The European Capital of Culture Supports Artists from All over Serbia

The ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation’s open call, which supported local artists for the first time two years ago during the coronavirus pandemic, has now included artists from all over Serbia. At the third ‘Artists. Now!’ open call, 42 projects were selected to be implemented as part of the fifth Kaleidoscope of Culture, between 1 September and 7 October, in the network of cultural stations, one of the most important infrastructure projects of the European Capital of Culture, unique in this part of Europe.

‘The network of cultural stations has become an excellent platform for audience development, but the other direction of this process, which is equally important for us, is the inclusion of artists in the concept of decentralisation and their understanding of the potential that work in spaces outside the centre has, not only for local communities but also for themselves. We are glad that numerous artists from the whole country will be working in the cultural stations this time. We hope that they will be inspired by this experience and apply it in their own communities’, said the cultural stations’ network coordinator Violeta Đerković.

The open call itself, as a process that aims to remain a legacy of the city after the year of the European Capital of Culture title, as well as the network of cultural stations in the spatial sense and the Kaleidoscope of Culture in the programmatic sense, were from the very beginning recognised and supported by important actors outside the world of culture, such as Mercator-S company and the IDEA brand.

‘We knew from the start that this would be a wonderful initiative that would systematically encourage artists to explore and develop art in the most diverse directions. This year is the crown of our partnership. Especially ‘Artists. Now!’, because together we raised the whole idea to the national level, and we share the joy with as many as 42 selected projects in the production of which we also participate as a partner. I really hope that the winning ideas will leave a mark in art, attract the attention of the public, and encourage each of us to think about some topics in a slightly different way’, said Jelena Mitrović, Director of the In-Store Communications Sector at the Mercator-S company.

The artists Isidora Vlček and Aleksandar Topić are among those selected in the open call which included and supported the most diverse forms of art, thus depicting the main idea on which the Kaleidoscope of Culture is based – the culture of togetherness.

‘Every independent artist needs every kind of support, especially nowadays, and when it happens, it gives a great boost and inspiration to persevere. That’s why I’m grateful to be part of this arch, to have the opportunity to stage the play ‘How to Build Character?’ with my wonderful colleagues and to share with the children this educational, interactive story about how to be better and more complete people tomorrow’, said Vlček, and Topić agreed with her.

‘In addition to the excellent system organisation and financial assistance for the implementation of the project, this is a great confirmation of my work so far. As an independent artist from the city of Novi Sad, who has been building an artistic expression and brand for 11 years, the realisation of the ‘From Studio to Entrepreneurship’ project will be a real opportunity for me to share my multi-layered experience with interested visitors and participants and answer their questions and dilemmas. Apart from the confirmation and presentation of my work, this will also be the guidance and education of young people who are engaged in art and want to enter the entrepreneurial waters’, said Topić.

Since 2020, when the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation announced it for the first time, 136 projects have been supported as part of the ‘Artists. Now!’ open call. The Kaleidoscope of Culture is one of the two programme arches of the European Capital of Culture along with Doček thanks to which Novi Sad also received the Award for the best European trend brand in the field of culture in November 2021 in Dresden.

Photo: Vladimir Veličković, Promo