After the curtain call of Maribor’s reign atop European culture at the end of the December 2012, there weren’t any dilemmas on how to proceed, nor any dilemmas on how to fill the void left behind by the immensely successful project. The brain-trust and executive partners of the project were well prepared for the life after the project, having designed concrete road maps for Maribor and its ECoC partner towns to continue their post-Capital life.
Strategic plan for the post-ECoC 2012 period
Prior to the completion of the ECoC 2012 project, Institute Maribor 2012, the project’s executive entity, presented a strategic plan draft to the expert public, entitled STIČIŠČE _KULTURREG, which provided a broad perspective of the continued development of endeavours aimed at connecting the culture in Eastern Slovenia as part of the Eastern cohesional region. The grounds for the strategic plan of sustainable development of culture in the regionwere laid out already in the Ordinance on the Founding of Institute Maribor 2012.
The presented document calls for systematic, unified and coordinated development of culture in the Eastern cohesional region. The region should lead by example in connecting and creating integral cultural equity, which should in turn be distributed throughout its local environment through various skills, education and training programmes, and provide tangible financial and other unique advantages, which a strong culture may offer, create and manifest in the environment. As outlined in the strategic plan, only such a strong and harmonized approach would firmly place Slovene culture in the international cultural spotlight and ensure its position as the spiritus agens of economic, social and other processes in the region. The document includes plenty of ideas which may be of interest to various institutions inclined to creating institutional networks, as well as ideas on comprehensive and integral development of culture in Eastern Slovenia.
Proposal on continuation of sustainability-oriented programmes
In June 2013 the Programme Director of Institute Maribor 2012 drew up a Proposal on continuation of sustainability-oriented programmes of ECoC 2012, outlining the programmes and projects from the ECoC content scheme which, according to the opinion of the Institute, meet all the qualitative criteria necessary to ensure own sustainability. The programme, considered one of the key content-related tasks to be executed at cessation of operations of the Institute, provides a potential blueprint for the continued development of the ECoC 2012 programme legacy, and highlights selected cultural programmes which may become the pillars of said development. The Municipality of Maribor addressed the contents of the proposal as one of the bases underlying the decision on the successor to the ECoC 2012 project.
Successors to Maribor 2012 – European Capital of Culture
The Municipality of Maribor decided to liquidate the Institute Maribor 2012, which served as the executive entity of the European Capital of Culture. The decision required the setting of a legacy entity or entities, i.e. successors to the ECoC Project. In June 2013, the Maribor City Council adopted a document which assigned protocol and administrative tasks of Institute Maribor 2012 to the Municipality of Maribor, with the Maribor National Hall assuming the role of successorin content and programme-related matters. The ECoC printed materials and archive were taken over by the Maribor Regional Archives, whereas the Maribor Tourist Board assumed the management of the ECoC trademark. Other ECoC partner towns committed to autonomously select other entities and organizations which shall ensure sustainable development, and maintain ECoC 2012 contents in respective partner towns.
The ECoC 2012 trademark shall continue to strengthen the visibility of Maribor and partner towns in the future
The ECoC 2021 trademark reached peak visibility during Maribor’s successful reign atop European culture. The marketing department of Institute Maribor 2012 analysed the Maribor 2012 – European capital of Culture trademark potential, and drew up a proposal which will undoubtedly help future trademark managers and users.
As suggested by the analysis, the MARIBOR 2012 trademark became an integral part of activities and operations carried out by title-bearing towns, and is therefore considered a permanent asset. With the aim of preserving and ensuring continued development of the internationally recognizable ECoC trademark, the Institute proposed several activities, e.g. legal regulation of the use of the MARIBOR 2012 trademark, cooperation of culture providers from Maribor and partner towns, erection of permanent landmarks, etc.