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varna candidate for european capital of culture 2019

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introduction 3


basic principles

6 ii. structure of the programme for the event 40 appendix on cultural programme 69–78 iii. organisation and financing of the event organisational structure 80 financing of the event 84 appendix on finance 88–91 iv. city infrastructure 93 v. communication strategy 103 vi. evaluation and monitoring of the event 110 vii. additional information 114

this application form includes 100 pages for questions and answers + 10 pages appendix on cultural programme details + 4 pages appendix on finance, incorporated in the body of the text.

I am proud that Varna has successfully passed the first stage of selection and can ambitiously continue in the competition for European Capital of Culture in 2019. The opportunity for a permanent change in the city’s image provided by this event is motivating our citizens, the team, cultural operators and all our friends and partners to channel our efforts and focus our actions on the event’s planning and implementation. Our desire is for Varna to become in 2019 a hospitable venue for artistic expression and creativity, for building new models of organisation, cooperation and cultural production, to become a real Port of Inspiration. We continue to engage all our citizens in meaningful participation in cultural activity and this is our main priority. Today we wish, more than ever, to be explorers and experimenters in our city. We wish to be a good example in the application of new organisational models in the areas of culture, education, social activities and entrepreneurship. The title European Capital of Culture gives us the opportunity to do this. Our potential as a candidate city for European Capital of Culture in 2019 poses a series of challenges, but also make us mobilise our resources. We chose as the main theme of our application the title Port of Inspiration, with a subtitle Building Trust through Culture. The core of inspiration is to ignite the light in others, encouraging them to create. We live in times of disturbance and anxiety. That is why building trust not only in Varna, but throughout Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, is of crucial importance. Culture is fundamental to the process of repairing our selfconfidence and confidence in the others. Varna needs all of that. I believe that investments made in the cultural sector today are investments in a more stable economic future for tomorrow. By 2019 there will be many improvements in our cultural infrastructure. Varna is a city of young people. Evidence of their energy is the fact that our city is for the second year running a finalist in the bid to be the European Youth Capital 2017. We know what we have and we know what we want to reach. The competitive spirit is here and the dream of turning Varna into a welcoming and inspiring space is our vision.

Ivan Portnih Mayor of Varna

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Hidden Narratives of Europe – Introducing Varna The City and District of Varna are recovering quickly from the economic crisis and are meeting targets clearly defined as objectives in the Regional Development Strategy for the next programming period 2014-2020. After the successful pre-selection of our city for the second and final stage of the competition for European Capital of Culture 2019, we realise even more clearly and definitely that winning the title will improve the visibility of Varna in a European context, as a city with a long history and with a lively cultural diversity. The title will encourage us to rethink our perceptions of the place where we live. A win will challenge us to seek new horizons, will encourage social synergies and social “updating”. The European Capital of Culture initiative will develop our city and region both economically and socially, positively influence its infrastructure and atmosphere, provide a positive impact on residents and visitors, which will inevitably lead to the creation of a favourable business climate. Another twelve municipalities have put their faith in our cause and shared in this belief. These are municipalities vitally connected to our city in historical, social and cultural aspects, namely Dobrich, Balchik, Kavarna, Byala, Provadiya, Devnya, Aksakovo, Shabla, Suvorovo, Dalgopol, Durankulak and General Toshevo. After the pre-selection of Varna, one more city in the region, Veliki Preslav – a former capital of Bulgaria - joined the initiative. If Varna is awarded European Capital of Culture 2019, this title would belong not only to the city of Varna and its supporting region, but to Bulgaria as well, because a win will mark our country and our city as a worthy focal point on the European cultural map!

A MYSTERIOUS CULTURE Together with Romanian Cucuteni, Gumelnita and Hamangia, and Ukrainian Tripolye, Varna and its surrounding areas outline the territory of very old Neolithic micro-cultures, impressive for their “enigmatic remains” and high “technological, aesthetic and social achievements”,1 traces from civilization levels, unique in the world’s history. Among the finds from the so-called Neolithic Varna Culture are jewellery and objects of the highest craftsmanship, which give grounds for announcing the presence of one of the richest Old European archaeological heritages and the “oldest handcrafted gold in the world”. 2 In 2012, at the Provadia-Solnitsata, archaeologists discovered “the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe” 3 dating back to the fifth millennium BC. SEA OF HOSPITALITY

Ivan Velikov Governor of Varna District

The sea has been the link between Varna and the world. Owing to a direct connection with the Mediterranean basin – via the Bosphorus strait – the city of Varna has a number of features specific to Mediterranean cultures. At the same time it has its own dynamic and aspect owing to a unique position of an inland sea lying

between south-eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Varna has always possessed a high degree of openness and a multitude of identities, functioning as a meeting ground and melting pot of cultures, histories and practices. Bulgaria’s eastern coast – called The East Gate of Europe by some – is a territory of continuous redefining and selfdetermination – perceived at one and the same time as external and internal to the European continent. The ancient Greeks called it at one time Pontos Axeinos (the Hostile Sea), because of its storminess and lack of islands. After colonising its coast, the Greeks renamed it Pontos Euxeinos (the Welcoming Sea). For many centuries the Mediterranean peoples—Greeks, Byzantines, Italians—strove to occupy its coasts. AMBASSADOR TO EUROPE For many centuries Varna has been a major port, a trading and cultural centre on the western Black Sea coast. In Antiquity – when the city bore the name Odessos – a string of Greek cities and trading emporia connected all the corners of the sea into a single commercial network. The influence of the advanced Greek culture penetrated through these Greek cities to the interior of the East European land mass. In the Middle Ages, the Black Sea world, then known as Mare Maggiore, (The Large Sea) was revived by the entrepreneurial spirit of the Genoese and Venetians. Both Italian cities – Venice and Genoa – had embassies in Varna. The city was in direct communication with the whole

the lost world of old europe: the danube valley, 5000–3500 bc, introduction, new york university (isaw), exhibition catalogue, 2010 the first civilization in europe and the oldest gold in the world – varna – bulgaria, exhibition catalogue, isetan museum of art, nippon television network print, tokyo, 1982 3 europe’s oldest prehistoric town found in bulgaria, article,, 2012




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Mediterranean. Not only West European goods, but also cultural influences, entered the South-East Balkan territories through these outposts. Later, in the 19th century, the diplomatic residences based in the city numbered not less than ten: Austria, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, France, England, Russia and others. Even through the Cold War period, the port city of Varna remained one of the country’s major export and import points. LESSONS IN DIVERSITY In a unique way, Varna reconciles the rigorous temperament of the Balkans and the Caucasus with the southern spirit of the Mediterranean, transforming itself into a unique amalgam of ethnicities, cultural traditions and organisational patterns. The cosmopolitan spirit of the city is reflected in the preserved names of its oldest residential quarters. At the end of the 19th century, there were eight mahalle (neighbourhoods) ranked by the number of their residents: Turkish, Greek, Gagaouz, Armenian, Jewish, Bulgarian, Tatar, and Gypsy. The proclamation of Bulgaria’s independence found Varna with not more than 3, 500 Bulgarian residents out of a total population of 21, 000. Varna has a long-standing tradition of intercultural and interethnic tolerance and understanding. Its community of Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians, Roma, Russians, Ukrainians, Jews and other nationalities is a local model in direct exemplification of the main European values.

SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE The enthusiasm and initiative of the local population, men and women of enterprise and innovation, propelled the industrial growth of the city and its environs at the beginning of the 20th century. Within the time span of a century the unremarkable semi-oriental place of Varna was transformed into a sophisticated city of central-European architecture, developed infrastructure and convenient communications and transport. The city’s population doubled in number. The dynamic development of Varna assigned to the city a long lasting pioneering role in the introduction of new technologies and practices. Varna was the place where a myriad of novelties made their first entry into Bulgaria: the first railway in the country, the first merchant shipping company, the first football game, the ground-breaking first royal park. The strong independent spirit of Varna’s residents helped initiate the first divine service conducted in the Bulgarian language, the first official homage to the “fathers” of the Slavonic alphabet – the Cyrillic – Saints Cyril and Methodius.

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Too often we look to institutions to create trust, while at best they can only create a certain amount of order and sets of rules. Trust is a human dimension and belongs to culture – it provides a common code that links us all, without erasing our individual profiles and preferences. 1. WHY DOES THE CITY WHICH YOU REPRESENT WISH TO TAKE PART IN THE COMPETITION FOR THE TITLE OF EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE? Varna wishes to be European Capital of Culture in 2019 because the citizens, young and old, artists, the cultural operators, politicians of every party, the media – in short everyone – are all enthusiastic to win this title. We do not see possible victory as a “silver cup” for past achievements but as a “scholarship” for the future. The city wishes to celebrate a great year in five years time, but we also seek a legacy for years afterwards. We believe that being the Bulgarian ECoC for 2019 will fundamentally change our city and we believe that we can promote European values in special ways.

The Size of Our Task Our task will not be easy. We want to create change driven by culture in a world where the established culture is often the biggest obstacle to change. Whether it is lack of prospects for young people or the recent extreme weather conditions or global economic problems, our culture, more than our politics or economics, still clings to the past. Varna 2019 has the potential to change that. We do not want to wait for a better quality of life in order to invest in culture- we must invest in culture because it is essential to our quality of life. This is a challenge that spans Europe from Viana do Castelo on the Atlantic to Varna on the Black Sea. The concentration of 5 Universities, including Technology, Economics, Medicine, Humanities and the Naval Academy, and 3 Higher Education Colleges provides the city with a powerful opportunity to design and implement its own sustainable model of development. Varna is a fertile and hospitable territory for the development of creativity and creative industries. Varna’s openness to, and interest in, innovation are solid prerequisites for the bringing of the city’s artistic and cultural life to a new level – linking it directly to the dynamic processes and existing standards in contemporary art, to the modern patterns of organisation and cultural production of Europe and the world at large. WHAT WOULD BE THE MAIN CHALLENGE OF THIS NOMINATION? The main challenge for Varna 2019 will be the need to build trust. Many of the core problems which we face – in Varna, in Bulgaria, in the Black Sea region, indeed in Europe as a whole – are due to a lack of trust.

We have learned the hard way that one does not restore or establish trust in Europe by promoting oneself, but by promoting common values instead. Despite best efforts, public confidence in the EU has fallen to historically low levels in the six biggest member countries – a clear signal that you cannot solve a cultural problem solely through economic and political means. Interaction today between civil society and the public sector is a continuing issue. The recognition of grass-roots development as a driving force for social and creative innovation are still too sporadic and stall long-term planning and assurance of forward development for the individual sectors. In the build up to 2019 Varna will actively address these issues and hopefully create new and more effective partnerships. The team of Varna 2019 is working on designing the programme as a long-term cityregeneration project aimed first at sustainably connecting the local context with the larger cultural space of the Community and secondly at introducing a climate of participation, interaction and cooperation grounded in basic European values. WHAT ARE THE CITY’S OBJECTIVES FOR THE YEAR IN QUESTION? Varna has both short-term and long-term objectives in devising its programme for 2019. Varna’s cultural strategy for the period 2014 to 2020 is currently being developed within a national strategy for culture which is also in process of formation. In order to secure a long-term effect from the European Capital of Culture 2019, we are introducing a special layer of cooperation and co-creation that complements the artistic programme and the calendar of events – labs, hubs and platforms. These are the major projects, that deal with a number of issues at the forefront of culture, with a strong European partner attached to each one of them. The aim is to lay the foundations of a resilient and robust cultural infrastructure to foster new talent and benefit the city in the decades to come. The city has an overriding cultural objective. In the face of rising nationalism, antiimmigration and racism, we need to offer inclusion, shared spaces, ways to be reconciled and to move forward together. Cities can lead the way in this process. Every city in Europe should aim to be a capital for European culture - this is also Varna`s goal.

Our Aims And Objectives We have divided our aims and objectives under two headings:



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Local Growth, in Cultural production and participation




Creating conditions for international collaboration, cooperation and exchange




Investment in human resources, knowledge production, research and experimentation


achieving visibility through the promotion of european values and improving varna’s international profile.

encouraging better social inclusion for local communities, highlighting cultural diversity, openness and tolerance.

encouraging dialogue between institutions and cultural operators in the spirit of pluralism and inclusiveness.

improving access to varna in both senses of better transport and modern communication systems.

initiating new partnerships in a relatively unknown part of south-eastern europe with other cities of the black sea basin.


implementing long-term training programmes and platforms for informal education to achieve sustainable development for the cultural sector.

developing the existing cultural and creative infrastructure and building new facilities.

activating new networks to enhance european cooperation and introduce bulgaria to the rest of europe.


strengthening the cultural and creative sectors in the development of contemporary european culture and building up entrepreneurial skills in both the local and regional context.


A New Varna Journey The key to Varna is the Black Sea. Varna is a famous port, Bulgaria`s Sea Capital. Journeys begin and end in Varna. For millennia, people have been arriving in and leaving Varna by land and sea. Varna 2019 is an invitation to undertake a new great journey, a journey of exploration which will lead to many encounters. In a real sense the Varna 2019 journey has already started. This second Bid Book leads directly from the first. The simple act of Bidding and being short-listed has changed the City as culture rises up the Varna agenda. Our Concept is based on need – the need to change and revitalise the city through culture, by a process of encounters and exchange, long-term cooperation and co-creation. This implies not only the full and direct involvement of the citizens of Varna in the cultural life of the city, but also the creation of conditions for meetings among conflicting nationalities and ideologies: organisational and cultural models which to a great extent characterise the Black Sea countries.

Encounters On The Journey After travelling five years in 2019 Varna will be a place where “creative industries” means all industries; where “artists” means all people, citizens and visitors alike; where “artistic neighbourhoods” means all parts of the city from the centre to the slums with a Roma population.

Encounters With Artists This part of the Programme will employ the metaphor of the carnival - a special time in the calendar all over Europe, dedicated to festivities and celebrations in which everyone took part. Varna 2019 aims to be both serious and great fun. We envisage the city as a playground where artists and citizens create together and joint fruitful experience. One of the major challenges we are faced with today is how to strengthen social cohesion and redefine the public domain both in digital terms and within the physical boundaries. Public space has been losing meaning, becoming the arena where the tracks of our individual lives meet and cross without necessarily producing much social interaction. In recent years, art in the public domain has become more and more prominent, both experimenting with the traditional approach of monumental art and nurturing new forms of artistic expression based on interaction and participation, intervention and activism.

Encounters For The Future All projects and events in this part of the programme will present opportunities for making and experiencing culture together, fighting exclusion, enhancing solidarity and providing space for expression to diverse groups and communities. We will reclaim public space, cocreate and share experience. We believe that if we want to be the city that inspires creativity, we cannot plan and structure everything. We need to create possibilities for random encounters, for unpredictability. We need to embrace uncertainty - it is part of our daily lives. We can either complain about it and always long for stability or efficiency or use it as an opportunity to forge our own path. What we need now is to find ways to make problems and uncertainties useful. So, in this programme, Varna 2019 has come into contact with a number of international networks of interaction, so that they can provide efficiency and sustainability for this initiative including in subsequent years.

Encounters With The Sea This part of the programme will join up the dots between history and today. This is a City which has existed in a cultural continuum of urban development beside the sea for three millennia. There are hard facts and questions left unanswered. The recent past of communism similarly offers hard facts and soft points, raising issues still painful to address, hard to pass judgement on, but impossible to neglect. We will unveil, discover and inspire. Our goal also is to facilitate the dialogue, to foster the cooperation and co-creation between the cultural stakeholders in the Black sea region. We aim to attract the attention of the



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European public to the cultural specifics and natural heritage of the Black Sea region, as well as to make known the North-Eastern part of Bulgaria to the citizens of the European family by using the initiative as a catalyst for processes of opening up, connecting and cultural exchange.

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The whole of Bulgaria, including the other city candidates for the title, represent the third level of involvement in our programme. We are partnering with a number of national organisations in the arts, education and sustainable development in order to explore challenges that are common throughout the country. It makes a lot of sense for us to forge such partnerships in advance, as there will be only one city representing Bulgaria when the competition is over.

In our first Bid Book, we introduced the 3 elements that permeate our whole programme - port, inspiration and trust. The main concept of the programme remains the creation of trust through culture. In our vision, trust is the essential ingredient in which we sustain existing cultural connection and build new ones. It is the glue that binds diverse groups of people from different parts of the world. Lack of trust makes common efforts towards sustainable change impossible – this is why we place it at the forefront of our efforts.

The Black Sea region is of primary importance not only for our city, but in a much larger European context. Many of the projects in the programme have a Black Sea dimension, either as a region-wide initiative or in cooperation with a number of countries. This wide network of partners will allow us to choose the most appropriate ways to create a renewed focus on culture, counterbalancing the geopolitical preoccupation with the Black Sea and its surrounding states.

Trust in itself however is not enough. We also need conditions – an environment that makes new approaches not only possible but essential. The right conditions and the right attitudes produce a formidable driving force for transformation. For us the notion of the port as an inspired place of encounters, of constant exchange of ideas of the movement of cultural goods is highly relevant in our context.


This is why our slogan is: Port of Inspiration. Building Trust Through Culture.

The main strategic goal of Varna Municipality is the candidature of Varna for European Capital of Culture 2019.

4. WHICH GEOGRAPHICAL AREA DOES THE CITY INTEND TO INVOLVE IN THE “EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE” EVENT? We use a hub and spoke model to visualise the relationships between the city of Varna and the other geographical and spatial dimensions of our bid. The first dimension is the city itself. Varna, the sea capital of Bulgaria and the second biggest city in the country with a population of 340,000 people, is the main hub of our application. This is the location where most of the cultural and artistic programme will take place. The District of Varna has a population of 475,000 and is the only district in this country, apart from the capital Sofia, with a positive population growth. Indeed, in the summer months Varna expands to a population of approximately 1 million making it easily the second largest city in the country. This fact provides a favourable demographic climate, rare for this country, for future development and growth. The thirteen satellite cities in a region with a population of 700,000 represent a natural extension of the programme. We share a common history and challenges and most of our interactions take place in the economic domain. Furthermore, Varna 2019 will provide an opportunity to work more closely on cultural activities. The main ingredients are already there - there are a number of organisations and events that take place in cities in the region. The challenge will be to integrate our efforts and make the most use of the assets provided by the different settings at our disposal - big city life in Varna combined with a more relaxed existence in the smaller towns and villages.

City Commitment In a session held in 2006, the Municipal Council of Varna adopted a decision by virtue of which Varna officially aligned itself with its prospective candidature for European Capital of Culture 2019. From that moment on, there has been strong continuity between the political leaders in the city with each consecutive leader recognising the candidature as a priority in the local government’s work. In 2011, the Mayor of Varna approved a working plan for the candidature and headed an Organisational committee for the project, composed of the leading figures of all cultural, educational and tourism institutions in the city. The project received the support of the relevant commission at Varna Municipal Council, which has been giving priority consideration to each matter related to Varna’s candidature for ECoC 2019. Since the middle of July 2013, Varna has a new Mayor who has recognised that Varna’s bid is one of the highest priorities on his working agenda.

Regional Network Support On 9th September 2011, a Memorandum for Regional Partnership and Adhesion to Varna’s Candidature for European Capital of Culture 2019 was signed by twelve cities and towns from the surrounding region, which are vitally connected with Varna in historical, social and cultural aspects.







Saint Petersburg



General Toshevo




Vilnius Veliki Preslav

Minsk Dublin Amsterdam Utrecht

Cirencester London

Brussels Lille






Cluj-Napoca Zagreb









the thirteen satellite cities in a region with a population of 700,000 represent a natural extension of the programme. we share a common history and challenges and most of our interactions take place in the economic domain. furthermore, varna 2019 will provide an opportunity to work more closely on cultural activities. the main ingredients are already there - there are a number of organisations and events that take place in cities in the region. the challenge will be to integrate our efforts and make the most use of the assets provided by the different settings at our disposal - big city life in varna combined with a more relaxed existence in the smaller towns and villages.



Toulouse Andora Barcelona





Podgorica Rome










Devnya Provadiya












Sofia Skopje











Lisbon Athens Gasiantep Valletta Nikosia

Tbilisi Baku

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MEMORANDUM FOR REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP AND ADHESION TO VARNA’S CANDIDATURE FOR EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2019 We, the mayors of municipalities in Varna’s North-Eastern region, being led by the idea to: • Encourage the development, revitalisation and enrichment of the cultural life of our region though the organisation and promotion of cultural events as a main factor for the building of identity and uniqueness of the towns and villages in the region; • Design and develop new and unconventional formats of cultural expression based on innovative ideas and practices for presentation of cultural events in peripheral urban areas; • Create conditions for equal access to culture for the citizens from different social and ethnic groups, aimed at contributing to the citizens’ inclusion in the cultural processes and for the development of the towns and villages, Declare our support and adhesion to Varna’s candidature for European Capital of Culture 2019, and in expression of this support, We declare our readiness: • To host events included in the cultural programme of the project Varna – Candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019; • To promote culture as a priority in the municipal policy for the following 2013–2020 period and to channel resources and investments in the direction of its sustainable development; • To build a cultural network and to work jointly within its framework for the creation of quality cultural products that will contribute to the decentralisation of integrated cultural development; • To attract our sister cities from Europe and worldwide to support our cause and to widen and deepen our mutual connections, cooperation and cultural exchange.


Long-term Initiatives Varna is in line with the process of designing both a National Strategy for Culture and a Cultural Strategy for Varna for a 10-year period (2014-2024). A successful bid for Varna means that it will de facto become the Capital of Culture that represents the country as a whole. This gives an opportunity not only to synchronise the programme with these two key documents, but also to influence their development in accordance with the innovative elements laid down in Varna 2019. We probably will not see all the big names in European culture or the arts in Varna - that would be unrealistic. Instead, we prefer to see new models emerging here, new artists popping up and establishing their names, new creations on the borderline of existing cultural domains - this is what we are aiming at. We want to be remembered as the European Capital of Culture that shook things up, showed curiosity and looked at the whole event as an opportunity for discovery. This is why one of the most distinguishable characteristics of Varna’s bid is the long-term focus of the application. We do not simply want to organise a spectacular year full of cultural and artistic events. Our aim is to lay down the foundations of a new and important role for culture as a key driver for creative and societal development. We will do this in a number of ways:

Designing new hubs and platforms; 9




municipality of varna

Coordination of the cultural events in the city and the region in a common calendar through an Integral Information Platform; municipality of shabla

municipality of dobrich

municipality of aksakovo

municipality of kavarna

municipality of devnya

municipality of balchik

municipality of madara

municipality of byala

municipality of provadiya

municipality of pliska

municipality of veliki preslav

Establishment of new links with other relevant sectors through a Platform for Intersectoral Cooperation; Ensuring quality of service of the cultural operators, organisations and businesses in the city and stimulating the use of service design;

Better usage of the existing infrastructure and optimal use of a new one; Development of new financial models, especially crowd-funding; Providing artists with an integrated solution for ticket selling, fan management and donation management in partnership with Fractured Atlas.



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All of these priority platforms, hubs and projects will be open to the region and the thirteen satellite cities supporting Varna 2019, thus providing more opportunities for this part of the country. The instruments will also influence the way local authorities produce policies related to culture and creativity as well as to the overall development of the city.

events from the region local cultural centres


youth initiatives

publishers and libraries

independent initiatives and contemporary art

entrepreneurship and innovations


museums and archaeological sites

international partners and networks

social activities

concerts and music festivals

performances and theatre festivals

Efficient coordination of cultural events in the city and the region in a common calendar. Assurance of improved communication and efficiency in the use of existing and new infrastructure in the process of construction. Development of new financial tools for the support of local and international artists.

Italian Mirrors Bulgaria’s partner-country for the programme event European Capital of Culture is Italy. It is our wish to organise and host a Month of the Italian City to be nominated European Capital of Culture. In recent months, the team of Varna 2019 has been invited to work on common ideas with some of the Italian candidate cities: Cagliari, Lecce, Matera, Perugia, Siena and Ravenna. Our priority will be project proposals, which correlate to the concepts of our programme and our main theme Port of Inspiration. The budget for Varna 2019 allows for joint activities with our Italian partner European Capital of Culture and has been set from 2017 onward - talks, discussions of project proposals and communication with Italian organisations – potential parties in the implementation of the initiatives are already in progress. Certain individual initiatives will be launched before 2017.


local government



exhibitions and festivals for visual art



cultural production

research and scientific activities

Improvement of the connection between culture and education. Building of a lasting interrelation between tourism and culture.


Activating the public sector and businesses towards improved quality and access to services and for infrastructure modernisation.

Varna has long-standing partnerships with most other candidate cities from the country. Our city actively supports and assists events initiated by other cities and is also a partner in festivals of national cultural importance that have demonstrated their professionalism and the high quality of their content over the years. Some initiatives, held in the main cities of Bulgaria – Sofia, Plovdiv and Veliko Turnovo, provide a good example of such cooperation: Sofia Film Fest in Varna, World Theatre in Sofia, European Musical Festival, Fortissimo Fest, International Folklore Festival. Our city is open to joining other projects and to starting new ones with the other preselected Bulgarian cities.



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8. EXPLAIN HOW THE EVENT COULD FULFIL THE CRITERIA LISTED BELOW. PLEASE SUBSTANTIATE YOUR ANSWER FOR EACH OF THE CRITERIA. AS REGARDS “THE EUROPEAN DIMENSION”, HOW DOES THE CITY INTEND TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIVES: — TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION BETWEEN THE CULTURAL OPERATORS, ARTISTS AND CITIES OF YOUR COUNTRY AND OTHER MEMBER STATES, IN ALL CULTURAL SECTORS; — TO HIGHLIGHT THE RICHNESS OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN EUROPE; — TO BRING THE COMMON ASPECTS OF EUROPEAN CULTURES TO THE FORE? CAN YOU SPECIFY HOW THIS EVENT COULD HELP TO STRENGTHEN THE CITY’S LINKS WITH EUROPE? Our candidacy has an extremely strong European dimension. Between the two stages of the competition for the ECoC title we have concentrated our efforts on initiating important partnerships, on developing high quality artistic projects, and on increasing the role of this dimension. Varna 2019 programme offers ambitious initiatives with EU institutions and networks, with a great number of worldwide NGOs in the field of culture, education, ecology etc. We want to create favourable conditions for artistic research and for exchange of good practice through different international residency programmes and laboratories. We believe that cross-disciplinary projects boost creativity; they are also the best base for mutual enrichment. The programme includes the work of artists famous worldwide as well as coproductions and co-creations. The Varna 2019 programme presents classical and contemporary art, but at the same time makes more visible for other Europeans the richness of the cultural and natural heritage of the city and the region. The role of Varna could be significant for intercultural dialogue in the Black Sea region. Varna 2019 programme addresses this key issue in a variety of artistic formats and educational platforms.

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Creative Hub The “core” of our artistic inspiration is our desire to bring visiting artists from Europe and the world to Varna for the exchange of ideas, working methods and works of art. Our wish is for these artists and their creative forms of expression to “drop anchor” in our city and the region. In this way, they will make the cultural production richer and more dynamic. INTRODUCING LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART Contemporary art has been increasingly popular in Varna in recent years, although much more can be done to make it better understood by the general public and to attract audiences’ more enduring and deeper interest. Varna 2019 aims – in the years preceding the event and in the culminating year of the event itself – to offer a wider range of contemporary European art in the city and the region, at the same time promoting them and building an environment for their understanding and recognition. New works of art from European collaborators will be commissioned.

Platform for presentation of artists from the Black sea region Project/Event



Special module in the Cinema Festivals


Special module in the International Photography Salon

The Monument – Centre for Cultural Dialogue

Invitation for visual artists through an open call

Black Sea Underwater

Invitation for photographers through an open call

All projects in Varna 2019 include a European dimension, but in 60% of them this dimension is particularly strong. If we add the weight of the major events of the programme, this rises to 75%.

Co-productions Project/Event

International co-producer

There are four criteria to this Question. We deliberately do not answer them individually because our proposed projects frequently cover several of the criteria. Nevertheless, we are confident that we answer all four several times and in several ways. In the first application we have distinct areas of European-ness: Creative Hub, Managing Culture, and Young Europeans. In the second bid book we perfect their content.

The City Opera in Real Time

The Muziektheater Transparant (Belgium)


Teatro Pubblico Pugliese (Italy)

Encounters with the Mediterranean – a series of opera and musical events

Jochen Sandig (Germany)

Encounters with the Far East - series of puppet performances

Shu-Ming Ju (Taiwan)



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World-leading artists and companies

Involvement in successful European platforms

Artists & companies

Major event


Previous project

Alfonse Maria Mucha


Black Baltic

The Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra


Ultima Vez Company


The project is a kind of development of the Black/North SEAS – European cultural platform that connected – The Black Sea and the North Sea (2006/2010).

Javor Gardev


René Magritte


The State Actademic Bolshoi Theatre


Vasily Kandinsky


Akram Khan Company


Antony Gormley


Ivo Dimchev


Christo and Jeanne-Claude


ARTISTIC AND CREATIVE RESIDENCIES Creative residencies, laboratories, cross-disciplinary projects and opportunities for creating new works of art in the city play an important and integral part in the overall process of Varna’s cultural regeneration. Improved links to international networks will be opened up, thus providing for the valuable participation of Varna artists, associations and groups in EU cultural projects. Along this axis of action, we foresee visits by both young and established artists from all over Europe and further. Thus, Varna will start a residency programme intended to facilitate encounters between international artists and the local context and to stimulate and refresh the diversity and visibility of art and culture in city life. This residency programme will be directed at artists creative in the areas of visual and performing arts, to writers and translators.

Residencies and laboratories Project/Event



Contemporary dance residency


Laboratory for performing artists

Fairy-tales Vocabulary

Laboratory for puppet and street artists

Cross-disciplinary artistic work Project/Event

Areas of artistic research


Ornithology, philosophy, performing arts


Science, education, IT sector, new media, performing arts, visual arts, music

REVISITED TRADITIONS We are conscious that nowadays the question about how to connect our own young generation and the citizens of the other EU member states with our cultural heritage sites. The preservation of Bulgarian traditions is important. The Varna 2019 programme initiates some projects which propose innovative ways for a better understanding of the Black Sea and the Balkans culture. We believe that is also a time for revising the European narratives. So, we encourage this debate through literature projects.

European narratives Project/Event


Waves of Writing

Diversity of languages

Book Design Forum

Tales for children

Meet Galaxy

Utopias in literature

European identity of the Black Sea region and the Balkans Project/Event

Areas of artistic research

New Connection

Folk costumes

Resort Architecture

Urbanism of the resort cities from 70s – 80s

Let`s July Morning

Hippie Movement



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European Cultural Heritage in Varna

Initiation of long-term cross-disciplinary platforms


Brief description


Major event

Heritage Awaken

Workshops with visual artists and archaeologists

Big Data Art Fair

ICT Forum

Inspiring Light Show

Performances in different cultural venues and historical sites

Create A Future Together

Series of conferences, open meetings, discussions, round tables

Thracian Civilization

Exhibition and conference

Young Europeans Managing Culture Competent and educated management in charge of cultural organisations and events are central to the future and continuing success of this project. At this time, there is insufficient connection between the management of local cultural processes and common European practices. The centralised and strongly hierarchical pattern – a legacy from the predemocratic era – is still dominant in the field of cultural production. Thus, the preparations for the candidature and possible realisation of the event provide a unique opportunity to rethink and update the operating mechanisms and practices of cultural management. This means that local cultural operators should have enhanced managerial capabilities. This will be achieved through on-going training and exchange programmes and collaboration between local cultural operators and managers of creative industries and active European networks. The group working on the application is tasked with the establishment of direct partnerships with institutions and programmes from other European countries with key roles in contemporary science, art and education.

Long-term collaboration with EU institutions and networks Project/Event

International partners

Varna Festival Lab

Edinburgh Festivals Innovation Lab

Future Culture (International School for Cultural Management)

Festival Academy of the European Festival Association; Trans Europe Halls; Julie`s Bicycle


NGOs and galleries from Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Spain, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania

The Boarders of Europe (International conference)

Centre for EU Enlargement Studies at Central European University; The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria

Young Cultural Innovators Hub

Salzburg Global Seminar

We have been working on the European dimension of Varna 2019 in the certainty that the event will be beneficial for the positive and successful inclusion of young Bulgarian people in the issues concerning culture and civil society. Our programme provides youth exchanges, research, workshops, discussions and educational modules by which the young people’s horizons will be expanded and their skills in diverse fields will be enriched and further developed. The role of volunteering and direct involvement has already been embedded in the organisation of a number of events in the city. This will be developed and will stay as a key concept for young people’s involvement in various civic and cultural initiatives.

Exchanges of ideas, good practices and skills Project/Event


The Bluest Magic

Schools from the network of the European Capitals of Culture

Black Sea Youth Centre

NGOs or volunteers from the network of the European Youth capitals

Intercultural dialogue Project/Event

Brief description

Deep Waters

Urban games focused on solving youth problems led by international storytellers

Set on Color

Residencies and workshops led by international street artists

Let’s July Morning

Competition for young alternative rock bands from the Black Sea region



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9. EXPLAIN HOW THE EVENT COULD MEET THE CRITERIA LISTED BELOW. PLEASE SUBSTANTIATE YOUR ANSWER FOR EACH OF THE CRITERIA. AS REGARDS “CITY AND CITIZENS”, HOW DOES THE CITY INTEND TO ENSURE THAT THE PROGRAMME FOR THE EVENT: — ATTRACTS THE INTEREST OF THE POPULATION AT EUROPEAN LEVEL; — ENCOURAGES THE PARTICIPATION OF ARTISTS, STAKEHOLDERS IN THE SOCIO-CULTURAL SCENE AND THE INHABITANTS OF THE CITY, ITS SURROUNDINGS AND THE AREA INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAMME; — IS SUSTAINABLE AND AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE LONG-TERM CULTURAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITY? The City and Citizens are the crucial starting point for every ECoC programme. The only way to secure long-term sustainable benefit from the Year as a whole is to listen to your citizens. In the period of the preparation of the second bid book we have continued to have as many meeting as possible in order to hear the voice of all our citizens - from children to their parents and grand-parents. At this stage the theme of trust, mentioned as our sub-title, remains crucially important. For us the grass-root initiatives and bottom-up development guarantee successful and meaningful community involvement. That is why personal initiative, participation, social inclusion and civil activity are the basic principles on which our proposals are built. Since Varna was pre-selected the team has held literally hundreds of public meetings, workshops and laboratories with citizens and other stakeholders. Our programme presents Varna 2019 as a dynamic territory where artists and citizens get together for joint creative action. We also encourage local artistic networking and exchange of new ideas and good practice between local administration, cultural operators, artists and citizens based on new partnerships in the city and in the region. A careful reading of our projects will demonstrate the importance we have given to these criteria. Varna 2019 will attract the European audience with a variety of high level cultural projects but at the same time with major popular events – from the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra to the spectacular performance on Varna lake. In line with the needs of our citizens, Varna 2019 will invest in some large scale educational initiatives such as a School for Captains which is a maritime educational centre for children between 7 and 14 ages. Another objective in our candidacy is social inclusion. Varna 2019 projects create an environment in which the broadest circle of genders, generations, social groups, ethnic groups and nationalities will be able to express themselves through the mastering of new skills or by passing their knowledge and experience to other groups of people. There are three criteria to this Question and all of them have been addressed and answered in the following paragraphs. In the first application we proposed three distinct ways of looking at the City and Citizens dimension: Creativity and Participation, Informal Education, and Social Inclusion. In the second bid book we perfect their content.

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Creativity and Participation The approach of Varna 2019 is based on an approach of inclusion and active participation. Varna is a hospitable city and through our cultural calendar we wish to endorse this image of openness, knowledge and tolerance. VISIBILITY The promotion of Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration throughout the city and the region of Varna and especially beyond the national borders will be implemented through a diverse, large-scale media and promotional campaign. We plan to construct an integrated online platform showing all programme events. The introduction of the Internet-based platform will be in line with updating and enhancing Varna’s MoTo - Mobile point for cultural contact. MoTo will be tasked with promoting and providing up to date information about the cultural programme and event bookings. More information can be found in chapter V – the Communication strategy. LOCAL NETWORKING AND PARTNERSHIPS Chitalishte, which roughly translates as “reading room”, and more specifically, the Chitalishte community centres operating in the city and the region of Varna, will play a vital role in the years leading up to the event. This unique existing national network of local community centres can serve to attract a wider circle of citizens and to fulfil their need for a place to express themselves and their creativity and to connect with the larger picture. Better communication and cooperation between the teams of the individual local community centres and NGOs operating in the field of art, culture, and civil community, will inspire fresh thinking about the future of these traditional institutions. While preserving the traditional forms of culture, ensuring their passing to the next generation, at the same time, they offer exciting possibilities for ground-breaking initiatives in contemporary and independent art.

Recognizing the role of the community centres in the city and in the region Project/Event


Art Snacks

Space for artistic hand craft creation

Take a Closer View

Starting point on the bicycle routes

Varna smART Hubs

Improved space for groups



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Informal Education

PARTICIPATION In our programme we guarantee full participation of the citizens. Firstly, we will attract them as well as the European audience, by organising major popular events. We have invited world-famous artists and companies whose work represents various artistic formats (open-air exhibition, theatrical performances in non-conventional venues, concerts on the beach etc.). Secondly, in some selected projects we have sought strong collaboration between professional artists, representatives of different communities (local administration, academies, universities and schools, NGOs, business companies) and citizens. These projects focus on creativity, sustainability and duration in time.

For the years before and after the ECoC event, the Varna 2019 programme foresees a series of educational initiatives designed to stimulate citizens’ engagement in cultural life and intended to provide for their encounters with works of art and culture. There will be different platforms like TEDxBlack Sea which will allow intensive exchange between arts, technology, ecology, and science. These projects will open a territory for experimentation, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of culture.

For us, the art of storytelling has a remarkable impact. This way of making art is based on personal stories and provokes self-expression and sharing emotions for both artists and citizens. We believe that participation in such projects brings a sense of human wellbeing.

Varna 2019 envisages a further involvement of the young through their participation in initiatives designed as supplementary to the festivals’ official programme (e.g. the project Varna Festival Lab). These will include workshops, master classes, open meetings, presentations and discussions, as well as programmes for educational exchange developed under the universities, academies and the cultural institutions in the city.

Close collaboration between artists and citizens

Some of the projects of Varna 2019 present good opportunities for the citizens to obtain new experiences, knowledge, skills and ambition (as for example Young Environmentalist). Varna 2019 aims to encourage cultural institutions (museum, library, community centres etc) to develop innovative forms of participation, to promote a more systematic knowledge of audiences as well as to promote partnerships with other institutions (universities, youth NGOs).



Pay It Forward

Social science, music, visual art, performing art, cinema, IT and producing

Adventures in Plattenbau

Urbanism, architecture and design


Anthropology, sociology, psychology, social science, performing art

Art of storytelling

Long-term educational initiatives Project/Event


School for Captains

Alternative education


Types of artistic work

Art of Parenthood


The Hot Summers of the Cold War

Exhibition and film


Art installationt



Young Environmentalist

Sustainable development




Annual conferences

Masters of the Wind

Annual educational festival

Slava Submarine Museum

Maritime museum

Major popular events Project/Event

Public venues

Temporary Sculpture Park

Area of the Passenger Terminal and Varna port

Magical Water Show

Area of Varna lake

Wisdom Streets

12 streets and boulevards

Curious Red Cubes in Our Neighbourhood

5 neighbourhoods



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Social Inclusion The title European Capital of Culture will help us to enhance the visibility of good practice for social inclusion and will allow us to integrate different social groups properly in the cultural life of the city. We truly believe that every human has the right to culture and we try to highlight this statement through various projects. Furthermore, in 2016 there will be an open call for more projects which focus on marginalised groups (disadvantaged peoples, minorities etc.). Through concrete projects under the European Capital of Culture initiative, we shall work for higher awareness and care for disadvantaged groups on the part of local government, cultural institutions and the citizens. Policies for an accessible environment and better social inclusion will be needed in order to achieve citizens’ integration and to assure equal access to cultural benefits for all inhabitants.

Awareness of cultural rights Project/Event



Isolated small towns

Religious village

Different religions



InterCultura Hotel


DIY Urbanism

Minority groups


An Expanding Network Varna 2019 is closely linked with all major priorities under the new Creative Europe programme and its Culture sub-programme - transnational cooperation, networks, platforms and audience development. As mentioned in our first bid-book, we will continue our active participation in organisations, networks such as the EUROCITIES, Les Rencontres and European Festivals Association. Nevertheless, we need concentrated efforts on growing the capacity of our cultural operators to implement and manage projects on a European level.

The ongoing Preparatory Action on Culture in the EU’s External Relations is of special interest for Varna due to the strong Black Sea dimension at the nexus of our bid, currently served by policies such as the Black Sea Joint Operational Programme. The European Union has always been a promoter of values, together with policies and institutional structures. A strong external dimension with culture at the forefront will foster new possibilities for cooperation both on national and local levels. The successful implementation and development of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) has been directly challenged by the conflict in Ukraine. We believe that together with the political and economic dimensions there should be an increased focus on the development of the Culture Programme under the policy, coupled with more activities on regional, local and municipal level. The selection of Varna as a finalist, for the second year running, for the title European Youth Capital in 2017 awarded by the European Youth Forum has come as high recognition for our city. Varna’s participation in this initiative provides our city with an opportunity to share good practices from its youth policy with regard to cultural, social, political and economic life. Bulgaria is currently in the process of drafting a Smart Specialisation Strategy, which is focused on the innovation potential of the country. Its main objectives are not directly focused on the cultural sector - nevertheless, the proposed framework for innovation will undoubtedly have a major impact on the cultural sector, especially concerning creativity, entrepreneurship and R&D activities. Last, but not least, the European Capital of Culture will take place in 2019 - a time when discussions and decisions on the new programming period of the EU (2020-2026) will take place. We have a unique opportunity to influence the next generation of EU policies in the cultural domain - something that capitals of culture should increasingly aim at. We would also make sure that the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018 sets an ambitious agenda for culture, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Varna In Brussels The presence of the Varna Municipality Office in Brussels plays a key role with regard to our participation in the European Regional Development Programmes, Creative Europe, Citizenship, Horizons 2020, Erasmus+, and for Varna’s regular inclusion in the Open Days events and the discussions under the Culture Forum organised by the European Commission. Varna is one of the most significant beneficiaries under the Black Sea Basin Cross Border Cooperation programme.



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Inspired Participation Varna’s 2019 programme illustrates a fierce determination to serve all citizens regardless of their social standing, faith, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, or professional profile. The individual programmes during the year will be designed to communicate with diverse target groups and hence address to the maximum possible degree, the wide range of city residents and visitors, cultures and fields of interest.

A Special Responsibility to Young People Young people will always constitute a special group, if only for the fact that they hold the keys for the cities of tomorrow. Their energy and passion for trying new things, stepping outside established domains and connecting seemingly distant concepts and ideas make them the ideal ambassadors of our endeavour. We will make special efforts to stimulate their participation. There is a real synergy between the work of European Youth Capital 2017 and the European Capital of Culture 2019 bidding teams to respond the demand of young people. We have identified very similar projects for young people. At a meeting in Varna in April 2014 attended by the 2012 Braga Youth Capital, 2014 Thessaloniki Youth Capital and 2015 Cluj Napoka Youth Capital it was clearly identified that there was a need for the establishment of a regional Black Sea Youth Centre, which is now further developed as a project promoting Council of Europe values, youth policy and youth work standards in both applications. In May 2014, the Municipality of Varna joined the National Digital Coalition of Bulgaria supported by the Grand Coalition of Digital Jobs of the European Commission. The key areas that this initiative is fighting youth unemployment, filling the gap between what business requires and traditional education so that, more Bulgarian young people can learn from, access, work with and co-create with people across Europe. As a result, Varna 2019 is planing to develop a project together with Microsoft for integrating the first Microsoft Innovation Centre in Bulgaria promoting start-ups in the ICT domain within the Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library, sharing administrative capacity and spaces in the library’s new building.

Marginalised Communities One of the projects which are aimed at special targeted groups is Religious Village which brings together people from various religious groups and denominations and is specifically concerned with understanding and tolerance. Walk4Pride is an international project linking Bulgaria and Italy visiting local LGBT organisations throughout the Balkan region and ending up with a major exhibition and open discussion on the walk. Other examples of projects dedicated to culrural rights of marginalised groups could be found in our programme.

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12. WHAT CONTACTS HAS THE CITY OR THE BODY RESPONSIBLE FOR PREPARING THE EVENT ESTABLISHED, OR WHAT CONTACTS DOES IT INTEND TO ESTABLISH, WITH: — CULTURAL OPERATORS IN THE CITY? — CULTURAL OPERATORS BASED OUTSIDE THE CITY? — CULTURAL OPERATORS BASED OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY? NAME SOME OPERATORS WITH WHOM COOPERATION IS ENVISAGED AND SPECIFY THE TYPE OF EXCHANGES IN QUESTION. In the course of preparing Varna’s candidature, all cultural operators in the city have been invited to share their expert opinion and viewpoint. The decision to enter the contest has stimulated the regeneration of contacts between cultural institutions and professional networks, non-governmental organisations working in the field of arts and culture, and established artists from Varna, currently working in this country or abroad. In 2014 a series of design thinking laboratories were held in Varna both with individual cultural operators and representatives of cultural institutions. These laboratories were specifically conceived to get new ideas and projects for the Programme. Many of the projects listed below were conceived and born as result of these long and well attended sessions. At the same time we have been working to build new cultural partnerships at a regional, national, European and international level. In the table below we describe all partners of our programme.


varna archaeological museum


museum of the bulgarian revival – varna

theatre and music production centre

state puppet theatre varna

shturche children’s puppet theatre

palace of culture and sports varna

festival and congress centre varna pencho slaveykov public library boris georgiev city art gallery graffit gallery gallery 10

alliance française – varna

georgi velchev art museum

ethnographic museum – varna naval museum varna museum old varna

modern varna history museum

varna museum of natural history puppetry museum

hristo botev community centre

prosveta community centre

vasil levski community centre bulgarian national radio – varna

NGOs lecti centre - international centre for culture and education

raya georgieva foundation

photographic society varna

sidea cultural development foundation

black sea ngo network

gallery 10 – arts centre foundation

kultura petchanska foundation

the golden dolphin - varna association videoholica association power jump association chigot association idea association

тhe public environmental center for sustainable development

navigation maritime bulgare

union of bulgarian black sea local authorities sea friends club

black sea - breeze sports club amorpha youth group

gavroche аssociation

varna youth festival association

create association


the centre

kinestetic project ltd.

sauchastie association skorpil association la migra band varna lab

bulgarian national association of underwater activities bulgarian association of victims in car accidents

ignatov architects e-arch studio

artin vision ltd.

stalker holding ch ltd.

ciela bookstore



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slavena publishing house

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b2b ltd.

historical museum (balchik, bulgaria)

studio protey


my cafe | by ani boland

global libraries association (sofia, bulgaria)

nira communications ltd. blueroom


refugee support group foundation (sofia, bulgaria) kosher foundation (sofia, bulgaria)

national school of arts dobri hristov

european spaces 21 association (ruse, bulgaria)

professional school of textile and design

garage collective (sofia, bulgaria)

ENTREPRENEURS enthusiast publishing house (sofia, bulgaria) intercultura consult (sofia, bulgaria) 360 degree magazine (sofia, bulgaria) roca bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria)

grazia magazine (sofia, bulgaria)

typofest (sofia, bulgaria)

national humanitas and arts konstantin preslavski

kambana art studio (sofia, bulgaria)

bio games (sofia, bulgaria)

university of economics – varna

chudno organisation (sofia, bulgaria)


nikola yonkov vaptsarov naval academy

chernorizets hrabar varna free university

technical university of varna college of tourism

institute of oceanology fridtjov nansen

municipal children’s complex materika foundation

NATIONAL CULTURAL OPERATORS CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS institut français de bulgarie (sofia, bulgaria) in the palace international film festival (balchik, bulgaria) kavarna rock festival (kavarna, bulgaria)

on!fest (sofia, bulgaria)

house at tsonevo lake, municipality of dalgopol (dalgopol, bulgaria)

community centres in suvorovo, dalgopol, kavarna, byala, aksakovo ethnographic museum (dobrich, bulgaria)

historical museum (general toshevo, bulgaria) culture centre the mill, municipality of balchik (balchik, bulgaria) balchik palace (balchik, bulgaria)

city art gallery (balchik, bulgaria)

lgbt (plovdiv, bulgaria) no hate speech (sofia, bulgaria)

ivan asen 22 conceptual platform for contemporary fashion design (sofia, bulgaria) based on actual events organisation (sofia, bulgaria)

bulgarian beatbox association (sofia, bulgaria) brain store project (sofia, bulgaria) new dramaturgy (sofia, bulgaria)

interspace association (sofia, bulgaria) foundation (sofia, bulgaria)

cycling evolution association (sofia, bulgaria) sofia green tour (sofia, bulgaria) pegasus cycling club (razgrad, bulgaria)

ilchov hill cycling club (shoumen, bulgaria) club of bicycle lovers (bourgas, bulgaria)

wild locust association (sofia, bulgaria)

american library association (bulgaria) bulgarian society for the protection of birds (sofia, bulgaria)

nomad dance academy (sofia, bulgaria) vox populi documentary studio (sofia, bulgaria)

gorichka (sofia, bulgaria)

the atlantic club of bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria) cleantech (sofia, bulgaria)

activist 38 ltd (sofia, bulgaria)

nonlinear dynamics of complex systems - research group at the bulgarian academy of sciences (sofia, bulgaria) software university (sofia, bulgaria) the professor dr georgi lozanov and professor dr evelina gateva foundation (sofia, bulgaria) teach for bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria) green academy (sofia, bulgaria)

national youth forum (sofia, bulgaria) department of history and theory of culture at sofia university (sofia, bulgaria)

INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL OPERATORS CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS national bucharest film academy (bucharest, romania) pluaralic (hungary)

network of european youth capitals furtherfield (london, the united kingdom) атмо company (perugia)

duda paiva company (amsterdam, the netherlands)

edinburgh festivals innovation lab (edinburgh, scotland) teatro pubblico pugliese (bari, italy)

osmosis theatre company (athens, greece)

ultima vez (brussels, belgium) tala dance centre (zagreb, croatia)

tanzelarija (sarajevo, bosnia and herzegovina)

lokomotiva, centre for new initiatives in arts and culture (skopje, macedonia) ground-floor group (clujnapoca, romania) ethnographic museum (belgrade, serbia) ethnographic museum (zagreb, croatia)

lyceum club of greek women museum of the history of greek costume (athens, greece)

interfilm – berlin (germany)

festival academy at european festival association (brussels, belgium) museos de cantabria (santander, spain)

roskilde bibliotek (roskilde, denmark) vantaa library (vantaa, finland)

bulgarian orthodox eparchy of western and central europe (berlin, germany)

association culturelle orthodoxe bulgare st. pierre et st. paul (lille, france) mission locale wattrelos leers (wattrelos, france)

st. petersburg film makers’ union (saint petersburg, russia)

lviv international short film festival (lviv, ukraine) georgian national film centre (tbilisi, georgia)

ethnography museum (ankara, turkey)

film hafizasi festival, istanbul (istanbul, turkey)

nasca teatri di terra ippolito chiarello company (lecce, italy)

photo romania festival (clujnapoca, romania)

teatro delle albe (ravenna, italy)

teatro dallarmadio (cagliari, italy) new circus festival (zagreb, croatia)

st. patrick’s festival (dublin, ireland)

kaohsiung children’s art education festival (kaohsiung city, taiwan) batumi puppet and youth state theatre (batumi, georgia) international children’s theatre festival (ankara, turkey) künstlerinnenforum (münster, germany)

collective gallery (edinburgh, the united kingdom)

wiels (brussels, belgium)

d’clinic studios (lendava, slovenia)

pavillon (bucharest, romania) teatro de los sentidos (barcelona, spain)

palais des beaux arts (lille, france) fête des lumières, (lyon, france)

museum of apollonia and ardenica monastery (fier, albania)

tbilisi photo festival (tbilisi, georgia)

bursaphotofest (bursa, turkey)

internationale photoszene köln (cologne, germany)

monat der fotografie, berlin (berlin, germany)

f/stop photography festival, (leipzig, germany) mesiac fotografie bratislava (bratislava, slovakia) hungarian month of photography (budapest, hungaria)

viennaphotobookfestival (vienna, austria) ligna (germany)

skorohod (st. petersburg, russia)

NGOs street wisdom (collaborative team from england) gandin foundation - terra parzival (dolane, slovenia)

53 million artists (london, the united kingdom)

hybrid (ljubljana, slovenia) film london ( london, the united kingdom)

professional association of diving instructors (padi) (worldwide, the united kingdom)

melting pro, rome (italy)

association giovani artisti italiani (matera, italy)

lalut company (siena, italy)

association danceweb (vienna, austria) fibicc (madrid, spain)

nylands litteraturförening (helsinki, finland)

galeria propaganda (warsaw, poland) fondazione pastificio cerere (rome, italy) bek bergen centre for electronic arts (bergen, norway)

kulturpunkt (zagreb, croatia)

ajmec, youth organization (hammamet, tunisia)

genç yaşamın sesleri derneği (voices of young life asosiation) (kastamonu, turkey) la vibria association (terrassa, spain)

intercult (stockholm, sweden)

eastern european performing arts platform (warsaw, poland)

international network for contemporary performing arts (brussels, belgium)

aphids (melbourne, australia)

surfrider foundation europe (france)

ukrainian association of professional photographers (kharkov, ukraine)

play:vienna (vienna, austria)


invisible playground (berlin, german)

smart for change association (bucarest, romania) remont (belgrade, serbia)

compass youth association (gaziantep, turkey)

blast theory (brighton, the united kingdom) urban fabric organisation (paris, france)

3.14 gallery (bergen, norway) escola de segunda oportunidade (porto, portugal)

bida e. v. kultur und bildung (suhl, germany) trans europe halls (lund, sweden)

julie` s bicycle (london, the united kingdom) salzburg global seminar (salzburg, austria) raumlabor design and architectue

collective (berlin, germany)

oberliht moldova young artists association (chisinau, moldova)

youth club for intercultural dialogue, democracy and peace (yerevan, armenia) subversive front-association for critical approach to gender and sexuality (skopje, macedonia) act for society centre (tirana, albania)

meout association for peace and development (budapest, hungary) volunteers centre skopje (skopje, macedonia) change nepalese mission (chitwan, nepal)

realize (amsterdam, the netherlands)

civita cultura (italy)

hubbub (utrecht, the netherlands)

company new heroes (amsterdam, the netherlands) movie and arts (roma, italy) beehive illustration, (cirencester, the united kingdom) architempo (brussels, belgium)

scott burnham studio (boston, usa)

skipso (london, the united kingdom)

dundu (stuttgart, germany) fractured atlas (new york, the usa)

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS and NGOs istituto marangoni (milan, italy)

national institute for marine research and development grigore antipa (constanta, romania) wisdom university europe (elspeet, the netherlands)

center for eu enlargement studies at central european university (budapest, hungary)

national school of architecture (ensa) of toulouse (toulouse, france)

maltepe university (istanbul, turkey)

ion mincu university of architecture and urbanism (bucharest, romania) spiru haret university (bucharest, romania)

second university of naples (caserta, italy) università iuav di venezia (venezia, italy)

académie de france - villa medici (italy)

berlin university of the arts (berlin, germany) université de toulouse-le mirail (toulouse, france)

centre for information technologies renato archer at university of sao paulo (sao paulo, brazil)

autonomous university of barcelona (barcelona, spain) l’université de neuchâtel (neuchâtel, switzerland)

university junior college (valleta, italy)

students & youth development centre - sydc (tbilisi, georgia)



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Big Data

There are six ways in which Varna’s bid for European Capital of Culture is innovative:

Big Data is a new frontier, presenting a paradigm shift in science, business and forecasting and management in all major spheres of human activity, including art. The contemporary art world has been generally slow to react to changes in technology. Yet, the reverberations of Big Data go far beyond technology, changing basic models in economies and society. Instead of being Bulgarian late-comers as usual, this time we must get art organisations to work with the ICT sector to explore this way forward. To do this, we are working for the development of a global meeting platform, allowing both counterparts – major companies, working in the field of information technology and art organisations to talk about the future, contributing and enhancing their working models mutually.

Uncertainty Uncertainty should be something to be avoided - or should it? We won’t shy away from it. On the contrary, it represents our biggest asset for tapping into new sources of creativity. In the time of political and economic uncertainty we are motivated than ever. We challenge it using all sources as inspiration for innovative solutions. We recognise that crafting a professional and efficient programme and running things smoothly is fully compatible with using the challenging circumstances we are facing in our city to the full extent. Varna wants to remain a city for trying out bold and creative ideas we won’t be able to do that if we choose a path of predictability.

Design Thinking & Service Design Instead of starting with problems and solutions, we decided to begin our programme development with empathy, observation and understanding. Human-centred design or design thinking is a method of problem solving, based on observing people, discovering their recognised and unrecognised needs and offering them new solutions to meet those needs more effectively. It is a way of understanding people and their desires from the very beginning of the process of creating a product or a service. This is design that puts people at the forefront. Using design thinking allowed us to step outside of the bureaucratic view that the cultural sphere is too often mired down in and really feel the vibe of our own city in a new way. This method used by the most progressive companies and organisations, including some in the cultural sphere (The Festivals Innovation Lab in Edinburgh is a prime example), was instrumental in the project selection process and the identification of real needs and possibilities.

Black Sea The Black Sea region is in our own backyard - and at the centre of attention of the whole European continent. Its geopolitical significance leaves little space for anything else nevertheless, we are determined to play a major role in the cultural development of the region. This explains our interest in the larger process of infusing EU’s external relations with the cultural diplomacy approach - something that the Union is in a very good position to use as its most distinctive feature in international politics.

Green Cultural Events Varna plans to adopt the latest methods for measuring the sustainability of cultural productions. Introduced just two years ago and tested at the Olympic Games in London, the certification code - ISO 20121:2012 Event Sustainability Management Systems will allow us to calculate the real benefits and negatives of the implementation of various festivals, concerts, exhibitions and conferences in the city from an economic, social and environmental point of view and thus to take action for further improvement. In 2014 we started a broader study between more than 400 people - both cultural operators and citizens, about their perceptions for the green cultural events. The results are in a process of analyse and evaluation, and will be used for further action of improvement of the cultural events in the city. 14. IF THE CITY IN QUESTION IS AWARDED THE TITLE OF EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE, WHAT WOULD BE THE MEDIUM- AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF THE EVENT FROM A SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND URBAN POINT OF VIEW?

Sustainable Development In the period leading up to Varna 2019, practically all efforts of the local administration, cultural operators, businesses, non-profits and citizens will be targeted towards the smooth implementation of an impressive programme. Varna will have a target, something to look upon in the near future, thus creating a momentum for action in all parts of society. In short, we expect a sea change. Varna 2019 means that culture will take its proper place at the core of urban life. The most obvious effect of a successful bid European Capital of Culture for Varna (and especially a successfully held year in 2019) is related to the reputation of the city. Hosting such a prestigious Europe-wide event will put us on the map of ECoCs and will further serve to rebalance the dominant image of Varna as tourism first and culture second.



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Cultural participation will certainly increase as the whole city is turned into a giant stage, with every citizen a small cultural operator of its own.

operators and the position of cultural and creative industries as driving engines for the socio-economic development of the city and the region4.

The effect we seek the most, however, is sustainability. Varna 2019 will give us an opportunity to establish platforms and hubs that foster creativity, innovation and a constant stream of fresh ideas flowing outside of the cultural domain and into the fabric of the city. Artists, ideas and inspirational challenges will be brought into everyday contexts and spaces. If we are successful in building up these instruments it will have an enormous effect on the long-term development of our city.

We foresee that after 2020, the Municipal budget allocated to culture will be lower than the budget foreseen for the year of the European Capital of Culture, but considerably higher than the budget allotted for the current year of application.

The creative industries will take their rightful place as one of the engines for economic development, fueled by a push towards cultural entrepreneurship. Other businesses will feel that culture is good for them, too – especially if they direct their CSR efforts into investments in culture. The youth sector will have one more reason to push the envelope and get even more creative. The bidding process itself already provides a serious challenge for the local administration and regional bodies. We are constantly evaluating more effective ways to implement policies and objectives in the cultural sphere and improve governance indicators. Varna 2019 will also help us to achieve better coherence with other spheres such as education, environment, tourism, entrepreneurship and scientific work. Culture should become a significant factor in city planning, city design and business development A particular priority is our young people: the city wants and needs them to be active participants in the cultural and social life of the city. So, we aim to build a more constructive environment for their development, based on main European values. After all, children in 2013 will form the future active participants in the ECoC events in 2019. Already they are being involved in projects around the city to develop their interest and enjoyment of culture. Some of the other scheduled activities will be launched in 2015 and 2016, thus ensuring the sustainability of initiatives. DO THE MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES INTEND TO MAKE A PUBLIC DECLARATION OF INTENT CONCERNING THE PERIOD FOLLOWING THE YEAR OF THE EVENT?

Political Support Politicians from all parties have confirmed their commitment to the initiative. Firm evidence of this fact is the continuity in working on the project between the local government in power in 2006 and the current local government. The long-term Strategy for Cultural Development of Varna for the period 2014–2024 is the most reliable declaration regarding the local government’s intentions about the period beyond 2019. The draft version of this document recognises the key role of cultural


Varna Started Early Varna was the first Bulgarian city to announce as early as 2006 its wish to be European Capital of Culture in 2019. In 2011, the Mayor of Varna affirmed a plan for working on the application. Work on the initiative was started by the Municipal administration that organised a Secretariat and Organisational Committee under the leadership of the Mayor of Varna and the Director of the Cultural Department. Dialogue with stakeholders and citizen involvement was activated at the beginning of 2011 with the organisation of open information events, discussions and debates on the subject. This stage of the event’s preparatory process was accompanied by the construction of a special webpage dedicated to Varna 2019 initiative – with an online form for comments and proposals by the citizens, a Facebook page, outdoor advertisements and a range of printed promotional materials. Varna 2019 Club of Friends, established also in 2011, has now more than 150 members, who have signed a letter for support among which are all cultural institutions in Varna, businessmen, politicians, academics, renowned artists and professionals like Airan Berg (Project Manager of Linz 2009), Cay Sevon (Manager of Turku 2011), Wolfgang Winkler (Artistic Director of Brucknerhaus), Galin Stoev (Theatre Director, Le Théâtre de Liège), Darko Brlek (President of the European Festivals Association), Dr. Lino Manosperta (Project Manager, Teatro Pubblico Pugliese), Lidia Oshavkova, Ph.D. (State Musical Academy, Sofia), Lyubomir Levchev (Bulgarian poet), Marius Donkin (actor) et etc. As an outcome of a grass-root process, this application reflects the potential of the city and acts as an inspiration for its citizens in a long-term perspective. Since the beginning of 2013, the team of Varna 2019 has held hundreds of working meetings, workshops and laboratories with the stakeholders – artists, NGOs, primary and secondary schools, universities, community centres, local governments, representatives from the region, scientific organisations, young people, festival managers, cultural institutes, museums, libraries, galleries, businesses, tourist companies and citizens. We were motivated to map the challenges faced by each group and to address them in our cultural programme.


strategy for cultural development of varna 2014–2024 (draft)


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The Bid Alone Is Changing Varna The slogan of Varna 2019 and its subtitle – Port of Inspiration: Building Trust through Culture – has also been defined by the team during this early stage of the city’s new cultural journey. The main objective of the process has been to directly address the spirit of unrest in the city and citizens’ dissatisfaction over recent years and, thus to define a clear direction for the future development of Varna’s geographic, economic and socio-cultural strengths. Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration has launched a process of city regeneration through culture, relying on close partnerships, integrated and long-term thinking. Varna has progressed a long way towards building capacity and exchanging experience and good practice with other cities – past, current and future European Capitals of Culture, to build a motivated and interdisciplinary team who shares the ECoC values and goals. In the beginning of this year the Varna 2019 team was strengthened by the addition of experts in the field of social innovations, youth policies, contemporary art and public relations. A vast network of volunteers was established mainly involving students, youth organisations and retired citizens, who now support the festival platform of the city and the pilot project MOTO - the mobile hub for cultural contacts, which is included in first Bid Book of Varna’s candidacy. These volunteers were also deeply involved in the Tall Ships Regatta 2014 and in helping the flood victims in Varna this June. The bidding process has triggered a wave of networking between the stakeholders and has unveiled opportunities for cooperation and new debates, focused on issues regarding the added value of culture, the freedom of artistic expression, the role of the Municipality as a key policy maker and new models for financing culture.

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The Year will provide a space for variety of encounters. Encounters that inspire. And encounters that affect the life of the city on a long-term - when trust is built through cultural activities, cooperation and exchange. Our Programme covers all twelve months of 2019. The Programme will begin on Friday 18th January and close on Saturday 14th December 2019. There will be major Opening and Closing ceremonies which have not yet been planned in detail. The concept of the year is based on three Programme strands or ENCOUNTERS as we have called them. These replace the five Programme strands which we described in our first Bid Book.

Developing The Programmes The previous first bid programmes EUphoria (the festival platform) and Welcoming Sea (the platform for new artistic productions) are combined in a common strand ENCOUNTERS WITH ARTISTS. The activities in the former programmes Plant a Future (the educational platform) and Field of Potential (the research platform) respectively are combined in a common strand ENCOUNTERS FOR THE FUTURE. Separate projects in the programme Environment of Trust (the platform for community involvement) and Kaleidoscope (the platform for regional cultural cooperation) of the first bid book are distributed between two newly formed strands. The very new strand ENCOUNTERS WITH THE SEA is formed as a result of the conscious need for the programme Varna 2019 to address clearly enough the specifics of the Black-sea region – both in its geopolitical sense and from the point of view of its natural heritage and resources.

ENCOUNTERS WITH ARTISTS These Encounters show the city as a playground and open it up - its venues, institutions and public spaces – to the artists from all around the country, the region and Europe. The programme includes both world-famous figures and companies such as Akram Khan, the Bolshoi, Peter Greenaway and Compagnie ilotopie as well as representatives of the youngest generation of artists who have started their career in the years immediately before the initiative. ENCOUNTERS FOR THE FUTURE These Encounters aim at creating conditions for the introduction and working out of new organisational models and practices in various spheres of co-existence – from alternative methods of education and technologies to cultural management and entrepreneurship. The events in the programme address also particular concepts and case-studies from various spheres of co-existence such as the fields of society, urbanism and ecology. ENCOUNTERS WITH THE SEA The main focus of these Encounters is the facilitation of dialogue, co-operation and cocreation between artists, institutions and initiatives from the Black Sea region and the Caucasus, and the rest of Europe. It aims at crossing the borders of Europe and concerns three main areas of activities, namely regional cultural exchange, cultural diplomacy and natural heritage. The Programme includes a large range of events – from international conferences on topics of significance for the region and Europe, to two-month round trip residency programme with a sailing boat Kaliakra that visits the main ports in the Black Sea region. 2. WHAT MAIN EVENTS WILL MARK THE YEAR? Varna 2019 plans to organise twenty-four major events (including the Opening and Closing ceremonies) as the event highlights for our citizens, guests from the country and visitors from abroad. They are divided into six platforms which we announced in our first application. They are covering different artistic fields and types of activities – modern and contemporary art, performing arts, music but also local history, inter-sector dialogue and digital technology. Now these platforms are revised and enriched because we have received a lot of new proposals from the existing cultural institutions in the city, from artists and citizens.



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January 18 Opening ceremony

Concert of The Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra

Performance of Ultima Vez Company

Exhibition of Alfonse Maria Mucha

Exhibition of the Thracian Civilization

Opening of Temporary Sculpture Park


Big Data Art Fair Inspiring Light Show




Performance directed by Javor Gardev Exhibition of René Magritte


Encounters with the Mediterranean – Series of opera and musical events Ballet of The State Academic Bolshoi Theatre september

July morning rock concert

Premiere of The City (Opera in Real Time)

Performance of Akram Khan Company

Exhibition of Vasily Kandinsky

Magical Water Show with Compagnie ilotopie

Exhibition of Antony Gormley


Create A Future Together Encounters with the Far East – series of puppet performances



Performance by Ivo Dimchev

Concert by major international orchestra

Exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

December 14 Closing ceremony


Exhibition of the Thracian Civilization An exhibition of the Thracian Civilization in the Archaeological Museum in Varna. The Exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a bilingual catalogue and by a conference at which the unique qualities of Varna’s ancient troves will be discussed.

of light - Fête des lumières (Lyon) and with the second largest museum in France - Palais des Beaux Arts (Lille). The main organiser of the event will be the Archaeological Museum - Varna in partnership with the Association Shkorpil (Bulgaria) and the French Institute in Bulgaria.

Inspiring Light Show A splendid light- sound performance will illuminate different cultural and historical sites of Varna and the region - large and small Roman Thermae, Aladza Monastery, various facades of monumental buildings of cultural heritage, the Cathedral Assumption of St. Mary and others. The projects will be specially designed in collaboration with some of the most emblematic festivals


Opening of Temporary Sculpture Park Artists working in public space have experimented with all possible materials and strategies. Neither cast in bronze, nor chiselled in marble, inflatable sculptures are made of synthetic material and kept in shape with compressed air. They offer a new sculptural approach to form, explore the contradiction of monumental and temporary, drastically change the environment adding a carnivalesque twist to the ordinary and inviting the passer-by to experience it with all senses. Touchable, playable, grotesque, and beautiful, synthetic and, so importantly - photogenic, inflatable sculptures are entertaining and yet, sobering. In the spring of 2019 six inflatable objects will be installed in the currently neglected area of the Passenger Terminal and the port. Artists invited are Paul McCarthy, Jeremy Deller and Kiki Smith. The project will be managed by Varna 2019 Foundation in partnership with Raya Georgieva Foundation (Varna, Bulgaria).

Four Major Exhibitions Boris Georgiev City Art Gallery will host four major exhibitions during the year - Alfonse Maria Mucha, René Magritte, Vasily Kandinsky and the exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. All these exhibitions are at an early stage of planning and negotiation. Varna 2019 has invited Antony Gormley to create a new artistic work inspired by our city. We are waiting for his confirmation. PERFORMING ARTS The Palace of Culture and Sport will host two performances of the most famous contemporary dance company - Ultima Vez Company (Belgium) with choreographer Wim Vandekeybus and Akram Khan Company with choreographer Akram Khan (The United Kingdom). The State Academic Bolshoi Theatre has been invited to perform with their main ballet company. We will know their decision after the final selection of the Bulgarian ECoC. Two world-known Bulgarian artists - Ivo Dimchev (performer and choreographer) and Javor Gardev (theatre director) have confirmed their agreement to create a new work for the year.



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The City (Opera in Real Time) One of the major music events of the year will gather world-famous artists in one project. The event will involve all the facilities of the city (concert hall, theatres, etc.) as well as open spaces into one big 24 hour long performance, which will take place live at various locations in the city. At each location dedicated scenes will be performed, shot and broadcast live to one or more master stages in the city as well as on the internet via a specially developed website. In the project the natural sounds of the urban space will be used - aeroplanes, whistling vessels, squawking of seagulls, the sea breeze, surf in the bay, bells of the cathedral, etc. Special pieces will be especially composed. The artistic team will be: Dimitar Bodurov, concept and composer (Bulgaria/The Netherlands); Peter Greenaway, artistic adviser (The United Kingdom); Ruben van Leer, filmmaker (The Netherlands); Dobrin Kashavelov, cinematographer (Bulgaria); Adriana Gerasimova, post production (Bulgaria) The producer of the project will be The Muziektheater Transparant (Antwerpen) and Theatre and Music Production Centre (Varna).

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Major Concerts Series Two world famous orchestras have been invited. One is from Heidelberg and will be conducted by Bulgarian Yordan Kamdzhalov who is the principal conductor of the Heidelberg Opera Theatre and Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra. The second orchestra is still subject to negotiation. Theatre and Music Production Centre will also organise a series of opera and musical events for the year. For this special programme named Encounters with the Mediterranean, Jochen Sandig (Germany) was invited to be the artistic adviser. We are waiting for his confirmation. CREATING A FUTURE TOGETHER A month of inter-sector dialogue and cooperation through a variety of events: high-level conferences, discussion groups, seminars, workshops, bringing together representatives, experts, entrepreneurs and citizens from all over Europe.

Big Art Data Fair There are two aspects in which Big Data will affect the arts. One is creativity and artistic production. The other is the way the contemporary art world operates, namely the organisation, presentation and distribution of art. We address both. Starting with a pilot conference in 2015, the Big Art Data Initiative will develop over the years in annual iteration, bringing together the major players in ICT, who are at the forefront of these new developments and a vast array of art players, including

leading art centres, archives and museums, art databases, auction houses and online art galleries and dealers. Currently in negotiation with major players in both fields, we are developing a game-changing event, which towards 2019 will be a fully developed forum for exchange of visionary ideas and practical solutions. The project will be managed by InterSpace Association. CELEBRATE SUMMER

July Morning We will greet the 1st July morning with famous rock bands on the shore line of Varna, Kamen Bryag and Balchik. There will also be a competition for the best cover version of Uriah Heep’s July Morning for young bands as well as for a new song inspired by July morning. The competition jury includes: John Lawten and Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), Klaus Maine (Scorpions), Atanas Penev (vocalist of the Bulgarian rock band B.T.R.), Milena Slavova (singer of the ex rock band Review), Kristian Boiajiev (composer of the Bulgarian national radio), Yordan Georgiev (musical journalist of the Bulgarian National Radio), Tzonko Tzonev (ideologist of Kavarna rock fest), Anelia Dosheva (Musical Record company Edita) and Rumen Bonchev (Frontier recordsBulgaria).

Encounters With The Far East – Series of Puppet Performances The Puppet Theatre - Varna has invited three renowned puppet companies from the Far East to perform in Varna and also to create a co-production with the local theatre. We have the confirmation from Song Song Song Children’s & Puppet Theatre (Taiwan) and we are waiting for confirmation from the Puppet Theatre Haet-Sal (Korea) and the Theatre PUK (Japan). The topic of their artistic collaboration will be the sea tales from each country. All performances will be presented in the Sea Garden.

Magical Water Show We will celebrate the Day of Varna (15th August) with a great performance on Varna lake. Varna 2019 received confirmation from the famous French Compagnie ilotopie which will create a magical show on the water.



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The Selection Process

The Research Process

All selected projects will guarantee sustainability for the cultural life in Varna and the region after the year of 2019. Our Programme will be a solid platform for long-term initiatives. Within the Programme we will explore the possibility of sharing resources (such as bank of spaces, bank of artists, bank of ideas), and also we will stimulate green awareness in the consciousness of the artists and citizens. We have chosen and will continue to choose the projects/events which constitute the Programme of Varna 2019 on the basis of the following criteria:

In the months after our pre-selection in December 2013, we initiated a process of consultation and ideas generation with the citizens of Varna. We called this process which included the following initiatives, events and workshops – InspireVarna: • After pre-selection we immediately launched Inspiration Invitation - we designed a short and simple online form written in everyday language. All citizens of Varna could express their view on the importance of culture for their everyday lives and the significance of the European Capital of Culture, as well as use the form to share ideas for new cultural activities and unused spaces in the city. We received more than hundred detailed responses, some of which made it to the project selection process. • Inspiration Forum – we held an open public event where we introduced the main features of the European Capital of Culture competition, provided background on the biggest issues facing Europe today, gave examples for successful cultural and creative projects with a significant impact on cities and neighbourhoods and introduced design thinking. • Inspiration Discussions – a series of roundtable talks (with no round tables present) with selected cultural operators in Varna focused on the three main programmes in our application, the challenges in the sector and their take on what we can do better in order to synchronise the European Capital of Culture process with their ambitions and plans for development. • Inspiration Labs - we held six laboratories based on the design thinking method to further develop the most promising projects out of more than 70 project proposals in the pipeline that came out of the whole process. Using design thinking allowed us to run the projects through a number of loops, constantly evaluating their effectiveness, innovative elements and significance for the city.

If we are selected we plan to have two further open calls in 2016 and in 2018. The first one will focus on cultural projects with special targeted groups (children, young people, older people, disable people, marginalised groups, etc). The second one will focus on European co-productions, multidisciplinary projects and artistic research projects. The role of our future Artistic Director who will be appointed early in 2015 will be to direct and synchronise all strands of the Programme in the general spirit of Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration. He or she will be also responsible for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the year.

ARTISTIC RESEARCH Our programme includes not only world-known artists, but also young artists. Varna 2019 gives them space for their artistic experiment and research through residency programmes or multidisciplinary projects. We believe that collaboration between different forms of arts or between arts and other areas like science, technology, and entrepreneurship open new horizons for the creativity of the artists. So, collaboratively created pieces in existing or in nonconventional venues are preferred. We have selected the projects based on their originality. DIGITAL DIMENSION In the global reality of today and the increasing penetration of ICT, technology is a great source of inspiration and also a promising opportunity for innovative ways of artistic expression. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT The community involvement is essential criteria. In our programme we have the strong participation of the citizens in the projects. Furthermore the art of storytelling is at the heart of some of the artistic approaches (variety of events is based on personal stories). We want to share with Europe and the world the story of our city and our region, of the Black Sea and of the Black Sea region. PARTICIPATION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE The involvement of children and youth in cultural activities is another crucial criteria. We focus on them because they are our future leaders. Initiatives that exchange knowledge between young people and artists, social innovators, researchers, theorists are fundamental for the sustainability and long-term effects of our programme. THE BLACK SEA REGION We are developing a special programme dedicated to the Black Sea. All projects have been selected on the bases of high quality of proposals, networking in the region, sharing ideas and good practice in the field of culture, science, education, technology and social innovation.


October 25–26 Modern Ballet National Festival–Competition (est. 2001)


October 11–17 Golden Rose Bulgarian Feature Film Festival (est. 1961)

January 18 Opening ceremony

October 1–7 Golden Dolphin International Puppet Festival (est. 1969)

October Fall of Memories National Festival (est. 1997)


September 10–14 World Festival of Animated Film – Varna (est. 2006)

August 21–24 Fairy Tale for You – National Children’s and Youth Theatre Festival (est. 2000)

August 3–7 International Folklore Festival – Varna (est. 1992)


August 1–21 International Arts and Crafts Fair – Varna (est. 1996)

August 1–10 Book Alley – Varna (est. 2010)


August 1–5 VIDEOHOLICA Video Art Festival (est. 2008)

August 1 – September 30 International Biennale of Graphics (est. 1981)

August August in Art Biennial of Visual Arts (est. 2000)


July 31 – August 3 Varna Summer International Jazz Festival (est. 1992)

July 15–30 International Ballet Competition – Varna (est. 1964)


July 4, 5, 6 International Vocal Competition Morski Zvezdichki (Sea Stars) (est. 2005)


June 28 – July 04 In The Palace International festival dedicated to short films under 27 minutes in length (est. 2003)

June 27, 28, 29 Kavarna Rock Festival

June 22–28 Love is Folly International Film Fest (est. 1993)


June 20 – August 23 Opera at the Varna Open-Air Theatre (est. 2009)

June 14 – July 28 Varna Summer International Music Festival (est. 1926)


June 1–11 Varna Summer International Theatre Festival (est. 1993)

June – July International Summer Scientific Meetings (est.1993)

May 20–25 Slavic Embrace International Festival of Poetry (est. 2007)


May 16–18 International Pop Music Festival Discovery (est. 1992)

May 15–18 International May Choir Competition (est. 1967)

May 9–12 Sea and Memories International Music Festival (est. 1998)


May – June International Photo Salon (est. 2003)

April 25 – May 3 Contempo Contemporary Art Festival for Young Artists (est. 2009)

March 23–24 National Competition for Performance of Works by Czech and Slovak Composers (est. 1979)

March 15 – May 11 European Music Festival (est. 2004)

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Concert of Philharmonic Orchestra

New Connection

Book Design Forum


Exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Performance by Ivo Dimchev




Encounters with Far East – series of puppet performances

Create A Future Together


Take a Closer View 2

Masters of the Wind


Exhibition of Antony Gormley

Performance of Akram Khan Company

International Summer School for Cultural Management

Fairy-tales Vocabulary

Black Sea Underwater

Magical Water Show by Compagnie ilotopie

Premiere of The City Opera in real time

Let`s July Morning

Exhibition of Vasily Kandinsky

July morning rock concert

The Bluest Magic


Black Baltic

Ballet of The State Academic Bolshoi Theatre

Encounters with the Mediterranean – series of opera and musical events

Set on Color

Exhibition of René Magritte

Performance by Javor Gardev

Religious Village

Waves of Writing

Take a Closer View 1

Inspiring Light Show

Big Data Art Fair

Opening of Temporary Sculpture Park

Performance of Ultima Vez Company

Exhibition of the Thracian Civilization

Concert of The Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra

Exhibition of Alfonse Maria Mucha


December 14 Closing ceremony DECEMBER



VARNA FESTIVAL LAB Varna has a vibrant festival scene (over 25 festivals held each year, the oldest one dating back to 1926), with a positive mix of very established events and younger initiatives. FestiVarna is a long-term project aimed at creating a sustainable structure for cooperation between the numerous festivals held in Varna. It is not a lab in the strict sense of the wold – it is a platform on which all festivals have the possiblity to interact, exchange new ideas, experiment, share best (and worst) practice, start joint projects and use opportunities for networking and marketing. One of the distinctive features in the lab will be the use of human-centred design and service design methods in order to identify the potential needs of the audiences and meet them with innovative approaches. This will be combined with extensive work on the usage of digital technology and technological platforms in the work of the festivals. The main reason for creating such a platform is the need to raise the profile of the whole city as a festival destination, not just of the festivals themselves. when 2015-2021 and onwards where varna managed by varna 2019 foundation partners varna summer international music festival (est. 1926) international may choir competition (est. 1967) golden dolphin international puppet festival (est. 1969) international biennale of graphics (est. 1981) varna summer international jazz festival (est. 1992) international folklore festival – varna (est. 1992) varna summer international theatre festival (est. 1993) love is folly international film fest (est. 1993) international arts and crafts fair – varna (est. 1996)

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initial conversations with the edinburgh festivals innovation lab have indicated interest in partnership and it is our intention to formalise the partnership on confirmation of the designation. required funding varna 2019 foundation € 100, 000

WISDOM STREETS UK-based human development pioneers David Pearl and Chris Barez Brown launched the not-for-profit venture Street Wisdom back in 2013, because they saw the street differently - as an amazing place to learn. A city speaks to you mostly by accident—in things you see through windows, in conversations you overhear. It’s not something you have to seek out, but something you can’t turn off. Street Wisdom is an enjoyable, powerful and free way of using streets to learn something new and tapping into the city’s many voices. It’s a simple idea, based on the proposition that the environment and people around us are full of wisdom we largely overlook or ignore. Street Wisdom is a three hour experience designed to fit easily into a morning or afternoon. It is structured in the three one hour sessions which are called TUNE, ASK and SHARE. The Wisdom Street becomes a focal point for sharing wisdom with other fellow citizens - personal, professional, cultural, political, and social. A truly modern version of the village square that also has the potential to affect local businesses on the street itself. Our wish is to create such an attractive space that streets all over Varna start competing to become Wisdom Street. We envisage 12 streets will each be a Wisdom Street for a month of 2019.

It begins with pilot versions in 2017 and 2018 and climaxes in Varna 2019. To add impact the Wisdom Streets of Varna will be connected online to other Wisdom Streets in key Cities around Europe including London, Berlin and Amsterdam. Varna becomes the epicentre of a network of Wisdom that’s flowing between the citizens of Europe. It’s the ultimate destination for a series of “urban pilgrimages” each setting out from partner cities around Europe and culminating in Varna, the collective journey’s end. All of these “journeys to Varna” are documented throughout the project (Social and other Media) as a way of archiving all that was experienced and learned along the way. when 2016-2019 where 12 streets managed by varna 2019 foundation in collaboration with street wisdom (david pearl and chris barez brown) partners terra parzival (dolina, slovenia); eupolis (lombardia, italy); wisdom university europe (elspeet, the netherlands); realize (amsterdam, the netherlands); 53 million artists (the united kingdom) with further partnerships in berlin, dubrovnik, lisbon and istanbul required funding varna 2019 foundation € 345, 000

At the core of the project is an art installation composed of enormous EYEs hanging from different buildings in the city. Each EYE is an autonomous installation and can be visited separately, one person at a time. The visitor will sit in a chair and literally enter inside the EYE. From there everybody will be able to observe the city through the EYE, while listening to its citizens stories. The idea is to create an authentic experience for the visitor by connecting him to real faces, real voices, real stories and the real city. The first EYE, called Collection EYE will come to the city at the end of 2015. It will be installed with the sole purpose of collecting stories. Collection EYE will also be connected to the city and its citizens through an interactive app which will facilitate the collection and selection of sitespecific stories by younger people from the elderly. These stories together are a sort of acoustic Google Street View, which takes you on a journey to the past and allows you to explore the significance of places that have long changed in function. In 2019, 4 more EYEs will be installed in the city. when 2015–2019 where varna

EYELISTEN EYEListen is a project that re-activates the city’s senses of sight and hearing. Fun stories, sad stories, wise stories - we all have stories to tell, but often we don’t have the time to observe and to listen. EYE Listen is a project that stops the collective speed madness in the city and makes space for stories.

managed by varna 2019 foundation partners artistic team: lucas de man, director, company new heroes (amsterdam, the netherlands); pascal leboucq, designer; kars alfrink, designer, hubbub (utrecht, the netherlands) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 450, 000




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The world famous Brazilian puppeteer and dancer Duda Paiva will meet actors and modern dancers from seven Balkan countries in a fascinating theatre journey through the world of myths, legends and contemporary urban stories. The plot of the performance will be based on a preliminary study of mythological stories and modern legends, characteristic of each participant country. The performance will start with making eight big puppets in the Varna puppet theatre, which are emblematic characters for the Balkans and will be further made up in each of the remaining countries by actors and dancers who will be involved later. In each city (in an open-air public space) a fragment of the performance will be presented. As a whole it will be presented as part of the International theatre festival Golden Dolphin in October 2019.

New Connection is a project which will bring together a group of four international fashion design graduates (one from each of the four centres of the prestigious Institute Marangoni in Milan, London, Paris and Shanghai) with four young designers from the Balkans (selected by the people behind the successful Bulgarian fashion platform, Ivan Asen 22). Together, they will work on a collection inspired by Balkan folklore elements. The young designers will travel around the Balkans spending time in different ethnographic museums, studying the folklore elements that make this region unique and implementing them into a contemporary clothing collection. The idea is not to create another bunch of contemporary folklore costumes, but modern clothes that are unique in themselves for exactly having that common Balkan signature incorporated in a fashionable, aesthetic and almost invisible manner. The designers will also lead four workshops with students from the Professional School of Textile and Design Varna. The results from thestudios and the collection will be presented during a special event in 2019 which marks the opening of the New Creative Industries Hub.

when rehearsal: june - september 2019 première in varna: october 2019 where the performance will be created and at the same time presented in the following cities: varna – istanbul – athens – the italian city for ecoc 2019 – zagreb – sarajevo – skopje – bucharest – varna. managed by artistic team: duda paiva, director (brazil /the netherlands); jim bernard, puppet maker (the united kingdom/the netherlands); evandro serodio, puppet maker (brazil/france) producers: puppet theatre varna (varna, bulgaria); teatro pubblico pugliese (bari, italy) partners the centre (varna, bulgaria); garage collective (sofia, bulgaria); osmosis theatre company (athens, greece); tala dance centre (zagreb, croatia); tanzelarija (sarajevo, bosnia and herzegovina); ground-floor group (cluj-napoca, romania) potential partner: lokomotiva, centre for new initiatives in arts and culture (skopje, macedonia) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 75, 000

when preparatory stage: november 2018 - october 2019 opening event: november 2019 where new creative industries hub managed by varna 2019 foundation partners istituto marangoni (milan, italy); ivan asen 22 conceptual platform for contemporary fashion design (sofia, bulgaria); grazia magazine (sofia, bulgaria); chigot organisation (varna, bulgaria); professional school of textile and design (varna, bulgaria); ethnographic museum - varna (bulgaria); ethnographic museum - dobrich (bulgaria); historical museum - general toshevo (bulgaria); ethnographic museum - belgrade (serbia); ethnographic museum - zagreb (croatia)

potential partners: museum of the history of greek costume (greece); ethnography museum ankara (turkey) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 45, 000

PAY IT FORWARD Pay it Forward is a project, encouraging the citizens to discover their creative potential by giving them the opportunity to work with professional artists using their own creative ideas and projects in the form of exhibition, theatre performance, concert, fair etc. The amateur teams will choose the places and spaces where they will present their project (for example a school, a park, university grounds, foster home, orphanage etc). The only condition for realising the project in that particular place is that the hosts of the place must agree to “pay it forward“ and ”grow” the initiative by creating their own new idea, which can in turn be presented in another place under the same condition and so on. In order for the project to have a smooth implementation, a production team will support the amateur throughout the whole process. The mentors from this producers’ team will intervene when the amateur team chooses an open public space and opens up the invitation and selection procedure for the next group of enthusiasts to pay it forward. The Bulgarian mentors’ teams will cooperate with their colleagues from the Italian candidate cities for EcoC 2019. An internet platform will be created as a main communication and information tool for the citizens – showing the next location for the teams, current events, etc. The starting point of the initiative will be the Centre for Children – Gavroche. There are 24 projects planned for the year. All teams will be invited to think green and to

use eco materials during the planning and implementation of their projects. A film will be made showing all the projects as an interesting and innovative cultural project in the urban environment. when january - december 2019 where gallery 10; shturche children’s puppet theatre potential zones for implementation: malls, underpasses, business and office buildings, schools, parks, universities, beaches etc. managed by varna 2019 foundation partners artistic mentors: gergana encheva, social assistant, gavroche аssociation; stratsimir pavlov & valeri tzenkov, musicians, la migra; ognyan golev & irina goleva, performers, based on actual events organisation; ognyana serafimova & mira petrova, scenographers; marieta petchanska, filmmaker, kultura petchanska foundation; todor panayotov, it specialist, varna lab producer mentors: nick todorov, b2b ltd; nina lokmadjieva, nira communications ltd; companies from italy, which are selecting italian artists: атмо company (perugia); association giovani artisti italiani (matera); teatro delle albe (ravenna); lalut company (siena); ippolito chiarello company (lecce); teatro dallarmadio (cagliari) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 93, 600

FAIRY-TALES VOCABULARY Fairy-tale vocabulary is a project for children and adults alike. For three consecutive years in August, the space around the Puppet Theatre in Varna will come alive with the figures of fairy-tale characters and strange creatures from the sea world. From dawn to dusk there will be magic awaiting all the citizens and guests of Varna. Each year some of the oldest and most renowned world festivals of street art and circus art, as well as festivals targeted at the




youngest audience (children aged 3-6) will select, by open invitation, puppeteers and street artists interested in developing art projects based on magical fairy-tales and sea world fairy-tales. Those projects approved will be presented as open air workshops. Parents and children will be able to take a close look at the process of putting together a performance, as well as join special modules, allowing them to work alongside the actors. when 2015-2018, every august where public spaces around the state puppet theatre managed by the golden dolphin - varna organisation partners new circus festival (zagreb, croatia); st. patrick’s festival (dublin, ireland); kaohsiung children’s art education festival (kaohsiung city, taiwan); batumi puppet and youth state theatre (batumi, georgia) potential partner: international children’s theatre festival (ankara, turkey) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 150, 000

SET ON COLOR Set on Color is a one-month residency of street artists from various countries. Our aim is for this project, street art, which is mostly associated negatively with unknown people and vandalism, to be opened up to the public as a valuable artistic form, but without losing its specific characteristics. We imagine Varna as a hospitable place where artists from Europe, Asia and Latin America can meet every year and create their images in urban venues (school facades, abandoned buildings, parts of properties such as fences, electricity substations and others). These spaces will

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be suggested and selected by citizens after a preliminary open invitation and voting in a specially created online platform. Colouring Varna will be accompanied by a number of youth activities – sports events, beat-box competitions, concerts of alternative music bands and so on. The culmination of the project will be in 2019 when all resident street artists will be invited to make a tour by train in the Black Sea region. In each of the countries they will have a special event at the railway station which will be documented. when 2016-2019 where non-conventional venues, facades of old building, schools, hospitals, social centers etc. managed by b2b ltd partners varna youth festival association (varna, bulgaria); bulgarian beatbox association (sofia, bulgaria) potential street artists: dilk (the united kingdom); mr. woodland (germany); bates (denmark); dems (spain); belin (spain); aryz (spain); naiara (spain); neverbrushmyteeth (spain); etam cru (poland); lunar (croatia); zmogk (russia); cins (turkey); turbo (turkey); yuma yoshimura (japon); osgemeos (brazil) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 80, 000

NAVIGATOR Navigator is an international exchange programme for contemporary dancers whose credo is sharing vs teaching. The residency will give an opportunity to the 60 scholarship holders on the danceWEB, Vienna programme to meet again, this time in Varna. This will happen immediately after thеir participation in one of the most prestigious events in the field of performing arts in Europe. The platform will function as a space for exchanging

experiences among dancers, choreographers and performers. The focus of this format is on the opportunity for artists to explore together their creative quests. The residency will actually be a laboratory for experiments. Every year before the residency starts, an International conference will be held in Varna in order to exchange good practices in artistic residencies and will finish with a public presentation of its results. when 2016 - 2019 in september every year where multifunctional hall, municipality of suvorovo since 2019 in hristo botev cotton mill residency centre managed by sidea foundation for cultural development (varna) partners association danceweb (vienna, austria); brain store project (sofia, bulgaria); new dramaturgy (sofia, bulgaria); based on actual events organization (sofia, bulgaria) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 125, 000

WAVES OF WRITING Waves of Writing is a residency programme to be held in the period 2015-2018 in two towns in the region (Balchik and Dalgopol). It aims to support the work of writers from Bulgaria and Europe, to encourage dialogue between cultures and to help the translation of modern Bulgarian literature into foreign languages. During the residents’ stay, monthly meetings will be organised in Varna with authors and translators where they will discuss topics and issues concerning the creative projects they are working on. In 2019, all participants (about 120) will take part in a reading marathon organized by the Pencho Slaveykov Public Library –

Varna, where they will read an excerpt of their own work both in their native tongue and in Bulgarian. When 2016-2018 every year from april until october final project event - april 2019 where atelier in the culture centre the mill, municipality of balchik; house at tsonevo lake, municipality of dalgopol managed by lecti centre - international centre for culture and education (varna, bulgaria) partners varna archaeological museum (bulgaria); ciela bookstore (varna, bulgaria); pencho slaveykov public library (varna, bulgaria); balchik palace (bulgaria); city art gallery – balchik (bulgaria); historical museum – balchik (bulgaria); pluaralic (hungary); künstlerinnenforum (münster, germany); nylands litteraturförening (helsinki, finland) Required funding Varna 2019 Foundation € 95, 000

L’AVVENTURA – VISUAL ARTISTS ON A GRAND TOUR OF EUROPE (CONFERENCE ON ARTISTS’ MOBILITY AND NETWORKING) The project we are pursuing is focused on artists’ mobility and promotion of their works in the EU countries. The project goals are to create a wide and diversified partnership of active cultural players focused on young artists; to create the opportunity of exposing young artists to different European cultural ecosystems; fostering a reflection on the enlargement of contemporary arts’ audience and effective strategies for engaging different people as audience; to support the promotion of the selected artists’ works through exhibitions in different countries. The Artists’ mobility network through Europe consists of conferences, panel discussions and network workshops.




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Artists and artistic groups, private and public galleries, museums, curators, cultural journalists, cultural operators from NGO and public cultural institutions, scientists from cultural sectors, art tutors, collectors, business communities from creative industries, international cultural experts will be invited to participate.

from the past and present. The Forum will also organise workshops for kids and young children with their parents, as well as students from art, design and journalism studies to create their own artwork with books, book covers or book labels from different materials (recycled paper or plastic, for example).

when 2015

Some of the planned activities include workshops on book design and illustration, creative labs on the book as an art object book sculptures, installations, kinetic art, meetings and seminars, open air events, flash-mobs.

where graffit gallery managed by civita cultura (italy) and graffit gallery (bulgaria) partners fondazione pastificio cerere (rome, italy); movie and arts roma (italy); melting pro (rome, italy); collective gallery (edinburgh, the united kingdom); movie and arts london (the united kingdom); wiels belgium (brussels, belgium); académie de france - villa medici (rome, italy); fibicc spain (madrid, spain); galeria propaganda (warsaw, poland); d’clinic studios (lendava, slovenia); kulturpunkt (zagreb, croatia); remont (belgrade, serbia); pavillon (bucharest, romania) required funding Varna 2019 Foundation € 35, 000

BOOK DESIGN FORUM The project is planned to be an international event aimed at showcasing leading artists, partners and organisations in the field of book art, including a focus on children’s books. The Forum would like to take a closer look at innovations and impressive designs and concepts using both physical objects such as artist’s books and book covers and books in various electronic formats. All possibilities for new encounters with different reading communities and non-readers will be explored in order to show that even the simple act of reading a book can be a creative act of its own. There will be an exhibition with famous Bulgarian illustrators of children’s books

when 2019 where new building for pencho slaveikov regional library varna managed by pencho slaveikov regional library varna partners dimitar traichev, stalker ltd (varna, bulgaria); boril karaivanov, typofest (sofia, bulgaria); enthusiast book publishing (sofia, bulgaria); beehive illustration, (cirencester, the united kingdom) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 15, 000

THE HOT SUMMERS OF THE COLD WAR The city and its surrounding resorts were the favoured holiday destination for those living in the Warsaw pact countries (former Yugoslavia was not an open option for vacation), but also for curious westerners with an adventurous attitude, together with members of illegal communist parties from the West and from South America. In the Eastern block there were a number of holiday places such as the Tatra mountains and Lake Balaton, where one could imagine that the whole socialist camp was on

holiday in one region. And among these, the ultimate Socialist International place was Varna during the summer. Varna was the embodiment of the together in brotherhood movement, but it was also the place to get in touch with the wide world and summer holidays were marked by this special imaginary world of freedom. With the hot sun, the sand, and the sea, and when staring at the horizon all this made you believe you had escaped from it. This fantasy of freedom was however fragile. Varna was a meeting place not only for ordinary citizens and for divided families, but also for members of various secret services. In fact, 2019 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. To commemorate the legacy of Divided Europe this project, conceived by film director and screenwriter Can Togay and dedicated to Varna, will collect personal archive material of these times. Holiday memories documented in private film material shot in 8mm, photographs, post cards and oral history will be interpreted in an installation by artist and film director Peter Forgacs, recognized for his masterful treatment of personal archives in projects, such as the Danube Exodus and German Unity at Balaton. The project focuses primarily on the period of the Cold War with an introductory chapter, dedicated to the period between the two world wars and an epilogue looking at the so called transition period after 1989. Some of the collected material will be also available on a dedicated project website. when 2017-2019 where online and at graffit gallery (varna, bulgaria) managed by interspace association (sofia, bulgaria)

partners private photo and film archive foundation (hungary); amateur film archives and media centres will be sought as partners for the collection of materials required funding varna 2019 foundation € 35, 000

DIY URBANISM The project is based on the modelling practice of artist Tracey Snelling, who will be working with local and international artists and young people from several neighborhoods in Varna, notorious for their poor planning, infrastructure and building regulations (Maksuda, parts of Asparuhovo, Gabena Mahala) to develop scaled down models of the DIY architecture that sprawls there. Such marginalised and closed communities, existing at the threshold of poverty can be found in cities all over the world. Media analysis show that those are the neighbourhoods that suffer most in natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. Furthermore, poor people are the ones who must establish their lives, houses and families in such risk-prone areas, because this is all they can afford financially and socially. Strengthening building regulation and infrastructure are the top-down part of the solution. The current project aims to engage young people from the communities, living in these neighborhoods in working with artists and urbanists for a bottom-up treatment. The goal of the project is to develop a visual survey and stimulate public debate, presenting a new and little known perspective to the parallel reality, in which these communities live.




when 2015-2019 where maksuda, areas of asparuhovo, gabena mahala managed by varna 2019 foundation partners sauchastie association (varna, bulgaria), foundation (sofia, bulgaria), eu spaces (ruse, bulgaria), 3.14 gallery (bergen, norway), bek bergen centre for electronic arts (bergen, norway) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 100, 000

ART SNACKS Hungry for art? Check our vending machines that offer artworks instead of snacks and drinks?! This is Art Snacks! Vending machines that offer smallsize paintings and hand-crafted objects produced locally - by local artists and handicrafts-men. The vending machine is a symbol of thirst quenching and urban development. Through this project we want to use it as a symbol of the development of strong and independent creative industries, which satisfies our hunger and thirst for art. The project goal is to stimulate the creative work of people in smaller towns and villages in the region of Varna, and to provide for them an independent, but effective channel to present their artworks to the end user. The idea will be popularised through the local Community centres (Chitalishta) which will provide working space and will also become the collection point for the artefacts.

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During the first year the project will be managed by the Varna 2019 Foundation with the idea of finding a model that is selfsustainable and can continue to thrive after 2019. when 2019 where the vending machines will be located both at points with high traffic in the city like airports, the central station, petrol stations, sightseeing spots and at unexpected locations like at the entrance of the municipality. managed by varna 2019 foundation partners community centres in suvorovo, dalgopol, kavarna, byala, aksakovo required funding varna 2019 foundation € 50, 000

TAKE A CLOSER VIEW Take a closer view offers a fascinating trip through the mysterious wilderness of the North- Eastern region. During the project’s first stage, cycling routes in the region will be explored and mapped. These routes will be non- specialised or themed, i.e. aimed at familiarisation with the local culture and history, as well as the natural sights. In addition to a physical map, a virtual platform for cycling tourism will be developed. Initially the database will include routes from the North-Eastern region of Bulgaria with information on: type, level, GPS tracking, description, sights, photos, places to spend the night, get food, drinking water and technical assistance, travellers’ reviews, a rating system, etc. In the long run, the platform will cover cycling routes across the whole of Bulgaria. The map and

the multi-language platform will be the first project of this kind in Bulgaria. For the period 2016 – 2018, cycling rides along the above described routes are planned to take place twice a year (in April and September) with both Bulgarian and foreign participants. Their impressions and opinions will be documented and presented in an exhibition and a film as part of the festival - CyclingCult in 2019. when 2015–2019 where north-eastern region of bulgaria managed by ustrem bicycle club partners cycling evolution association (sofia, bulgaria); sofia green tour (sofia, bulgaria); pegasus cycling club (razgrad, bulgaria); ilchov hill cycling club (shoumen, bulgaria); club of bicycle lovers (bourgas, bulgaria); bulgarian association of victims in car accidents (varna, bulgaria); 360 degree magazine required funding varna 2019 foundation € 15, 000

LABYRINTH LAByrinth attempts to suggest new solutions to local community problems by means of a specially developed theatrical methodology. A team of actors, cultural anthropologists, psychologists and social scientists, together with the local administration and local cultural players will embark on an exciting quest for an innovative way of examining key community topics through the instruments of theatre. The new system will combine the practice of the Forum Theatre with that of the Theatre of the Senses. Forum Theatre is a method of encouraging public debate over meaningful issues for a particular

target group, while Theatre of the Senses is an interactive artistic process resulting in a site specific performance. Under this format, spectators, one by one, pass through a theatrical installation – a peculiar journey, loaded with sensory experiences of hearing, touching, smelling, seeing and tasting. Over the period 2015-2018, thirteen unique performances will be staged following the specially created method. The creative process involves a special training programme in the methods of Forum Theatre and Theatre of the Senses. Local actors and cultural operators as well as representatives of cultural institutions and citizens will join the programme. The project’s final event will take place in Varna in 2019, when a large-scale performance will be organised with the participation of both international organisations and all the people enrolled in the training programmes over the years. Again, the process will start by discussing key issues of the city, only this time similarities will be sought with the problems of other European cities. This innovative technology could develop into a valuable instrument for enhancing communication between local authorities and citizens. when 2015–2019 where over the years 2015-2018, performances will be held in the open-air spaces or in the cultural venues in the municipalities of aksakovo,byala, balchik, kavarna, shabla, durankulak, dobrich, general toshevo, suvorovo, devnya, provadiya, dalgopol, veliki preslav. the final performance in 2019 will be presented in varna sea garden managed by kambana art studio (sofia, bulgaria) chudno organisation (sofia, bulgaria)




partners teatro de los sentidos (barcelona, spain); smart for change association (bucharest, romania); compass youth association (gaziantep, turkey); escola de segunda oportunidade (porto, portugal); bida e. v. kultur und bildung (suhl, germany); hibrid (ljubljana, slovenia) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 300, 000

DEEP WATERS Deep Waters is a series of site-specific urban games exploring the relationship between surroundings (analogue and digital), personality and the ability to work on challenges from very personal ones to urban and even global ones. It’s a teenage game that stimulates attention, reflection and action. It addresses teenage behaviour characterised by short attention span, tendency to have shorter, digital and if possible self-erasing conversations, and a lack of experience in taking adequate actions. To be in deep water in English means to be in trouble, to be in a vulnerable or even dangerous situation. How do we get into such situations, what happens inside and how do we get out? For individuals and for the community Deep Waters is a transmedia project that steps into these questions and aims at equipping the protagonist with both empathy and the creative confidence to solve the problem at stake. Deep Waters will work in three directions: - A series of urban games that tackle the topic of ATTENTION - interest, attention deficit and empathy. - A series of urban games that tackle the topic of REFLECTION - self-reflection, contemplation and conversation. - A series of urban games that tackle

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the topic of ACTION - experience, experimentation and innovation. The collective of the best artists, transmedia storytellers and urban game studios will remix digital and analogue, technology and art, fiction and facts in order to create games’ spaces and scenarios that are engaging. The idea is not to create games that one can escape to, but to create playful systems that remix the connections between people, the environments they inhabit, and the technology they use. when 2018–2019 where varna managed by varna 2019 foundation partners varna youth festival association (varna, bulgaria); institut français de bulgarie (sofia, bulgaria); on!fest (sofia, bulgaria); architempo, (brussels, belgium); invisible playground, (berlin, germany); play:vienna, (vienna, austria); blast theory, (manchester, the united kingdom) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 200, 000

ADVENTURES IN PLATTENBAU Built extensively in the 60s in the Eastern Bloc as a quick and relatively inexpensive way to curb housing shortage, these buildings were the symbol of “new development”, of “equality” and “community building”. And indeed, there was a sense of living as one big community, only it was pursued by a feeling of being spied on. Dialogue was part of the daily grind, only you had to be very careful about what you said, as you didn’t know who was listening. We think times have changed since those days, but in fact inhabitants still don’t know who is who in Plattenbau

buildings and they still feel unsafe, only the reason is different - nowadays these are places where there is no dialogue at all. Adventures in Plattenbau is a project that aims to re-build the dialogue and the trust among citizens of Plattenbau buildings through participatory design. Most projects aim at beautifying the facades of buildings, but Adventures in Plattenbau is a project about the people inside the facades. It’s about empowering the community to take the lead in transforming Plattenbau neighbourhoods. The transformation starts with establishing a connection and building dialogue between artists, designers, architects and the inhabitants. The aim is to create working spaces for DIY design – something like Living Labs or virtual platforms, where artists and inhabitants can develop concepts in a participatory process. Working spaces where inhabitants can imagine and visualise the future of common spaces in the Plattenbau buildings - roofs, in-between floor and yard spaces, parking-spaces, etc. How might these look like? Might they change function? Might they become places for discussions, for play, for community projects, for artistic expression? when 2018–2019 where varna, berlin and paris managed by varna 2019 foundation partners sidea cultural development foundation (varna, bulgaria); berlin university of the arts, (berlin, germany); urban fabric organisation (paris, france); université de toulouse-le mirail (toulouse, france); ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de toulouse, (toulouse, france); scott burnham studio (amsterdam, the netherlands) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 200, 000

7X7 The project consists of a multidisciplinary research platform which will include seven work groups, each consisting of seven people. Each group will include new media artists, people involved in contemporary music and contemporary dance and performance, as well as experts in the IT and creative technology sectors . The project will develop in three stages. The first one will start at the end of 2016 with selecting artists and researchers through an open invitation. Over the period 20172018, the real research process begins with organising a series of laboratories, experiments and rehearsals within the framework of the work groups. The project’s final stage is planned for 2019, when during the month of Intersector Dialogue Create a Future Together the results of the joint efforts of the interdisciplinary teams will be presented as performances, exhibitions, concerts, presentations, etc. when 2017–2019 where varna, london, neuchâtel, barcelona, berlin, san paolo, moscow managed by center for innovation and development (varna, bulgaria) partners furtherfield (london, the united kingdom); nonlinear dynamics of complex systems - research group at the bulgarian academy of sciences (sofia, bulgaria); software university (sofia, bulgaria); centre for information technologies renato archer at university of sao paulo (brazil); autonomous university of barcelona (spain); l’université de neuchâtel (switzerland) required funding Varna 2019 Foundation € 80, 000




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Stalker, directed by Andrey Tarkovski.

The basic idea of the project is to attract new audiences to sites of culture and history. The intention is to train young specialists who will be able to create innovative concepts for presenting these sites through 3D mapping and moving images. In 2016 the project will start with training specialists and in 2017 begins the production and creation itself of visual projects for specially selected cultural and historical sites in Varna and the region. The culmination of the project will be in 2019 with a spectacular light performance.

Varna 2019 will mark this anniversary with two special parallel events – a series of film evenings in the open air and a big theme exhibition. The selection of Bulgarian and foreign science-fiction films will have a direct connection with the titles in the book series, which in itself was revolutionary at the time it was published and for the way it managed to bypass censorship.

when 2016–2019 where in different cultural venues and historical sites - large and small roman thermae, aladza monastery, various facades of monumental buildings of cultural heritage

Meet Galaxy aims to present works of film and visual art, which go along the axis of utopian - anti-utopian social models. As part of the project two round tables on the topic FILM0topia and VIDEOtopia will also be organised. when august 2019

managed by regional historical museum – varna

where varna beach; boris georgiev city art gallery (varna, bulgaria)

partners skorpil association (varna, bulgaria); institut français de bulgarie (sofia, bulgaria); palais des beaux arts (lille, france); fête des lumières, (lyon, france); museum of apollonia and ardenica monastery (fier, albania)

managed by varna 2019 foundation

required funding varna 2019 foundation € 350, 000

partners tsanko vasilev, artistic director, in the palace international film festival (bulgaria); dr. uwe schmelter, interfilm – berlin (germany); nick todorov, b2b ltd (varna, bulgaria) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 30, 000

MEET GALAXY The publishing series Galaxy Library, which presents science fiction to Bulgarian readers, started in 1979 and was initiated by Milan Asadourov – a translator and publisher from Varna. For the first time readers could find translated and published works from US writers such as Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg, Raymond Chandler and others. 2019 will mark the 40th anniversary of the series itself and the film premiere of one of the best examples in this genre – the movie

THE BLUEST MAGIC The Bluest Magic will gather young people aged 15 - 18 from different countries in order to work on a joint artistic project - the musical The Bluest Magic based on texts by the Bulgarian poetess Petya Dubarova. The project starts in 2015 with a meeting of teachers from secondary schools in Liverpool, Aarhus, Valletta and Varna at

which the teaching methodology and the chemistry of the team will be discussed. During the period 2016 – 2018, three summer camps will be held in turn at, (Liverpool, Aarhus and Valletta) at which individual acts of the musical will be rehearsed. Also, in the course of the school year itself, the instructors from the various countries will rotate, training the students for a week. The last summer camp will be held in Varna in 2019 and will end with a première of the musical in the Open-air Theatre. The long-term goal of the project is the development of a network among secondary schools from towns of former, present and future ECoCs. The idea is to achieve both an exchange of good practices and experience among teachers, and to provide young people of different cultures with the chance to meet in joint artistic projects. The Managers of NAS Dobri Hristov - Varna will be the first to chair the newly-created network. when 2015-2019 where venues for rehearsals: the secondary schools in varna and the other ecocs cities; final presentation of the project: open-air theatre – varna managed by varna 2019 foundation partners the national school of arts dobri hristov - varna (varna, bulgaria); the national humanitas and arts konstantin preslavski (varna, bulgaria); university junior college (valleta, malta); potential partners: liverpool college of art (liverpool, the united kingdom); marselisborg gymnasium (aaurhus, denmark) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 70, 000

YOUNG ENVIRONMENTALIST This is a project that aims, through the approaches of informal education, to build the right habits, to provoke motivation and raise children’s and young people’s awareness of issues of sustainability, environmental protection and climate change. The project will also encourage experimenting and creative thinking about environmental topics. The project Young Environmentalist will be developed over a 3-year period, the aim of the time-frame being to encompass as large a number of schools and educational institutions as possible. Every year the project will carry out a 4-month campaign to include school children from Varna’s primary schools. The project envisages creating an interactive online platform with a map of the schools involved, the results each school has achieved and updated information about project activities (competitions, workshops, videos, etc.) The platform will enable online access to useful information, as well as easy, practical daily activities to protect the environment, all these divided into the following themes: rubbish and waste, energy, water, soil, air, transport, buying green, etc. The project has the potential to be replicated in other cities and thus put forward the city of Varna as an initiator of sustainable development for Bulgaria. when 2017–2019 where primary schools in varna and the municipality of varna managed by cleantech bulgaria




partners green academy (sofia, bulgaria); wild locust association (sofia, bulgaria); bio games (sofia, bulgaria); skipso (london, the united kingdom) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 40, 000

FUTURE CULTURE (INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FOR CULTURAL MANAGEMENT) This project is one of the long-term initiatives to start in Varna within the project ECoC. After a series of discussions involving academia, artists and cultural operators, steps have been taken to attract the attention of international cultural institutions. Their expertise is of utmost importance for the creation of a strong programme if it is to correspond with the local needs of Varna and the Black Sea region. University of Economics – Varna is the initiator and organiser of the Summer School. The school’s programme will be developed in 2015. The likely modules include: Cultural Management, Cultural Policies, Festival Management, Critical Theory and Green Cultural Events Management. The Summer School for Cultural Management will start from August 2016,, with activities taking place over 10 days. We expect students of arts and economics to have the opportunity to develop and test new models of producing and promoting art. Part of the programme includes research into achieving a good return on investment made in culture. The project activities are to end with public presentations and publishing the project’s findings in a virtual archive. Parallel to the organisation of the Summer School for Cultural Management, we plan to open, in 2019, a new Master’s programme in

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Cultural Management at the University of Economics in Varna. Professional artists, cultural managers and cultural policy-makers, students of cultural management and humanities, students from partners universities of economics (Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Russia), The St. Petersburg State University of Economics (Russia), Odessa National Economic University (Ukraine), Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics (Ukraine) will be invited to participate. when from 2015, every year, between august 1-10 where campus of the university of economics - varna, situated near varna lake managed by university of economics – varna partners intercultura consult (sofia, bulgaria); festival academy at european festival association (brussels, belgium); trans europe halls (lund, sweden); julie` s bicycle (london, the united kingdom) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 200, 000

YOUNG CULTURAL INNOVATORS HUB The Salzburg Global Seminar is launching a ten-year programme for young cultural innovators from around the world in 2014, with a view to strengthening the cultural sector worldwide and to expanding the possibilities for innovation and change through the power and creativity of the arts. The YCI Forum will be structured around ten “culture hubs” in six regions around the world - one of them in Varna, representing the wider Black Sea region. Each year, five

young cultural innovators from each of the culture hubs will be selected to join the programme in Salzburg through a competitive application and nomination process. The YCI Forum is designed to engage young change-makers representing a broad spectrum of cultural expression and artistic endeavour – including visual arts, performing arts, literature, cultural heritage, foods, fashion, architecture, and design. Over the course of the ten years, a critical mass of fifty Fellows will be created in each of the hubs, which will act as a resource for other young cultural innovators at the local level. The YCI Fellows can, for example, offer peer mentoring, mini-workshops, or larger public events to multiply the impact of the networking and learning that grows out of the session in Salzburg. The Hubs will serve as a means of linking cultural institutions and independent operators and of bridging gaps by encouraging a functioning fluidity throughout the sector. Over the course of the next decade, the development of the YCI Forum will be central to Salzburg Global’s Imagination Cluster programme. In collaboration with established cultural practitioners, innovators, and supporters, and reflecting the priorities and participation of emerging leaders, SGS will produce a vibrant and impactful program. when 2014-2024 where varna (and 10 other cultural hubs worldwide) managed by varna 2019 foundation partners salzburg global seminar required funding varna 2019 foundation € 180, 000

CURIOUS RED CUBES IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?! Curious Red Cubes is a series of pop-up galleries in Varna. This is not another creative approach to “import” art to remote places, “Curious Red Cubes in Our Neighbourhood?!” is a co-creative approach to producing common space for art and the neighbourhood. A neighbourhood is an urban space that produces the identity for its inhabitants while it is constantly redefined by them. Therefore the galleries will not be places to show, but places to encounter neighbours, artists and their work. On the outside, the galleries are curious red structures that provoke you to enter. On the inside, they are secure spaces where you can talk about the work with the artist and with other persons - they let you engage in discussing art in a nonthreatening surroundings. The project runs over three years and it has two phases. In the first phase a team of urbanists, anthropologists and artists will research and select five neighbourhoods. Various techniques such as discussion forums and participatory workshops will be used to extract information. The aim of this phase is to catch the low noise signals that each neighbourhood is emitting i.e. to understand attitudes and issues related to arts, urban society and public space, and the specificities of the neighbourhood as a social cell. The research will be followed by community-building work with the inhabitants. Workshops and activities which examine important neighbourhood topics like local ecology and economy will be carried out. Exhibition designers, curators and architects will work together to design light, temporary structures that are suitable for hosting both contemporary artworks and new formats of socio-artistic activities. The focus of the second phase is the actual programming. In this phase the pop-up




galleries will be installed and will start to function as incubators for creating common space for art and the neighbourhood. when 2017–2019 where five neighbourhoods managed by graffit gallery (varna, bulgaria) partners e-arch studio (varna, bulgaria); ignatov architects (varna, bulgaria); idea organisation (varna, bulgaria); create association (varna, bulgaria); imanuel schipper, zurich university of the arts (zurich, switzerland); raumlabor design and architectue collective (berlin, germany); oberliht moldova young artists association (chisinau, moldova)

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The project uses inspiring places of art where future mothers and dads and those with newborn babies can spend some inspiring time together. Many of these parents feel the need to participate in the life of their city and invest in themselves. However, their almost complete dedication to their children creates a feeling of guilt, isolation and the need to keep up with others. The learning experience created through Suggestopedia will help them achieve a positive state of mind, including through connecting the art exhibited in museums and galleries with the dynamics of the learning process.

Art of Parenthood provides the parents with alternative activities - discussing a new artwork; helping to curate the next museum exhibition; listening to a symphonic orchestra in a private gallery; ART OF PARENTHOOD going to dancing lessons with their children; The period before birth and the first months participating in personal development and creativity seminars, and so on. after it are crucial for child development. Babies grow up healthy if their parents are when calm, responsive to each other and have 2017–2019 an optimistic outlook on the world that where surrounds them. museums, private galleries, state gallery, art, dance and ballet required funding varna 2019 foundation € 210, 000

There are many ways to achieve harmonious interpersonal relationships together with personal development. We propose a scientific method called Suggestopedia, created by the Bulgarian psychotherapist Prof. Dr. Georgi Lozanov. The method was recognised as a superior way of learning by UNESCO in 1978. We want to improve the emotional status of parents and parents-to be and help them emotionally through the delicate postnatal period by inviting them to attend Suggestopedia language courses in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian.

centres, music clubs, the regional library, art ateliers etc. managed by materika foundation

partners the professor dr georgi lozanov and professor dr evelina gateva foundation; potential partners: organizations working with suggestopedia in the united kingdom, spain, czech republic and turkey required funding varna 2019 foundation € 195, 000



This project is one of the long-term initiatives in our programme. In Varna lake a children’s sea centre will be specially constructed – a focal point for science, technology and art. From a young age, between seven and fourteen, children will have the opportunity to get familiar with sea culture. This will be the first centre of such a type in Bulgaria. Children will be able to navigate a ship in simulated conditions, will learn to tie sea knots and will carry out tests in a mini laboratory like real chemists and biologists. In addition to the interactive items, the children will get familiar with important topics about marine ecology; artists and young teachers will present information both about the endangered species and the consequences of pollution in a child-friendly way. The children’s sea centre will function also as an information base for all sea sports clubs in the city.

As a link between the Varna`s European Youth Capital and Varna`s European Cultural Capital bids, we will propose the establishment of a European Youth Centre in the city which will focus on international partnership in the context of Eastern Partnership and Black Sea partnership. The centre will have the local role as an innovation-education-creative-civic hub for young people and the role of mediator between Western/EU policies, Black Sea youth policies and Eastern youth policies. The centre aims to provide: a non-formal learning environment; multiplication of social impact - to support young people to become actors of social change and not only for their individual advancement and development; influence on youth policy by means of cooperation between stake holders, authorities and young people, knowledge development and educational innovation; exchange and learning across national boundaries.

when preparatory stage – 2016 opening ceremony – 2017 where floating facilities managed by sea friends club partners the institute of oceanology fridtjov nansen (varna, bulgaria); nikola yonkov vaptsarov naval academy (varna, bulgaria); naval museum (varna, bulgaria); technical university of varna (bulgaria); тhe public environmental center for sustainable development (varna, bulgaria); black sea - breeze sports club

when from 2015 where the varna youth centre will be in a central spot in varna in a building which is currently in process of construction. the centre will offer three medium-sized seminar rooms – 50 person capacity; one large space for conference or debates – 120 person capacity; at least 10 space (ateliers) workshops corners for shared working spaces; at least five separate working spaces for the people working in the centre. managed by varna 2019 foundation in cooperation with youth capital team, municipality and local youth operators

potential partner: museos de cantabria (santander, spain)

partners national youth forum (bulgaria); network of european youth capitals; students & youth development centre (tbilisi, georgia); youth club for intercultural dialogue, democracy and peace (yerevan, armenia); e-genclik association (turkey)

required funding varna 2019 foundation

required funding varna 2019 foundation

€ 100, 000

€ 100, 000

(varna, bulgaria); national institute for marine research and development grigore antipa (constanta, romania); teach for bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria), roca bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria)










The project is provoked by the desire of librarians to play an active part in connecting with the audience in cities and small towns, instead of waiting for people to come in. We aim at enriching the reading experience of the citizens by providing access to paper and digital books in unexpected places. Reading in an urban environment can take many forms grabbing a book in a nearby park, at a bus stop or in a specially designed mobile library bus - we call it Biblioterra and it is a natural continuation of the travelling bookshops Matei Preobrajenski in Varna in the 1980`s.

Walk for a cause is becoming a popular trend in social activism and more and more people are walking huge numbers of miles to support their cause. Walk4Pride aims to bring attention to LGBT intolerance and to show the creative energy in LGBT society. A walk4pride will be organised from Varna to Italy through the Balkan countries, known for their intolerance in LGBT issues. The Walk4pride will be open to 30 people photographers, artists etc. They will have about 4 months to walk from Varna to the Italian cultural capital for 2019. On the way they will be visiting local LGBT organisations and taking part in discussions on the theme of Tolerance. When reaching Italy they will organise an exhibition and open a discussion on the experience. They will return to Varna and have the same event- discussion and exhibition.

This project will bring together representatives of different religions for the period of one week in the grounds of Aladzha Monastery, near Varna. The concept is, to involve people from various religious backgrounds and denominations, in sharing their experience, lifestyle, spiritual life and attitudes, and thereby to work towards building an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding towards the differences (and the extremism originating from that in different hotspots around the globe). Secondly the aim is to provide better understanding and reflection of contemporary social phenomena through individual local perspectives. During the annual meetings, (with a different focus for each gathering), and by attracting young people, spiritual leaders, practitioners, and experts we will create a healthy environment for interreligious dialogue. This will contribute towards integration of religious communities into the civic life and, in turn, will work for their empowerment by encouraging their better involvement in social processes and sensitive issues of the day.

Black Baltic is a continued development of the successful SEAS platform, realized 2004-2010. Creative co-production approaches were tested during SEAS, which worked with Varna in 2008-2009 and also visited Odessa, Istanbul, Helsinki, Gdansk, Stockholm and other cities around the Baltic and Black Seas. The focus is on sharing experiences between harbour cities around the Baltic Sea and Varna, a bridge to the Black Sea, through artistic co-creations. It brings together artists and researchers (estimated 80 people) from different countries into concrete aristic interventions, cross-cultural as port cities have always been. The new urban spaces created in harbours are essential environments for urban research and development. Culture//Nature (City/Sea). Mobilities and Residencies.

The bus will serve as a main provider of books and culture in general to isolated neighbourhoods or small towns near Varna. It will carry a small library, audio-visual materials and a screen to watch short movies, together with a Wi-Fi hotspot. The bus will host exhibitions, workshops and educational courses in partnership with other projects from the Varna 2019 Artistic Programme. This library on wheels will be an art work in its own right - surely, everyone in the neighbourhood will follow its journey and wait for its appearance! when

2016–2019 where

varna and the thirteen satellites cities managed by

pencho slaveikov regional library, varna

This project is aimed not only at LGBT people, but also to the media, the general public, people with prejudices towards LGBT people, young artists, cultural operators in the fields of visual arts and photography. when preparation phase 2018; realisation 2019 where bulgaria, serbia, bosnia and herzegovina, croatia, slovenia, italy managed by varna 2019 foundation

bibliotek (roskilde, denmark); vantaa library (vantaa, finland)

partners lgbt plovdiv (bulgaria); no hate speech bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria); subversive front-association for critical approach to gender and sexuality (skopje, macedonia); act for society centre, tirana (tirana, albania); meout association for peace and development (budapest, hungary); volunteers centre skopje (skopje, macedonia); giosef unito-lgbt (torino, italy)

required funding varna 2019 foundation

required funding varna 2019 foundation

€ 70, 000

€ 25, 000


community centres in varna and the region; enthusiast

publishing house (sofia, bulgaria); american library association (bulgaria); global libraries association (bulgaria); roskilde

when 2019 where aladza monastery (varna, bulgaria) managed by varna 2019 foundation in collaboration with varna 2017 youth capital foundation partners change nepalese mission (chitwan, nepal); ajmec, youth organization (hamamed, tunisia); genç yaşamın sesleri derneği (voices of young life asosiation) (kastamonu, turkey); la vibria association (terrassa, spain); association culturelle orthodoxe bulgare st pierre et st paul (lille, france); bulgarian orthodox eparchy of western and central europe (berlin, germany); mission locale wattrelos leers (wattrelos, france) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 25, 000

Black Baltic occurs in three main phases - 1) open calls for artistic research in each country involved in the project (2016), 2) research trips both on the Sailing Ship Kaliakra (Barquentine Class A) to cities around the Black Sea and through innovative residencies in cities around the Baltic Sea (May-June 2017-2018). 3) presentation of new artistic works in Varna when our city becomes Performing Arts Arena in 2019. A series of debates and workshops focused on key issues for the performing arts in both Black and Baltic countries is also planned. Many of the works, involving both Bulgarian and other European artists, will be presented in Host cities around the Baltic Sea. when 2016–2019 where the final presentation of new artistic works will be in public spaces especially in new urban re-invention areas, in and around the port. both in varna and other black//baltic cities.





managed by chris torch, artistic director of the project, in collaboration with the artistic director of the varna 2019 foundation partners theatre and music production centre - varna; international theatre festival varna summer foundation (sofia, bulgaria); intercult (stockholm, sweden) possible european partners: river / cities platform (european network); partners from black sea region (romania, ukraine, russia, georgia, and turkey) and from baltic sea region (finland, estonia, poland, germany, latvia, lithuania, and denmark) will be selected by the artistic directors of the project. required funding varna 2019 foundation € 1, 000, 000

VIA HERE VIA HERE is a localised, international art and ecology project that explores the connections between the birds, people and places that make up the Via Pontica Flight Path. Via Pontica is a flight path that includes Russia, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria and is travelled by millions of migratory birds each year. VIA HERE brings together bird enthusiasts – both citizen birdwatchers and professional ornithologists – with artists, dancers and philosophers from Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Australia. VIA HERE will also develop an international discussion of the philosophical ideas and approaches around ecology and art. Young philosophers from each location will join the process to develop texts that reflect on and expand the ideas being explored. Over the course of the project these texts will be collated into a research blog and then into a printed publication to accompany the final presentation in 2019. VIA HERE will culminate in a series of dance and sound performances that occur simultaneously across multiple rooftops

in the city and combine pre-recorded and live-edited sound. The pre-recorded sound will consist of field recordings of migratory birds from the region. The live sound will be collected using long-range microphones that highlight the sound of the movements of the surrounding city, of the performers and of the audience. On one rooftop performers gently, and without words, guide the standing audience to move as a group (emulating a flock of birds) in response to stimulus. Encircled by large audio speakers and microphones they are enveloped by the layers of sound that they are creating. From a nearby rooftop a second audience, also surrounded by speakers and microphones, watches this performance through binoculars. Gradually, as the performance on the first rooftop comes to a pause, the second audience becomes the performers for the first audience to observe. when 2015–2019 where western side of the black sea coast managed by artistic team: elizabeth dunn, director lara thoms, dramaturge; lawrence english, sound artist; shian law, choreographer; producer: aphids (melbourne, australia) partners bulgarian society for the protection of birds (sofia, bulgaria); potential partners: eastern european performing arts platform (warszawa, poland); international network for contemporary performing arts (brussels, belgium) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 50, 000

EUPHOBIA EUphobia is an international, multidisciplinary platform for contemporary dance and performance. It includes a series of workshops, academic discussions and laboratories with artists, theoreticians and organisations in the field of contemporary dance, performance, theory of alternative theatrical forms, anthropology, and other scientific fields. EUphobia plans to examine, using the tools of dance and performance, the negative attitudes to European rules, norms and lifestyle, as well as negativism as a specific cultural phenomenon in the countries in the Black Sea region. The first stage of the project is an open invitation for applications, aimed at artists, theoreticians and organizations from Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, together with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, which have no access to the Black Sea, but are part of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation area. Within the next stage a series of practical and theoretical laboratories will be developed and implemented, as well as a series of performances in the field of contemporary dance and performance, based on the results of the laboratories. Presentation of the completed production will take place in 2019 under the titleVertigo - Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance. when research period february: 2016 - october 2019 presentation: november 2019 where the locations for presenting the productions will be arranged according to the specific needs of each team. managed by kinesthetic project (varna, bulgaria)

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partners artists: galina borisova, willy prager, miroslav yordanov, hristian bakalov; the remaining bulgarian participants, as well as the international ones will be appointed after the first stage of the project ends (application invitation) in 2016. companies: brain store project (sofia, bulgaria); nomad dance academy (sofia, bulgaria); graffit gallery (varna, bulgaria); vertigo festival (varna, bulgaria); more partnerships will be defined during the first stage of the project in 2016. required funding varna 2019 foundation € 150, 000

SEA-NEMA The project aims to include in the Varna programme of the prestigious Film Festivals (for feature films, for short films and for animation) a special module – Sea-nema. This module will present films from the countries around the Black Sea. The project also plans to give an opportunity to independent film production companies to obtain small grants for shooting documentaries or for creating animation series linked with the Black Sea region (its history, culture and current developments). In 2019, the Varna Festival teams, as well as those of the project producer companies will combine in order to create a united cinema educational platform. Participation will be open to both young people, for whom cinema is a completely unknown territory and old people who are devoted cinema fans (the age range will vary between 14 and 90). We will be able to view their attempts at film-making in a 24-hour marathon on the International day of the Black Sea – 31 October 2019. when film festivals: 2015 - 2018, every may, june, september, and october; final event: 31 october 2019 where festival and congress centre – varna managed by varna 2019 foundation






partners in the palace international short film festival (balchik, bulgaria); love is folly international film fest (varna, bulgaria); golden rose bulgarian feature film festival (varna, bulgaria); world festival of animated film - varna (varna, bulgaria); artin vision ltd (varna, bulgaria); activist 38 ltd (sofia, bulgaria); st. petersburg film makers’ union (russia); national bucharest film academy (romania); lviv international short film festival (ukraine); georgian national film centre (georgia); film hafizasi festival, istanbul (turkey) required funding Varna 2019 Foundation € 200, 000

EVERYONE-A-PHOTO Тhe event Everyone-A-Photo will gather the best from all that`s on offer in the local scene together with new encounters and interaction points in the Black Sea region and in the Danube. It will also serve as a platform for connecting photography with other visual, dance, performance and music art forms, as well as reaching out to people who normally are not part of the typical photo exhibition crowd. Photography is a reflection of people`s lives, their cultural identity and diversity in a given region: it illustrates their habits, their source of inspiration and creativity. The program includes three main types of events: - Visual events - exhibitions, contests, screenings in traditional and nonconventional urban environments - Information events - meetings and discussions with famous photographers, seminars and forums for networking and exchange, presentations of photographic products - Practical events - photo schools for children and adults, family photo weekends, “plein airs“, open air photo studios and public competitions. In addition, the event Everyone-A-Photo, will present a new software product for covering all cultural events in the city

through photographs taken by citizens and guests alike, which is then shared on a platform placed in different parts of Varna. The platform will also travel to partner cities in the Black Sea region and the Danube. when autumn 2019 where varna, with additional events in the satellite cities close to varna managed by international photographic salon – varna partners tbilisi photo festival, (tbilisi, georgia); photo romania festival, (cluj-napoca, romania); bursaphotofest, (bursa, turkey); ukrainian association of professional photographers (kharkov, ukraine); internationale photoszene köln, (colone, germany); monat der fotografie, berlin (berlin, germany); f/ stop photography festival, (leipzig, germany); mesiac fotografie bratislava (bratislava, slovakia); hungarian month of photography, (budapest, hungaria); viennaphotobookfestival, (vienna, austria) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 150, 000

RESORT ARCHITECTURE Architecture is the ultimate physical embodiment of an epoch’s ideology. Ambiguously, the resort architecture of the 70s and 80s in Varna was meant to meet double standards. On the one hand it had to stand for communism in the constant competition between East and West, and at the same time - had a clear function - to turn the seaside city into a “shop window” for the country, borrowing capitalist strategies in luring tourists, and providing style, comfort and luxury. In contrast to architecture, art had to stick to the “method” of socialist realism, which put it outside any context and dialogue with what was happening elsewhere in the world.

Today, this makes about half a century of the artistic legacy of East Europe legible only in terms of visual culture, but completely uninteresting from the perspective of art history. The project will explore the place of resort architecture in and around Varna within a broader European perspective, addressing architectural form and social function. The main question the project puts forward is how did the architectural intentions work out in the phenomenological reality in which they were embedded and were meant to influence and how they function today. Тhe proposed study goes beyond documentary research, theory and observation. It is also a study of how these buildings existed and exist now as living organisms, testing how they are dwelt in by means of dance and theatre, exploring their acoustics by means of sound art, and discovering what memories and experiences they evoke through psychogeographic walks. Interventions and artistic interpretation will be presented in an exhibition and a series of events. when 2018 – 2019 where varna and the region managed by chernorizets hrabar faculty of architecture at varna free university partners national school of architecture (ensa) of toulouse (france); maltepe university – istanbul (turkey); ion mincu university of architecture and urbanism – bucharest (romania); spiru haret university – bucharest (hungary); second university of naples (italy); università iuav di venezia (italy) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 40, 000

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MASTERS OF THE WIND The project Masters of the Wind is focused on helping people experience a different outdoor activity and combine it with a worthwhile cause related to our winged companions - the birds, especially those that are endangered in one form or another. Schoolchildren will be actively involved in teams to prepare kites with bird-like shapes and prints, assisted by the Bulgarian Association for the Protection of Birds. Teams of family members can also participate in various competitions. All specimens can then be exhibited in a small kite museum, also containing information about the bird species illustrated on them. In turn, working with the kites and building them will stimulate early childhood development in geography, physics, mathematics and natural sciences. Kites with the flags of all EU Members States and the countries from the Black Sea region could also be constructed. Campaigns for cleaning the shorelines before and after the event will also be held. The project will also touch upon a number of activities, related to the power of the sky and the sea - wind power and sound sculptures, wind sound show, fireworks, light shows with lanterns covered by stickers with bird shapes, extreme water sports events etc. Exhibitions are planned from some of the world’s kite museums in mainland Europe, China, Japan, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and the US. when 2016–2019 where varna beach managed by varna 2019 foundation partners municipal children’s complex (varna, bulgaria); bulgarian society for the protection of birds (sofia, bulgaria); surfrider foundation europe (france)




required funding varna 2019 foundation € 70, 000

BLACK SEA UNDERWATER In 2014 Varna will host Bulgaria’s first International Underwater Photography Salon. We are planning, in the Month of the Italian city ECoC 2019, that the team of the International Underwater Photography Salon should organise a themed exhibition of work by Bulgarian and Italian underwater photographers. Photographs will be purpose-taken during a two-week camp on the North Black Sea coast. 20 actors from Varna and from the Italian city nominated will be selected to feature in the underwater photoshoots. when 2019, during the month of the italian city ecoc 2019 where tulenovo, chernomorec, kamen bryag, rusalka; exhibition in the italian ecoc city; open-air exhibition in 2019 at the entrance to the sea garden, varna managed by studio protey (varna, bulgaria) partners bulgarian national association of underwater activities (varna, bulgaria); professional association of diving instructors (padi) (the united kingdom); theatre and music production centre – varna required funding varna 2019 foundation € 15, 000



LET`S JULY MORNING July morning is the name of one of the most famous songs by Uriah Heep. In Bulgarian though, it also has another meaning- it brings to mind the scent of sea, beach, sun and hope. In the late 80s, in times of communist rules and values, an interesting trend took place on the beaches of Bulgaria. The tradition originates from the hippie movement and gathers people from all over the country on the last day of June to meet the 1st of July sunrise at the seaside. In 2019 we plan a series of events aimed at embracing this great free-spirit tradition, which is not familiar in the other European countries. We will greet the July morning with famous rock bands on the beaches at Varna, Kamen Bryag and Balchik. The opening artists will be well-known, but there will also be a competition for the best cover version of Uriah Heep’s July morning for young bands. During the 1st July, Varna’s citizens and guests will be able to participate in two specially designed theatrical events put on by the Bulgarian Studio for Documentary Theatre, Vox Populi and the German multidisciplinary team, LIGNA. The programme for the projects will be based on true personal stories of people, who were part of the July mornings in bygone years. In the meantime near the Port of Varna, photographer Simon Varsano will curate an exhibition with portraits of people from previous July mornings – different generations and different stories. There will be a bilingual catalogue of the supporting events. when 1 july 2019 where varna, asparuhovo, kamen bryag

managed by varna 2019 foundation, municipality of kavarna and municipality of balchik partners simon varsano (sofia, bulgaria); slavena printing house (varna, bulgaria); vox populi documentary studio (sofia, bulgaria); kavarna rock festival (kavarna, bulgaria); ligna (germany) required funding varna 2019 foundation

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partners center for eu enlargement studies at central european university (budapest, hungary); department of history and theory of culture at sofia university (sofia, bulgaria); the atlantic club of bulgaria (sofia, bulgaria); union of bulgarian black sea local authorities (varna, bulgaria) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 150, 000

€ 50, 000

TEDXBLACKSEA THE BOARDERS OF EUROPE (INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE) The project The Boarders of Europe is an international conference, which explores the following topics: peace and tolerance in the Black Sea region. Different proposals will be discussed about possible approaches and strategies in overcoming the tension caused by the clash of geopolitical interests, ideologies and systems of governance within the Black Sea region. The aim of the conference is to promote a sense of positive understanding of the region’s importance as a place of stability and a crucial place in the future development of the EU. The conference will be preceded by a one-year programme of research activities provided by working groups from the partner organisations. We plan to present the results of this research within the month of cross-sectoral dialogue Creating the Future Together. EU, Black Sea and national policy makers, artists, cultural operators, representatives of NGOs and networks and private stakeholders from Europe will participate. when 2018-2019 where varna managed by black sea ngo network (varna, bulgaria)

TEDxBlackSea is the logical successor to the TEDxBG event and movement. With this project we want Varna to become a welcoming space for sharing ideas from inside Bulgaria’s borders to finding common ground with our neighbouring countries. Our topics will remain those that influence development and the future, such as science, technology, social issues, education, design and art. This is key as it will show audiences that while there may be tensions between our countries, we as people are not that different. Thus, TEDxBlackSea will be inspirational and educational, like any good TEDx event, but will also play a geopolitical role for the Black Sea region, helping cultural and innovation exchange on a human level. The live audience in Varna may reach 1500 people. We will organize live simulcasts in all major Bulgarian cities. Foreign audience from the neighbouring countries (Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine) - about 700 people per country. Online audience - all talks are published in the global TEDx Talks YouTube Channel which delivers the global impact and distribution of the idea. It is realistic to expect as many as 1 million views for the best talks in the event.






The conference day will be preceded by a day full of art exhibits, co-creative performances, social causes and other innovative formats of audience engagement. when 2016-2019 where the palace of culture and sports – varna managed by kosher foundation, organisers of tedxbg for the past five years partners tedxblacksea will be a joint effort with the organisers of tedxbucharest, tedxistanbul, tedxthessaloniki, tedxmoscow, tedxkyiv, as well as active members of the georgian ngo sector. required funding varna 2019 foundation € 75, 000

INTERCULTURA HOTEL In the international media, Bulgaria has often been associated with the image of immigrants flooding Europe, threatening the social security systems and job markets of other countries. In recent years, and especially with the ongoing civil war in Syria, however, Bulgaria has given refuge to more than 9,000 people seeking security and a peaceful life. Dubbed at home as the “refugee crisis”, the challenge of providing accommodation and integrating refugees into the social fabric of the country has been met with ambiguity by the general public. The approach of concentrating the initial accommodation of refugees in a handful of cities has proved to raise problems in view of long-term integration. As a result of the recent events in Ukraine, the number of Russians and Ukrainians settling in Varna has grown in the last months. And in Ukraine there is a significant number of Bulgarian

communities as well, for whom the choice to move to their “homeland,” which many of them have never even visited, would be a logical option. With hospitality businesses being central to the city’s economy, this project is a social enterprise, developed and run by refugees who in their “previous lives” were artists, interior designers, furniture restorers, chefs, hotel managers, waiters. On their arrival in Bulgaria, many of them have started low paid jobs for which their talent and experience has turned out to be obsolete and their creativity is unnecessary. The InterCultura Hotel is turning an unused building in the heart of the city into an art hotel, refurbished and designed by refugees with each room featuring a unique interior. It provides free accommodation for those working on the project and hotel rooms for guests. It has an art salon, functioning as a community cultural centre and a restaurant with a menu shaped by the various national cuisines of the staff. The project has been launched with modest initial funding and will operate as a selffunded enterprise. Considering the city’s vibrant festival scene and rich cultural life, the hotel can operate at almost full capacity even if only offered to art professionals coming to Varna for work. when 2015-ongoing where 6, knyaz boris blvd, varna managed by varna 2019 foundation (varna, bulgaria) partners refugee support group foundation (sofia, bulgaria) potential partner: grand hotel cosmopolis (augsburg, germany) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 50, 000

THE MONUMENT – CENTRE FOR CULTURAL DIALOGUE The topic of culture and conflict is usually dealt with by museum institutions, dedicated to national military history, or in other words - war museums. But what is a war museum and what is its purpose today? The general perception is of a building displaying war machines and rifles, curated with the purpose of instilling pride in the glorious victories and mourning the unjust losses of war. Today, when armed conflict is so present in our world, should we not aim at developing displays, raising awareness about the terror of war and the absurdity of its appearance, instead? In the period leading to 2019, the now obsolete Monument of Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship will be turned into an urgently needed exhibition space, presenting war but dedicated to peace. The Monument was built in 1978 and closed for visitors and deprived of maintenance after 1990. The dark interior with its rough concrete finish and sculptural spaces presents a unique environment for presenting contemporary art (with a strong focus on moving image and film and video installations), dedicated to the topic of culture and conflict. With minimal investment in restoration to meet the necessary health and safety conditions, the space of the monument will be turned into a unique gallery. The space will present curated exhibitions mixing art installations, videos and objects on the one hand and archive material and typical war museum objects, to create breathtaking narratives in which history and present meet with the purpose of providing an actual take on the topic of war and armed conflict. The exhibition will combine work by renowned artists, site specific commissions and challenging contemporary interpretations on facts from local, national and world

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military history. Each annual exhibition will be developed by leading local and international curators, artists, researchers and experts. when 2016-2019 where monument of bulgarian-soviet friendship managed by varna 2019 foundation partners videoholica association (varna, bulgaria) required funding varna 2019 foundation € 200, 000

SLAVA SUBMARINE MUSEUM Produced in the 60s and used by the national navy since 1985, Slava is the last Bulgarian submarine. In 2011 it was donated to Varna Municipality with the idea for it to be transformed into a submarine museum. With an already dedicated budget for it to be brought out into dry dock, the major challenge for the Culture Department, which is in charge of the project, is assuring that it will be developed following the latest trends in museology. The ambition for this unique piece of infrastructure is to transform it into a museum offering not simply a display, but creating an environment and offering an engaging and memorable experience. Slava Submarine Museum aims to open in 2016, which marks the hundredth anniversary of the enlistment in the national navy of the first Bulgarian submarine Podvodnik No 18, which played a key role in the defense of the city of Varna during the First World War. The submarine museum will be complemented by an adjacent container gallery, presenting




art works and cultural references about submarines (from film, literature and popular culture) on the one hand, and facts and objects related to the history of the submarine navy in Bulgaria, on the other. when 2015-ongoing where varna lake managed by independent body or naval museum varna partners union of the bulgarian submariners required funding varna 2019 foundation â‚Ź 150, 000


BACK TO BASICS The Back to Basics project is about creating an Institute for Alternative Food. The core message is Back to Basics, that is, back to Nature and its laws, back to eating the food, herbs and spices that are typical for the Black Sea Region. Through this project we would like to address a serious issue of our times: the wrong food culture. The Institute will hold theoretical lectures and presentations for professional nutritionists and amateurs, for the youngest as well as the elderly. There will also be open Sunday markets offering organic food. Visits of world–famous chefs, such as Jamie Oliver and Rudolf van Veen are also envisaged. The special event for 2019 will be called THE GREENEST TABLE and will be organised by landscape designers and Bulgarian farmers. when 2019 where new creative industries hub managed by varna 2019 foundation partners my cafe, by ani boland (varna, bulgaria) potential partner: association of bulgarian villages (sofia, bulgaria) required funding varna 2019 foundation ₏ 150, 000



these projects have come forward from many different sources. some have come from an open call, some have come from city cultural institutions and operators, some from the team and some from external producers. they are not all at exactly the same point of development. however, where a partner is named, serious conversations have taken place. in many cases commitments have been made. this is a live process which has transformed the cultural atmosphere of varna. the total cost of these projects is estimated at approximately 7 million euros. this represents only 20% of the total programme budget. these are all new initiatives and do not include the existing annual cultural activities in the city.

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1.1. WHAT KIND OF STRUCTURE IS ENVISAGED FOR THE ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT? WHAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP WILL IT HAVE WITH THE CITY AUTHORITIES? The Mayor and the City Council of Varna will be ultimately responsible for Varna 2019. However, the City Authorities have studied other European Capitals of Culture and have decided that the best way to bring together all the sections of society which will play a part in 2019 will be to establish a Management Company, with an independent Chairman, to run the project. This Management Company will have the legal character of a Foundation. By decision of the Municipal Council of Varna № 1548-10/06.12.2014, it was decided to establish an external management structure for the project Varna 2019. The Legal Instrument has now been prepared and agreed and will be implemented as soon as Varna is selected as European Capital of Culture in 2019. Once the Company is established, the first and key appointment will be the Chief Executive Officer. Working with this person will be 3 senior Executive Directors – the Artistic Director, the Finance Director and the Communications Director. Again, after investigating other ECoCs, Varna has decided that the top position should be occupied by a Manager and not the Artistic Director. Ultimately, the Programme will be put together by the Artistic Director, but that person must be supported by a sympathetic CEO. The Artistic Director will have to understand finance and the CEO will have to understand culture. Alongside the Board and the Executive Directors, a Cultural Advisory Board will be set up. It will not have executive power, but it will be an important forum for discussion and ideas. Many people, both individuals and representatives of cultural institutions have contributed to the preparation of this Bid and will be represented on this Advisory Board. It will be vital that this structure has the involvement of the City authorities. In law, in theory and in detail, it has been endorsed by them so far. It is believed that the proposed structure will help Varna face the future with confidence. It would be desirable for both the Mayor and the Chairman of the City Council to sit on the Board of the new Company. Bulgaria is only now emerging from its communist past and this kind of management structure is fairly new. However, because of its strong private sector, Varna is better placed than most Bulgarian cities to make it work.

municipalities in varna region

the mayor and the city council

central government

management company with board of directors

cultural advisory forum

chief executive officer

finance director

artistic director

communications director




working with existing institutions

commissioning new projects

contracting with external producers

NOTES TO PROPOSED ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE • the new management company, the foundation, has been prepared as a legal entity to oversee the build-up and the operation of varna 2019 if varna is chosen to be european capital of culture in september 2014. • the mayor and the city council have signalled their intention that this foundation and its system of working will continue after 2019 and will be part of the legacy of the year. • the directors of the new company, with an independent chairman, will be nominated by the mayor and approved by the city council. there will be 8-10 directors, representing the private and academic sectors, the cultural operators and local government, including the city council itself. no sector represented will have a majority on the board. • the cultural advisory forum will be appointed by the new company. local and national cultural figures will be invited to join.

• the senior positions of chief executive officer, artistic director, finance director and communications director will be appointed once varna is declared the winner in september 2014 and after an open and competitive process. • the artistic director will be responsible for devising the programme in consultation with the board of directors, the advisory forum and the other senior officers. • the finance director will be responsible through the chief executive officer for the budget. • the communications director will be responsible through the ceo for the information and communications strategy.



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1.2. IF AN AREA AROUND THE CITY IS INVOLVED IN THE EVENT, HOW WILL THE COORDINATION BETWEEN THE AUTHORITIES OF THE RELEVANT LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES BE ORGANISED? Varna 2019 will be implemented in collaboration with 13 municipalities from the NorthEast Bulgarian region. А Memorandum of partnership was signed in 2011 between Varna and these smaller surrounding towns. Coordination between local and regional authorities has already been started and will develop in the different stages of implementing the event. This coordination will be at the political, administrative and programming levels. On the political and administrative levels, it is already defined that at least two places on the Board of Directors will be occupied by representatives of the surrounding area – one for each of the two administrative districts constituting the supporting region. Each of these two districts consists of municipalities which will nominate a representative. In continuation with the first application form of Varna 2019, it is already agreed that the municipalities from the supporting region will contribute to the costs of the event. The coordination on the programming level will be implemented by the creation of a regional integrated information platform to facilitate communication and creative exchange as well as the access to cultural events. This project will also affect the mobilizing and development of the transport connections in the region. 1.3. ACCORDING TO WHICH CRITERIA AND UNDER WHICH ARRANGEMENTS HAS OR WILL THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE EVENT BEEN CHOSEN? WHAT IS OR WILL BE HIS/HER PROFILE? WHEN WILL HE/SHE TAKE UP THE APPOINTMENT? WHAT WILL BE HIS/HER FIELD OF ACTION? We are aware that certain members of the Jury believe that the Artistic Director for Varna 2019 should be in place now. We have considered this very carefully, but we continue to believe that the process of appointing the four Chief Officers of the Foundation should follow the award of ECoC. In particular we believe that the chemistry between the Chief Executive Officer and the Artistic Director is critically important and we will be able to attract stronger candidates for both positions once we are chosen. Many people have contributed to this Bid including gifted artistic players. They have built up a strong concept for the programme and many detailed projects and ideas. Varna will expect the Artistic Director to build on this work. Therefore, the Artistic Director will not be chosen until Varna is chosen. During the second stage of the application process, an artistic team of 3 people has been working with the Bid team. In continuation with our first Bid Book, Varna’s artistic advisor from the previous phase has been a key member in this artistic team. Each of these professionals may or may not be a candidate to be the Artistic Director of Varna 2019. An international open call for Artistic Director of Varna 2019 will be launched at the beginning of 2015 if the city of Varna is awarded the title European Capital of Culture.

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It is clear that being the Artistic Director of an ECoC is completely different from being the Artistic Director of a 3 week festival. A successful ECoC has a long build-up over several years and the full effects of the Year should be felt for several years afterwards. The Artistic Director will be required to participate in setting a new cultural strategy for the city, as well as devising a year-long programme for the year itself: it will also be part of his/her role to push cultural investment up the political agenda of the City. The role requires all sorts of skills beyond the programme itself. As promised in our first Bid Book we are now including the job description for the Artistic Director for 2019. The Artistic Director will be responsible for the artistic vision and for developing and implementing the artistic programme included in the second application form of Varna’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture 2019 in the framework of the created concept. This process of delivery of the programme will happen in consultation with the Board of Directors, the Advisory Forum and the other senior officers. The Artistic Director will report to the Chief Executive Officer. However he/she will be independent in making decisions concerning the artistic content of the event. MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES: • to develop, evaluate and oversee the delivery of the programme for the build-up period 2015–2018 and the year of ecoc; • to facilitate the artistic vision of the whole programme, in the role of director and producer, by working closely with guest directors, partners and artists;

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: • deep understanding of the main objectives, approach and concept of the varna 2019 application; • proven ability to programme and commission artistic projects, demonstrated expertise in artistic programming and an ability to exercise artistic leadership;

• to be responsible for ensuring that the new foundation achieves its artistic, audience and financial objectives;

• experience of working with eu institutions, local authorities, other public sector organizations, foundations and cultural funding bodies;

• together with the chief executive officer, to develop the detailed annual programme budget;

• strong networking experience of national and international relationships (with a particular emphasis on europe and the black sea region) in different creative sectors, experience in programming cultural exchanges and co-production projects;

• to assist the ceo to broaden and diversify sources of income, including fund-raising, crowd-funding, sponsorship and eu funding opportunities; • to foster and develop good relations and cooperation with other cultural organizations and networks on a regional, national and international level; • to report to the board of directors on a regular basis and to give an update on the implementation of the artistic programme; • to represent the foundation during meetings and media events and to work for the positive image of the foundation and the programme event european capital of culture; • to oversee the recruitment, professional development, working conditions of the staff that he/she is responsible for.

• strong strategic planning and resource management skills with proven experience in project management not only from an artistic but also from an economic and social point of view; • entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of marketing and audience development; • previous experience in european capital of culture project or other european programme event in the field of culture and creative industries could be an advantage.



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ANNUAL BUDGET FOR CULTURE 2010-2014 usual annual budget for culture in the city (in euros) 1 types of expenditure

total annual budget for culture in the city

total annual budget for the city

annual budget for culture in the city (in % of the total annual budget for the city)

sources of the budget


operating budget

capital budget

municipal budget

central government budget


2, 673, 997

76, 969

1, 743, 466

1, 007, 500

2, 750, 966

102, 239, 449



2, 946, 514

170, 172

2, 103, 590

1, 013, 096

3, 116, 686

106, 701, 655



2, 721, 908

14, 991

1, 694, 094

1, 042, 806

2, 736, 899

94 ,012, 191



2, 893, 965

204, 825

2, 066, 543

1, 032, 247

3, 098, 790

107, 845, 263



3, 145, 610

189, 881

2, 070, 054

1, 265, 437

3, 335, 491

113, 542, 588


The annual budget for cultural events and support for the culture sector in Varna originates from two major funding sources: the Municipal budget and the Central government budget. The budget for culture maintains two major types of culture-related expenditure: operational (for local and international cultural events, communication costs and staff and administration maintenance) and capital (for refurbishment and renovation of culturerelated infrastructure and purchasing of long-term tangible assets). Table 1 shows the annual budget for culture in the city of Varna over the last five years. The total budget is the sum of the Municipal and the Central government funding and is intended to cover the whole of operational and capital costs.

The annual budget for culture in the city of Varna has remained stable over the last five years, and its amount follows the curve of the overall municipal budget, while its share of 2.9% thereof has remained stable during the last three years of most active preparations for Varna’s 2019 ECoC application. Varna’s budget for culture will continue to gradually grow within the period 2014 – 2019, reaching its peak in 2019. Varna’s application for European Capital of Culture 2019 has been a priority for the city over the last 7 years. The main objectives of the ECoC Bid have been gradually integrated into the cultural policy of the city. In 2014 a new financial instrument for funding cultural events was created and implemented by the Culture Department of Varna Municipality. This Cultural fund provides financial support for creative artistic projects on an open and competitive principle. The Fund supports the creativity of artists, cultural institutions, NGOs and artistic associations and their activities in the Varna Municipality area. In 2014 more than 80 festivals and projects were supported with a significant contribution to the development of the cultural industries in the city and region of Varna. The main aims and objectives of the Cultural fund are based on the artistic concept and the five programme strands in the first Bid Book of Varna 2019. 2.2. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE OVERALL BUDGET FOR THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE PROJECT (I.E. FUNDS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY SET ASIDE FOR THE PROJECT). The overall budget for Varna 2019 project is presented in the following two statements, covering the period 2014-2019. We believe that it is imperative to separate completely operational budgets from capital expenditures budgets. We also believe that it is crucial to present budgets, which cover the whole period from 2014 to 2019. In 2.1. we have identified the existing annual budget for Varna in the table above. In Appendix of Finance we have identified the operating budget for the ECoC project in two tables under the headings Income and Expenditure. We believe these tables give a complete financial overview of our candidature. 2.3. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE OPERATING BUDGET FOR THE ECOC PROJECT. The tables in Appendix on Finance on page 88 show the different sources of income for the operational budget of Varna 2019 for the period 2014-2019, presented year by year over the whole period. In this section the operational expenditure items are also presented and explained. 2.4. OVERALL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE:

the above budget includes funding for:culture department of varnamunicipality and local and international events under its organisation; opera and philharmonic society; orchestras and ensembles; community centres (chitalishte); museums; galleries; libraries. 1

The tables in Appendix on Finance on pages 89-91 show the overall capital expenditures and specify the amounts that will be spent for what type of capital expenditures over the years from the application to the ECoC year.



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Varna 2019 is going to implement new alternative financial and non-financial ways of supporting culture in order to ensure the capacity of the management to deliver the proposed artistic programme through:

The Mayor of Varna and the Chairman of the Cultural Committee at the City Council have agreed to the financial commitment in this application form. The operational budget of Varna 2019 is included in the Municipal Development Plan 2014-2020 of the city. This budget has been officially agreed after Varna was pre-selected in December 2013.

1. Networking 2. Capacity building 3. Volunteering

The Bulgarian Central Government, through the Ministry of Culture, made an unofficial commitment to support financially the Bulgarian city awarded the title European Capital of Culture 2019, according to the budgetary framework expressed in the application form. This financially unspecific commitment to support the successful candidate was made at a meeting at the Ministry of Culture in January 2013 to which all the applicant cities were invited. Since Varna was pre-selected in December 2013, we have made efforts to discover what level of financial support we will be able to expect from the Government. We have no more official information in July 2014 on this important subject and we have, therefore, decided not to change the overall operating budget. 2.6. WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR INVOLVING SPONSORS IN THE EVENT? Sponsorship is quite new in Bulgaria, especially outside the capital city. However, in terms of private investments, the city of Varna is very well positioned and sophisticated. Varna is already an international city. The service sector, including the strong tourism sector, accounts for 62%1 of Varna’s economic activity. Varna has strong accommodation, restaurant, banking and entertainment businesses. Many of the world’s biggest international companies have established subsidiaries in Bulgaria and some of these have a local presence in Varna. Over the next five years we believe commercial sponsorship will develop. Sponsorship is viewed as an integral and valuable part of the Varna 2019 Bid from the outset. Sponsorship fund-raising will start as soon as the city is nominated European Capital of Culture 2019. The team of Varna 2019 has already had conversations with some of the biggest companies and investors. This approach toward developing partnership with the private sector is aimed at ensuring the financial security of the event and decreasing the risk of possible Government reduction in income.

Alternative Ways For Supporting Culture In order to tackle problems such as cuts of cultural budgets and poor involvement of the citizens into the artistic life of the city, Varna will search for new alternative ways of production, financing and consumption of cultural products through co-creation, networking, open platforms and crowd-funding. district strategy for the development of the region of varna for the period 2014-2020, branch structure of district economy for 2011, territorial statistical bureau, varna. 1

4. Crowd-funding 5. Sharing of existing resources

As an example, crowd-funding as an emerging source of funding could very readily be applicable to the field of digital culture because it is easy to reach to the people through internet and social networks. It is also very significant that crowd-funding provides the clearest evidence that a cultural event or activity truly enjoys popular support. 2.7. ACCORDING TO WHAT TIMETABLE SHOULD THE INCOME BE RECEIVED BY THE CITY AND/OR THE BODY RESPONSIBLE FOR PREPARING AND IMPLEMENTING THE ECOC PROJECT IF THE CITY RECEIVES THE TITLE OF EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE? A) INCOME TO BE USED TO COVER OPERATING EXPENSES B) INCOME TO BE USED TO COVER CAPITAL EXPENDITURE In the tables, which we have supplied in 2.1., 2.3., and 2.4., we have answered to the best of our ability the timetable questions. 2.8. WHICH AMOUNT OF THE USUAL OVERALL ANNUAL BUDGET DOES THE CITY INTEND TO SPEND FOR CULTURE AFTER THE ECOC YEAR (IN EUROS AND IN % OF THE OVERALL ANNUAL BUDGET)? A main goal of the new Varna 2019 strategy for the period after 2019 will be to work for an increase in local and national Government spending and investment in the cultural sector (both in cultural infrastructure and cultural activities). After 2019 it is expected that the city’s operating budget for culture will be less than it was in the ECoC year, but it will be maintained at a much higher level than in 2014 when the Bid was made. Politicians of all parties have agreed to this commitment. However, at this stage, five years ahead, exact figures cannot be produced. This new budget will also have the task of maintaining the infrastructure which was developed and built during the whole process between 2015 and 2019. The successor body to Varna 2019 will continue its work on different projects in the field of culture, supported by EU funding, which will contribute to the overall budget for culture in the city and the region. This new organisation will follow the European cultural policy targets and will serve as a catalyst for attracting private business investments. The city of Varna is currently a beneficiary of EU structural funds that are being used to fund an extensive range of projects, including cultural activities and infrastructure. These sources of income are very important for the sustainability of the project.



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total (in %)

city of varna







other local authorities





• this is an operational budget only, with no capital expenditure included.

central government





eu funding





eu operational programmes




• this budget refers to new money and does not include present grants paid to cultural institutions on an annual basis from the existing city council cultural budget and central government budget of approximately three million euros. this budget assumes these grants will continue through the period 20142019.

creative europe




melina mercouri prize




private sector income










• there is little new cultural expenditure envisaged before 2017. the new expenditure, therefore, is concentrated into the last 3 years 2017, 2018 and the year itself 2019. 8.1%



• in bulgaria, budgets are set late, usually only one year in advance. this budget, therefore, has been drawn up with no certainty. however, we are confident that each budget line can be explained and defended.


• varna is confident that central government will support the bulgarian european capital of culture. we feel that a total of 22.5 million euros over the whole period is reasonable.

• we are well aware that the melina mercouri prize money has to be granted to us by the commission. we are confident that we will be able to merit this award. • varna is confident that the city will have access over the next few years to various eu programmes. • with the created artistic programme and methods of cooperation, platforms and networking, we will apply for funding from the new creative europe programme during the coming period. • varna is confident that the private sector will support the year through sponsorship, advertising and donations from foundations. varna is a comparatively rich city in bulgarian terms, with a strong hospitality sector, and the presence of multi-national companies in the area is growing. by 2019, the sponsorship potential will be stronger than it is now. • we believe a 9% contingency reserve is reasonable. • after 2019, it is expected that the city’s operating budget for culture will be less than it was in the ecoc year, but it will be maintained at a much higher level than in 2014, when the bid was made. politicians of all parties have agreed to this commitment. however, at this stage, five years ahead, exact figures cannot be produced.








total (in %)

staff and administration














existing institutions





cultural infrastructure

new work





renovation, reconstruction and modernisation of the second stage of the theatre and music production centre - varna

3, 023, 576

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

imported work





renovation and modernisation of the varna open-air theatre

907, 073

work with italian ecoc





eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

5, 682, 948






renovation and expansion of palace of culture and sports - varna, to be converted into a multi-functional sports, culture and congress complex

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

contingency/ reserve



varna archaeological museum: restructuring of inner yard and construction of a transparent roof

7, 040, 139

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)







varna museum of natural history: construction of new exhibition room, furnishing and equipment

527, 634

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

financing for the building of new infrastructure and refurbishment of existing cultural infrastructure (museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, art centres, etc.) in euro source



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cultural infrastructure

financing for the building of new infrastructure and refurbishment of existing cultural infrastructure (museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls, art centres, etc.) in euro source

urban revitalisation and development

costs for renovation of other city infrastructure (refurbishment of squares, parks, streets, development of public spaces, etc.) in euro



construction of multi-functional public building, hosting drama theatre, cinema, exhibition hall, museum and library in vladislav varnenchik residential quarter

333, 968

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

urban texture: rings and paths project for reconstruction and renovation of the pedestrian area from the cathedral square to the sea garden’s main entrance

4, 868, 641

eu funds, municipality of varna (guaranteed)

renovation of seven community centres - chitalishta

2, 539, 804

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

project for integrated city transport and sustainable mobility

58, 511, 443

eu funds, municipality of varna (guaranteed)

planning of a new space where port berths from 1st to 5th to be moved and possible construction of a new multi-functional facility

137, 435

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

revitalisation and development of the urban environment in the zone of social impact (mladost, vladislav varnenchik neighbourhoods)

12, 028, 039

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

architectural and archaeological reserve odessos– varna (the basilica, small and big roman baths, ancient city walls)

7, 558, 939

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

revitalisation and development of the urban environment – zone of high public significance (asparuhovo, primorski, odessos neighbourhoods)

43, 593, 212

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

new building for the pencho slaveykov regional library - varna

3, 207, 150

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

revitalisation and development of the urban environment – zone of potential economic development

3, 873, 956

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government (planned)

implementation of repair works on the ethnographic museum, museum of the history of medicine, varna archaeological museum – inner yard, museum of varna’s new history, museum of the bulgarian revivalvarna, museum old varna

6, 956, 470

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government

revitalisation and development of the urban environment – zone of social impact (mladost, vladislav varnenchik neighbourhoods)

1, 614, 865

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government

43, 593, 212

renovation of the boris georgiev city art gallery

479, 993

revitalisation and development of the urban environment – zone of high public significance (asparuhovo, primorski, odessos neighbourhoods)

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government

project for integrated city transport and sustainable mobility – optimisation of the street network

167, 200, 679

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government


335, 284, 047

renovation of the varna state puppet theatre

460, 456

construction of a new multi-functional facility for culture in the area by varna port (at berth no. 5) for opera and theatre

25, 564, 594

creative industries hub (ex-pochivka tennis courts)

4, 320, 000

eu funds, municipality of varna, national government eu funds, municipality of varna, national government eu funds, municipality of varna, national government municipality of varna, private investment

slava submarine museum

150, 000

municipality of varna

hristo botev cotton mill residency centre

3, 288, 630

municipality of varna, private investment

black sea youth centre (in the central dpt. store)

1, 662, 000

private investment

public spaces around the state puppet theatre

61, 300

municipality of varna

the monument – centre for cultural dialogue (bulgarian-soviet friendship memorial)

5, 624, 210

municipality of varna, national government

InterCultura hotel

327, 000

municipality of varna, private investment

school for captains – floating facilities

306, 775

municipality of varna

moto - mobile cultural contacts hub

51, 130

municipality of varna (guaranteed)


80, 211, 223


infrastructure (investments in underground lines, railroads, ports, roads, etc.) in euro

bus station – south

6, 734, 328


6, 734, 328


422, 229, 598

source eu funds, municipality of varna, national government

NOTES TO CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE BUDGET 2014-2020 • the city of varna has produced a major infrastructure survey for 2014 to 2020. an integrated plan for urban regeneration and development was approved by the municipality in july 2013 and has been endorsed by the newly appointed mayor. in this plan, several major cultural projects have been identified. further research was made after the pre-selection of the city according to the adopted programme structure, mapping and identifying conversion projects and

projects implemented as public-private partnerships or social enterprises. some have been costed in detail; some have been costed in outline. • the funding of this capital infrastructure work will come from several sources, principally: 1) city finances; 2) central government finances; 3) european funds; 4) private sector investment.

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I V . C I T Y I N F R A – S T R U C T U R E

Standing on the western Black Sea coast, Varna is accessible by air, land and water. The territory of Varna municipality lies at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. BY AIR Varna International Airport is one of the three major Bulgarian airports, serving 1.32 million passengers annually from 57 countries 1. It is operated by the German operator Fraport, in whose portfolio are also Burgas and Frankfurt Airports. Since the beginning of 2014 two big airport hubs – Istanbul and Belgrade – operate twice a week into Varna. Leading airlines like Austrian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air Serbia, Bulgaria Air, Aeroflot Russian Airlines and the low-cost Wizz Air, airBaltic, JetAir and Germanwings fly to Varna in higher frequency in the summer season. In 2013 Varna Airport opened a new passenger Terminal 2 with a capacity of 1,040 passengers per hour, or about 1.8 million passengers per year. This is a modern, up-to-date facility. Varna Airport is only 15 minutes away from the city centre, connected by regular bus lines and shuttle service. BY WATER Varna Port – East stands in the centre of the city and now handles mostly general cargo. The passenger traffic is in the summer season as the port is open for yachts and for cruise ships of the Italian MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises (part of Royal Caribbean Cruises), Seabourn Odyssey (part of Carnival Corporation), AIDA Criuses. In 2008, the Council of Ministers and Varna Municipality signed a Memorandum for converting the land of Varna port into an urban area intended for general public use. The objective of this project is the relocation of the port loading facilities outside Varna central areas through the construction of a new container terminal stationed in Varna Lake. А new marina and passenger terminal will then be constructed in their place, plus an Aquarium, entertainment facilities, shopping centres and office buildings 2. Three marinas are located nearby Varna–Marina Hydrodynamic (in Varna Lake), Saint Elias Marina and Golden Sands Marina. BY ROAD The existing road network in the District of Varna and the North-eastern region is well developed, but lags behind Southern Bulgaria. The construction of the Hemus Highway, which is to connect Varna to Sofia, is a project intended to bridge the differences between 1 2

data uploaded on the official webpage of varna airport – programme for sustainable development of tourism in varna municipality – 2007-2013.



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the regions. The Hemus Highway is a major road connection, which provides links to the Central and West European countries via Germany–Austria–Hungary–Bulgaria–Greece and Serbia–Bulgaria–Turkey.





The building of the Ruse–Shumen road as a major infrastructure project and its scheduled link to the Hemus Highway will improve the transport connection between the Danube River and the Black Sea and will significantly reduce the travelling time between Bucharest and Varna. This year the road is planned to be expanded into a three-lane highway. The highway, Varna–Balchik–Durankulak, will facilitate tourist traffic between the Southern Romanian Black Sea coast and Varna.

total number

86, 986

6, 517, 543

1, 258, 267



Railway infrastructure connects Varna daily with: • Sofia and North-Western Bulgaria. This railroad has been classified as part of the European and international railway transportation network. • Ruse and the Danube River, providing connection between the two ports. • Plovdiv and the Southern Bulgaria. BY BUS Varna is connected to the capital and the larger cities in the country – Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Burgas, Ruse via forty two regular bus lines, operated daily. The majority of transport companies operate up-to-date coaches offering free wi-fi connection, which makes travelling comfortable and enjoyable. Among international destinations for road passengers are Istanbul, Dortmund, Athens, Barcelona, Constanta, Paris, London, Odessa, Prague and Belgrade. These transport connections confirm Varna as an accessible destination. 2. WHAT IS THE CITY’S ABSORPTION CAPACITY IN TERMS OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION? Tourism is a leading economic sector in Varna and the region. The city started to develop as an international tourist destination after World War II. In view of the fact that this bid book for ECoC 2019 encompasses the territories of two districts, those of Varna and Dobrich, and three resorts of national significance, namely Albena, Zlatni Piasaci (Golden Sands) and Saints Constantine and Helena 3, the data quoted in the Table has been summarized to account for this.


resorts of national significance appointed by decree no 45 of the council of ministers dated 25.01.2005.

out of which, by categories: 1-2 star: 238

19, 317

879, 843

174, 225


33, 880

2, 395, 051

448, 157

33, 789

3, 242, 649

635, 885


4-5 star: 78

Based on research into the current situation and according to the data, the tourist sector has a solid basis for growth as the average annual occupancy rate is 46.15%. We could reasonably expect this to increase if there is an enrichment of the Cultural Calendar for the months on either side of the high season (May/June and September/October). This, combined with events in the low season, will encourage more visitors, generate added value and will improve the local and international profile of the city. 3. WHAT PROJECTS ARE TO BE CARRIED OUT BETWEEN NOW AND THE YEAR FOR WHICH THE CITY IS APPLYING FOR THE TITLE OF EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE IN TERMS OF URBAN AND TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE, INCLUDING RENOVATION? WHAT IS THE PLANNED TIMETABLE FOR THIS WORK?

Infrastructural Undertakings We believe that some of the scheduled infrastructure projects of the city will be given priority consideration if Varna wins the ECoC 2019 title.

Integrated Plan For City Regeneration & Development 2014–2020 The Plan will provide an opportunity for solving some urgent issues related to city development, as well as providing conditions for a more efficient use of the city’s potential, plus its establishment as a major backbone centre at a national and regional level. The Integrated Plan for City Regeneration and Development is an innovative tool for planning and management of developing city formations. The integrated plan is founded upon three major strategic goals: 1. Varna is an attractive place for living, education and tourism. 2. Varna is a city of sustainable growth where science, business and local government meet. 3. Varna is a city, which cares for each and every one of its citizens. accommodation facilities and accommodation activities by statistical zones, statistical regions and districts in 2012, national statistical institute, 2012. 4



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The main list of the Integrated Plan for city regeneration and development 2014–2020 includes 165 scheduled projects of total value of EUR 350,980,967 and the reserve list includes 40 projects of total value of EUR 226,342,161 for urban planning, developing the transportation system, social and cultural infrastructure.





TEDxBlack Sea

Palace of Culture and Sports

Renovation and expansion of the emblematic facility, to be converted into a multi-functional complex Leading Partners: Municipality of Varna, Palace of Culture and Sports Plc. Scheduled Project in the Integrated Plan for City Regeneration and Development


Port of Varna or Naval Museum

The submarine is a retired German U-boat XXI, docked in the Port of Varna since 2011. It will be converted into an interactive museum that seeks to apply the latest museum trends to create an experience for the audience. Leading Partner: Department of Culture, Municipality of Varna Partner: Naval Museum


New Regional Library including Microsoft Innovation Centre (ex-Pfohe Mall)

Converting the east wing of the recently closed Pfohe Mall into a new home for the Varna Regional Library and planning for integrating Microsoft Innovation Centre to foster start-ups, research and educational purposes. Leading Partner: Municipality of Varna, Pencho Slaveykov Regional Library Partner: Microsoft (tbc) Scheduled Project in the Integrated Plan for City Regeneration and Development


Creative Industries Hub (ex-Pochivka Tennis Courts)

Converting an abandoned sports facility into a start-up hub for new or young companies in the world of the creative industries, providing space especially for film making, TV production, fashion and design shows, expos, fairs, music concerts, conferences. Tenants and users will be able to share both admin and working systems. This will lead to financial savings. Leading Partners: Alexander Nikolov - Artin Vision Ltd, Municipality of Varna Partners: Student Film Forum Foundation – Sofia; National Film Centre – Sofia; Agitprop Film Production Company - Sofia; Abraxas Film - Sofia; Chuchkov Brothers - Sofia; International Theatre Festival Varna Summer Foundation; POZOR Sofia; Premier Studio Plus - Sofia; Spotlight Sofia Public-private partnership


Hristo Botev Cotton Mill Residency Centre

The old Cotton Mill will be converted into a residency centre for contemporary dance, theatre, visual art through public-private partnership. The two buildings of the power plant will become multi-functional facility. Leading Partner: Municipality of Varna Public-private partnership



Projects Related To Cultural Infrastructure We have thoroughly researched the city landscape, mapping and exploring the existing texture through our programme concept. Several of our Programme Projects described earlier in the Bid Book are connected to new, extended or converted buildings. We aim to create an ecosystem for nurturing the culture and creative industries both in the physical and virtual domains. The cultural infrastructure projects which are at the heart of this application can be divided into three groups: projects which require renovation or reconstruction of existing infrastructure, projects for new buildings, and conversion projects. They aim to tackle major issues that the majority of culture stakeholders face in Varna now like obsolete facilities, low energy efficiency, lack of funds for refurbishing and modernising, ineffective policy for investment and development, lack of spaces.

Slava Submarine Museum


Young Cultural Innovators Hub Book Design Forum






Various locations in Varna and in the region

MOTO is a mobile cultural contacts hub which is a platform to boost up the involvement of the citizens in cultural activities in their neighbourhood.

2014 and the following years

Public spaces around the State Puppet Theatre

Ecologically oriented NGOs will implement a reconstruction with natural or recycled materials of the public areas around the State Puppet Theatre to host open-air laboratories for artists and children Leading Partner: Municipality of Varna Partners: Public Environmental Centre for Sustainable Development - Varna


7 Chitalishtas (Community Centres) Varnenski Buditeli; Poriv; Stara Varna; Asen Zlatarov; Otets Paisiy; Petko Slaveykov; Tsar Boris III

Our citizens have made it clear that we need to mobilize experts, artists and local commu-nities to develop a model for the transformation of 7 community centers into sustainable hubs that will encourage active participation and audience development. Some of the activities will focus on the increasingly important digital domains with the support the Microsoft Digital Libraries Initiative. Leading Partner: Municipality of Varna Partner: Scheduled Project in the Integrated Plan for City Regeneration and Development


X Fairy-tales Vocabulary


Varna SmART Hubs


Big Data Art Fair 7X7 New Connection Back to Basics


Black Baltic EUphobia Navigator















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Projects With An Impact On Urban Environment

Black Sea Youth Centre

Central Department Store

Public-private company, established between the Municipality of Varna and the Plovdiv Expo Fair owner will invest in the restoration of the central area including the old city walls of ancient Odessos in a new building. It will host the Black Sea Youth Centre on an area of 1200 sq. m. This institution will play the local role as an innovation-education-creative-civic hub with focus on young people and will play a key role as a mediator between the EU and the Black Sea countries in the field of youth policies. Leading Partner: Targovski Dom Plc. Public-private partnership


This year has seen the launching of a major improvement project Urban Texture: Rings and Paths for restructuring Varna’s central pedestrian area. The project includes a modernisation of the zone from the Cathedral Square to the central entrance of the Sea Garden. The concept of the proposed solution consists of systematic application of three components: thematic micro-squares offering information about Varna (rings) pedestrian streets (pathways), artistic highlights (sculptures, fountains, urban landscaping and modern lighting).

The inner spaces in the memorial will be converted into a space for thematic exhibitions addressing the intersection of culture and conflict, immigration and emigration. Leading Partner: Municipality of Varna



The Monument – Centre for Cultural Dialogue

Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship Memorial

I InterCultura Hotel

6 Knyaz Boris I Blvd.

InterCulturaHotel turns an unused building in the heart of the city into an art hotel, refurbished and designed by refugees and immigrant artists with each room featuring a unique interior. It provides free accommodation for those working on the project and hotel rooms for guests. It has an art salon, functioning as a community cultural centre and a restaurant with a menu shaped by the various national cuisines of the staff. Leading Partners: Municipality of Varna Partners: Refugees Support Group Foundation Social Enterprise


Multi-functional Facility at Berth #5, Port of Varna

A new landmark building for opera, ballet and theatre in the area of Port of Varna. Project in the Integrated Plan for City Regeneration and Development


Different locations in Varna Bay and Varna Lake

5 floating facilities will be built and positioned in different locations, giving a space for a kids ecologicaleducational-cultural centre, operated together with the Institute of Oceanology in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences



Encounters with the Mediterranean – a series of opera and musical events


All major infrastructure projects for urban revitalisation and city development, included in the Integrated Plan are listed in the Appendix on Finance on page 91. Completion dates range from 2017-2022.

Projects Related to Transport & Supporting Infrastructure A new bus station is planned and it is expected to be completed for 2020. The other projects, including the relocation of Varna Port in the lake, have been agreed in principle but there are no costs, nor a completion date.


School for Captains

Since 2012, a project for integrated city transport has been in the process of implementation. This project aims at sustainable and ecological development of public transport to be achieved through further development of street networks and opening of corridors for speedy bus transport within the city. The project foresees the construction of new bicycling facilities, including cycling lanes of total length 16.3 km, bicycle parking places, development of a scheme for bicycle rental. Both projects are underway and will be completed in 2015.

Information is provided in the Appendix on Finance on page 91.


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Our Starting Point A city’s reputation is not built through communications alone, and it cannot be changed through communications alone. What really makes a difference is when a critical mass of the businesses and organisations in a city becomes dedicated to the development of new possibilities: new ideas, new policies, new laws, new products and services, new businesses, new buildings, new art, new science, new intellectual property; and when those innovations seem to be proving a few simple truths about the place they all come from, the reputation starts to move. The place produces a buzz, people start to pay attention, and prepare themselves for a real shift in thinking. We are not focused simply on communication, but on what Simon Anholt terms “competitive identity” - first do, then talk. We’re not aiming at stimulating tourism - we’re aiming at providing a different lens through which people can view Varna.

Sharing Insights The title, European Capital of Culture, provides our city with an opportunity to be placed at the heart of European cultural and social networks. This level of visibility will transform all aspects of life in the city. Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration provides the rallying point for all stakeholders who are involved with culture to get together. This means the citizens, the artists, the producers, the politicians and the media. With nearly one million European citizens, Varna and its region are capable of generating a wave of energy and ideas which can roll out across Bulgaria, Europe and beyond. The Communication Strategy is outlined in the framework of Varna Living Lab 2019 and has the following components: Strategic Goals of Communication Management, Communication Actions and Media Support, Our Ambassadors, Implementation Stages. VARNA LIVING LAB 2019 Exploring the cultural context and the socio-economic environment in Varna, we focus on creating virtual and physical spaces for exchanges and sharing among all stakeholders - citizens, visitors, artists, researchers and business entities. So we are organising the communication of the Varna ECoC 2019 candidacy around a Living Lab approach. The Living Lab approach constitutes an alternative model, a collaborative platform, where culture is not only development in traditional cultural events, but also new forms like net


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art, which are easily shared within ICT domains. The territory of the city would be thought of as an open eco-system of innovation and creativity. The functional as well as non-functional quality of Varna needs to be further researched. These include the city’s appearance, people’s experience of the city, people’s belief in the city, what the city stands for, and what kind of people inhabit the city. Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration is one important step towards the creation of participative communities. In this context it is important to encourage the active participation of:

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inviting others to share the European Capital of Culture experience. We will involve our Ambassadors to be real part of the communication team by sharing their expertise, creativity and talent to the events in the programme. COMMUNICATION ACTIONS The communication strategy of Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration includes a series of actions enhancing the city visibility:

– The individual actors: citizens, users of all ages combined (including the seniors), students, unemployed, visitors, etc.

• Partnerships with the printed and electronic media (local, regional, national and international) – following the preparation and the events and initiatives in the cultural programme of the city in the years before 2019.

– The collective actors: public cultural and non-cultural institutions, sporting associations, small and large companies, etc.

• Press-conferences and public presentations – announcing certain stages in the process of preparation.

Varna Living Lab 2019 is in line with our focus on restoring trust within the community and creating an environment where the stakeholders create, explore, experience and evaluate new cultural content within the city.

• Promoting Varna 2019 through the events in the years of preparation.

Strategic Goals of The Communication Management

• Promoting Varna to the European artistic and creative community with the support of key cultural organisations and international networks.

The main objectives of the project’s communication strategy come as a continuation of the general goals of Varna’s candidature for European Capital of Culture 2019, namely:

• Promoting Varna in partnership with the tourism and advertising agencies in the country and abroad.

• Boosting opportunities for digital and physical exchanges and sharing among all stakeholders - citizens, visitors, artists, researchers and business entities.

• Promoting Varna with the support of the national and the European institutions involved.

• Better promotion and recognition of Varna as a good environment for culture in the region, Bulgaria, Europe and worldwide by initiating pro-active communities who share our values of building trust through culture. OUR AMBASSADORS

• Open discussions and brainstorming sessions with citizens and different experts dealing with the city development issues.

• Promoting the title with the means of digital technology (social networks, mobile applications, digital media). Our major event, Creating Future Together – a platform for meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences, will create an environment for direct involvement of the citizens. Their engagement is fundamental to building up the new image of Varna.

A flagship initiative as European Capital of Culture addresses a multitude of audiences and participants: local, regional and international. The City Community, which includes citizens, business organisations, cultural institutions, NGOs, children and young people, will play a key role in communication. The presentation of Varna as a city will primarily be in the hands of the people who love Varna and live there.


The citizens of Varna and the region will be their city’s best ambassadors, spreading the news of our strengths, cultural traditions and riches, and the prospects for its development. This is our communication workforce.

International communication will be developed through Varna’s contacts established in different partnership networks, sister city relationships, participations in European and international cultural and economic networks and forums. We will arrange special programmes for international journalists to present Varna. These exchanges will contribute to the building of a positive and rich image of the city.

As a continuation of our Varna 2019 Club we will launch a designated Varna 2019 Ambassadors programme, open to each organisation, NGO, business entity, famous or emerging artist or even a single citizen who wants to help us in spreading the word and

Varna 2019 will work in strong collaboration with the national media including Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio, as well as all private media involved in supporting our candidature.


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DIGITAL SPACE In the global reality of today and the horizon of 2020 when 86% of internet content will be either visual or video content, digital space already plays a key role in making Varna a Living Lab with projects like The City Opera in Real Time, Deep Waters, EYEListen, Big Data Art Fair, TEDx Black Sea. The objective is to bring together local initiatives in the field of culture and activities closely linked to the economic fabric, implementing ICT, digital, collaborative approaches, web 2.0, gamification, etc. The use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare and the websites for photo and video sharing such as Youtube, Vbox, Instagram and flickr as communication channels, will provide tools for speedy and high-volume communication to a wide audience around the world. Live broadcasting of events on the Internet through live streaming will promote Varna 2019 programme information to young and active audiences who use these services on a daily basis through their tablets, TV sets, mobile telephones, laptops or desktops. There will be a series of creative video challenges for youngsters as well as video-competitions, involving some of the on-line video sharing platforms – such as Youtube and Vimeo which will allow the young citizens (and older) to become authors, to be active, to make their voice heard, showing their personal perspective on and connection with the city and its features.

Implementation Stages Taking in account the importance of long-term and sustainable development, we are planning our communication campaign through the involvement of the citizens. The years before the event and all the preliminary activities and initiatives will work as a “warming up” platform for attracting and informing the citizens’ attention, thus creating high levels of interest and expectation. Our communication strategy is organised in four stages: ENLIGHTENING 2012–2015 The current preparatory stage of promotion and generating of public support for the initiative Varna 2019 – candidate for European Capital of Culture is already well underway. The main objective is to raise awareness among the widest possible public and to engage public interest and support. The dialogue and discussions in all main sectors – culture, tourism, education, NGOs. – will continue over the next few years. The objective will be to present and encourage the opportunities for participation in the process and to announce the project’s goals and strategy. After the pre-selection stage and in line with the recommendations of the selection panel report, the team of Varna 2019 has launched a wide communication campaign for involving See #inspirevarna in the social networks

the citizens as stakeholders in the candidacy from the beginning of 2014 as part of the preparatory actions for the final phase. Three contests aimed at creative industries professionals, visual artists and students were implemented in the first half of the year, attracting more than 800 participants. An artistic project on the sails of one of the symbols of the Bulgarian sea culture – Kaliakra Sail Ship has established it as an ambassador for Varna 2019, taking the legacy of our candidacy into the Black Sea ports of Sochi, Novorossiysk and Constanta. An artistic installation during the 2014 Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta has delivered our volunteer team Word Cloud message as a Port of Inspiration to more than 80,000 visitors during the event. Student interpretations numbering more than 700 of the Varna ECoC 2019 logo are now spreading the word throughout the city in a genuine and fruitful way by having these inspiring children’s’ visions installed in public and private institutions, museums, galleries, shops, malls and amusement venues. The MOTO – Mobile Hub for Cultural Contacts and its campaign Occupy MOTO! were launched in May 2014 as a tool for creating small, pro-active communities of citizens and cultural stakeholders. A series of meetings and round tables with the business organizations were held in the past months to involve them as active participants in structuring the core goals and objectives of our bid. Now Varna 2019 Candidacy has partners such as Varna Chamber of Tourism, Chamber of Architects – Varna Regional College, Varna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Union of Bulgarian Tourist Guides – Varna, Varna Association of Tourism Agencies, Varna Hotel and Restaurant Association, Culture and Tourism Association of Bulgarian Northeast. SPOTLIGHT 2016–2018 By now, Varna will be able to step up to a new and more specific stage of its preparation. At this stage, the communication strategy will be working within an efficient organisation. Programme plans will be in the process of being finalised, projects will be being refined, established networks and partnerships will start to function and partnerships with business will be established. Promotional advertising of the programme in the city and the region will begin. Multi-lingual messages and information will be mandatory - each message in this important year is international and significant in the European context. No one visiting Varna in 2016 or 2017 will be able to leave the city without a clear knowledge of the upcoming 2019. The new updated version of the logo will be presented together with the news on the marketing and implementation of the programme’s events – highlights in the cultural calendar, booking options and ticket selling. The programme will be comprehensively marketed to the tourism world by the year of 2017.


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ILLUMINATION 2019 The year of European Capital of Culture is the special year; hence it demands additional precision in the communication strategy. Activities at this stage focus on the activation of all parties potentially interested in the events of Varna 2019 – Port of Inspiration. The channelling of local, national and international public attention to the programme events will go hand in hand with continuous fine-tuning of the cultural perspective of the city and the region. AFTERGLOW 2020–2024 The legacy of 2019 will be a new Varna. We will have lived through a five-year communication programme, resulting in a new reputation for the city, the business community and the cultural organisations. The ability to maintain the gloss of having being a European Capital of Culture beyond 2019 will be another benefit arising from this flagship EU initiative. At an international level, it will be beneficial for the city’s cultural, social and business contacts. 2. HOW DOES THE CITY PLAN TO ENSURE THE VISIBILITY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHICH IS AWARDING THE TITLE? In recent years, successive European Capitals of Culture have been ports on the edges of Europe. In the west of Europe, Cork (2005) and Liverpool (2008), in the South, Marseilles (2013) and in the North, Umea (2014): these have all proved to be important entry points to Europe, from America, from North Africa and from Russia. Varna will stand as a vivid and important entry port from the East. All these cities have and will ensure the heightened visibility of Europe to other parts of the world. The winning of the title will not only be a great honour for Varna, it will also be a great responsibility, because the city must be a worthy representative of Bulgaria and a good steward of one of the major European flagship projects. The communication strategy will enthusiastically convey its debt to the EU. In all publications, on the website, in all advertising, in social media, etc., we will always make clear that ECoC is an initiative of the European Union. Additionally, we will extend a proposal to the Italian ECoC to develop joint promotional activities directed to a greater recognition of the European Capital of Culture title. Everyone should be able to connect the programme with the European Union as its main driver. The visibility of the EU will be demonstrated through all official channels, analogue or digital. Our bigger challenge is to make sense of the EU as a cultural project.


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1. DOES THE CITY INTEND TO SET UP A SPECIAL MONITORING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM: — FOR THE IMPACT OF THE PROGRAMME AND ITS KNOCK-ON EFFECTS? — FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT? The process of evaluation and monitoring of Varna 2019 is based on the principles of establishing quantitative indicators to measure the achievement of Varna 2019 main aims and objectives described in the first section of Varna’s application. Stage-by-stage monitoring of the impact and effects of Varna 2019 is of crucial importance for effective management measured against the project’s scheduled goals, as well as for introducing timely corrections in the area of activities, should any diversion from these objectives be found. We have been following the guidelines, surveys and reports on ECoCs, prepared by the cities awarded the title and by the European Institutions, in order to make our own conclusions on existing strengths and weaknesses as well as potential opportunities and risks. The team of Varna 2019 has conducted in-depth research into the monitoring and evaluation systems of past, current and future European Capitals of Culture and studied their published monitoring reports. Our chosen approach is based on the good examples of Liverpool 2008, Guimarães 2012, Wroclaw 2016, Aarhus 2017 and Leeuwarden 2018. Specific objectives and milestones are set in the evaluation plan of Varna 2019 between the designation and the years after ECoC in order to assess the progress made in the preparation and to check the compliance with the programme and the commitments given in our application form. The system for monitoring and assessment of the progress of the Varna – European Capital of Culture 2019 project will be based on the principles of transparency, accountability, openness and integration. ORGANISATION AND FINANCING Monitoring will be conducted in partnership with an interdisciplinary team of academics from the University of Economics - Varna, experts from the Territorial Statistics Bureau – Varna, the non-governmental sector in the city and the supporting region, and the mass media. Representatives of these stakeholders will be organised in an independent team which will monitor and evaluate the work and actual achievements of the management body of Varna 2019. These activities will be financed from the budget of Varna 2019, and co-financing will be negotiated with the University of Economics - Varna, which in partnership with the Ministry of Education, annually announces its invitation for scientific projects of significance for the city of Varna. The Municipality of Varna has already started a process of building capacity in evaluation and monitoring expertise over the last two years. In 2013 and 2014 a special monitoring system for the funding programme of the Culture Directorate was created and implemented by a committee of independent external experts. The result of this work will be a detailed evaluation and monitoring report on the transparency and effectiveness of the budget of the programme and on the cultural and socio-economic effects of the cultural

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events organized through the year. All cultural operators in the city of Varna are showing their willingness to support and work with this monitoring committee and highly appreciate the existence of budget control and results evaluation. TIME SPAN Monitoring will cover the whole build-up period until 2019, the implementation proper throughout 2019 and subsequent impacts, while serving as a reflector of the project’s added value and sustainability. The processes of monitoring and result assessment for Varna 2019 will start immediately after the city is announced European Capital of Culture at the beginning of 2015, with emphasis on the critical year 2019 and sustainability follow-up until 2024, inclusive. The whole process will be monitored through its separate phases: in the Spotlight 2015-2018, Illuminations 2019 and After Glow 2020-2024.

I. Evaluation of the programme’s impact and the programme’s results (cultural, social and economic) 1. INCLUSION & ACCESSIBILITY TO CULTURE a. Number of events organised through the year, their scope and influence; b. Equal access to the events organized within the project’s framework: concrete values (audience number, types of audiences attracted, volunteers, participants in organized events, comparative analysis and assessment of results); c. Geographical scope (number of events organised in the supporting region, international partners involved from EU and from third countries, including the Black Sea region). 2. SOCIAL IMPACT a. Participation of target groups (minorities, disadvantaged people, institutionalized children and youth, elderly people); b. Measured impact on the process of inclusion of the target groups in the community’s cultural and social life. 3. ECONOMY & TOURISM a. Number of visitors to the city (from this country, from Europe, from third countries) and

positive impact on the tourism sector; b. Economic results for the city and surrounding area (economic growth, impact on employment, infrastructure development). 4. IMAGE AND PERCEPTIONS a. Presence in the mass media (from negative towards positive), intensity; b. Degree of reaching people & connecting; c. Importance for Bulgaria’s image building. 5. PROJECT MANAGEMENT a. Compliance with the programme and the commitments given in Varna 2019 application; b. Establishment of strong partnerships, work with the non-governmental sector, citizens and businesses; c. Capacity building; d. Partnership between local governments in the region and coordination of culture-related activities, common cultural policy and platform for social and economic development; e. Decentralisation of cultural policy.

For Varna, success will be measured by the legacy of 2019, five and ten years after the event.


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II. Evaluation of the project’s financial management (effectiveness, sustainability). The expenditure of the funds allotted to the scheduled budget will form an integral part of the independent assessment and monitoring of the project. This aspect of the monitoring process is expected to be highly dynamic. The monitoring commission will be in continuous contact with the management body of Varna 2019 to discuss activities and make recommendations regarding timely reaction and more efficient financial management. The main objective of the financial analysis will be to identify and monitor the funding sources of the project and, in particular, the growing share of participation of the private sector in the financing of cultural events. An internal audit system will be implemented immediately after the city is awarded the title ECoC 2019 to ensure the credibility, effectiveness and the transparency of budget spending. This internal audit department will be part of the Finance Department. The Finance Director will report to the Board of Director on a regular basis. For the annual control an external independent audit firm will conduct the process of financial evaluation. This firm will also ensure the lawfulness and the truthfulness of all reports required by the European Commission through the whole process of implementing the event.

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The programme has a number of key elements: — Online platform with profiles for each of the participating organisations where clients can express their opinion and provide feedback.

— All cultural events during Varna 2019 could be part of the Positive Service programme and could be evaluated directly by the audience.

— A 24/7 automated system for monitoring and analysis of the client activity.

— Secret client programmes.

— Seminars, team buildings for achieving excellence in customer service. — A “6 – ask me why” initiative with certificates and badges for the customer service personnel.

— Mobile app, integrated with the main social networks - apart from Facebook and Twitter, in this case Foursquare and Instagram are also important. — “Positive” information kiosks.

The budget of the project will be 150,000 euros. Some of the possible partners that are identified - Happy Restaurants Varna, Graffit Gallery Hotel, mOdus Hotel, Toy Town, My Cafe by Ani Boland, Varna Airport, Grand Mall Varna, Mall Varna, European Call Centre & Customer Service Awards (The United Kingdom) and Institute of Customer Service (London, the United Kingdom).

Varna 2019 will be at the disposal of the of the Monitoring and advisory panel during the whole monitoring phase, ready to report required data and to secure the successful implementation of the event.



The monitoring reports on the project’s progress, completed to reflect the project’s viability and sustainability, will be published:

The newly created Foundation Varna 2019 intends to combine traditional measuring methods and new digital instruments which will allow more people to participate in the evaluation process. Traditional instruments include questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, statistics data analysis, academic surveys, website analytics, reflection in the media, as well as financial reports and investments/ income numbers and figures. Through the project Positive Service, Varna 2019 is going to implement a new integrated system for monitoring and evaluation in real time provided by the audience. This evaluation platform will allow the Management to follow the big picture of customer relations in real time and to respond adequately to customer needs. The Positive Service project gives a solution to the widespread problem of providing quality customer service - a key factor not only for the success of any European Capital of Culture, but for cities, organisations, businesses and administrations in general. It is all about achieving longlasting change by inspiring people to think and act positively when interacting with clients or potential clients. Each activity in the project is part of an overall programme for promoting positive culture throughout the cultural operators, businesses, NGOs, municipal authorities and others that interact with people directly on an everyday basis.

— At the end of 2018. This report will cover the project’s development from 2015 until the start of 2019 (intermediate and final report). The intermediate report will be completed at the beginning of 2017 for the purpose of timely direction of recommendations to the project’s management body.

— At the beginning of 2020. This report will cover the results from the year of becoming a European Capital of Culture 2019 and will include a comparative analysis (conformity between set goals and achieved results). — At the end of 2024. To report the programme’s long-term effects and added value.


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varna 2019 team dessyslava georgieva – team leader






the natural beauty of the black sea coast

lack of specialist staff in the field of cultural management

establishment of new organisational models for work in the cultural field

strong competition from other bulgarian candidate cities

first bulgarian city to announce its candidature for ecoc 2019 interdisciplinary team, working for the ecoc bidbook great history - town and region rich city festival programme creative youth activities - bidding european youth capital 2017 international dimension of the cultural life of the city tourism infrastructure to receive foreign visitors for ecoc events

lack of appropriate coordination between culture and tourism lack of planning skills for large cultural events lack of openness typical of post-communist countries (right hand acting without left hand knowing) cultural institutions overcentralised in city centre

establishment of better organisational models for working with educational and social institutions, and business sector establishment of new management structure for coordination of the cultural life of the city finding unused spaces for cultural events

encho chakarov, petra dimitrova; assoc. prof. dr. vesselina dimitrova; stanislava genkova; svetlozara hristova programme advisors margarita dorovska, mladen alexiev and georgi kamov communications representatives manuela sarkissyan and encho chakarov

lack of appropriate coordination between culture and education

city council and municipality representatives from varna ivan lukov, daniela dimova, plamena marinova, biser mladenov, hristo ivanov, peycho peychev, antoniya yovcheva, rozalina dimitrova, victor buzev, petko buynovski, liliya hristova, sonya georgieva, bistra dimova, tihomir patarinski and many others

worries concerning supporting events for the ecoc year lack of sufficient financing for the ecoc year continuing cultural drain to the capital city

thanks to all volunteers, coordinated by maya doneva (youth policy expert at varna 2017 european youth capital) thanks to all participants in the design thinking labs, led by elina zheleva (design thinking coach) and georgi kamov (social innovation expert) thanks to all participants in moto activities, coordinated by tihomir bozhanov (media expert) we would like also to thank to all citizens who inspired the city’s candidacy for european capital of culture 2019 and gave their valuable comments and suggestions!

municipality representatives from the region todor dimitrov, sava tiholov, kostadin samardzhiev, tzvetelina georgieva, velina andreeva, diyana borisova, georgy gabrovski, darina kolisheva, margarita velikova, svetlana eneva, rumiyana draycheva, and many others

exchange with eu countries in the field of cultural management

publication text: mladen alexiev, encho chakarov, petra dimitrova, assoc. prof. dr. vesselina dimitrova, margarita dorovska, maya doneva, stanislava genkova, svetlozara hristova, georgi kamov, elina zheleva edit: petra dimitrova, assoc. prof. dr. vesselina dimitrova, svetlozara hristova, stanislava genkova english translation: yvetta asparuhova, boris abrashev, svilen iliev, yuliyana todorova editing and proofreading of the english version: philip cruttwell graphic design: stoycho chakarov photography: rossen donev; other sources: volunteer team of varna 2019; shared pictures in varna 2019 profiles in instagram, facebook and twitter with #inspirevarna printing: helix press, varna

our important strategic geographical location between east and west

2. DOES THE CITY INTEND TO DEVELOP PARTICULAR CULTURAL PROJECTS IN THE COMING YEARS, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE OUTCOME OF ITS APPLICATION FOR THE TITLE OF EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE? PLEASE COMMENT. The city political leadership, its Cultural Department and its cultural operators along with the bid team are working to complete a successful bid to be European Capital of Culture 2019. Meanwhile, the city’s normal cultural program continues and the success of the 2013 and 2014 festivals, for instance, has been splendid. The energy which the bid preparation has generated will undoubtedly raise cultural aspiration and ambition. Indeed, this energy is palpable now. 3. PLEASE ADD BELOW ANY FURTHER COMMENTS WHICH YOU DEEM NECESSARY ON THE SUBJECT OF THIS APPLICATION. We hope this second document speaks for itself.

thanks to all local, national and international institutions, ngos and entrepreneurs, listed on pages from 31 to 33, who took an essential part in the process of creating this application!

this book is printed on re-cycled paper

varna municipality 43, osmi primorski polk blvd. 9000 varna, bulgaria

july 2014 isbn 978-954-92464-4-5 second edition © varna 2019 — port of inspiration

Varna 2019 Bid Book - final version  

Welcome to the final Bid Book of Varna as a candidate city for European Capital of Culture 2019.

Varna 2019 Bid Book - final version  

Welcome to the final Bid Book of Varna as a candidate city for European Capital of Culture 2019.