Tartu Submits Bid Book to International Jury

On Wednesday, the City of Tartu presented their bid book for the final round of the 2024 European Capital of Culture selection, to be evaluated by an international panel of experts. The bid, titled “Arts of Survival”, was created in cooperation of Tartu and 19 Southern Estonian municipalities. It consists of an artistic concept, cultural, social and educational programmes, and action plans for carrying out and marketing the intended Capital of Culture.

Berk Vaher, chief editor of the book, is convinced that Tartu is capable of providing Europe with a range of unique and surprising cultural experiences. “”Arts of Survival” is a strong and passionate bid by Tartuvians themselves, where Southern Estonia and already committed international partners also play a substantial role,” he explained. 

According to the chief editor, the bid was developed with a focus on international audiences’ interest and the guaranteed capacity to deliver. “A more nature-friendly city and countryside culture, erudition and inventiveness, bridging generations, addressing mental health issues, highlighting local uniqueness, countercultural activism – these are the topics important to many diverse interest groups in Estonians while their artistic interpretations are also needed and expected in Europe, today as well as in five years’ time.” 

Triin Pikk, one of the supervisors of the artistic programme, emphasises that in addition to creatives and cultural managers, the hundred-page bid also features contributions by universities, businesses, local governments and NGOs. “The Tartu 2024 bid book has a few hundred authors and we are immensely grateful for their time and energy spent during these two candidacy years.” 

As she specifies, Tartu’s bid submitted to the jury details a programme for 2020-2024 and beyond. “2024 – the title year – is the peak of activities that will have been in development for many years, as larger projects will begin earlier. Take Tartu World University, for example, where world-famous visionaries will be invited to our city districts, villages and even deep forests to solve local and global problems in cooperation with Southern Estonian communities.” 

Tartu was the first Estonian city to publicly announce their candidacy for the 2024 title. In 2017, the City Council of Tartu unanimously voted in favour of running for the title of the European Capital of Culture 2024. In April 2019, the leaders of Tartu and 19 Southern Estonian municipalities signed an agreement of goodwill and cooperation. The compilation and presentation of the pre-selection phase and final bid books is headed by the Tartu 2024 candidacy team working for Tartu City Government. 

The 2024 European Capital of Culture will be chosen by an independent international jury who will assess the final round candidates’ bids, visit both Narva and Tartu during 26-28 August and assess the presentations of the bid books. The final decision will be made in the afternoon of 28 August.

Kalle Paas, Triin Pikk, Merje Laimets and Kaspar Aug from the Tartu 2024 candidacy team with bid books presented to the international jury of European Capitals of Culture. The candidacy team also includes Erni Kask, Annela Laaneots and Berk Vaher.

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