We invite you to join us
from the 26th to the 29th May in Umeå, the northernmost European Capital of
Culture since the creation of the title in 1985!
The rencontres of Umeå will focus on cultures and creativity in
Northern Sweden, on the 66th parallel. Located on the Arctic circle, this
region is characterized by great spaces and extreme conditions, dynamic and
creative cities and the presence of the Sami,
the indigenous people of Scandinavia who live in a wide area encompassing the
north of Sweden, Norway, Finland as well as the Kola peninsula in Russia.
Researchers, representatives of associations and cultural structures,
politicians and artists will offer us an insight into the Sami culture,
presenting its specificities but also the challenges which have to be taken
up to preserve this culture and keep it alive. We will also get to know the
highlights of Umeå 2014, the city’s
perspectives of cultural development beyond, local and regional cultural
policies as well as innovative and creative projects and works.
The Sami calendar gives its
rhythm to the programme of Umeå 2014, and our meeting will take place in the
season of returning, Spring.
We will take advantage of the profusion of cultural events in the city to
visit Västerbottens Museum
(ethnographic museum tracing the history of the Sami culture), the Bildmuseet (museum of contemporary
art), the Institute of Design, Umedalen Sculpture Park (one of
the most prestigious in Europe), the House of Music, alternative
2014 being the year of the
Refounding of our network, a Board meeting and an extraordinary general
meeting will take place on this occasion. The new bylaws of our association
and Les Rencontres' Charter will be on the agenda. A separate email
was sent to all of our members and will be forwarded to our participants.
An Inclusive Consultation to Reforge the Organisation
2014 marks the 20th anniversary on the Association. Twenty years of rencontres, of course, but also of exchanges, debates, discoveries and projects.
Twenty years that have created strong bonds between the members of the network.
2014 will also be a year of renewal for Les Rencontres.The creation of a stable and creative future depends on the analysis of past years and, most importantly, in the case of a network, can only be done collectively.
The Association has started this large re-foundation process, paying a particular attention to the opinions of its members, in order to build a future suitable for all. Without ever questioning the essence of its activities, Les Rencontres wishes to give itself a new lease of life to continue to create bonds, beyond borders, always more effectively.
The Refoundation process is built on a 6 steps calendar. Discussions in Brussels, sending of a questionnaire, gathering of answers, meeting during the Rencontres of Umeå, drafting of new statutes then a General meeting at the European Campus in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and a vote: the re-foundation will run all year.
This conference had a strong symbolic value for
us: Les Rencontres
Association celebrates this year its 20th anniversary. 20 years of
meetings, exchanges, debates, artistic experiences, cultural projects... creating
and consolidating links between the members and the partners of the network. The programme was composed by conferences, speeches and debats, as well
as visits and activities to discover key cultural insitutions or
Through the years, the Association has worked
on creating strong and pertinent ties between culture and territories,
implementing a real European cultural cooperation through actions that have
forged the identity of our network. Though it is important to reflect on this
deciding past, the Association also considered its
Beyond a simple anniversary, 2014 is marking its renewal.
The second edition of the
European Campus of Les Rencontres took place in Finland, on
the invitation of the City of Tampere, from 18th to 21 September 2013.
The unifying theme of the European Campus was "Culture and social innovation".
the specificity of this Campus was its focus on the strengths of
Finland in the fields of education, creativity and innovation, quality
of life, citizen participation, social cohesion, among other positive
facets, in relationship with the cultural policies of Finnish local and
regional authorities, and putting these dimensions in a European
We associated the theoretical and practical analysis of these policies with:
reflection axis of our European Campus, which is the contribution of
local and regional cultural policies in the Europe 2020 strategy, and
- our field of action, which is the promotion of cultural co-operation between local and regional authorities in Europe.
As you most certainly know, from the 8th to the 10th October is held the 11th Week of Regions and Cities: Open Days in Brussels. This event, organised by the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission's DG for Regional Policy, has become a European networking platform for experts in regional and local development. Over the years, the OPEN DAYS has grown into the key event on EU Regional Policy. It welcomes some 6 000 participants in over one hundred workshops.
On this important occasion, we organised a Side Event consisting of 2 roundtables that were held in Brussels on the 8th October morning. Their overall theme was: European Cities and Regions and their cultural policies for local and regional development in a Europe 2020 perspective. The two roundtables took place in the beautiful location of the Brussels City Hall on the Grand Place. In the afternoon our Ordinary General Meeting also took place there.
The Association of European Cities and Regions
for Culture 'Les Rencontres' organised the first edition of the 'European Campus of
local and regional
authorities for Culture' in Paris
from 21 to 24 November
2012. This was a new initiative in the evolution of Les
activities: a forum dedicated to reflection and
discussion between various
stakeholders in the sphere of Culture.
In the framework of this Campus, local and
regional elected officials in charge of culture,
researchers and artists met in a creative and
relaxed atmosphere to
brainstorm and delve deeper into issues concerning
co-operation and artistic creation.
What is the role of the cultural
local and regional authorities in achieving the Europe
2020 Strategy? This was our central question at the conference. Our
hypothesis is that the
local and regional authorities' contribution has neither
examined nor debated, despite the current - and
potential - impact of their
cultural policies on achieving a smarter, more
sustainable and more inclusive
growth which is the ambition of the Europe 2020