Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, welcomes the launch in Avignon, in partnership with France urbaine, French Capitals of Culture, which will distinguish every three years the artistic innovation and cultural attractiveness of a city and highlight the role of local authorities in the artistic field and international cultural cooperation.
This ambitious project, carried out by the Ministry of Culture and its partner Urban France, is inspired by the growing success of the scheme carried out by the European Commission, the European Capitals of Culture which, since 1985, have achieved real artistic success, cultural and tourism for the French cities that hosted this event in recent decades: Lille in 2004 and Marseille in 2013. Cities will now be able to apply for the title of French Capital of Culture, which will be awarded every three years on the basis of projects celebrating artistic innovation and the cultural attractiveness of a city and highlighting the role of local authorities in the artistic field and international cultural cooperation. It receives the support of the association of elected Urban France.
To launch this initiative, Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, entrusted a mission to Bernard Faivre d'Arcier, former director of the Avignon festival, in order to define the procedure and criteria for the selection of cities and the constitution of an independent jury to award the 1er title of French Capital of Culture for the first edition scheduled in 2021.
This project responds to three essential principles of the policy of the Minister of Culture: support for creation, artistic and cultural transmission as well as social cohesion and economic dynamism of the territories. It contributes to the tourism attractiveness of the territories and the revitalization of medium and large cities through culture in partnership with other communities. Artistic innovation, creation, new mediation and arts and cultural education activities and international influence will be the main selection criteria.
The candidate cities will also have to be part of a solidarity approach by taking into account the inhabitants and territories most distant from the cultural offer, whether in the city’s political districts, or in rural or peri-urban areas around the city.
The sustainability and sustainability of projects is a crucial factor: projects should not be event-based but should continue beyond the target year, reaching all generations, mobilize residents and visitors and involve artists and cultural actors established in the territory.