Candidature for the title of ECoC 2025 as an opportunity for networking and sustainable development of the city and the region

Central to the candidature of Kranj for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2025 are programs that have been curated and elaborated by local communities. Even today Kranj’s creative process stems from its neighbourhood where we stage brilliant mini-art festivals, craft boutique programs for cultural tourists, and hold awareness campaigns along with local communities. The candidacy is the opportunity that Kranj becomes a cultural centre with a great program, as well as an urban sandbox or laboratory where both domestic and foreign creators can experiment with ideas new and old, using new approaches to artistic discourse that is a perfect match for the common European citizen.

Troughout the preparation of the candidature for the European Capital of Culture in 2025 we worked closely wity the city’s administration, with the administrations of other towns in Gorenjska (our bid is officially supported by 18 municipalities), and with producers of cultural content, communities, and partners to set the ball in motion towards positive change. This step has already brought a fresh breeze into the understanding of culture as an area that has the potential to integrate all other sectors: economy, tourism, environment, education, agriculture, and last but not least social change for a better quality of life for the city’s residents and visitors.

New strategic objectives for cultural development of the city were included also in the strategic documents for the development of the region as well, especially in the Sustainable Urban Strategy of the Kranj Municipality – TUS, which outlined the vision of Kranj’s development as sustainably developed, progressive and vibrant urban centre of the Gorenjska region. At the same time, four other strategies are in the pipeline, which include sustainable cultural development of the city or region (MOK Cultural Strategy 2021-2026, Regional Development Program 2021-2027, TUS and Kranj’s Development Strategy to Secure the ECoC Title). They all follow the idea that Kranj, through the cancidacy, uses its cultural potential, transforms itself into an developed urban regional centre, and we implement the model of its development into the wider region by connecting cultural operators.

Kranj’s candidature for the ECOC 2025 title was unanimously endorsed by all Gorenjska municipalities at the Council of the Gorenjska Region on December 11, 2019.

We therefore see the candidature of Kranj for the ECOC 2025 title as an opportunity to:

  • connect the region through the cultural development of cities and the countryside
  • increase the international recognition of the city and the region
  • improve the quality of living in the city and region
  • connect the local cultural heritage with innovative and experimental artistic practices through the cultural program
  • connect amateur and professional art, young talents and alternative culture
  • equip the cultural sector and invite new strengths and talents from the thriving cultural and creative industries in the cities and countryside of the Gorenjska region
  • develop and promote international networking and cooperation to establish sustainable spatial, program’s art and support partners’ networks
  • create infrastructure and economic conditions for the exchange of artists
  • create new cross-sectoral links of culture with economy, tourism, society, education, ecology, science
  • develop sustainable and authentic cultural production and promotion
  • renovate and revitalize degraded areas of the city with new cultural content (we do not build a new)
  • increase participation and establish open spaces to work with the invisible groups
  • increase accessibility to content and infrastructure for vulnerable groups – a “culture for all” approach (sensory impaired, cyclists, mothers with infants, the elderly)
  • reach and develop new audiences through education and calls for collaboration
  • create new jobs
  • increase the number of tourists who return to the city for cultural content and are who will be personally involved in the programs