‘For New Bridges’ is a slogan under which Novi Sad won the most prestigious title of the European Union in field of culture in 2016, the title of the European Capital of Culture. Soon after, the Goverment of the Republic of Serbia declared this project as a project of national importance and by establishing the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, conditions for the implementation of the project were created.
During the preparation for 2021. numerous programmes for audience development, international artist cooperation and strengthening the capacity of cultural scene have been implemented. The two Cultural Stations, Svilara and Egység, are the most visible result of our work. In that manner, Cultural Stations present the backbone of city’s new cultural policy oriented towards citizens and their bigger inclusion in the processes of democratisation and intercultural development. The openning of cultural points on the edges of city will contribute to greater cultural engagement of citizens and enhancement of social interaction.
The programme concept is based on four bridges – Love Bridge, Freedom Bridge, Hope Bridge and Rainbow Bridge, which simbolise and establish the balance between available resources and temptations of the city. Every bridge has two programme arches that open questions of essential character for understanding contemporary social context of the city, its legacy and contemporary creativity in the light of current European and world cultural scene.
During the preparation for the title year, the two arches that got great responses from audience in 2018, were set in motion, the Kaleidoscope of Culture and Doček. Doček, which is an overture for the opening ceremony in 2021 and revives various urban spaces at the same time, offers different types of music genres and artistic diversity and celebrates multiculturalism, one of the main characteristic of Novi Sad.
Regarding the Kaleidoscope of Culture, the idea to make a city the stage, has been reaffirmed and it implied the activation of all available city spaces and resources, putting them in the service of artistic act. In late summer, when city is the most active, Novi Sad becomes one big stage with the great variety of cultural programmes and atractive festivals, intended for broad city population and tourists.
In 2019, two more arches were set in motion – Future of Europe, which aims at promotion and development of children’s creativity and creativity of young artists, as well the connection between Novi Sad and Europe, through cultural exchange of children and youth and Fortress of Peace, which affirms Novi Sad as the fortress of peace, through programmes that promote reconciliation of nations, policy of peace and togetherness, as well critical attitude towards war and causes of war.
The programme for 2021 will be officialy announced in the second half of 2020.