Forum 2019

Forum 2019 is a flagship project and a highlight in the programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019. It’s an educational platform that includes information workshops, lectures and meetings aimed at creating partnership networks in an effort to increase awareness, build and develop capacity and audiences in order to lay the foundations for the successful implementation of the ECC project. The themes of Forum 2019 focus on the main issues related to the implementation of the project and aim to provoke professional discussions, exchange of experience and knowledge, and feedback on various topics from the cultural sector.

The project started in 2015 with the idea of creating a legacy of the initiative to transfer skills, experiences and partnerships in the cultural sector. Since 2015 a number of workshops and training events have been held as part of the project, providing information on what the European Capital of Culture project is and teaching practical skills for the preparation of project proposals and project management.

Strategy and content

Competence building and audience development activities are a key strategic goal for the period 2017-19. The platform clearly seeks to develop capacity in the field of international activity, management and community work and networking. Part of the project is dedicated to improving the skills related to how to manage large initiatives. The development strategy envisages:

  • Increasing the level of training events within the project.
  • Creating more practical opportunities for networking and direct cooperation of Bulgarian cultural institutions with similar operators in Europe.

THE LEGACY of this key project is also reflected in the international project Cultart, which the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation won under the Erasmus+ programпе, Youth Sector - Partnerships for Cooperation, administered by the Center for Human Resources Development - Erasmus+ National Agency and which will be realized in the period in 2022 and 2023.

Book of Events 2019

You can check all projects in 2019 – Book of Events – A year and more than 320 projects #together, selected in open calls in accordance with the Bid Book, have been sorted chronologically and thematically into four programme platforms – Fuse, Transform, Revive, and Relax. 

Read the Legacy of Volunteers here.


  • 27 - 29 March 2019 - International networking event ‘Citizens & Culture: Fuse. Transform. Revive!’. The Forum takes place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on 27-29th March 2019. This event is organized by the Europe for Citizens Point Bulgaria and Europe for Citizens Point Serbia in partnership with Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019 and Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2021. This event aims to present the opportunities for funding the Europe for Citizens programme offers to cultural organisations and create an open dialogue and networking space for Bulgarian and Serbian stakeholders interested in the Europe for Citizens programme. Additionally, it celebrates the success of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and Plovdiv 2019 European Capital of Culture. The preregistration is obligatory and is open till 24 March 2019. The detailed programme is here.
  • 24 May 2019 – Melba Live N6, at SKLAD (16 Ekzarh Yosif Str., 3rd floor on the right, 6 pm, Free entry). The event takes place for the first time in Plovdiv as part of the Melba Design Initiatives – a form devoted to topical examples from different areas of design (
  • 8 October 2019 –  Forum 2019. Focus: RoUM Plovdiv. As part of the educational forum 2019, students and teachers from Stolipinovo and Sheker Mahala districts in Plovdiv and the Croatian artists part of RoUM take part in creating design, marketing concepts and creating different objects connected to the global idea of zero waste. The final results as well as individual artistic ideas are exhibited at the PLOVEDIV Gallery space on 8 October at 6pm with free entry. In 2020 the exhibition will be part of the programme of Rijeka – European Capital of Culture.
  • 22 – 23 November 2019 – Looking Back & Thinking Forward International Meeting in Plovdiv jointly organized by Plovdiv 2019 Foundation and Goethe Institute Bulgaria – A recap of the results of the European Capital of Culture Plovdiv 2019. Details – HERE.

Events related to the development of the project in the preivous years:


  • 29 September 2015
    Forum 2019: Focus: Tobacco City - includes a public discussion on the development of the Tobacco City project (details at: /
  • 24 November 2015
    Forum 2019: Focus: Introduction to Contemporary Art - a public lecture by the curator René Bloch, who presented his work as curator of some world-renowned biennial events for contemporary art. (
  • 15 December 2015
    Forum 2019: Focus: Culture – a public presentation and discussion on the topic "30 years ECC - Successful and Unsuccessful Project Examples, ECC Symbols, Sustainability and Long-Term Goals, the concept Together.


  • 16 February 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Kapana - a public meeting with cultural operators and entrepreneurs from Plovdiv with an interest in, or who are developing activities in Kapana, the creative industries neighbourhood and focus of European Capital of Culture (
  • 9, 17, 24, 31 March 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Museums - an information meeting with museum directors and curators from Plovdiv.
  • 21 March 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Tobacco City - presentation of the online platform related to the Tobacco City project and the basic project development concept (
  • 2, 9, 16, 23 and 24 April 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Introduction to Contemporary Art - a course of lectures organized jointly with the Open Arts Foundation (
  • 8, 13, 20 April 2016                                                                                   
    Forum 2019: Focus: Museums - a series of information meetings with museum directors and curators from Plovdiv.
  • 14 April 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Creative Europe - a series of meetings organised in collaboration with Creative Europe Desk and Europe for Citizens in Bulgaria, with an emphasis on the opportunities available to apply for funding under European programmes.
  • 17 May 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: European Capital of Culture – the first national presentation of the project Plovdiv – ECC 2019, updated programme, key projects, inclusion opportunities (held at the Sofia University -
  • 19, 20 May 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Museums – a series of information meetings
  • 16 June 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Creative Europe - a network meeting of partners with the participation of representatives of cultural organisations in Plovdiv and their European partners.
  • 30 June 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Open Calls - an information workshop held after the public announcement of the two open calls for projects for the programme of Plovdiv ECC 2019. (
  • 21 July, 1 and 10 August 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Open Calls - three consecutive online information webinars, allowing the inclusion of cultural operators from different cities of Bulgaria and abroad (
  • 13 September 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: EU-JAPAN FEST – an information workshop.
  • 28 October 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Tobacco City – a forum-discussion on the immovable cultural heritage - conservation, control and sanctions. With the special participation of Peter Mitsching, the director of Preservation of Cultural Monuments, Görlitz, Germany -
  • 1 November 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: EU-JAPAN FEST - a working meeting with the general representative of EU Japan Fest, an information workshop on cooperation.
  • 19 November 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Volunteers – an information workshop (
  • 25 November 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Chitalishta – a workshop with a working meeting and a fair-exhibition (
  • 28 and 29 November 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: Museums – live video streaming: Museum Expositions and Standards: Looking Forward (
  • 13 December 2016
    Forum 2019: Focus: European Capital of Culture - Wrocław ECC 2016 – a demonstration of real examples of a successful European Capital of Culture (


Competence building and audience development activities are key strategic goals for the period 2017-19. The platform is clearly seeking to develop capacity in the field of international activities, the management and work in communities and building of networks.

  • 24 January 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus EU-Japan FEST – an information seminar
  • 27 February 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Varna – European Youth Capital 2017 (
  • 17-18 March 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Volunteers – Two days with Mary Sadovska, curator in Stage Productions, Wrocław – European Capital of Culture 2016. All the participants got to know what it is about being a volunteer, what the tasks, responsibilities and teamwork loyalty are (
  • 11-15 May 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: European Capital of Culture -- “Down With/Long Live Culture" includes two events in the field of culture management, creating partnerships and the realization of art ideas from the bottom up. Moderators: Peter Jenkinson (culture broker), Shelagh Wright (director of ThreeJohnsandShelagh, Mission Models Money and member of Demos UK and Toynbee Studios) and Lyubov Kostova  (director of the British Council Bulgaria) -
  • 20 June 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Tobacco City – discussion and workshop on Industrial Archaeology – The living city in the context of contemporary concepts of cultural heritage -
  • 22 August 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus Kapana – Open doors day – info about applicant organisations, Open call in Plovdiv (
  • 30 August 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Kapana – Open Doors Day - info about applicant organisations, open call in Sofia (
  • 26 September 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: European Capital of Culture – San Sebastian 2016 shared its experience in tourism with Plovdiv. The first thematic forum dedicated to the tourist industry’s readiness to realise the ECC 2019 project. With the participation of Fernando Álvarez Busca, marketing director of the ECC 2016 San Sebastian. The event was organized by the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and the Plovdiv-based municipal company Tourism and the Instituto Cervantes in Sofia. Also the director of Instituto Cervantes, Javier Valdivielso Odriozola, and the director of the Sofia branch of the British Council, Lyubov Kostova, took part.
  • 30 September 2017
    Focus 2019: Focus: European Capital of Culture - "Before and After ECC" – Wrozlaw 2016: Plovdiv 2019 – Discussion about the directions and challenges before the realization of the ECC project (
  • 12 October 2017
    Forum 2019, in conjunction with Goethe-Institut – ifa at 100 – German Institute for International Relations. On 12 October (6:30 pm) at Goethe-Institut Sofia, Elke aus dem Moore – the director of the Department for Visual Arts, presented the ifa institute in the context of the organisation’s 100th anniversary. Ms. Aus dem Moore talked about ifa and some of its key operations, among them the organization of Germany’s participation in the Venice Biennial. Ms Aus dem Moore’s visit was organized by the Goethe-Institut Bulgaria and the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation.
  • 23-24 November 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus Volunteers – with trainers from Japan and Romania. A practical one-day training for volunteers in the context of the ECC. The programme featured the acquisition of techniques for solving practical cases in fieldwork and role games for the building of skills for teamwork. The speakers were: Mayumi Taniguchi, coordinator for international volunteer programme of the partners of the EU JAPAN FEST Foundation, and Liliana Lirka, coordinator with the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania. (ECC 2008). The practical part saw the participation of Cosmin Rapenu, who used to work for the “Sibiu-Takayama”, a volunteer exchange project (
  • 30 November 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Culture Community Centres – information meetings with representatives of culture community centres from the South Central Region in line with the special open call regulation (
  • 12-13 December 2017
    Forum 2019: Focus: Creative Europe – a network meeting of partners
    In 2018 and 2019 the platform will focus on the acquisition of practical knowledge and skills, especially those applicable for work in international contexts.

In 2018 educational series focus on:

  • Digital media and art
  • Audience development
  • Museum programme for children
  • Interactive training

Part of the efforts for development of audiences have to do also with the pARTnership project, which we are developing jointly with cultural institutions in Plovdiv – the Plovdiv Opera, the Museum of Ethnography, the National Library and the City Art Gallery. The project focuses on the inclusion of Roma schoolchildren – first to fourth graders – in an educational mentorship programme.

  • 15 January 2018 Focus 2019 also featured the participation of students from the university of the city of Leeuwarden (ЕСC 2018), who suggested ideas and projects for the enhanced inclusion of elderly people as volunteers. Thirty students presented projects of various ad campaigns.
  • 28 March 2018
    Forum 2019: Focus: Tourism. The second in a series of forums dedicated to the city’s preparation for European Capital of Culture in 2019. The event seeks to engage / commit and support the tourist branch at all levels for the welcome of numerous visitors to the city in the year of the ECC title and earlier. Guest speakers are Kristian Trane, manager of regional and community relations of Aarhus – European Capital of Culture 2017, and Neil Peterson from Liverpool - European Capital of Culture 2008 and consultant for many European capitals of culture.
  • 18-19 May 2018  Forum 2019: Focus: Volunteers – Tell It With Pictures – a workshop for volunteers in the SKLAD culture space for visualization of ideas (
  • 26 May - 8 July 2018 Forum 2019: Create your own world – five self-contained workshops organized by Ars Electronica Linz and the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation in conjunction with Melformator and the Austrian Embassy in Sofia. The project consists of presentations and workshops for children with an interest in contemporary technologies. The subjects are robotics, virtual reality, video and music laboratories, biotechnologies and programming. Details at:
  • 12 June 2018 - Forum 2019: Creative Europe Focus - in the area of SKLAD in the Tobacco City, the next informal meeting of the Creative Europe Bureaus was held across Europe. The host of the event was the Plovdiv 2019 (details at
  • 29 June 2018 - Forum 2019: Focus on Audience Development - from 10:00 to 17:00, at SKLAD, Practical one-day workshop for building audiences within the European Capital of Culture project, together with British Council and Plovdiv 2019, delivered by Arts Marketing Association, London. Access is free, pre-registration is required by June 25 at
  • 27 September 2018Forum 2019: Kapana visits the Tobacco City - from 17:30 to 19:00 at SKLAD (16 Ekzarh Yosif, Tobacco City)- Open discussion and presentation by Petar Radev, 4th year Tourism Management student in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For his graduation project he chose to design a marketing plan which promotes Kapana Creative District to the Western European tourist and the Dutch Millenials in particular. 
  • 14 November 2018, at 20:30, within the platform Forum 2019 a lecture by the world-renowned photographer Roger Ballen will be held at SKLAD. The photographer will open the retrospective exhibition with his photographs, "Roger Ballen. Archetypes". The lecture is in English. The entrance is free, pre-registration is required HERE. The talk with the artist will be about photography and what is beyond it, the art that remains, and the stages in which his work passes over time.
  • 1 December 2018 - Conference about the Establishment of a Regional Placemaking Network and The Spot Project, at 8.30 am, at the SKLAD (16, Ekzarh Yosif Street, Tobacco City). More information and registration for the event can be found here: The event will bring together Bulgarian and European experts in the field of "placemaking" to start the establishment of a professional network in Bulgaria. The conference will offer a series of topics, specific sessions, discussions and workshops, based on practical experience and successful projects in the context of European "placemaking" ( 

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