 training sessions to strengthen the capacities of
cultural operators with regard to different cultural/artistic skills and techniques,
but also with regard to project management, fund raising, and knowledge on EU
programmes

Component IV: Organise two editions of an annual Kosovo-wide Children Festival
focusing on educational activities for students to learn about the European Union,
to develop creativity and imagination, and promote increased cultural education
and learning.

a. Organise a school completion promoting innovative cultural activities, such as
music, chorus, theatre, computers, creative design, etc., including the
involvement of students in the final event program and prize for winners is
organised under each edition of the Festival
b. Organise two editions of an annual one-week Children Festival, which include
workshops and activities taking place throughout Kosovo, encouraging playful
learning about the European Union, and through that promoting creativity,
innovation, interest in science, culture, etc.
c. Conduct a situation analysis of culture as a subject within the education system,
produce an assessment report including realistic and feasible recommendations
and the identification of quick-impact and long-term measures to promote
increased cultural education and awareness. Organise a workshop on culture
and art education by involving relevant stakeholders to explore innovative
activities linked to culture and education.

Duration (from May 2010 – ongoing)
Location Kosovo
Field/discipline Culture

Tell us something about who did it: individual(s), organization(s), formal, informal, their numbers, their role/skills, etc.

The project has had 3 phases. The first two phases were implemented by ARS
Progetti – Ambiente Risorse e Sviluppo (http://www.arsprogetti.com/index.asp), a
consulting firm working all over the world in areas related to institutional
strengthening, governance and civil society, culture and cultural heritage,
architecture, infrastructure and environment.
The third phase of the project is implemented by the Interarts Foundation for
International Cultural Cooperation (INTERARTS), in consortium with ARCS-Arci
Cultura e Sviluppo and Culture Action Europe (CAE).
INTERARTS (http://www.interarts.net/) is an international centre, based in
Barcelona (Spain), which promotes knowledge about the cultural sector, its
policies and its contribution to human development at local, regional and
international levels. INTERARTS is particularly committed to combining research
activities with the management and of international cooperation projects, in order
to stimulate cultural knowledge, dialogue, professional development and
networking. Applied research on cultural policies and European and international
cultural cooperation have been at the core of Interarts’ work since the organisation
was set up in 1995.
ARCS – ARCI Cultura e Sviluppo (http://www.arcsculturesolidali.org/) is an
international non-governmental organisation of the ARCI Association (Italy) – a
national association established in 1957 whose mission is to foster social and
cultural promotion. With over 5,600 clubs and 1,100,000 members, ARCI is
committed to the promotion and development of associations as a factor for social
cohesion, as places for civil and democratic participation, to assert peace and the
rights of citizenship as well as to fight any form of exclusion and discrimination. In
their international solidarity and cooperation activities both ARCS and ARCI foster
decentralized cooperation, a fundamental principle for all proposed interventions,
in which culture is understood as the tool to foster respect for cultural diversity and
to facilitate both integration in and access to society.
CAE (http://cultureactioneurope.org/) is the leading European network in the field
of culture that brings together individuals and legal entities around the following
objectives: i) To put culture at the heart of the public debate and decision-making
at every level – both local and European – as an essential component for
sustainable societies based upon respect for universal human rights and to the
benefit of present and future generations; ii) To encourage the democratic
development of the European Union, as the first and most ambitious attempt to
establish a new form of democracy based on respect for human rights and the will
to organize cultural life around a complex identity and not the hegemony of a single
language, culture or religion.

Tell us something about the people who in your view received the most significant impact: who were they? How many of them?

The main actors involved in the field of culture and education to which the project
is addressed to can be summarised as follows:

▶ Cultural operators form the public and private sector, developing their activities
in Kosovo and/or “neighbouring countries”.
▶ National, regional and local governments, including ministries, departments or
municipal directorates in charge of culture, youth and education policies in
particular, as well as other relevant areas (e.g. departments or municipal
directorates in charge of regional development, economy and innovation,
industry support and entrepreneurship, gender, European integration, etc.) in
general. It is worth underlying that thought the three project phases close
collaboration especially with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS),
the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) as well as the
Municipality of Pristina has been established.
►Civil society organisations such as associations, NGOs, networks, groupings of
professionals and amateurs and organisations active in the field of culture and
arts (independent cultural scene), education, youth, children’s rights, human
rights, ethnic minority groups, women, etc. as well as protection of children with
disabilities, promotion of social services and fight against discrimination. Civil
society organisations are also key actors of extra-curricular youth and children
activities in the country. For instance, through the project’s annual open calls
over 71 cultural projects and projects inter-community and intra-community
initiatives have been supported. These projects were implemented by the main
cultural organisations operating in Kosovo such as DOKFEST, Kosovo
Architecture Foundation, SKENA UP, Anibar, ODA Theatre, Qendra Multimedia, 7
ARTE, Stacion Centre for Contemporary Art Prishtina, etc. Moreover, 10 film
projects developed by local filmmakers and production companies have also
been supported.
▶ Individual artists and journalists covering cultural activities at national and
international level. During the third phase and in the context of the study visit
activities, over 34 individual artists and cultural professionals have had an
opportunity to participate and promote their work in international events such as
Classical NEXT, WOMEX and MEDIMEX music markets, Sarajevo Film Festival
and La Biennale di Venezia 56th International Art Exhibition.
▶ Locally relevant cultural and education structures, including cultural centres,
libraries, concert halls, theatres, opera, art galleries, exhibition halls, schools,
vocation training centres, recreational centres, universities and other.
▶ Citizens as the ultimate beneficiaries of the cultural initiatives developed both by
governmental and public institutions and by civil society cultural operators.

Was the impact planned from the start?

For each project’s phase the planned impact was different. The 1st phase sought
to enhance cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue, the strengthening of the
cultural sector as a vector of creativity and social innovation and the development
of cultural and creative industries as an asset for Kosovo’s economy and
competitiveness. The 2nd phase continued the support provided to local operators
by establishing a source of predictable funding for the Kosovo’s cultural sector. By
supporting small-scale cultural events and initiatives all through Kosovo, the
project sought to reaches out to a grass-root level, promoting cultural diversity,
innovation and creativity. The 2nd phase also planned to raise the international
cultural profile of Kosovo and promote cross-border/regional exchange, including
networking and mobility of cultural actors in and out of Kosovo. Finally, the 3rd
phase initiated in November 2014 and implemented by INTERARTS in consortium
with ARCS-Arci Cultura e Sviluppo and Culture Action Europe, aimed at ensuring
the sustainability of the previous actions as well as providing more long-term
oriented strategic support to the cultural sector. For instance, it seeks to establish
better partnership and collaboration with local authorities such as the Ministry of
Culture, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and
the Municipality of Pristina in order to ensure the continuity of the main activities
implemented by the project beyond its life span.

Tell us something about the context: recent history, social, economic and cultural features

Kosovo’s territory is land-locked and small, a little over 10,908 km2. The resident
population, according to the final results published, in 2012, by the Kosovo Agency
of Statistic following a population and housing census, is estimated to range
around 1.8-2.2 million. At present, Kosovo has the youngest population in Europe;
the population density is close to 200 per square kilometre which is considered one
of the highest in Europe as well. Over 88% of the population is Albanian. The Serb
minority represents 7% whilst the remaining 5% belong to other ethnic groups,
including Bosniaks, Gorani, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE) and Turks. A large
Kosovar diaspora lives in the EU and beyond.
On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. To date,
Kosovo has been recognised by a number of countries worldwide, including 23 EU
Member States. It has also fully accepted the obligations contained in the
comprehensive proposal for the Kosovo status settlement (“Ahtisaari proposal”).
Yet the unresolved status issue remains the key obstacle to attaining the country’s
overarching objectives of political integration and socio-economic development.
Besides the challenges it faces in its struggle for international recognition and the
status of its ethnic minorities Kosovo faces other daunting challenges. Poverty,
unemployment, trade deficit and a lack of economic opportunities are serious
problems in Kosovo. In fact, Kosovo is one of Europe’s poorest countries, with a
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2,721 Euro per capita in 2012. According to the
Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS), about 34.5% of Kosovo’s population is poor,
with an income level of 43 Euro per month, or less. About 12.1% of the population
is very poor, and has trouble meeting its basic nutritional needs and poverty is
particularly severe in rural areas as well as among Roma and other ethnic
minorities.
The country has little large-scale industry and few exports. However, the existence
of significant deposits of metals and lignite led to a sharp increase in exports in
2010 from this sector. Kosovo’s tie to the Euro has helped keep inflation low,
although recently it picked due to higher world market prices for food and oil. In
general, Kosovo’s macro-economic policies over the past few years can be defined
as stable, with a positive growth rate of average 4.5%1.
Since 1999 the European Union has been an integral and active party to the
international efforts to build a new future for Kosovo. The EU has reiterated, at the
1 Data obtained from the World Bank report on Kosovo. For further information see http://
www.worldbank.org/en/country/kosovo/overview
December 2010 European Council , that Kosovo 2 has a clear European perspective
in line with the European approach for the Western Balkan region. Moreover, in
2013 Kosovo’s candidacy for the EU was given a perspective, following the
European Commission’s Feasibility Study, according to which in June 2013 the
Council of Europe opened the negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association
Agreement between the EU and Kosovo3. The EU remains also committed, through
a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) mission for the rule of law and its
Special Representative, to play a leading role in ensuring the country’s political
stability.
Culture is not considered a priority policy sector by the Kosovo government and
only a limited number of donors and initiatives are active in the country in support
of the cultural sector. Predictable funding is lacking from both government and
donor side, since culture is frequently one of the first areas which suffer following
economic austerity and budget cuts. This actually means that the potential of this
field as a fundamental vector of economic and social development as well as of
reconciliation – as already proven in many international post-conflict areas – has
not been, until now, fully exploited. However, effective collaboration with the MCYS
and other donors in this field has led to both successful creative production and to
interesting cultural events being promoted throughout Kosovo.
The MCYS remains the key stakeholder, with a specific department in charge of
culture. In addition, each municipality comprises a directorate in charge of cultural
affairs with a very low budget allocated to the sector. Within the University of
Pristina, the Faculty of Arts offers arts and culture related curricula in three fields:
drama, music and figurative art.
There are a number of non-governmental organisations active in the cultural sector
which makes an important contribution to the development of an active and lively
independent cultural scene in Kosovo. The largest NGOs are based in Pristina and
are mostly active in the field of theatre, music (jazz, classical music, etc.),
architecture and the visual arts but their activities and projects reach out to the
main cities in Kosovo.
The well-established network of cultural artistic associations also includes
amateur culture and minority groups. Indeed, amateurism has a long tradition in
the country and makes an essential and important contribution to the cultural and
artistic life in Kosovo. Also, as regards the national minority groups, there are a
considerable number of minority and multi-ethnic associations active in the field of
2 European Council, Council conclusions on enlargement/stabilization and association process, 3060th
GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting, Brussels, 14 December 2010.
3 European Commission, Commission Staff Working Document. Kosovo 2013 Progress report. Enlargment
Strategy and Main Challenges 2013-2014. COM (2013) 700 final.
culture. Nevertheless, financial sustainability and development of these cultural
associations depends mainly on public funds through, for instance, direct financing
(MCYS) and/or different local and international funding sources.
In this respect, factors and obstacles affecting the sustainable development of
cultural organisations and associations in Kosovo include, among other factors,
limited financial resources, a fragile national policy for culture, the absence of
cultural networks, a framework for the decentralisation processes of cultural
activities at municipal level, the lack of partnership and close collaboration
between existing state-funded public institutions and the independent cultural
scene, insufficient offer provided by cultural centres for the performance,
production, research and incubation of innovative and multidisciplinary arts
(capacity-building), etc. There is also crucial need for independent institutions to
engage with cultural rights, the promotion of networking intra Kosovo and
internationally, and of regional cooperation that can ensure the future development
and sustainability of cultural associations and advocate for open and practicebased
communities in the country.

Tell us what were your expected results and the actual ones

As the “Culture for all” project is still ongoing, the actual results will be assessed
when the 3rd phase is concluded. Nevertheless, it is important to underline that the
project has managed to activate the local cultural sector. In this regard, the
financial support provided by the “Culture for all” project has been particularly
important for Kosovo’s cultural operators (especially for the private sector) in
order to implement their artistic projects and ideas. The great interested in the
funding provided by “Culture for all” has also made visible the lack of financial
resources and well-established support schemes for the local cultural operators in
Kosovo.
Given that culture is not considered a priority policy sector by the Kosovo
government, the “Culture for all” project aims at raising the awareness of the MCYS
on the potential of the culture as a fundamental vector of economic and social
development as well as of reconciliation and inter-cultural and inter-ethnic
dialogue. Throughout all three phases the project has established a close
collaboration with the Ministry in order to support the development of better
oriented and sustainable national policy for culture; a concrete result in this
respect still has to be achieved.
Another expected result of the “Culture for all” project is to raise the international
cultural profile of Kosovo, to promote cross-border/regional cultural collaboration
and exchange and the mobility of cultural actors in and out of Kosovo. In order to
achieve this result, the project has supported different activities (conferences,
workshops, discussions, art and theatre performances, exhibitions, etc.) which
brought together artists and cultural operators from the Balkan region. On the
other hand, the participation of Kosovo’s artists in international events (fairs,
markets and festivals) on music, film, visuals arts, etc. has been supported with the
aim to raise the visibility of Kosovo’s culture and artistic production at the EU and
international levels as well as build partnerships and collaborations between
artists, promoters, distributers and operators from Kosovo and other countries.
Hoverer, to be able to reach efficient results, there should be a permanent support
or a well-established structure such as a national agency to export and promote
artists and cultural operators abroad implemented by the MCYS.
Finally, the project seeks to promote the increased cultural education and
awareness as well as the inclusion of culture as a subject within the education
system. The “Culture for all” project has successfully implemented two cultural
events for children – School-Quiz / Arts Talent Show involving 24 pupils from 8
schools and the Children Festival with the participation of 262 pupils and 13
schools. At the policy level, it is expected to prepare a report on the situation of
culture as a subject within the education system in Kosovo, including realistic and
feasible recommendations and the identification of quick-impact and long-term
measures to promote increased cultural education and awareness.

Tell us something about the most relevant resource inputs of your project/action: human, financial, organization, time

Each “Culture for all” project’s phase involved one Team Leader (general
coordinator), Senior and Junior experts as well as other associated experts and
professionals. The local office in Pristina, with all necessary equipment and office
material, was set up and the Office Manager/administrator was hired. The project
also foresaw the back-stopping facilities at the home bases, including the
identification of the Project Director and the organisation of all administrative and
communication issues related to the project’s implementation.
The 1st phase of the project was initiated on 4 May 2010 and finalised on 22
October 2012. The 2nd phase started on 16 April 2013 and ended on 16 April 2015.
Finally, the 3rd phase officially started on 3 November 2014 and will run until 2
November 2016.

Tell us how you have attained the main change: challenges, innovation, obstacles, brilliant solutions, turning points, quantum leaps, etc.

As to the main challenges of the “Culture for all” project, the following elements
can be mentioned:

►Active commitment by national and local authorities (the ministries,
municipalities and their cultural departments and institutions) in all the stages of
the project, from its detailed design to the implementation of the foreseen
activities. This commitment should be understood not only in the form of content
development but, especially, in terms of the strategic choices to be made and
the possibility of identifying long-term policy and financial measures to be set
up, in due course, to guarantee the sustainability of those activities that are not
implemented on a one-off basis but are understood, rather, as having the
potential for continuity. As the culture is not considered a priority policy by the
Kosovo government, the participation of the MCYS and MEST has been one of
the major challenges in the implementation of the project. With the support and
assistance provided by the EU Office in Kosovo, the involvement of both
Ministries in some of the activities organised by the project has been achieved,
nevertheless a real commitment and any strategic change with a long-term
impact still hast to be reached.
►The participation of the Kosovar public and private cultural sector; their active
contribution to the definition of the project’s activities in order that all the
activities correspond to actual on-the-ground needs and are designed to
correspond to current context and trends development. It has been important to
that the cultural operators see the “Culture for all” project not only as a provider
of funding, but also as a strategic partner for the development of the cultural
sector in Kosovo.

Tell us the main area of impact of your project, i.e. a permanent or long lasting change in attitudes, awareness, behavior, conditions, economic status, income, occupation, perception, practice, quality of life, self-esteem, skills, social relations, etc. and for whom.

The “Culture for all” project has managed to become the main initiative that
promotes and supports the cultural sector in Kosovo; it has become a reference to
both public institutions and private organisations operating in the cultural and arts
field in the country. Through the funding provided, the project has improved the
economic situation of many cultural organisations. The ad hoc support and
guidance to the selected projects has improved their quality, especially on the
management level. The project has also raised the visibility of the Kosovar artists
and cultural operators in the international cultural context and strengthened their
competencies to promote and distribute their cultural productions abroad. It has
encouraged better networking among the cultural operators in Kosovo and
supported the establishment of representative professional and trade associations
to develop policies, promote legislation for the protection of the rights of the
workers in the cultural sub-sector.
Which is the Big Idea behind your project/action?
The “Culture for all” project seeks to contribute to the cultural and socio-economic
development of Kosovo by strengthening the cultural sector in the country.
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