Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, revealed its European Capital of Culture (ECoC) programme for 2022. The year will be launched with a grand opening ceremony on 22 January 2022 featuring the “Mythical Beast of Kaunas” and will include at least 40 festivals, over 60 exhibitions, more than 250 stage events (50+ world premieres!), and a number of concerts exceeding 250.
Kaunas unveiled its programme during the press conference on 22 September. Two other 2022 European Capitals of Culture teams from Esch-Sur Alzette in Luxembourg and Novi Sad in Serbia also were present at the conference. More details about the Kaunas programme can be read here and here.
Kaunas is one of the few European Capitals of Culture where the bidding team for the ECoC title is also the one executing it, which ensures continuity and independence of the artistic programme. Kaunas 2022 team put a great effort on activating, building the capacities and co-creating with the communities in order to achieve a true change in the lives of Kaunas residents.
Along with the press conference, Kaunas also hosted the ECoC Forum as well as the informal ECoC family meeting on 22-24 September, where Culture Action Europe was present. Finally getting together after more than 18 months, the ECoC teams had an opportunity to exchange in real-life setting their experiences and challenges and talked about the impact of the pandemic on their preparations. It was also pointed out that ECoCs received an exceptionally high number of applications to their call for projects – reflecting the precarious situation of artists.
During the forum, Culture Action Europe presented the Capacity building for ECoCs project (2019-2022) jointly implemented by AEIDL, Interarts, ENCATC and UCLG. The presentation included the tools and resources available for ECoCs that are available on the project website – such as the Academy Camp presentations, videos and podcasts on the topics relevant for the design and implementation of capitals (Audience development, Digital approaches to ECoCs, and more in the coming months), the open call for experts and the call for populating the ECoC library.
The final sessions of the second (online) Academy Camp targeted at the ECoC teams on Digital Approaches in ECoCs is scheduled for 4-5 October. The videos of the training will be made available for all in the coming months on the project website.
The project’s library is inviting ECoC delivery teams and others – through the contribute button- to populate the library by sharing the key documents from all ECoCs, such as the bid book, cultural strategies, programme book of the title year, monitoring and final evaluation report, legacy documents and activities, pictures and audio-visual material (with attention to copyrights), training materials/ useful guides and other key reports and documents.