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We’re learning from the best! Meetings and talks with other ECoCs

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Zoom s Kallem Paasom, PR manažérom projektu Tartu 2024

The preparations for our European Capital of Culture 2026 candidacy have been in the works since January this year. Since we’re dealing with a huge international project here, we set our first task to be contacting the cities with past ECoC experiences.

In January, our project manager Irena Lehocká went to Košice to meet Michal Hladký, the project director of Košice 2013, with whom she talked about the project’s preparation and implementation, as well as its long-term sustainability and current state.

Due to the global pandemic we had to cancel our April and May work trips to nearby countries that were either running or successfully won ECoC in the past, so we turned those trips into lengthy conference calls with the project managers of Plzeň 2015, Kaunas 2022 and Tartu 2024. They helped us greatly with grasping the complexity of the project and its preparation and elaborated the biggest hindrances they stumbled upon along the way.

In summer we finally got to travel abroad – in July we visited Plzeň and met the team behind the Plzeň 2015 project. They walked us through Depo 2015 – a cultural and creative centre transformed from an old bus depot and their biggest infrastructural project that came to life thanks to the support from ECoC.

In August we visited the Hungarian city Veszprém, Nitra’s sister city and the holder of the ECoC 2023 title. What we were most interested in were their future projects, their involvement of the adjacent Balaton region in the project, as well as how their preparations have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.