Sofia Creative Partnerships

  • Published: 13 May 2017 22:30
  • Author: Intercultura Consult

READY FOR ACTION –Proposals of the ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ project

The public presentation of  the ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ project results took place on July 5, 2017 at  Goethe-Institut Bulgaria. The auditorium gathered agents of the arts scene, cultural operators, business representatives, municipal officials and journalists. The project ambition was to jointly discuss and propose initiatives for successful trilateral involvement – business, art scene and city that will boostthe creative potential of Sofia.

The audience were greeted by the host and project partner (Enzio Wetzel, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria). They were introduced to the project methodology and the process of work (Petya Koleva PhD, InterculturaConsult®) and the evaluation of activities from the point of view of the project’s external observer (Victor Yankov, Plovdiv 2019 European Capital of Culture).  Focus was directed at the research on current patronage practices in Bulgaria (Elena Pap and Plamen Radev, ‘Fire Theatre'). There was a detailed presentation of the concrete proposals made by the two work groups of the project (Gergana Dimitrova, „36 Monkeys - organization for contemporary alternative art and culture“, АСТ).  A public discussion allowed participants and audience to exchange views and make suggestions for a follow up on this project.

The collaborative work of the experts has led to the following proposals for action that represent an intersection of the interests of the business, the arts scene and the municipality and which have the potential to boost the creative capacity of Sofia and raise local cultural capital:

Local level initiatives in Sofia:

- Business &  arts scene professional development initiatives, training arts managers in business skills and offering an inversed training for the business partners  to partake in the logic of artistic creation and public presentation of contemporary art in Sofia ;

- Building a contemporary art incubator in Sofia  to promote innovation and creativity initiatives based on trilateral partnerships;

- Introducing incentives for business involvement in the cultural processes of Sofia;

- Backing the Sofia information platform for culture as a gateway for the cultural and related sector offerings and their audiences and clients (local, guests and tourists)  in Sofia;

-  Establishing an education platform for science, technology and contemporary art facing the schools and youth of Sofia;

National level initiatives in Bulgaria:

- Campaign for a 5-minute cultural slot in the prime-time news bulletin of national and local media

- Joining forces to reform legal provision and boost patronage practices in Bulgaria

Many of the above listed proposals for joint action establish an overlap with priorities of the proposal for strategy “Shared Vision for DANCE, MUSIC, LITERATURE, THEATRE AND VISUAL ARTS in Sofia (2016 - 2023)” that was developed with the support of Sofia Municipal Programme Europe 2016. This fact indicates that next to the free arts scene of Sofia, the businesses in the capital city recognise the high potential of those action lines and would back them.

Ms. Mihaela Ivanova, member of the Sofia Municipal Council and Member of the Standing Committee on education, culture, science and cultural diversity participated directly in the a work group of the project. She announced to the audience that a motion is foreseen to bring the strategy proposal for discussion by the standing committeesof Sofia Municipality and the Sofia Municpal Council leading to the endorsement of the strategy proposal “Shared Vision for DANCE, MUSIC, LITERATURE, THEATRE AND VISUAL ARTS in Sofia (2016 - 2023)”.

All project documents are publicly available (in Bulgarian) from the site of  ACT Association for Independent Theatre:

- four protocols of the meetings of the two distinct expert work groups,

- three reports of the external observer,

- the report on current patronage practices in Bulgaria

- a digital project publication is due in August 2017.


Project team:

Gergana Dimitrova, project leader ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ and chair of „36 Monkeys - organization for contemporary alternative art and culture“;

Petya Koleva, process leader ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships, founder of Intercultura Consult ®;

Hristian Yovchev, coordinator participants and locations ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’;

Katrin Hrusanova, coordinator networks and partners ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’, chair of ‘Association of independent theatre’

The project ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ investigates the opportunities for fruitful collaboration among Sofia’s businesses and the arts scene of Sofia assisted by local authorities. The project is supported by Sofia Municipal Programme Europe 2017 and run by „36 Monkeys - organization for contemporary alternative art and culture“.

Project partners: Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Foundation "About Oborishte”.The project is run with the support of Vaska Emanouilova Gallery - branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery, ACT Association for Independent Theatre and  Intercultura Consult ®

Detailed project information and documentation is available here. You can also join the social page SharedVision to get notified of updates

The project ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ furthers a key objective of the proposed strategy Shared Vision for DANCE, MUSIC, LITERATURE, THEATRE AND VISUAL ARTS in Sofia (2016 - 2023).'Sofia Creative Partnerships’ complements the vision of the projects „Toplocentala” and „Synergy“ that specifically foresee the partnering of  business, creative scene and city for the benefit of creating Sofia’s new, public-facing contemporary arts spaces.The project ‘Sofia Creative Partnerships’ highlights current practices in which various types of (Sofia-based) businesses support contemporary arts projects or in which they become part of initiatives that strengthen the creative scene of Sofia in the long-term. 

We welcome your ideas and support, you can get in touch with the project team here