The Department of Arts and Culture of Lower Austria organised a reception for the representatives of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ foundation as part of the project for cooperation and networking of cultural organisations in the Danube Region.
The visit of Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ foundation, and his associates Lazar Jovanov, Manager of the Sector for Participation, and Vuk Radulović, Manager of the Sector for International Cooperation, was initiated by Katka Krejcova, Head of the Sector for International Cooperation of the Department of Arts and Culture of Lower Austria, and it was intended as a joint work of teams on improving cooperation, designing joint projects, and improving capacities in order to implement the European Capital of Culture project.
Meetings with the officials and cultural workers of Lower and Upper Austria comprised the first part of the work visit of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ foundation delegation. The aim of these meetings was to exchange experiences and discuss potential future cooperation. Members of our delegation met with Hermann Dikowitsch, Head of the Department of Arts and Culture of Lower Austria, Paul Gessl, Director of the Nöku – Association of Cultural Enterprises of Lower Austria, Peter de Martin, Secretary-General of the ARGE Donauländer organisation, Martin Sturm, Artistic Director of the Upper Austria Cultural Centre, Manfred Grubauer, Manager of the Linz Tourist Association, and others. This occasion was used to present the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ project and strategic plans of the Foundation for improvement of the cultural sector and implementation of art projects by 2021, while the hosts shared their experiences, and presented projects and programmes that they carried out.
In the second segment, representatives of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ foundation had a chance to see successful examples from practice, as well as the most successful cultural initiatives. They were presented with the revolutionary concept of cultural enterprises holding (Nöku), ‘Thrill of the Heights’ project in Linz that included walks on roofs of the cultural quarter and art installations on top of the buildings, ‘Islam’ annual exhibition dedicated to nurturing tolerance and multiconfessionality in the medieval castle of Schallaburg, high technology art in the ‘Ars Electronica’ museum in Linz and through the ‘Wearable Theatre’ project, music festivities within the ‘Grafenegg – open-air concerts’, and the mural project in the trading port in Linz.
Work meetings with representatives of the ‘Linz 2009’ team were especially important segment of the visit. Namely, the Lizn project is one of the best positive examples of implementation of the ECoC project, and members of the team met with Walter Putschögl, one of the leaders of the project, and Simon Lachner who was in charge of hospitality and marketing programmes. The hosts presented the results of the ‘Linz 2009’ project and offered invaluable advice to our team members.
The important segment of the visit was the discussion on numerous joint projects, and ideas for cultural programmes in the future. Members of the team for international cooperation of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ foundation agreed to continue communication with the new partners in order to implement the discussed ideas, and in order to improve cooperation between cultural workers and artists in Novi Sad and states of Upper and Lower Austria.