“The Academy for training of cultural managers has developed and sustained as a regional Balkan project“, said the Mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova at the launch of the regional conference and network meeting of the Regional Balkan cultural academy network, held in Sofia between 27 and 30 of September, 2018. “We started with Sofia Development Association this academy in 2013 as an initiative related to Sofia candidacy for European Capital of Culture. However, this project is among the numerous examples of sustainable developments that have been recognized as successful European best practices”, the Mayor pointed out.
Since last year the Academy is implemented in partnership not only with Goethe-Institut in Sofia but also the institutes n Thessaloniki and Bucharest, while this year the institute in Sarajevo also joined in. “Thus we turn the Academy into an innovation lab for culture and space for mutual learning and establishing partnerships”, added Mrs. Fandakova.
The conference and the network meeting brought together over 50 managers from the four countries, who had already undergone a week-long training in Sofia, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki or Bucharest, to exchange experiences in the areas of cultural heritage, digitalization and innovation. The last day was devoted to generating ideas for collaborative joint projects. The idea camp was took place in the new space of SDA – Sofia innovation lab, which just opened doors.
Since last year SDA also produces also an annual publication with texts of Academy participants and experts. This year’s publication will be devoted to the topic of cultural heritage – the main theme of the training program as well.
For its 5 years of existence the Academy has given the chance of over 120 Bulgarian cultural managers to improve their knowledge and skills. The Academy already has over 220 alumni from the Balkan countries, who are the ambassadors of new cultural policies and new management models in culture.