With the ‘For New Bridges’ slogan, the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project creates, develops and upgrades new connections with numerous and diverse stakeholders who, each from its own aspect, contribute to the successful implementation of programmes and activities within one of the most prestigious European titles in the field of culture.
The ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project is just one of those bridges that connected decision makers, institutions, non-institutional scene, organizations, free artists, audience, citizens, as well as entities from many other fields – economy, tourism, hospitality, etc.
Thus, the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project received support and established cooperation with more than 500 different partners in the title year solely, while with most of them a common idea and mutual trust were built in the preparatory years, i.e. since 2016, when Novi Sad won the prestigious title.
The cooperation includes cultural institutions, educational institutions from primary schools to colleges, various organizations, associations and representatives of the non-institutional scene, as well as numerous companies that have supported the European Capital of Culture project in Novi Sad. In addition to important partners from Novi Sad, Vojvodina and Serbia, the project is supported by various European stakeholders, first from the region such as Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, and then Hungary, Romania, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and many others, which made it possible for artists from about 45 countries to arrive in Novi Sad in the title year.
Among the partners, cultural institutions stand out, among which are Museum of Vojvodina, Museum of the City of Novi Sad, Gallery of Matica Srpska, Museum of Contemporary Arts of Vojvodina, Archives of Vojvodina, Matica Srpska, The Serbian National Theatre, Youth Theatre, The Novi Sad Theatre, Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, Gallery of Fine Arts – Gift Collection of Rajko Mamuzić, City Library, Historical Archives of the City of Novi Sad, Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Novi Sad, Institution for making tapestries ‘Atelje 61’., French Institute in Serbia and many others.
Among the organizations, associations and federations, stand out Association of Fine Artists of Vojvodina (SULUV), Bel Art Gallery, Association of Architects of Novi Sad (DaNS), Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, Student Cultural Centre of Novi Sad (SKCNS), Mladost Cultural Centre (Futog), Cultural Centre Rumenka, ‘Petőfi Sándor’ Hungarian Cultural Centre, Novi Sad Children’s Cultural Centre, LAB Cultural Centre, Terraforming, Association of Artists Visoko C, Music Youth of Novi Sad, Šok zadruga (Shock Cooperative), Baza – a platform for spatial practices, Ephemera Collective, PDP Conference,Kreativni Pogon, Ludifico, Art Association Inbox, Bulevar Books, Centre for Theatre Research and many others.
It is a great honour that religious objects also opened their doors for culture and art, so the programmes were implemented in the Church of the Name of Mary (Cathedral), Synagogue and the Reformed Church.
The support of partners outside Novi Sad, as well as Serbia, is very important, so they stand out: Goethe Institut, EU Japan Fest, Austrian Cultural Forum, ‘Atelje 212’, National Chamber of Fashion, ‘Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’ Foundation, CGA Conference, Ars Electronica, ‘World Press Photo’ Foundation, CdAT – Café de las Artes Teatro(Spain), Domino (Croatia), Dublin Theatre Festival (Ireland), Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival (Sweden), International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra (Slovakia), Plesni Teater (Slovenia), Réseau en scène Languedoc-Roussillon (France), Tanec Praha (Czech Republic), Teatrul National Radu Stanca Sibiu (Romania), Fondazione Fitzcarraldo (Italy), Le CNRS (France), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Université de Montpellier (France) and many others.
In addition to numerous partners, the uniqueness of this project of national importance is recognized by economy stakeholders, building new bridges of cultural sustainability. Renowned companies from the local, regional and European markets, dedicated to socially responsible business, contributing to the community in the field of culture and improving other aspects of people’s lives, through innovative solutions to the European Capital of Culture project, enable rich cultural content available to all in the years to come.
The leading and oldest fair company in Serbia, Novi Sad Fair, is an important partner that has provided support to the European Capital of Culture project on several levels. In the Migrations programme arch, the Fair shone for the first time as a special stage for a multimedia pavilion of literature, unique in this part of Europe, putting its capacities in the service of culture.
The partnership and support of the project was provided by Erste banka, a member of the Erste Group, one of the leading financial institutions in Central and Eastern Europe with a tradition of 200 years. Through the Heroines and Kaleidoscope of Culture programme arches, Erste banka provides support for projects related to female creativity, as well as creative and innovative projects in the field of contemporary creativity. By paying tribute to the world, and our heroines who ‘changed the world’, the bank seeks to strengthen the role of female creativity and entrepreneurship.
The brand IDEA of the Mercator-S retail chain, has provided significant support to the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project in the preparatory years. At the time of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, IDEA was the mainstay of the ‘Artists. Now!’ project, thus helping the local art scene to express its creativity in difficult conditions. In the title year, the cooperation continues both through the already mentioned support to the local art scene, and through unique programmes related to the national intangible cultural heritage in the recognizable legacy spaces of the European Capital of Culture.
Significance and potential of the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ project was noticed by DDOR osiguranje, one of the leading companies in the field of insurance in our country. With a tradition of almost eight decades, DDOR belongs to a strong Italian Unipol group, a leader in non-life insurance in Italy. Recognizing the importance of the project, DDOR provided support even before the title of European Capital of Culture, in highlighting the visual arts programmes within the legacy programme arch Kaleidoscope of Culture. That support will be further deepened in 2022. This legacy project, together with the Doček programme arch and the network of cultural stations, was declared the Best European Trend Brand in the field of culture in 2021.
In order to strengthen and preserve legacy projects, such as the Kaleidoscope of Culture, support is also provided by the A1 company, which will also be represented in the Future of Europe programme arch. By linking the values of the Capital of Culture with its ‘World as You Wish’ social responsibility programme, the A1 brand will provide mentoring and financial support to initiatives that have the potential to make the world a better place to live.
NIS, as one of the key economic enterprises in Novi Sad and Serbia, supported the programmes of the European Capital of Culture within the Doček programme arch, which positioned itself as a unique artistic celebration in this part of Europe. The sponsor support contributed to Doček 2022, which was the introduction to the opening ceremony. The cooperation achieved with the NIS company will continue in the same spirit during 2022.
All this reflects the size, importance and significance of the European Capital of Culture project for the general development of numerous segments of a city and the mutual strengthening and support of brands, which do not only concern culture and the art scene. The bridges that were built first at the local, national, and then at the European level, are one of the many legacies of the European Capital of Culture project in Novi Sad and as such reflect the vision of the entire project ‘The Beginning of the New. Now.’
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Vladimir Veličković