“Cultivating curiosity” is the concept of the programme developed by Trenčín in order to apply to the European Capital of Culture initiative. The programme proposes more than 50 projects that were divided into three main categories – CommonGround (dedicated to natural and historical heritage), PlayGround (the main objective being to create opportunities for creative industries and create a various cultural activities), and NewGrounds (focused on social transformation by bringing communities together, highlighting societal topics and concentrating on the future).
The strategy for culture in Trenčín was positively impacted by the ECoC. Alongside its known and established goals, objectives and programmes, the process of applying to the ECoC added to its list the determination to be a city that focuses on becoming sustainable and attractive while it has a strong European identity, a vibrant cultural life, grows into being a creative region, and makes it its mission to engage citizens in the cultural life of the area. In 2021, after the selection phase ended, all the hard work paid off because Trenčín was selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2026, alongside the city of Oulu in Finland.
Hosting a European Capital of Culture gives every city the opportunity to harvest cultural, economic, and social benefits. Trenčín will not be an exemption. The city is poised to put culture at its heart and show to the world what a vibrant cultural life it has to offer to any resident or tourist. This is strongly embedded within its goals for urban and social transformation, economic growth, and becoming attractive to young people.
During the entire process, the city received support from its partners, namely the self-governing region of Trenčín with its cities, the Zlín region, the Ministries of Culture, Defence and Foreign affairs, the A. Dubček University of Trenčín, volunteers and the corporate sector.
Such an activity brings enormous opportunities that go beyond the cultural and economic sphere. It also has positive benefits in terms of cooperation networks, urban development, place brand and behavioural change among citizens.