Aarhus 2017: The European Capital of Culture is coming.
Highlights on the programme are officially launched.
by Anna Ferrari
A great event is approaching Aarhus: in 2017, Aarhus will be the European Capital of Culture (Europæisk Kulturhovedstad Aarhus 2017). Obtaining the status of European Capital of Culture for one year means to be part of an EU project with the support of the European Commission, aiming at empowering and sharing different cultures in the EU, finding the common European traits and improving the life quality of European cities through art and innovation.
Last Thursday, on the 21st of January, the Secretariat of Aarhus 2017 officially presented a special overview on the programme to the national and international press and to the sponsors, in total about 400 guests, at Turbinehallen.
At the venue, a rustic yet appealing congress hall close to the urban harbour, the excitement was in the air. The Secretariat was eager to show the first highlights, both because they wanted to get everybody fascinated and interested, as well as to put a stop to critical voices from the local media about the secrecy that, according to them, was kept so far on the programme. Truth is, that there is still a long way to go until next year. Therefore, not the whole programme can be disclosed yet.
Two women were in charge of delivering the first information to the public: Rebecca Matthews, CEO Aarhus 2017 Foundation, and Juliana Engberg, Programme Director. The use of videos and colour-changing lights, resembling a symbol of the city, namely the ARoS Art Museum’s rainbow, made the presentation dynamic and of impact.
On the 21st of January 2017, exactly one year after this presentation, the official opening of Aarhus Capital of Culture will take place in the city. An official countdown was recently installed on the facade of Dokk1, where the administration of Aarhus 2017 has its headquarters. Everybody can now literally see the time approaching and get prepared.
As Programme Director Juliana Engberg pointed out: “Creating new cities produces an environment for risk taking, diversity and talented communities. Importantly, cities become thus global cities”.
What to expect: ReThinking art, music, theatre, literature, food, sport and nature.
A wish list for every taste.
Even if the project’s title is Aarhus 2017, the whole Central Denmark Region with its municipalities will be involved. “We are stimulating a creative region across middle Denmark”, explained Engberg. “We want to unfold its potential to create a desirable and sustainable place to live in. We are working with fashion, design, food, film, the digital industries and architecture to leave a legacy to the generations to come”. Keywords are diversity, democracy and sustainability and the motto is “ReThink”.
Among the many events, here are some of the most surprising ones:
And much more is to come: In total, 350 projects are developing in the city and in the whole region.
The full programme’s launch is scheduled for the 12th of October 2016. In the meantime, it is advisable to stay tuned for upcoming events and plan the participation in advance. It is also possible to get closer as a volunteer, becoming a “ReTHINKer” through the online application here. Even if there are not many tasks for volunteers yet, the administration is working on it.
As CEO Rebecca Matthews underlined: “Denmark will not host another European Capital of Culture soon, and not in our region anyway, so we feel the responsibility to do the best. It is a chance to make the difference, to deliver a magical and meaningful year and to ask big questions about who we are and who we want to be”.
For more detailed information on selected events, go here.