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Brussels, 15 February 2011

Culture in Motion: EU-backed culture projects benefit innovation and public services

Nearly 30 cross-border cultural projects supported by the European Union will be showcased today at the "Culture in Motion: Pathways to EU2020" conference in Brussels. The event, bringing together over 600 participants, aims to highlight how innovative cultural partnerships can contribute to the Europe 2020 goals for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as helping to address other challenges like climate change.

Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who is responsible for education and culture, said: "At a time when many of Europe's businesses are facing difficulties, the cultural and creative industries - contributing nearly 3% to the EU's GDP - have experienced unprecedented growth. The projects we are highlighting demonstrate that culture-based creativity can bring benefits for many other sectors, supporting innovation in business, public services and responses to social needs."

The featured projects received grants ranging from €100.000 to €2.5 million from various EU funds, including the Culture Programme. They include:

  • The IMAGINE 2020 – seeing climate change through art project, which backs associations in Germany, France, the UK, Netherlands, Portugal, Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia which are supporting artists who tackle the issue of climate change through art and who present environmentally sustainable performances. The project, which runs from 2010 to 2015, received a grant of €2.2 million – equivalent to 50% of its costs. Theresa von Wuthenau, project coordinator, says that the EU support helps to "explore how artists can help the shift towards a low carbon economy, by engaging a generation of artists in Europe with climate issues and by promoting creative exchanges with the world of science, philosophy and history."

  • The renowned Festival d'Art Lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence, which incorporates the European academy of music, provides training and guidance for young European artists. The EU support finances new compositions and productions. Bernhard Foccroulle, the festival's general director, says: "We don't want opera to be seen as a 'museum' - an art-form with only a past. We aim to make it a place of creation, exchange and sharing. 20 living composers found their place in the 2010 festival and we presented several world premières." The festival received a grant totalling €195 000 over the past two years.

  • The European Media Art Network, with partners from Germany, the UK, Netherlands and Bulgaria, supports experimental film, sound and computer-based artists. Project leader Peter Zorn says: "A recent show brought together more than 11,000 visitors over 14 weeks - not just professionals from across Europe, but local kids and pensioners who had never seen media art before and who responded actively to the artists bringing these new perspectives from other parts of Europe to their hometown." The project, which ran from 2007-2009, received €158 000 to support training and access to new markets for young media artists.

The Culture in Motion Conference: "Pathways to EU2020" takes place on Tuesday 15 February (13:00-18:30) and Wednesday 16 February (09:30-13:00) at Square Meeting Centre – Glass Entrance – Rue Mont des Arts, B-1000 Brussels.

Media will be able to meet and interview project organizers.


To find out more:

The Conference's projects:

The conference's website:

European Commission's website on

Commissioner Vassiliou's website:

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