‘Project 33’ – Strategic Planning of the Work of Cultural Institutions in Novi Sad

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With the support of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, the City Administration for Culture and Provincial Secretariat for Education, Regulations, Administration and National Minorities started the ‘Project 33 – Increasing Capacities of Cultural Institutions in Novi Sad for Strategic Planning’. The aim of the project is to offer professional education and support for employees in cultural institutions in Novi Sad for participative and collaborative making of strategic plans of their institutions in order to contribute to broader participation of citizens in public cultural life.

The programme that is being implemented for weeks presents the combination of educational and training content, which the UNESCO Department of the University of Arts puts at disposal in terms of contemporary literature, practices, analytical tools, examples of good practice and forms for strategic planning in culture and art. On behalf of the UNESCO Department of the University of Arts, the project is led by Ms Višnja Kisić, art historian, MA of cultural policies and management, and PhD in musicology and management of cultural heritage and Mr Goran Tomka, culturologist, PhD in culture and media, while they are both lecturers at the UNESCO Department of the University of Arts in Belgrade.

Following the Strategy of Cultural Development of the City of Novi Sad 2016-2026, the ‘Project 33’ will enable strategic orientation, better coordination and cooperation of cultural institutions and inter-sector connections, as well as high-quality preparation of the ‘Novi Sad 2021 – European Capital of Culture’ project. The project was initiated at the end of October 2018 and it will be implemented through several phases: the first phase is education that will last until mid-December, the second phase will be the phase of independent work, while during the third, mentorship phase in April, each cultural institution will get one mentor who will lead teams through the process of drafting the plan. The end of the process and adoption of five-year plans in cultural institutions is expected to be finished in the summer 2019.

The following trainings were implemented so far:

The ‘Strategic Institutions’ with guest lecturer Lidia Varbanova. The lecture covered the topics of ‘Key World Development and Directions in Strategic Planning of Cultural Institutions’, ‘Deliberations on Identity and Structure of Institution through Strategic Planning’, ‘Deliberations on Role and Position of Institution through Strategic Planning’.

Ms Pascale Bonniel Chalier, expert in the field of cultural policies, lecturer and researcher from Lyon, who worked as Deputy Major of the city for 7 years, spoke about local, national and international cooperation and importance of maintaining professional network in culture in Europe during the ‘Cooperative Institutions’ education.

Guest lecturer was also Ms Milena Dragićević Šešić, within the education organised on 6 November. She gave a lecture on the topic of ‘Analytical Institutions’: Strategic opinion in turbulent circumstances, analysis of context and genealogical analysis, tools and methods of organisational and communication analysis.

The fourth gathering focused on the topic of ‘Open Institutions’. Mr Predrag Cvetičanin, Sociologist of Culture and Associate Professor of the University of Arts in Niš, spoke about ‘Understanding the Field of Cultural Production and Participation in Serbia’. Mr Goran Tomka and Ms Višnja Kisić, Assistant Professors at the Faculty for Sport and Tourism – TIMS and lecturers at the UNESCO Department for Cultural Policy and Management, held sessions ‘New Dialogues: Pluralism and Interculturality in Cultural Institutions’ and ‘Understanding of Public Accountability of Cultural Institutions’, while Ms Marija Vrebalov, consultant for accessibility, presented the manual and possibilities for cooperation within the programme for increasing accessibility implemented by the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation in the following period.

The topic of the meeting held on 20 November was ‘Sustainable Institutions’: Financial sustainability and fundraising methods, while on 27 November, the lecture on the topic ‘Institutions with Character’ was held by Ms Mia David (architect, curator and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, and former Manager of the Cultural Centre in Belgrade), who spoke about cultural institutions for the future and Ms Irena Ristić (psychologist and theatre director, professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts) who was talking about ‘Human Resources in Cultural Institutions’ and ‘Team Work and Creativity in Cultural Institutions’.

Ms Lotta Lekvall, Director of Folkteatern Göteborg, will address the employees in cultural institutions during next meeting. The topic of her lecture will be ‘Transformative Institutions’: ‘Strategic Restructuring of Institutions’, ‘True to Themselves – In Search of Institutional Identity’, ‘Restructuring through Programming’. 

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