2015–2019 | Creative Lenses: Business Models for Culture

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1. About Creative Lenses
2. Upcoming events Creative Lenses Forums
3. Project structure and activities
4. Project Partners

1. About Creative Lenses

How to develop viable business models for cultural organisations without compromising their artistic integrity, mission and values? “Creative Lenses” can contribute to a solution.

Many cultural organisations and artists around Europe struggle to find new ways to survive and develop in times of changed and declining financing structures for culture. This is the reason why “Creative Lenses”, a unique cooperation project funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, has been conceived. During 4 years, a unique partnership of 13 cultural centres, universities, city authorities, networks and cultural agencies will research and test new business models together with a wide range of cultural players throughout Europe.

The aim of the project is to strengthen and develop the business capacity and sustainability of European arts and cultural organisations. The key objective of Creative Lenses is to research, devise and test new business and management models for the sector that can be replicated and then used by a wide range of arts and cultural players throughout Europe.

The legacy of this project will be the know-how, tools and support mechanisms required for the European arts and cultural sector to strengthen their business capacity and achieve financial sustainability, in order to successfully deliver their missions and create value.

The Creative Lenses project was awarded a grant of €1.964.950, selected out of 127 applications submitted to the large scale cooperation strand of Creative Europe, from which 16 applicants received funding.

Read more about Creative Lenses at www.creativelenses.eu.

2. Upcoming Public Events:

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13 October in London (UK).
Creative Lenses Forum London. Hosted by the University of the Arts London and Village Underground [website]

2 November in Valencia (Spain).
Creative Lenses Forum Valencia. Hosted by IETM [event website]

17 November in Helsinki (Finland).
Creative Lenses Forum Helsinki. Hosted by Kaapelitehdas [event website]


27 January in Kosice (Slovakia).
Creative Lenses Forum Kosice. Hosted by Creative Industry Kosice [event website]

16-17 March in Lund (Sweden).
Creative Lenses Forum Lund. Hosted by Trans Europe Halles and The Creative Plot [event website]

23 March in Amstelveen (The Netherlands).
Creative Lenses Forum Amstelveen. Hosted by P60 [event website]

7 to 11 April in Lecce (Italy).
Creative Lenses Forum Lecce. Hosted by Manifatture Knos [event website]

29 April February in Athens (Greece).
Creative Lenses Forum Athens. Hosted by Vyrsodepseio [event website]

September. International Conference “Managing and innovating business models”. Helsinki, Finland.


November. Helsinki (Finland) and Lund (tbc). Trainers Workshops.


March. International Conference “The Impact of Creative Business Models”. Matera (Italy).

Contact us for more information and participation requests.

3. Project structure and activities

The project’s activities include 21 workshops, 2 conferences, 8 Forums, a 10-month ‘Catalyst’ programme for seven of the partners to test new business models, the publication of a book, a business models development toolkit, a digital benchmarking tool and new research on the sector’s specific needs and how they could be supported.

The project is divided into the three phases:

Survey, mapping, research, focus groups and interviews with stakeholders. Outcomes presented at 8 Forums around Europe.

Innovation of business models with 8 partners and their audiences followed by a Conference to disseminate and share the results.

Analysis of the results of the Catalyst programme, resulting in the production of publications, digital tools and training kits will take place. 15 ‘training of the trainers’ workshops delivered in 15 European-wide cities to train cultural players to educate their peers. Dissemination of the project will also be delivered through online communication, a book, a media campaign and a closing, project conference.

4. Project Partners

Creative Lenses is a large scale cooperation project 2015–2019 led by the cultural centre Kaapeli in Helsinki, Finland. The partners are:

Trans Europe Halles (TEH) network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists.
IETM – network for contemporary performing arts.
Cultural centre Vyrsodepseio in Athens, Greece (member of TEH).
Cultural centre Manifatture Knos in Lecce, Italy (member of TEH).
Cultural centre Stanica in Zilina, Slovakia (member of TEH).
Cultural centre P60 in Amstelveen, The Netherlands (member of TEH).
Cultural centre Village Underground in London, UK (member of TEH).
University of the Arts London, UK.
University of Basilicata in Matera, Italy.
The City of Lund, Sweden.
Olivearte, UK.
Creative Industry Kosice, Slovakia.

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