The Czech Republic may host the prestigious title of The European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in the year 2028.

This project has been developing since 1985 when the Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, presented her vision of cultural cooperation between European states using the platform of European Economic Community. The birth of this initiative proved to be a crucial milestone when it comes to seeing culture as a link between European countries. These days, the title helps European cities and entire regions in terms of both cultural and economic development. Over 60 European cities, from capitals to small towns with as few as ten thousand inhabitants, held the title in the past, including Prague (2000), Pilsen (2015) or our partner city Linz (2009).

The Call

Become a part of Budweis’ candidacy for The European Capital of Culture in 2028 by submitting your cultural or artistic project. It is a once-in-thirteen-years opportunity in the Czech Republic.

The initiative Budějovice 2028 announces an Open Call for all artistic, cultural and culturally educational projects that are to be realized between 2024 and 2028, and that are able to help the city to achieve this prestigious title. By doing so, they will benefit the cultural, social and tourist development of Budweis and its surrounding South Bohemian region, and impact the cultural development of not only the Czech Republic but also of Europe itself. 

What is the vision of Budweis’ candidacy for the European Capital of Culture?

The central theme of the entire candidacy is the term (Perma)culture. Budweis is a city closely interconnected with the cultural landscape of the South Bohemian region, which is why we borrowed the term Permaculture as the symbol of our city’s cultural and social development – the title primarily used in agriculture and natural environment where it describes permanent sustainability. However, the term has lately been spreading to other fields, especially into education, and we would like to apply the same principles in the area of culture. The vision of Budweis’ candidacy is to use culture to connect people, institutions, and the landscape.

Who is this call for?

This call is aimed especially at artists, curators, dramatists, producers, to organizations both governmentran and independent, educational and researchoriented, to initiatives from Budweis and the South Bohemian region. However, anybody who wishes to take part in the cultural development of Budweis and its surrounding area can submit their projects and participate in deepening of the region’s longterm cultural interconnection with the rest of Europe.

What kind of projects are we looking for?

We are looking for cultural and art projects to become a part of Budweis’ application for the final round of its candidacy for the European Capital of Culture in 2028. Such projects should culminate in 2028, but their preparation and partial realization can take place after the potential winning of the candidacy (to be decided in late June 2023) and from then on. Feel free to check our Bid Book from the first round to get a more specific idea.

  • We are looking for primarily culture - and artfocused projects but going beyond into the sphere of education, social issues, inventive approaches to involvement of the general public and public spaces, science, environmentalism or tourism is very appreciated.

  • We are searching for projects taking place in Budweis, alternatively in the South Bohemian region. Smaller parts of the projects, however, can take place wherever in Czechia, Europe or the wider world.
  • We are looking for locally focused projects with a European dimension, meaning they should involve current European topics, European artists and other culture-oriented players, or further the cross-border cooperation with South Bohemia’s neighbouring countries.
  • Artistic projects are encouraged to involve a digital aspect allowing the world’s audience to enjoy their results.

Topics and goals of the projects

The projects we are looking for should match the three fundamental topics and nine goals of our candidacy to help and build a permacultural environment to inspire similar cities across Europe.


Goal: Everyone is included

  • Projects removing the barriers preventing some from participating
  • Projects focused on the marginalized groups in the role of both the audience and the creators
  • Projects focused on the accessibility of art and culture-oriented institutions

Goal: Strategy in place

  • Projects further developing the city’s capacity and ability for a systematic support of culture
  • Projects strengthening the strategic management of cultural institutions

Goal: Open-minded institutions

  • Projects focused on adapting cultural and public institutions for the 21st century, enhancing their cooperation, care and mutual support


Goal: Sense of belonging

  • Projects emphasizing both our tangible and intangible cultural heritage and merging it with contemporary art forms
  • Projects creating new cultural heritage for the future generations
  • Projects exploring our roots, our identity, our feeling of belonging to the places we inhabit and our mark on them

Goal: Empowered and healthy civil society

  • Projects supporting healthy, confident, proactive and solidary civil society
  • Projects adding to political consciousness through culture
  • Projects advancing general interest in the public matters
  • Projects focusing on physical and mental health

Goal: Different perspective

  • Projects working against fear of the unknown, of the outside world, and otherness
  • Projects supporting deeper cultural interconnection with Europe


Goal: Future (of) co-creation

  • Projects promoting new ideas in cross-sector collaboration
  • Projects connecting cultural and artistic institutions with their scientific counterparts, and capable of innovative promotion of the effort’s results
  • Projects focused on creative education and furthering the opportunities to create

Goal: Brave ideas

  • Bold projects unique in their quality at the world-level, yet stemming from the local context
  • Projects appealing to foreign audience and convincing its members to come and participate
  • Projects using humour and hyperbole to highlight the social topics of our age

Goal: Permaculture mindset

  • Projects using art and culture to connect people with their institutions and landscape
  • Projects with a strong environmental message, but steering clear of greenwashing

The process of selection and the evaluation criteria

Projects will be evaluated by the dramaturgical council of the candidacy, the members of which include Lucie Bílková (chief operating officer and outreach manager of the candidacy), Agatha Etmanowicz (capacity building and audience development expert), Anna Hořejší (creative director of the candidacy), Lucie Marková (creative education-focused curator), Tomáš Ondřej Pilař (opera director of the South Bohemian Theatre), Rudolf Samohejl (visual artist) and Matěj Vlašánek (program manager of the candidacy).

The maximum of 10 projects will be selected for further development in cooperation with the dramaturgical council in order to meet the needs of the Bid Book.

The dramaturgical council will primarily consider the following factors when selecting the projects:

  1. Fulfilment of the candidacy’s goals
  2. The artistic quality
  3. The local context of the project
  4. The European dimension of the project
  5. The proposer’s and the project’s partners’ experience with realization of similar projects
  6. Participation of the general public
  7. The project’s accessibility
  8. The digital aspect of the project
  9. International funding possibilities available to the project
  10. Feasibility of the project and its sustainability beyond 2028


Project submission deadline: 3th March 2023

Announcement of the selected projects: 10th March 2023

Description of the Bid Book’s final versions of the projects: 31st March 2023

Submission of the printed copy of the Bid Book: 1st June 2023

Presentation of the candidacy to the international panel (the manner of involvement of specific projects’ authors is yet to be decided): the last week of June 2023

The announcement of the winning candidate: late June 2023

Further development and realization of the projects: 2024 – 2028

The project’s evaluation: 2029

Projects’ Financing

The proposer of the project selected by the evaluation board for the Budweis’ Bid Book 2028 will be awarded 15.000 CZK for its preparation and modifications made for the needs of the ECoC candidacy.

It will most likely prove impossible to finance and realize the selected projects unless the title of the European Capital of Culture is won.

If Budweis does receive the title, the projects selected from this Open Call will be financed both through the funds reserved for the realization of the cultural and artistic projects involved in the European Capital of Culture initiative, and through international subsidy programs, which the Budweis 2028 team will try to help to secure. These programmes are also aimed at the sustainability of the projects beyond the year 2028. For those reasons, we welcome the proposer’s consideration of which international funding programmes could fit the project.

The Form


If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the candidacy’s programme manager Matěj Vlašánek using the following email: matej.vlasanek@budejovice2028.cz

Useful links