The future focus of the initiative for cultural cooperation around the Baltic Sea, ARS BALTICA together with the role of arts, culture and cultural identity for the regional development of the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) were the main topics of the two-day forum taking place on 12/13 September 2011 at Nordkolleg Rendsburg (Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany), the home of the ARS BALTICA Secretariat.
At the Anniversary Forum, the ARS BALTICA Organising Committee met for its 41st internal meeting. The welcome address was held by Dr. Ekkehard Klug, Minister of Education and Culture of Land Schleswig-Holstein. The meeting, which was actively joined by Jan Lundin, Director General of the Secretariat of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), was mainly dedicated to the question about structural changes of ARS BALTICA itself, the network's future position within Baltic Sea cooperation and the creation and use of synergies between the various cultural bodies in the BSR.
Being the youngest partner of ARS BALTICA, the EU BSR project FIRST MOTION held its midterm meeting with partners from all around the Baltic Sea within the frame of the ARS BALTICA Anniversary Forum. Both ARS BALTICA and FIRST MOTION had invited to a public presentation of both initiatives.
A central output of the aspects mentioned in the presentation was a fruitful discussion on about the topic "Cultural Identity in the Baltic Sea Region" with special regard to the European identity in general and the question about the general definition of a (borderless) region.
The second day of the forum was opened by various presentations on "Culture und Creativity – Central factors of successful regional development in the Baltic Sea Region": the Monitoring Group on Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea States and the projects of Sønderborg 2017 as well as the Danish-German project Vækstcentret/ Wachstumszentrum informed the interested auditorium about their work and the organizational structures.
The input provided by the projects named above led into lively discussion which was also joined by representatives of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture, The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre in Gdansk/ Poland, the Hanseoffice Kaliningrad, Nordkolleg Rendsburg and the ARS BALTICA accredited projects folkBALTICA, European Festival of the First Novel and BluesBaltica.
The highlight of the ARS BALTICA Forum 2011 was the gala evening on 13th September at Castle Plön in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany). The event was arranged as the cultural launch of the German Presidency of the CBSS 2011/2012. 150 guests from the fields of politics, business and culture from all around the Baltic Sea were present. Peter Harry Carstensen (Minister President of Land Schleswig-Holstein) and Cornelia Pieper (Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin) held the welcome addresses.
Dr. Ekkehard Klug (Minister of Education and Culture of Land Schleswig-Holstein) handed over the prize for the winner of the first ARS BALTICA Youth film competition in the topic "Cultural Islands around the Baltic Sea" to Astra Zoldnere from Latvia. The title of her winning concept for a short film: "The Singing Ship". The prize symbolizes the official launch of the new label "ARS BALTIC Youth". The competition was arranged in cooperation with FIRST MOTION and Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.
The musical part of the evening was created by the participants of the first ARS BALTICA youth workshop “folk meets jazz”, lead by three Danish high-class lectures.
Furthermore there was a panel discussion on the topic "Creativity and innovation around the Baltic Sea – the role of arts and culture for regional development". Panelists: Prof. Dr. Klaus von Carnap-Bornheim (Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology within the foundation Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottdorf in Schleswig, Germany), Jan Lundin (Director General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat), Maria Ernestam (writer, Sweden) and Ilze Gailite Holmberg (Director of the National Film Centre of Latvia). The evening was moderated by Steen Bille from the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen.
Thanks to all the participants and partners who joined and supported the 20th Anniversary of ARS BALTICA. We are looking forward to future cooperation!
2011 was the year of ARS BALTICA's 20th anniversary.
ARS BALTICA presents an exhibition of comics created during the ARS BALTICA accredited Baltic Comic workshop. The exhibition which will take place within the event "Langer Tag der Kultur" can be seen in Rendsburg on 1 June 2013.