Need - background and justification

During the last years, we have seen more political and public interest for reviving the rural and sparsely populated areas in the Baltic Sea Region as well as in the wider European community.

Sparsely populated areas face stark challenges to revive the local communities and promote housing and employment, but they also represent an opportunity to rebuild a community and strengthen local identity through artistic and cultural activities.

We think that voluntary art and culture associations can play a major role to make our marginal areas more attractive to new residents, tourism and businesses, because:

  • Art and culture help to create the community and unity that can save a village or area from being emptied of content.
  • Inclusion in art and culture gives new life and creates responsible citizens.
  • A vibrant cultural life and an enhanced community can create a sustainable society where all citizens are ready to take responsibility for their own and others' lives and for the local community as a whole.

The civil society associations and their volunteers from the cross-cultural sector of amateur arts, voluntary culture, and heritage need to develop new methods and approaches and provide new examples of best practise in the field.  Therefore we want each partner in the project to prepare, implement and complete pilot works within cross-cultural activities in 1-2 sparsely populated communities, in order to create exemplary actions that can inspire others.

However, it is imperative that the project teams can involve the citizens and associations in the local areas to share responsibility for the performance of activities, because in this way they will feel ownership, and it will help to create a local identity as an alternative to the big city.

Cultural sustainability

To secure cultural sustainability, we need to strengthen the “citizen help citizen" or "peer to peer approach", where civil society associations from the cross-cultural sector of amateur arts, voluntary culture, and heritage are engaged to provide available and involving arts and culture with an added value for civic and democratic participation and community bonding.

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