Coalition of Cities

The origins of the programme date back to 2016, when, for the first time in the history of the European Capital of Culture, the cities competing for the title collaborated. Wrocław invited partners from across the country to participate in the programme: Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań and Szczecin.

Now expanded to include Kraków and Warsaw, the Coalition of Cities is a platform for the exchange of experience between Polish local authorities and institutions, resulting in the improvement of the competencies of culture professionals.

Coalition 2012-2016

The 2016 collaboration was primarily aimed at cultural presentations of the cities, focusing on their most distinctive narratives and identifying what constitutes their genius loci. This initiative created new opportunities for cultural exchange, the promotion of local artists and the creation of joint projects. Wrocław visited the six partner cities with an artistic presentation of a performance by the Ad Spectatores Theatre and an open-air exhibition on “Wrocławness” in the poems of Tadeusz Różewicz and the works of the Luxus group.

Another outcome of the 2016 Coalition of Cities was a research project carried out by Jagiellonian University, focusing on the so-called ‘ECOC effect’, i.e. the analysis of the long-term economic and socio-cultural impact and changes triggered in Polish cities by the process of competing to become European Capital of Culture 2016.

The third pillar of the programme was a discussion on the local government’s responsibility for culture in Poland. The founders of the Coalition formed a think tank that met between 2012 and 2016 to exchange views and good practices enabling better work on the development of culture in local governments.

Coalition today

As a result of these activities, the Coalition of Cities for Culture has become a viable platform for the exchange of experiences, linking Polish local governments and institutions. The project is currently being implemented in two ways: the institutional one, bringing together, in addition to the Culture Zone Wrocław, the Centre of Culture in Lublin, the Institute of City Culture in Gdańsk, the Krystyna Bochenek Katowice City of Gardens – Institution of Culture, and the Staromiejski Dom Kultury in Warsaw. The work is coordinated by the team of Culture Zone Wrocław. the local government one – bringing together representatives of local governments from Gdańsk, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław.

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