Galway 2020 – European Capital of Culture CEO Hannah Kiely and Marketing Director Fintan Maher visited Rijeka on Thursday and Friday and had work meetings with their colleagues from Rijeka 2020.
They were greeted by RIJEKA 2020 LLC CEO Emina Višnić, artistic director Slaven Tolj, Development and Strategic Partnerships Director Irena Kregar Šegota, Culture Director Maja Anjoli Vujić, Communications and Marketing Director Alma Čakmazović, Operations Director Iva Grego and Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka Ivan Šarar.
The topic of the meetings were plans regarding the cooperation of the two cities who will bear the title of European Capital of Culture in 2020 on programming, joint marketing, as well as investments in audience development and capacity building for workers in culture.
The employees of RIJEKA 2020 LLC presented each sector. programme flagship, and current and planned activities. Their Irish colleagues did the same, which opened the discussion on specific programming collaborations. There was also talk about possible joint promotions and marketing and exchange of personnel. After the meetings, CEOs Hannah Kiely and Emina Višnić spoke to the press in Galerija “Kortil”.
“Galway and Rijeka have formed an excellent cooperation” – opened Hannah Kiely, pointing out the similarities between the two cities. “We have spent a few very pleasant days in Rijeka and discussed numerous topics, primarily the sea, labour, migrations, food, community, diversity and raid, as well as language and landscape. I’m very pleased to be working with Rijeka and positive that all activities focused on 2020 are our chance for affirmation.”
The Galways delegation participated in the international scientific symposium “Atlantic to Adriatic: Contact points and historical parallels between Ireland and Southeast Europe”, which looked at comparisons between Ireland and Southeast Europe. The symposium is a part of the “Historical Landscapes” project which explores and presents various topics regarding the culture of memory in Rijeka and the region, thus contributing to the goals of the Seasons of Power flagship, a key part of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture programme.
Hannah Kiely deemed the symposium, which was opened by Irish ambassador to Croatia Olive Hempenstall, as an important contribution to linking Rijeka and Galway, as well as Croatia and Ireland, reminding that both Ireland in general and Galway have a large Croatian community.
Kiely announced a return visit in October 2018 when a delegation from Rijeka 2020 will visit Galway. There they will meet with the local Croatian community which will strengthen the social and cultural bonds.
“This project is a great opportunity for the collaboration between two similar cities marching forward towards fantastic programmes which will mark the year 2020.”
RIJEKA 2020 CEO Emina Višnić spoke to the press on behalf of the entire team and expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the Galway team. “We do not just share the ECoC title with our sister city, we also share topics, programmes and interests.”
“We will definitely learn a lot from Galway’s rich experience in community art, while Galway will be able to learn a lot from Rijeka regarding galleries, museums and theatres”, Višnić noted and added that the teams discovered several common and complementary topics on which they can cooperate.
According to Višnić, Rijeka 2020 is already collaborating with Galway through the “Fifth Ensemble” project for children and youth with disabilities, in partnership with the City of Rijeka and the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc.
In conclusion, Emina Višnić noted that Rijeka is hosting a panel of experts from the European Commission in June who will conduct the second monitoring of Rijeka and Galway regarding the preparation of 2020.