The "Reconnect" micro incubator project was finalized successfully in August 2021. The project gathered valuable data and feedback about the interests and habits of audiences in Bulgaria towards cultural content in a digital environment. The project provided opportunity for creative production via innovating the value chain in a shared incubation process. Four experiments with new digital content were piloted and assessed for their effectiveness. See detailed information below.
Project publications & output
Reconnect: incubating cultural offers for the digital audiences
Authors: Petya Koleva, Milena Berbenkova
Reconnect: Cultural Content and Audiences in the Digital Environment
Authors: Petya Koleva, Milena Berbenkova
Reconnect: Hybrid Approaches Engaging the Public Across Genres and Regions
Creation and distribution of creative and related to creative production content for digital environment
Authors: Lidiya Peycheva, Emil Denev
Reconnect: First Insights from the Research on the Interest towards Cultural Content in the Digital Environment
Authors: Milena Berbenkova, Petya Koleva
"Audiences in the digital environment" - online workshop August 26, 2021
Together with 12 representatives of cultural organizations in the country we developed target audience profiles and shared methods for connecting and maintaining communication with them in the digital environment.
Final Results Presentation
July 13, 2021, at Swimming Pool art space
Together with our creative partners, we shared data from the audience analysis, experience with digital content experiments, and guidelines for working in a digital environment, with cultural organizations from Sofia, Elin Pelin and Gabrovo. The event was also broadcast live on Facebook. See the recording in Bulgarian here.
You can read the presentation from the event in Bulgarian here.
Guidelines for Cultural Organizations in the Digital Environment
Based on the project research and the analysis of the creative partners’ work, we created guidelines for work in a digital environment for cultural organizations. Audiovisual content experts Lidia Peycheva and Emil Denev have compiled a set of strategic and technical guidelines for planning, creating and distributing content online. See the document in Bulgarian here.
Experimental Content from our Creative Partners
Our creative partners used insights from our research in the creation of their content and the planning of their events.
“OCAAC - 36 Monkeys” presented a series of online play readings as their first experiment. They presented “The Pipiloti Mist Case”. You can see the episodes here. Their second experiment involved presenting their video project What about Bats? on Instagram.
Puppet theatre “Malle-malle” held a hybrid event on 16 May 2021 – an episode of their online show “The World of Malle-malle”. For the first time the organization conducted an episode with live audiences on the spot. You can watch a recording of the live stream here.
Meeting Points Foundation created a digital prototype of their Food and Spices tour, taking place in the region of the Women’s market in Sofia. The digital format gives users the opportunity to pass through part of the tour route individually. The digital tour was available in both English and Bulgarian.
Research and data analysis
The research was conducted in three stages:
● Analysis of the current digital audiences of the creative partners - data
● Online survey of the general public which took place from December 2020 to February 2021. More than 700 people took part.
● 4 focus groups with representatives of the general public in March 2021.
Read a summary of the main insights from our first analysis of the survey and focus groups HERE.
Key insights from the survey on the audience’ interests in cultural content online:
The project was executed in partnership with: Meeting Points Foundation, CAAC - 36 Monkeys Association, Malle-malle Puppet Theater, Lidia Peycheva, Nelly Stoeva, Petya Boyukova, Emil Denev and physical event host Swimming Pool, Sofia.
Reconnect aimed to investigate audience attitudes towards today's cultural offers in the digital environment. In partnership with organizations and creators working with theatre, music, performance art, cinema and visual art, it conducted research on a wider spectrum of views and the needs of the public in relation to diverse cultural offers.
The needs and interests of the audience were explored through analysis of the digital audiences of partner organizations, a public survey, focus groups, and experimentations with new cultural content. The collected data and feedback were analysed and led to the creation of guidelines on strategic approaches for cultural operators to improve their reach to specific audiences and enhance the quality of the digital cultural experiences.
Reconnect is based on earlier findings of Intercultura Consult (March 2020) on the ways the independent creative sector in Bulgaria has adapted to working during the pandemic. You can find it HERE.
Meeting Points is a not-for-profit organisation that creates opportunities for transformative meetings between people, who often do not see many commonalities among each another. The organisation uses art, culture and non-formal education as a means to work with communities whose access to art and culture in Bulgaria is limited.
Established in 2007, 36 Monkeys is the creator of numerous theater and performance art productions for stage and for non-theatre spaces. 36 Monkeys are an established name in contemporary drama and theatrical experiments. The organization has been recognised with numerous theater awards and nominations, and their performances are selected in national and international festivals.
Malle-Malle Puppet Theater opened in 2013 as a street puppet theater. The troupe has toured and participated in а multitude of tours and festivals. The team has created numerous performances (with and without puppets), including their emblematic soap bubbles show. In March 2020, the theater started their online television channel "Malle-malleTV".
Photo: Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool is a non-profit art project space and organization in Sofia, founded in 2015. Its focus lies on artist and curatorial research, collaborative approaches, art education and art politics.
Photo: Vasil Tanev
Petya Boyukova is a set designer, she has worked with directors Stayko Murdzhev, Mariy Rosen, Ivan Dobchev, Grigor Antonov, and others. She creates scenography for performances in non-theatrical spaces, among which is "Happy Beckett" (2018), an interactive performance in which the audience is the playwright. Her numerous festival participations and exhibition projects connect her to current artistic practices, while she also teaches History of the Costume as an assistant professor at the National Academy of Arts, Bulgaria. She is nominated for the theater awards Askeer 2013 and Icarus 2020.
Dr. Nelly Stoeva is a senior assistant professor at the Department of History and Theory of Culture in Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". She has lead research and applied projects in the field of cultural policy, cultural management, mapping of the cultural sector, civic participation in policies, and others. She is an expert of the National “Culture” Fund, Bulgaria and part of the team formulating the Municipal Strategy "Sofia - Creative Capital" 2013 - 2023.
Lidiya Peycheva is an expert in project management in the field of culture and arts with experience in development and execution of productions for cultural products and events since 2013. From 2015 to early in 2020 she was Chief Expert Programs and Projects at the National Culture Fund under the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture where she updated the regulations of the fund sessions, initiated and participated in the introduction of an electronic application system and information campaigns for candidates. Currently Lidiya consults NCF and private cultural organizations on digital communication, visual representation, digital transformation of activities and projects for audience development, monitoring, and sustainability and development strategies.
Emil Denev is a film director who graduated from New Bulgarian University and the Art College for Media Arts in Sofia. He has experience in documentary projects, corporate and commercial video, music videos, marketing campaign videos and many video projects for non-profit organization. During the last 5 years he has been actively developing his videography and video editing skills.