TARTU TOGETHER WITH SOUTHERN ESTONIA - EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE IN 2024
The title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) is an immense opportunity and a great challenge for Tartu and Southern Estonia:
The project is designed to be carried out by our today’s and tomorrow’s cultural operators: artists, organisers, institutions and creative entrepreneurs.
During and after ECoC preparation period and title year it is possible to evaluate the impacts of the ECoC process: the increase in the goodwill of the residents who are engaged as audiences and creators, the attractiveness of the city in the eyes of talents, investors, entrepreneurs and the improvement of connections to and from Europe.
A well-organised ECoC will greatly benefit region’s economy. Direct benefit will come from the increased number of daily and overnight visitors but also from increased investments from national and international stakeholders.
The bidding process supports solving major challenges stated in Tartu and Southern Estonian development and cultural strategies. In addition, a successful candidacy will benefit all the important stakeholders: educational institutions, companies, non-profit organisations etc.
City of Tartu together with 19 Southern Estonia municipalities were awareded the title of European Capital of Culture 2024 on August 28, 2019.
In order to make the preparations for the European Capital of Culture and the title year as effective as possible, it is common practice in cities to set up an organization dedicated to these goals. The Tartu 2024 Foundation (Sihtasutus Tartu 2024 or SA Tartu 2024 in Estonian) was established by a decision of the Tartu City Council in December 2019. Read about SA Tartu 2024's statutory objectives.
TARTU 2024 IN ACTION
In autumn 2017 the City Council of Tartu voted in favour of initiating Tartu's bid to become the 2024 European Capital of Culture. In January 2018 Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture Candidacy Team started working as a sub-institution of the Department of Culture of Tartu City Government.
The candidacy team put together the pre-selection and final phase bid books in cooperation with Tartuvians and Southern Estonians, local communities and partners from Estonia and Europe, from the public and private sectors. The team was also responsible for presenting the bids to Jury while also engaging and informing the public.
TARTU 2024 IN PRE-SELECTION PHASE (2017-2018)
The pre-selection phase of the Estonian competition for European Capital of Culture 2024 ended on 22-23 October 2018 in Tallinn. A 10-member team of Tartuvians defended Tartu 2024 pre-selection bid in front of an international and independent 12-member panel.
Tartu pre-selection presentation team
Tartu and Narva were invited to the final selection phase of the competition for 2024 title. On 26-27 August, the expert panel will visit both Narva and Tartu and on 28 August, both cities will present their bids to the panel and go through a Q&A session.
Tartu 2024 pre-selection bid book was based on more than 350 meetings and around 600 people contributed their time, energy and creativity to the bid.
The project ideas for the bid book were collected from the citizens and professional organisers during open calls. Some of the ideas were ignited at the Tartu and Southern Estonia Vision Day "Escape Room to the Future" held in May in Estonian National Museum.
Already in pre-selection, Tartu was bidding together with 19 municipalities from Southern Estonia. The mutual conclusion of the first round table of Southern Estonian municipality leaders was: we will cooperate to raise the visibility and profile of our region in Europe! On City Council level, also the City of Pärnu voted on a letter of support for Tartu 2024.
The pre-selection activities and events were strongly supported by the trainees from the University of Tartu and by a number of volunteers – special thanks to all of you!
FINAL PHASE OF THE COMPETITION (2019)
By Summer 2019, over 1000 people had contributed their time, energy and creativity. We finalized 100 page long bid book and introduces Tartu and Southern Estonia, our challenges and capacity to deliver, our artistic programme for 2020-2024, action plans to carry out Tartu 2024, including management, marketing and international cultural cooperation.
PRESENTING THE BID
On 31 July, we submitted Tartu's final bid book to be evaluated by the independent international panel of experts.
The experts assessed the bids by both cities according to the assessment criteria, visited both Narva and Tartu thoroughly on 26-28 August, heard both presentations and held Q&A sessions.
The final decision was made on the afternoon of 28 August.
In the end of the ceremony held in Estonian Ministry of Culture, the panel of experts announced their recommendation for the 2024 European Capital of Culture... It was Tartu!
Tartu and Southern Estonia started the preparations already in Autumn 2019.
The candidacy team introduced Tartu 2024's values, goals and actions throughout year 2019 to many communities in Tartu and Southern Estonia at a number of larger and smaller events, e.g at sTARTUp Day, "Eesti Laul" semi-finals, city districts' days, etc.
In Spring 2019, five open discussions with local panelists took place in the Southern Estonian counties and the city of Viljandi, focussing on local uniqueness and expectations of the intended European Capital of Culture title.
Since January 2019, the Department of Culture of Tartu City and Tartu 2024 have organised the Culture Compass forum, aimed at facilitating the exchange of experiences of cultural managers, creatives and social entrepreneurs.