The origins of the programme date back to 2016, when, for the first time in the history of the European Capital of Culture programme, cities applying for the title decided to collaborate with each other. Wrocław invited partners from all over Poland to participate in the newly established programme: Gdańsk, Katowice, Katowice, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań and Szczecin.
At present, the Coalition of Cities is a platform for the exchange of experiences between Polish local governments and institutions, which results in the improvement of competencies of their cultural staff. The primary goal of the cooperation within the Coalition in 2016 was the cultural presentation of Gdańsk, Katowice, Lublin, Łódź, Poznań and Szczecin, focused on their most characteristic cultural narratives and on aspects which constitute their genius loci. The initiative opened new possibilities and opportunities for cultural exchange between cities, promoting local artists, as well as creating joint projects. Wrocław visited six partner cities with an artistic presentation of the Ad Spectatores Theatre performance and an open-air exhibition about “Wrocławness” in the poems by Tadeusz Różewicz and the works of the Luxus group.
The second result of the Coalition of Cities is a research project carried out by the Jagiellonian University, focusing on the so-called ECoC Effect – the analysis of long-term economic and socio-cultural effects and changes experienced by the cities caused by the efforts to win the title of the European Capital of Culture 2016.
The third pillar of the program is a discussion on the responsibility of local governments for Polish culture. The founders of the Coalition established a think tank, which met in 2012-2017 to exchange views and share best practices, thanks to which it is now easier to work on cultural development in local governments.
As a result, the Coalition of Cities has become a real platform for exchanging experiences, bringing together Polish local governments and institutions, and contributing to the improvement of competences of cultural staff. In each city, we implement the Coalition of Cities by joining forces of local governments and cultural creators. Member Cities of the Coalition appointed local cultural operators - substantive leaders, who were delegated to cooperate with Wrocław.
In 2018-2019, the Coalition plans envision the implementation of a joint project aimed at developing the cultural field through exchanging knowledge and experience among cultural sector employees and civil servants. Among other things, the new plan envisions study visits, problem seminars and meetings with experts on current phenomena and activities in urban culture.
The project is coordinated by a Culture Zone Wroclaw office team.