I took part in a study visit to the Ukraine, this was part of Kettle Partnership’s involvement in the Tandem programme funded by ECF and MitOst. The overall aim of the Tandem programme is to generate cultural and creative links between East and West Europe with particular emphasis on those nations that are in the process of applying to become full EU member states.
There were 34 representatives from EU organisations meeting 32 Ukrainian organizations with the intention of developing partnership projects that will build long term relationships between those organisations taking part.
Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union only took place 20 years ago and it seemed that amongst the Ukrainian participants there was a sense of excitement about celebrating and exploring both new creative projects and their Ukrainian cultural heritage. Additionally there was real interest from both Ukrainians and EU participants on what audience development means and how they could use it in their organisations. Overall there was a shared hunger to participate in global cultural knowledge and exchange.
There was only 1 other UK based cultural manager in the group – mainly the EU Participants were all from the North of Europe and most had already taken part in some kind of cultural exchange with other European states. Although there are cultural exchange programmes taking place in the UK, they don’t seem to focus on Europe, which might change with the need to develop new partnerships and searching out access to different funding streams.