In order to better prepare organizational, technical and program activities of „Novi Sad 2021“ in the future, under the patronage of the Polish Embassy in Belgrade, in a study visit to Wroclaw, the European Capital of Culture for 2016, were Nemanja Milenkovic, President of the Organizing Committee, and Vuk Radulović, International Relations Manager of „Novi Sad 2021“.
During the three day visit a very intense program and a series of meetings were organized aimed at getting to know the team members „Novi Sad 2021“ with all segments of the project „Wroclaw 2016“. Novi Sad delegation met with General Director of the „Wroclaw 2016“, Krzysztof Maj, who introduced them to the organization and results of the project during a five year period of preparation of the nomination. Dominika Kawalerowicz, Program Director of the project, presented the program of Wrocław candidacy and work of seven curators from different artistic fields. In addition, meetings with team leaders of various sectors responsible for certain aspects of candidacy were also organized – micro granting system – Natalia Mutor, artistic residence program – Berenika Nikodemska and Krzysztof Bielaszka, and monitoring and evaluation sector – Jacek Pluta and Katarzyna Kajdanek. Also, members of the Novi Sad team had the opportunity to get acquainted with the successful local initiatives, such as the Eco Centre which implements a large number of environmental projects and the work of the Association Lokietka engaged in the development of cultural and other social activities in less developed Wrocław neighborhood Nadodrze. All information provided in direct communication with experts in particular fields are of great importance for the proper planning of the project „Novi Sad 2021“ and overcoming challenges in the future.
For the delegation team „Novi Sad 2021“ a tour of the most important infrastructure projects implemented in Wroclaw was also organized. It is one of the most modern concert halls in Europe – National Forum of Music, built by the most prestigious architectural and acoustic standards, and the renovated building of the National Museum in Wroclaw. These impressive artistic institutions remain as one of the most important legacies of Wroclaw candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2016, and total investments of this Polish city to the entire project „Wroclaw 2016“ are more than 250 million euro.
President of the Organizing Committee of „Novi Sad 2021“, Nemanja Milenkovic, thanked the hosts for their hospitality and the opportunity to compare the different parameters and approaches to the implementation of the ECOC project:
„Differences are obvious. It is enough to compare the population of Novi Sad and Wroclaw, as well as population of Serbia and Poland. Then, there is the difference in (im) possibility of access to EU funds. However, once again it is confirmed that the amount of funds invested in the project, constructed buildings, as well as the size of the city do not define a successful European Capital of Culture. The experience of every ECoC, including Wroclaw, showed that the most important are continuity and autonomy of the team working on the project, good organization and support of all citizens.“
According to him, in order to use the knowledge and experience of Polish colleagues, this study visit will help in setting the quality foundations in organization of such a complex project.
Study visit to Wroclaw was held from November 6th – 9th and we give special thanks to the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Belgrade that enabled the trip, especially Ida Orzechowska, the third secretary of the Embassy and Agnieszka Marcinowska from the “Wroclaw 2016” team for international cooperation on great organization and coordination of the trip to Wroclaw. This visit assures us that this is only the beginning of long-term and successful cooperation.