Creating Cultural Capital for Cultural Entrepreneurs

Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine

Project Overview

The Creating Cultural Capital (CCC) Project promoted and supported European and global cultural diversity and creativity and sought to provide local-level access to the means of cultural production and exchange in the context of the cultural industries (CI) and the global market. The Creating Cultural Capital (CCC) Project explored the use of new technologies and new types of cultural management partnerships to facilitate local cultural production and exchange in the context of the global market. Local communities are the seedbed of creativity for the new cultural economy, but without access to the global cultural market and without access to resources, talented cultural producers leave their local communities for big urban centers. When they do this they denude their local environment of its most precious resource, "creativity". By sustaining local cultural communities the project proposed to sustain creativity, diversity, local employment, social cohesion and urban regeneration

Aims and Objectives

The original objectives of CCC, as presented to the Steering Committee for Culture of Intergovernmental agency is described as:

  • Mapping and assessing the local cultural landscape and developing a data bank of cultural information and resources.
  • Training of cultural intermediaries/entrepreneurs in the context of the cultural industries
  • Networking – the creation of an electronic network, which would be a platform for the exchange of information, resources and services for the cultural sector.

The CCC also inherited the related aim of creating ‘a network of local, regional and internationally linked cultural development agencies’ from the Cultural Entrepreneurship and Cultural Diversity project.

Following further development work by the CCC team, the following mechanisms were chosen as the best way of delivering the objectives of the CCC:

  • The CCC Agency: A cultural development agency “providing a focal point for collaboration over the direction and development of local culture. The agency is both a physical location as well as a body of services which provides the different stakeholders with the tools to generate revenue streams to sustain culture and cultural activity
  • Electronic Cultural Portal: set up by each agency to “provide a platform for exchange of cultural information, goods and services between these agencies. The portal network serves cultural actors, authorities, institutions and cultural businesses
  • Training Platform: These activities would continue to be preceded by relevant training and mapping research.


Objective One: Support pilot actions for the development of cultural industries in the field and social integration through cultural creativity. Expected result: Cultural industries are developed through local employment, sustainable development of regions and by the assertion of local identity.

Objective Two: Strengthen capacity building and know-how for the democratic management of cultural diversity in member states. Expected result: Concrete pilot initiatives contributing to the development of local cultural diversity in the context of changing economies will have been supported (CCC Project).

Recommendations and Proposed Services

The CCC team sits within Cultural Policy and Action division, and is managed by the head of that department. In turn, Cultural Policy and Action is managed by the Head of the Directorate of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage. The CCC project has been managed throughout the pilot phase by a Council of Europe project director, with administrative support. Cultural Policy and Action is guided by the Steering Committee for Culture (CDCULT). In 2005, the CCC project was twice on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers(Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment). During the pilot phase, a Project Group was formed (PG-CCC). The group acted in an advisory capacity, to guide the activities and direction of the project. Its members represent those countries and regions taking part in CCC, and other parties with an interest in becoming involved. Although initiated by the Council of Europe, the original project plans envisaged that activity at the local level would ultimately be managed and run by local partners outside the organisation.


Information about cultural sectors has been gathered through initial mapping exercises in a range of cities and regions. The findings from some of this work were presented at seminars and conferences and summarised in related documents (e.g. Archangelsk, November 2003; Sarajevo, December 2003).

Training and capacity building, particularly guidance on carrying out mapping research, was successful in the locations in which the activities took place. Participants were welcomed in several locations, and benefitted from the advice of international experts, and gained new skills. The agency model had been well received by the partners involved in CCC.

  • An online cultural portal platform has been developed.
  • A training platform and methodology was developed.
  • Work was undertaken towards setting up a cultural portal in Kyiv, Ukraine.

This approach to cultural development is considered innovative by many of the regions involved. It has also proved to be an idea that could breathe new life into existing cultural infrastructure – such as Bulgaria’s Reading Rooms, Azerbaijan’s Cultural Houses and Greece’s cultural city network.

We have used Velocity’s consultants as technology experts in the Department of Culture at the Council of  Europe. Their tasks were to develop a model of a communications network for several key multilateral, cross-sector, and cross-frontier cultural projects. Their creative imagination and technical competence were a critical factor in the success of these projects.
M.Grossman, Chief Administrator, COE.

Similarly, CCC embodies a concept of the ‘cultural economy’ or ‘cultural and creative industries’ that does represent a new understanding of the value of culture for many participating regions. For those who have taken part, the conferences, seminars, showcases and meetings organised as part of the CCC programme have been beneficial. These have provided participants with the chance to network with colleagues from other countries, exchange knowledge and advice, and in some cases identify opportunities for inter-regional collaboration in the future.