TEH Open Letter of support to the ECOC Selection Panel

Open Letter of support to the 
ECOC Selection Panel concerning the decision of the European Commission to cancel the 2023 ECOC preselection of five cities in the United Kingdom.

To the ECOC Selection Panel,

On 23 November 2017, the experts nominated to the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) Selection Panel expressed their concern regarding the decision of the European Commission to cancel the 2023 ECOC pre-selection of five cities in the United Kingdom.

In their Open Letter, the Panel members stress that “the undeterred will of five cities across the UK – Belfast, Dundee, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Nottingham – to work on their bids for a European Capital of Culture in 2023, despite the complex political situation, is a valuable sign of the wish for cooperation with European cultural partners.”

Trans Europe Halles, the European network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists, wishes to express its support for the ECOC Selection Panel’s Open Letter, and the candidacy of the five United Kingdom cities for the ECOC 2023 pre-selection. These cities have clearly and already put enormous effort and enthusiasm in compiling a bid for 2023 ECOC.

Indeed, we think it is of the utmost importance to continue European-British partnerships such as the European Capital of Culture and multilateral projects like Creative Lenses.

Transnational cooperation, on all levels, is more important than ever in the times we are living, and should transcend regional and national politics. Cross-border collaboration enriches people, creates a shared understanding, common values, and commits to lifelong curiosity and exchange. Culture connects people. Values overcome polarisation. The arts awaken the mind and revitalise cities and regions.

Excluding cities and regions from this opportunity is a statement, which is one-sided, short-sighted, and benefits no one in the long-term. Our shared creativity reaches beyond our own and our neighbours’ borders. Future cultural collaboration between the European Union and the United Kingdom, its cities and organisations will help strengthen partnerships and enrich both parties.

With this letter, Trans Europe Halles would like to urge the European Commission to reconsider its decision, and thereby accept the five bids for ECOCs from the United Kingdom.

Mieke Renders,
Managing Director of Trans Europe Halles

Executive Committee of Trans Europe Halles:
Gerard Lohuis, P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands.
Raine Heikkinen, Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki, Finland.
Luca Kövecs, Bakelit Multi Arts Centre, Budapest, Hungary.
Irena Boljuncin Gracin, Rojc Association Alliance, Pula, Croatia.
Eleftérios Kechagioglou, Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde, Bagneaux, France.
Per Arne Alstad, Tou Scene, Stavanger, Norway.
Amelie Snyers, Village Underground, London, UK.
Katarina Duricová, Stanica, Zilina, Slovakia.

Trans Europe Halles | Stora Södergatan 64, 222 23 Lund, Sweden | www.teh.net

Pdf version of the open letter

Read Leeds 2023 press statement

Photo Credit: Leeds 2023 Website

European Cultural Forum 7-8 December 2017, Milan

The European Culture Forum is a biennial flagship event organised by the European Commission to raise the profile of European cultural cooperation, to bring together cultural sectors’ key players and to debate on EU culture policy and initiatives. Its 2017 edition will also mark the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the thematic EU year devoted to our common cultural assets and all their aspects.

The event, for the first time outside of Brussels, will take place at Superstudio in the booming creative neighbourhood of Tortona in Milan on 7-8 December. This extraordinary event venue, once a bicycle factory and then a place for fashion publishing and art created by a renowned Italian art director Flavio Lucchini in the 1980s, will provide an inspiring and thought-provoking decorum for lively discussions, unexpected meetings and fruitful exchange.

  • Can culture help to tackle European and global challenges?
  • Does cultural heritage matter to Europeans?
  • How can culture in cities and regions help to shape more cohesive and inclusive societies?

Come to Milan to discuss, listen, think and get inspired.

Trans Europe Halles will join the discussions over the two days of the Forum. On Day 2 of the Forum, Trans Europe Halles will run a parallel working session titled Creative spaces – reinventing tomorrow’s shared heritage, together with The European Creative Hubs Network project

Creative spaces – reinventing tomorrow’s shared heritage – session overview
Friday 8 December – 14:15-15:15
Creative spaces might vary in size, scope or financing model, but they play a key role to bring communities together, create economic and creative value. This session will present lessons learned and current trends in the sector as well as main recommendations to enable a wide variety of models for creative spaces in the dawn of the 21st century. The session will draw on practical examples from the Creative Europe co-funded projects Creative Lenses and the Trans Europe Halles network, and the European Creative Hubs Network.

Download the programme (pdf)

Become a member of TEH Selection Committees | Start-up and Leadership

Trans Europe Halles needs 6 representatives from TEH members for two selection committees in the framework of Factories of Imagination. Two committees (3 people for each committee) will be responsible for the selection process of applicants in Start-Up and Leadership programmes. Along with one Executive Committee member and one TEH Coordination Office staff, committee members will design and initiate the selection process.  This selection process will take place end January / early February. It will launch the programmes consisting of coaching, study visits and other capacity building schemes to selected cultural centres.

1) Start-up Programme

Responding to a growing need of support regarding the re-purposing of buildings (industrial, commercial, etc.) into cultural centres managed by civil society organisations, Trans Europe Halles is launching a programme to support three emerging centres. The programme prioritises geographical areas where the development of civil society and the creative economy are most needed: Balkans, Eastern Partnership and South Mediterranean countries. First year’s focus will be on the Balkans. Start-up support programme consists of scoping visits by two experts, consultancy and coaching.

Selection process for the Start-up: End January – Early February 2018

Be part of the Start-up Selection Committee by sending your application not later than Friday 15th December.

Number of TEH representatives needed: 3

2) Leadership Programme

The Leadership programme engages with the real needs and circumstances of cultural leaders: how to work internationally and inter-culturally, understanding the role of power, purpose, risk and conflict, initiating and leading change processes, organisational development and supporting creative teams. The call will be for cultural operators in small and medium-sized TEH centres. Leadership programme consists of the peer to peer learning, mentoring and coaching. The first meeting will take place in June or July 2018 at UFA Fabrik, Berlin.

Selection process for the Leadership programme: February 2018

Be part of the Leadership programme Selection Committee by sending your application not later than Friday 15th December.

Number of TEH representatives needed: 3

(Note: You want to apply for this program yourself you cannot be in this committee)

Fill out this  form if you are interested in becoming a member of TEH selection committees

If you need more information, contact Michel Quéré, michel@teh.net

SULA Conference: Sustainability and Love for Arts


SULA – Sustainability and Love for Arts is a new event for creative work and business and it is organised for the first time on 11-12th October at the Cable Factory. The word SULA means ”melt” in Finnish and it describes the event’s goal to melt ideas into new forms of creative thinking and working. SULA professional festival will bring together the makers of art, creative entrepreneurs and their intermediaries and business support experts. Further information at the Cable Factory’s website.


11.10.2017 – SULA Clinic

SULA advisory clinics are meetings with experts in working life support services for creative industries’ employees, self-employed and entrepreneurs.

Sign up for SULA Clinics! You can sign up for meetings until 4.10.2017 or as long as there are meeting times available.

Kumous – Uusi työnhaku
We offer two Kumous – Uusi työnhaku workshops (NB! the workshops are conducted in finnish), and 15 minute meetings with the following experts. You may book a maximum of three meetings and one of the two workshops.

Luova Eurooppa
NewCo Helsinki
Akava – Consult a working life lawyer
Castrén & Snellman – Consult a copyright lawyer


9.00 Morning coffee
9.30 Bulletins and introducing the advisory clinics (NB! in Finnish)
11.30 Lunch
12.00-16.00 Advisory clinics
10.00-11.30 and 13.00-14.30 Kumous workshops

12.10.2017 – SULA Conference 

9.30 Registration and morning coffee

10.00 Welcome / Opening words – Managing Director Kai Huotari, Cable Factory

10.15 Keynote: Finding One’s Own Art and the Power of Community – Media Artist Kate Johnson and Curator Michael J. Masucci (USA)

11.00 Keynote: The Renovation of the Rijksmuseum and Its Future Challenges – Exhibition Manager Tim Zeedijk, Rijksmuseum (NL)

12.00 Lunch

13.00 Art of Animation, Working with the Likes of Disney – CEO Anttu Harlin, Gigglebug (FI)

13.20 The Sustainable Arts Organisation – from surviving to thriving – Birgitta Persson, Olivearte (SE)

13.40 Confessions of a Curator – CEO & Curator Laura Köönikkä, Finnish Art Agency (FI)

14.00 Case: Creative Lenses research presentation – Lucy Kimbell and Bethany Rex, University of the Arts London (UK)
Catalyst programme update – Sarah Rhodes and Bethany Rex, University of the Arts London (UK)

14.20 Panel Discussion: Managing Creative Talents – Moderator: Outi Järvinen, Arts Management Helsinki (FI), Birgitta Persson (SE), Kate Johnson (US), Lucy Kimble (UK), Mariina Hallikainen (FI), Elise Pietarila (FI)

15.00 Award Ceremony and Toasts

16.00 Closing words

SULA Pitch – 10am – 3pm
SULA Pitch, formerly known as CD2-competition run by AVEK, will host shortlisted group of participants. The 12 participants will be chosen according to their written applications. These shortlisted companies are expected to attend the pitch training in 5-6th October in Helsinki. Registration opens in August 2017.

The training will be held by Sibylle Kurz, a seasoned teacher of pitching techniques, who has trained European creative professionals to pitch their ideas already over 20 years. The training will be carried out in English. The final competition will be held in English and the jury is international. The competition is targeted to Finnish creative companies. Participating in training and clinic is free of charge. SULA pitch registration and more information (AVEK). Registration is closed.

SULA Fair – 10am – 4pm
Partners of SULA profile meeting and info points for participants of the event.

TAKU Producer and Production of the Year
TAKU will give out the awards of Finnish Producer and Production of the year according to the organisation’s traditions. Suggestions for nominee candidates with arguments can already be sent to: tuottajapaiva.fi/palkinnot/ehdota-palkintoa (until 28th September 2017). Name of the judge will be released later.


Information about speakers at Cable Factory website.


Conference tickets 11.-12.10.2017: 50 € (+ alv 24 %)
Student tickets 11.-12.10.2017: 30 € (+ alv 24 %)
Tickets: Cable Factory website.


Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo / Cable Factory: Raine Heikkinen, raine.heikkinen(at)kaapelitehdas.fi

City of Helsinki, Creative and Inclusive Finland project: Taina Seitsara, taina.seitsara(at)hel.fi

TAKU ry: Vilja Byström, vilja.bystrom(at)taku.fi

AVEK & Producer of SULA: Kati Uusi-Rauva, kati.uusirauva(at)gmail.com, puh. 040 865 8738.

  • Trans Europe Halles Coordination Office
    c/o Mejeriet |Stora Sodergatan 64
    SE – 222 23 Lund | Sweden

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