‘NEUTRALNO’ International Conference

Dialogue on new cultural spaces

9 and 10 May

Studio M

Street: Ignjata Pavlasa 3, Novi Sad



10:15-11:00 Registration of participants

11:00 – 11:30 OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE          

Miloš Vučević, Mayor of Novi Sad

Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation

Johanes Irschik, President of the EUNIC Serbia



Since its inception in 1985, the title of European Capital of Culture has changed in accordance with current social-political circumstances and experiences that city-capitals had. During the last decade there is a noticeable trend of investment in revitalisation of industrial heritage buildings and creation of new cultural spaces (Tabakalera in San Sebastián, Zsolnay in Pécs, Depo 2015 in Plzeň and others), where citizens are increasingly involved in their revitalisation and development. Following these trends, Novi Sad in the context of the title has initiated several infrastructure projects related to revitalisation of industrial heritage (Chinese Quarter and part of ‘Svilara’ silk factory in Podbara). This panel will be dealing with issues of how cultural spaces created through revitalisation of industrial heritage function today in former capitals of culture, with special focus on use and sustainability after the title year. The representatives of cities that were European Capitals of Culture or will hold this title will attend the panel.


Bernard Koludrović,programme managers of RiHub, Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture

Pierre Martinez, Marseille-Provence 2013, Programme Director

Martin Sturm, Artistic Director of the Upper Austrian Culture Quarter, Linz

Milica Rašković, coordinator for participation, ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation


Bojan Milosavljević, theater director

13:00 – 13:30 Break


13:30 – 14:00 Challenges and opportunities for non-governmental cultural centers across Europe – how can they be sustainable?

An overview of the financial situation of non-governmental cultural centers across Europe and examples of different ways of functioning

Birgitta Persson – Olivearte Cultural Agency, Lund, Sweden


14:00 – 15:30 PANEL 2: “Culture between market and sociability – how to balance between the two?”

Today, cultural spaces have several tasks. They should be the spaces for socialisation, advanced ideas and emancipation. On the other hand, European cultural policies suggest economic sustainability and independence from public sources of finance. The issues discussed in this panel are related to spaces for culture between their emancipatory, non-profit role and role of market subject that should secure its financial stability. How to harmonise these positions and at the same time ensure ideological and programme independence of cultural space is the topic that we will discuss with examples of good practice.


Florian Ladstätter, Cultural manager, Die Backerei Kultur Backstube, Innsbruck, Austria

Sigrid Niemer, Head of the Office for Public Relations and Co-Founder, ufaFabrik, international cultural centre, Berlin, Germany

DejanUbović, GRAD, European Centre for Culture and Debate, Belgrade, Serbia

Birgitta Persson – Director, Olivearte, Lund, Sweden


Ivana Volić, culturologist and tourismologist, Faculty of Sport and Tourism

15:30 – 16:00 Lunch break


16:00 – 17:30 PANEL 3:  The culture of participation – how to develop proactive communities?

Today, one of the main preoccupations of cultural policies in most European countries is to increase participation of citizens in cultural life of a community. It is considered that high level of participation in cultural activities could significantly contribute to creation of a community where all individuals are equally valued and included. What form of participation exists? How to activate a community? How do proactive societies look like? In what ways can participation transform communities?


Elisabeth Bernroitner, Coordinator for Participative Projects, Brunnenpassage Social-Art Centre, Vienna, Austria

Luka Piškorič, Co-Founder and Director of the ‘Poligon’ Creative Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Milan Tavčar, Filmstreet, Belgrade, Serbia

Dušica Radojčić, Coordination President of the Rojc Social Centre, Pula, Croatia


Natali Beljanski Popović, Cultural Manager, Street Musicians Festival

17:30 – 18:00 Break


18:00 – 19:30 PANEL 4: Redefining the role of cultural centres – How is the Balkans changing?

West Balkans, SEEC (South East European Countries), the powder keg of Europe… Imaginary or real Balkans. Is there really an entity such as the Balkans beyond the reflexivity of the notion? Is it and in which ways this issue relevant for the field of culture? Can the relation centre-periphery of the global system in the field of culture be creatively redefined by new cultural practices whose practitioners are new cultural centres? Is the field of culture space of new integration and cooperation in the Balkans? Does redefining of the role of cultural centres in the Balkans include new positioning with regard to changes in the field of labour and economy? What is the impact of cultural policies and cultural practices on each other in the region? 


Antun Sevšek, Operacija Grad Association Alliance, Zagreb, Croatia

Selman Ćorović, Layerjeva hiša, Kranj, Slovenia

Lejla Kreševljaković,  ‘Akcija’ association, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Milan Vračar, manager in culture, Association „Kulturanova“, Novi Sad, Serbia


Violeta Đerković, sociologist – ‘Almašani’ Association for Protection of Cultural Heritage

19:30 – 22:00 Cocktail            


10:00 – 13:00 Parallel workshops    


‘Audience Development’ workshop is intended for representatives of civil society organisations and public cultural institutions, as well as for individuals who work in the fields of culture, art, education and social activism. The focus is on those who recognise that they need new skills in order to be more successful in their work, i.e. to reassess and improve their strategies for creating content and for communication with audience, both the existing and new one.

The goal of the workshop is to improve practical knowledge and skills of representatives of organisations and institutions, and of individuals related to audience development, and to discuss the importance of using various tools for communication with audience both when creating programme and during its promotion.

The workshop deals with new trends in terms of managing processes and teams, while the focus is on innovative methods and alternative models for creating programme and content for the audience of 21st century.

Workshop host: Nana Radenković, co-founder/ manager of educational programme of ‘Nova Iskra’


For the last five years, the interest for and number of crowdfunding campaigns has increased by 400%, and in 2016 and 2017 we noticed increase in successful campaigns from Serbia, especially in creative industries. Although crowdfunding at a global level has become much more than an alternative way of financing, at this workshop we will try to answer the question what the potentials and reaches of crowdfunding in the region are. The workshop will discuss crowdfunding in the context of global trends, explain how crowdfunding functions – what are the types of campaigns, why use crowdfunding, how to gather community and plan and execute a campaign. We will also discuss the way crowdfunding can be effectively linked with social activism and increase impact on a community.

Workshop host: Vladica Jovanović, Executive Directress, Social Impact Agency ‘Brodoto’


14:00 – 17:00  EUNIC Café – event that is just for the representatives of the cultural institutions in Novi Sad

Within the ‘Neutralno’ platform, the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation, after the ‘Audience in Focus’ programme and three-day expert training ‘Possibilities for Financing from EU Funds’ with the European Affairs Fund of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, organises the third phase of work with institutions of culture. The goal of this activity entitled EUNIC Café is to connect cultural institutions with representatives of the EUNIC Serbia cluster in order to discuss future forms of cooperation and support for projects of institutions. All the activities are concretisation of efforts of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation to raise capacities of the cultural institutions on the territory of Novi Sad and municipalities of Irig, Beočin and Sremski Karlovci, as well as to inform them about possibilities for financing and support from other sources. This meeting will be organised on 10 May starting at 2 p.m. as a closed event within the conference.