The cultural year has generated new and continuing activities in Turku
The legacy of the European Capital of Culture 2011 programme will be strong in Turku and the surrounding region. The Turku 2011 Foundation, which prepared and coordinated the Turku ECoC 2011 programme, has already approved funding for 30 projects and initiatives created during the cultural year, as well as a number of new projects which can significantly contribute to the legacy of Turku ECoC 2011. Some further decisions on additional funding are currently pending.
Funding decisions were based on the most positive experiences gained during ECoC 2011, which are outlined in the follow-up report drafted by the Turku 2011 continuation working group. Chaired by Risto Ruohonen, the Director General of the Finnish National Gallery, the group collected a large number of proposals and identified activities from 2011 which should continue in Turku to support the legacy of ECoC 2011.
The follow-up report highlights the importance of culture as a tool of revitalising urban spaces, and the significance of different types of public art projects to the residents. Other important areas identified in the report include the promotion of creative industries, cross-sectoral cooperation, networking and education, and continued focus on the “Culture is Good For You” motto of Turku 2011.
Funding is focused on 2012 and 2013. The Ruohonen report discusses a transitional period during which the City of Turku will adopt culture as a strategic focus area in its activities by leveraging the experiences from ECoC 2011. The initial financial support provided by the Turku 2011 Foundation allows the city and other actors to prepare and put in place measures to ensure versatile and effective activities beyond 2013.
The aim is for the projects now receiving additional funding from the Turku 2011 Foundation to seek external funding for any subsequent years. In addition, the parties are coordinating their events independently without the assistance of the foundation.
“ECoC programmes are increasingly evaluated based on their legacy and how the organisation has managed to spread the benefits beyond the cultural year. We are certain that Turku European Capital of Culture 2011 will leave a very strong legacy,” says Cay Sevón, CEO of Turku 2011 Foundation.
Support for events and development projects
Projects supported by the Turku 2011 Foundation include the Aurajokiverkosto Association (River Aura Network), which was launched as a result of the European Capital of Culture programme. Founded by Turku-based artists and cultural operators, the association brings together various cultural events taking place along the river and promotes River Aura as a cultural stage. The founding members include artist Jan-Erik Andersson, Professor Kari Immonen, and Raija-Liisa Seilo, the director of Turku City Theatre. The idea about the network was born in the cultural community in autumn 2011, and submitted to the continuation working group chaired by Ruohonen.
Thanks to the foundation’s support, events in summer 2012 include the return of the hugely popular Colourscape labyrinth and the Eurocultured festival of street art; one of the 2011 art saunas will be in residence on the banks of River Aura, the popular Neighbourhood Weeks will continue, the New Potato Festival is returning for its second year, and the club music Festival Turku Modern will also be back in 2012.
The support services which were put in place for the ECoC production will also continue. In future, regular training and advice will be available for the creative industries from the Kulttuurivarikko service of the HUMAK University of Applied Sciences. In particular, help is available for new creative businesses, and individuals or organisations who have financial activities but are not looking to start a business.
The highly successful volunteering and accessibility activities of ECoC 2011 will continue at the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences. The aim is to recruit some of those who volunteered in 2011 to take on new assignments from cultural organisers and to ensure the future availability and development of accessible cultural offering in Turku.
International presence and books
The Turku 2011 Foundation is also supporting the international activities of projects which were part of the 2011 programme. For example, the Passion performance of Dance Theatre ERI will initially continue with smaller funding in Turku, followed by a self-funded visit to the Nargen festival in Estonia which celebrates the music of Arvo Pärt in June. The Alice in Wonderland exhibition, which was introduced at Logomo, has received funding from the foundation to travel to Cádiz in Spain, and the Tom of Finland exhibition is travelling to Stockholm and possibly other places.
The cultural year has generated a number of publications, some of which have been funded by the Turku 2011 Foundation. Books have been published - some currently underway - about the Turku-St. Petersburg-Cologne photography project, the Middle-Aged Hair project, the Poetry Portraits, and the Contemporary Art Archipelago project.
In May-June, the Turku 2011 Foundation will publish the funding budget for continuing 2011 projects as part of the final report on the European Capital of Culture programme. The figures for additional funding of projects and initiatives will be published in 2013.
The Turku 2011 Foundation will cease operations in summer 2012. The CEO will continue until the end of 2012. The current Board of Directors is stepping down in June, and the new board will continue with a smaller group until the end of 2016.
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