EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC


Mrs Edreva, Chairperson Sofia City Council at the official opening of the Academy, Sofia Development Association venue. Photo: Sevdalina Voynova.
Workshop by Chava and Iva Horvat. Photo: Venelin Georgiev.

The e-UConvArt, implenented by the EUNIC cluster in Sofia (Bulgaria), is a project for online conversations about converting industrial, urban buildings into successful, independent and sustainable contemporary arts centres in Bulgaria.

The project consisted of two compenents: the online art management programme and the artistic digital content. The objective of part one was to convert industrial, urban buildings into successful, independent and sustainable contemporary arts centres in Bulgaria. The programme covered themes such as strategy and policy, audiences and communication, programme and production, business planning and stakehoders management and operation management.

At the second stage the project created digital materials of the historical official opening of the Centre. These included a workshop by Csaba Molnar on different ways of expression, when juxtaposed, and the transformation of the most private phenomena of human life into a universal and liberating performative experience. Also, it included an introductory workshop to the forthcoming co-production of the dance performance “IN C” of Toplocentrala and Sasha Waltz& Guests, as well as the workshop "How to Internationalise your project – Markets and Strategies in performing arts", which opened the conversations and exchanges between artists, arts organisaitons and professionals and will be part of the Centre platform for future educational programmes and interactive discussions.

Creating sustainable cultural centres

Through the project's training, participants had the chance to develop their managerial capacities as cultural and social entrepreneurs in support of the long-term sustainability of Toplocentrala and Sofia’s other cultural centres. The project also achieved to foster the formation and development of innovative, self-reliant collaborations between the independent sector and municipal cultural institutions working across different genres. This concise approach worked very well, and the academy provided sound and logical framework for the development of successful cultural organisation.
While the wide partnership and large number of stakeholders required a longer coordination and communication process, the challenges were overcome smoothly by re-scheduling the training programme to October 2021 and the digital content to December 2021. The official Toplotsentrala opening was postponed 3 times, to 24th of November 2021.

Built around a suite of presentations, case studies and practical exercises, the training led by 16 presenters and 6 moderators, acted as a ‘nuts and bolts’ guide to the design and implementation of the key policies and practices - primarily relating to operations, programming, audience development and fundraising, which was deemed essential for a venue to function efficiently. The academy was of a particular importance in year marked by the consequences of the COVID19 crises and the need to exchange and communicate successful, new, innovative and inspirational practices.


eUConvArt provided unique opportunity to the artists in Sofia and Bulgaria, building sustainable partnerships across Europe with prospective to create culture products.

Malina Edreva, Head of the Education, Culture, Science and Culture Diversity Committee at the Sofia City Council

In the spin of tough construction and building issues, the most important challenge is to develop the art vision and content. Just in this right time the eUConvART provided valuable partnerships, presented success stories of arts management, audience development and many more from like minded organisations in Europe.

Svetlana Lomeva, director Sofia Development Association

Participating in your event was inspiring, relevating and quite exotic for me. No doubt experience of estimated presentors has made clear some issues and has showed off some practices for example - how to select your audience properly.

Alexandra Yaneva, Curator Asian and South American Art

  • Urbanism
  • Digital
  • Contemporary
  • Workshop
  • Sustainability

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.