The CMA 2022 between Moldova and Romania under the motto 'Sustainable Infrastructures for a Resilient Cultural Sector: Tools, Tactics and Strategies of Work, Research, Production and Disemination' brought together 11 participants from the 2 countries involved from a total of 40 applicants and a total of 13 international facilitators of 5 different nationalities. The project gathered 8 participants from Romania and 3 from Moldova, having a good coverage of both the independent cultural sector and the public sector, and between rural and urban areas.
The curriculum for the academy was written by a guest curator from Moldova, cultural manager Vladimir Us, founder of Oberliht Association. The academy took place in one of the spaces he opened together with other independent associations: Casa Zemstvei, in order to support the independent sector in Moldova, which is in a precarious situation, and to put the participants in contact with these independent initiatives.
During an intensive six-day seminar in Chisinau, Moldova from 17-22.10.2022, the facilitators held a variety of lectures and workshops in order to support the cultural operators in the region. Moreover, the seminar was framed by two public debates. Within the academy, the project organized a visit to the village to present cultural initiatives in the rural area, as well as many visits to cultural initiatives in public space to get to know more about local projects.
At the end of the academy, a project incubator took place, where participants had collective and individual working sessions to form teams and find project ideas. Collaborative projects addressing the issue of rural and urban infrastructure in the cultural field were encouraged. Out of the 3 projects that emerged in the incubator, one received a grant and will be implemented during 2023.
The projects that have emerged in the wake of the idea incubator have been met with lively interest. Several partners are expressing interest in them, including organisations of the facilitators involved in the academy. In addition, a possible cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Bucharest is being explored, as it intends to show the winning project. This will provide further opportunities for the participants of CMA 2022 and visibility of the project through the funded project.
Challenges and Learnings
Overall, CMA 2022 was a great success, with very satisfactory results. One challenge proved to be finding participants from Moldova, especially operators from Chisinau were not so attracted to the program, probably because it was taking place in their city and did not offer them a mobility opportunity.
Another challenge turned out to be the budget of the project, from which the project did not manage to cover 2 grants as planned and to organise the incubator in a city other than Chisinau. In the future the project plans to attract more funders, local partners, to help us in this respect. EUNIC Moldova has just started working as a cluster and does not have as many resources as other clusters that have organised this programme in the past.
Another challenge is related to the sustainability of the event. In the future, an annual programme is planned, however, the implementation of this undertaking could be jeopardised by a lack of or insufficient funding opportunities.
I have been following and being part of this project since the first edition, initially as an EUNIC Romania partner, then as a mentor for the winning teams, in the meantime with the role of co-curator in the curriculum writing process for the academy. This year I had the opportunity to participate in the academy, which took place in Chisinau. CMA is a unique project in the local and regional cultural scene, which year by year attracts more and more applicants and whose strength lies in the networking opportunity between cultural experts - professionals and managers at the beginning of their career.Pawel Rutkowski, 39, cultural expert at the Polish Institute Bucharest