From 11/23 to 11/25 2012, the „PIN Music Conference“ took place in Skopje, Macedonia, which is a partner city of Dresden, the Saxonian State capital. The conference was the final event of the project “Music without borders”, that was executed under the lead of Kultur Aktiv during the last two years.
Partner organizations from Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia participated in the project that was financially supported by the European Union and the Saxonian capital Dresden. A delegation of 27 persons, who are engaged in the cultural sector (music, journalism, visual art, photography) traveled to the coference. The delegation consisted of five experts from Dresden, three musicians, Manfred Wiemer (head of the Saxonian Department of Culture and monument protection) and another three persons engaged in the cultural sector from Dresden and Saxony.
In the conference’s panel discussions, experts from all over Europe discussed issues concerning music business and the cultural sector, like, on the one hand, the organization of festivals, booking and management, public relations, copyright, the opportunities of the internet and different ways for newcomers to become successful. On the other hand, the disputants addressed cultural management and cultural development, especially the co-operation between NGOs and county level representatives. They focused on different models that are supposed to show exemplarily, how cultural aid and management can work. At the board on the issue “local resources for persons engaged in the cultural sector”, Manfred Wiemer presented the city of Dresden’s cultural aid system to the audience and explained how the granting of cultural resources is handled. He accentuated the system’s transparency that allows following the granting to each applicant. This transparency is new to the Balkan, since aid is granted under nontransparent criteria there.
The experts from Dresden from the sectors of music and cultural society (Kultur Aktiv e.V., Jugend- und Kulturprojekte e.V.) were able to use the conference and the related events to make new contacts that are highly valuable for upcoming projects. Already existing networks could be administered and widened on that occasion. So, the network was strengthened and the co-operation between the partner cities Skopje and Dresden boosted. Partnerships were tightened not only between Dresden and Skopje, but also among associations from Dresden, which is why upcoming project co-ordinations will be easier.
Following the project’s key-note, which is promoting cultural exchange between the countries, the band HERZZ from Dresden joined the trip to Skopje in order to perform in the evening of Saturday. The performance took place in the framework of the TAKSIRAT festival, which is the biggest music festival in the region and takes place every year on November and December. In this year, the TAKSIRAT festival, which is organized by an association of the same name and Password Productions, was a part of the PIN music conference. HERZZ was the first band from Dresden to perform at this festival. The band had already performed at the German cultural days in Skopje in 2010, soothe show was attended by old fans and new music fans.
To sum this up: we can look back at a successful and interesting trip to the partner city Skopje, that has boosted the partner cities’ co-operation on the levels of culture and civil society. It has gained a lot of potential for upcoming projects.