The fight for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028 has officially begun. Budweis is ready.
The city of Budweis has officially submitted its application to the Ministry of Culture for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028, the year in which the Czech Republic will host the event. The submission of the application is the culmination of seventeen months of preparation, in which dozens of cultural actors participated alongside the city and the South Bohemian Region. The decision is now in the hands of an international jury.
The application (bid book) will guide the evaluation committee through the city and the region and present more than 40 projects. These are based on the uniqueness of the city (and region), the cultural customs of the inhabitants and the natural beauty of the region as a whole. The application highlights forms of public engagement as well as a plan for city and county investment in cultural infrastructure so that the city is ready to host the title by 2028. The application details the organisational structure, funding and long-term sustainability of the project beyond 2028. Finally, the application presents the commission with the intended organisational structure, funding arrangements and sustainability of the project.
"While this is a development process that has already provided us with a lot of important information about the city, it is still a competition, so it is important not to divulge the details or publish the application itself at this time. Simply so that other cities cannot react to it when presenting themselves to the commission," points out Deputy Mayor Juraj Thoma.
" Budweis has opted for the participatory model of preparing the application, which is very complex in its basis, but on the other hand will ensure much greater synergy in the actual implementation of the project in case of our success. On the basis of consultations with foreign experts who have been working on the ECoC project for many years, this approach is appreciated by the commission, and we therefore believe that it will bring us victory in the end," adds the candidacy manager Lukáš Černý.
The preparation of the application involved the general public through quantitative research, but also, for example, thanks to the Kul.turista project, whose last stop will take place from the 15th to the 18th of September 2022 at the Máj housing estate, in Čtyři Dvory and Stromovka (during the previous six stops, more than 3,500 city residents participated in Kul.turista activities). More than 100 organisations and cultural actors were involved in the preparation of the application itself and more than 2 800 people were involved in research related to the candidacy.
"Thanks to the preparation of the application, we gained a broad insight into the cultural environment of Budweis. We have a much better overview of what works and what is missing in our city. Thanks to the preparation of the application, the city has prepared a high-quality and modern cultural strategy, which it has been waiting for for many years," adds First Deputy Mayor Juraj Thoma.
The battle for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028 will culminate on October 12-14, 2022, when all applications will be presented to a panel of experts from across Europe. The jury will decide which cities will go through to the second round on October 14th, 2022. Like the other candidate cities, Budweis will keep the ideas contained in its application carefully hidden from the others until then.