Professional atelier for culture shows the culture economics of the future in Plovdiv

How young people and different voices to be heard to create a bottom-up culture was presented by the two leading British lecturers Peter Jenkinson and Sheila Wright at a professional atelier in Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019. During the meeting – held within the educational platform FORUM 2019 of Plovdiv 2019 Foundation – more than 30 participants, including representatives of various cultural organizations in the field of culture in Bulgaria, as well as individual artists participated in a joint informal discussion on professional models and challenges in their personal practice.

Peter Jenkinson and Sheila Wright have many years of experience in the field of arts funding in the UK, as well as a remarkable insight into the trends and influences of modern European cultural processes – what they mean to our present, how they change the urban environment, what links they have with entrepreneurship and innovation. Days before the professional workshop in Plovdiv, both of them shared with the public – in an open conversation held in Sofia – their own research and selected examples on issues such as changing the urban environment through culture, the role of cultural entrepreneurs, the functions of creative spaces and shifting to social, civic and politically engaged practices.

The two lecturers encouraged young managers to take more courage in taking risks and implementing experimental approaches but to combine it with building sustainable partnerships in order to achieve meaningful results. “Do not ask for permission, find a way to implement your ideas and be sure that you will be followed.” Sheila says, adding that old models need to be rethought and broken by approaching innovative solutions in discovering opportunities where they have not been previously possible.

Responses can be found in the new attitude towards the spread of information or alternative approaches to engaging the audience, or entering new spaces, as well as the collaboration between professionals and volunteers in the teams. The beauty of culture is that it is created according to the context and is a response to the environment, people and time.

In the spirit of collaboration and integration of different perspectives for successful practices – in their leading of the atelier, the two British lecturers co-operated with Lyubov Kostova, Director of the British Council Bulgaria and author of the world-famous “FameLab” format.

FORUM 2019: BOTTOM-UP CULTURE was realized in a series of two meetings held in Sofia and Plovdiv in May 2017. In the organization and conducting of the event, Plovdiv 2019 Foundation co-operated with British Council Bulgaria, Salzburg Global Seminar, and America for Bulgaria Foundation, as well as the Culture Center of Sofia University.

You can find photos from the FORUM in Plovdiv in the gallery below.



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