Nemanja Milenković, President of the Organizing Committee of Novi Sad 2021 and Dalibor Rožić, a Member of the City Council for Culture, presented the news about the candidacy of Novi Sad for European Capital of Culture, today at the City Hall.
Dalibor Rožić, a Member of the City Council for Culture, spoke about the recently adopted Cultural Development Strategy and stressed that the launch of the project Novi Sad 2021 was motivated by the idea to connect people in Europe and to increase awareness of shared history and values: „We wanted to demonstrate to the Commission that we are truly serious about giving culture a central place in the policies of the city, and I believe that we will succeed in that. It is very important that we adopted the most important document, Cultural Development Strategy, on time while respecting the principles of participation and democracy. The most important message that we sent is that all the issues of general importance we will discuss and solve in a planned and systematic manner regardless of the changes within the decision-makers. We also showed that both citizens and experts, that is, those who create cultural and artistic values have the right to participate in making important decisions.“
Nemanja Milenković, President of the Organizing Committee of Novi Sad 2021, presented to the public the final application of Novi Sad candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2021, which was sent today to the Commission which will decide about the title in October: „This is a project of all of us, citizens of Novi Sad, regardless of whether we agree or disagree on many issues, even on whether we deserve or not to be European Capital of Culture. This will, after all, be decision of the Panel of Independent Experts in the field of culture appointed by the European Commission who will arrive in Novi Sad on September 29th and make the final decision on October 13th in Brussels when we will defend the colors of our city.“
He also presented the research Ninamedia agency from August on citizens’ views on the candidacy for the European Capital of Culture.
The research, among other things, shows that 77% of citizens are familiar with the fact that Novi Sad candidate for the title of European Capital of Culture and that the center of the concept of culture in Novi Sad is the Serbian National Theatre, followed by the Matica srpska, the mentality and behavior of people, „EXIT „and the Petrovaradin fortress, museums and Zmaj Children’s Games. Even 84.8% of citizens of Novi Sad support the allocation of funds from the city budget for the purpose of the nomination, and we also hope for preparations in 2021. Especially the youngest members of the population believe that it is necessary to invest in culture, while those a bit older believe that culture is important, but Novi Sad need infrastructure investments.
In the context of the project concept of Novi Sad 2021 the citizens of Novi Sad pleaded that bridges for them symbolize connections and overcoming differences, and thus confirmed the justification of the program concept and slogan of „4 new bridges.“
The most visited cultural events and institutions in this study are „EXIT“, Zmaj Children’s Games, „Baby Exit“, exhibitions, cinemas, theaters, Gallery of Matica srpska, Fabrika, Night of Museums, Youth Theatre, Cultural Centre of Novi Sad, while the majority of people stated they would visit cultural events even more if they had more money and if similar contents exist outside of the center, in other parts of the city.
Finally, the prevailing opinion is that the title would bring to the city positive effects on the inflow of tourists, more events and decentralization of culture.
Nemanja Milenković has concluded that institutional support and inter-sector cooperation are very important and emphasized the positive examples of public and private sector in this regard. Parking Service of the City of Novi Sad will in future give their space for promotion of the candidacy of Novi Sad for the ECoC, as well as company Mercator, which will celebrate nine years of its existence in Novi Sad through nine art concept, whose highlight will be the premiere performance of the Symphony Orchestra „Novi Sad 2021“, which will perform famous domestic and foreign film music.