On Wednesday, September 9, the City Conference Žilina 2026 was successfully held at the City Theater in Žilina. The conference was the culmination of the first phase of preparations for Žilina’s application for the European Capital of Culture 2026 competition.
Participants had the opportunity to learn more about the application of Žilina, to be inspired by the experience of other cities or to establish cooperation with potential partners for their project proposals. More than 85 participants from cultural institutions, creative industries, non-profit organizations, universities and municipal and regional authorities went through a varied program aimed at getting to know the European Capital of Culture project and exploring what this project may look like in the context of the city of Žilina.
During the two blocks of the program, inspiring speakers from cultural and creative institutions operating in Poland, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Finland joined the conference via an online video call. Invited foreign speakers shared their experience with the preparation and implementation of the European Capital of Culture program in their city or presented the activities of their organizations focused on topics that have a key place in the forthcoming Žilina 2026 program.
At the conference, the project team of Žilina 2026 presented the preliminary concept of the programme together with the main topics on which the prepared cultural and artistic projects will focus. This initial concept was created based on the results of several-month participatory processes, during which experts from the city’s culture and development were invited to discussions in thematic working groups and then had the opportunity to submit their own project ideas to an Open call.
This programme framework with key projects will be part of the 60-page application, which must be submitted by 15 December 2020. Subsequently, the first selection round of all registered Slovak cities will take place in February 2021. The shortlisted cities will have the opportunity to finalize their application by the end of August 2021. The winning Slovak city, which will bear the title of European Capital of Culture 2026, will be known at the end of 2021.