LOCUS - Insights


The main objective this project focuses on is the innovation, to enhance the capacity of EU cultural institution to innovate, prosper and generate jobs and growth not only within the cultural sector, but beyond, in a wider local development concept.

The innovation lies in the new model of participatory development of the cultural activities that will be derived by an assessment of the state-of-the-art and best practices analysis and then tested in pilot activities and disseminated and circulated inside and outside the project consortium.

Co-design of the cultural products will be an important feature during this whole process, as partner organizations will engage local stakeholders from different sectors to identify the needs for local development (cultural, social and economic) and will then define the festival structure together.

Partners will also share resources and facilitate the transnational circulation of young artists and volunteers, to promote the sharing of experiences and best practices.

The current international context will be carefully considered, by respecting all health measures and restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic (if and when in place), by applying a robust environmental perspective to all the implemented activities and by integrating a strong and effective communication campaign for the dissemination of content and increase of project visibility.

This project proposal is relevant to the scope of the call as it addresses two main priorities:

• Audience: the aim is to increase cultural access and participation through the inclusion of a wider audience, by actively engaging it. The audience will be engaged and developed through inclusive activities: the implemented festivals will become part of the host cities in multiple ways, thanks to open-air and itinerant performances, initiatives dedicated to children, dedicated incentives and offers for the touristic sector and many more activities. All these actions, usually considered as “ancillary” to the core festival program, will here become the center of an immersive experience that does not want to separate the cultural festivals from their host communities, which in turn nurture and co-promote each other. Therefore, in addition to the typical audience of theatre or performing arts festivals, other target audiences will be involved: children and families, local community and tourists. This can create a huge impact in the medium and long run, since these groups can then become part of the regular public for cultural festivals and activities.

• Sustainability: in line with the New European Bauhaus (NEB), this project will raise awareness on sustainable development through cultural activities, not only from an environmental perspective, but social and economic as well. Sustainable development of local communities through culture means building more open, environmental friendly, inclusive and attractive communities thanks to a continuous dialogue between cultural institutions, policymakers and the business environment.

 The concept behind the project design considers the cultural life of a medium-sized community as having a key role not only in the cultural development of its members, but also in the social, economic and touristic dimensions. A cultural activity, if jointly developed with the community in a participatory way, can become an attraction factor for a wider area (not only locally, but also on a larger scale depending on the touristic profile of the host city) and a visibility multiplier that impacts many different aspects of the social life. In this idea, festivals become not only a cultural appointment, but a real “town celebration” that creates a real economic impact. In addition to the visibility granted to the host city by the festival communication and by the profile of the guests and participating artists, touristic inflows will positively impact local businesses (e.g., restaurants, hospitality facilities, bookshops, etc). This is also one of the main sustainable aspects of the idea: once this new approach will be consolidated, the local economic stakeholders will have understood the potential economic impact of the initiatives, thus ensuring their support in the long run. For this reason and in full alignment with the selected priorities, the methodology defined for this project aims at including all the different dimensions needed to achieve the objective of cross-developing the cultural scene and the economy of the host cities. 

Therefore, in all the project phases (design and execution), the following dimension will be taken into account: 

– Engagement of a younger audience: active cooperation with the local schools will be promoted, by developing specific initiatives meant to attract the students as audience. The specific profile of the collaboration will be of course defined according to the age range of the students but may include discounted or free tickets for students and teachers, seminars on the specific festival theme to be held directly in the schools, theatre workshops, dedicated literary competitions, children theatre shows. Each project partner will define, as part of its own community engagement plan, the schools to be involved and the specific collaborations, that may vary for each festival edition. 

– Open-air and diffused activities: deriving from Proscenio’s experience with Proagòn (short itinerant trailers for the main shows to be held in the evening) and from the street theatre tradition, the local community will be continuously engaged throughout the festival days thanks to free itinerant shows, crossroads musical shows, theatre-inspired games for children to be held in squares. Again, the specificities of these activities will be defined by each partner in its own community engagement plan, thus granting the maximum customization according to the urban and social environment. 

– Engagement of local businesses: focal element for the aimed cross-development of the local community, this action may include the offering of discounts for festival subscribers, special offers by local shops (especially bookshops) related to the specific festival theme and the development of dedicated touristic offers. For example, festival-inspired menus could be offered by local bars, restaurants and food-trucks. This combined offer will strengthen the idea that the festival is not only a theatre festival, but a real “town happening” that involves the whole community. Again, the specificity of these activities will be defined by each partner in its own community engagement plan, thus granting the maximum customization according to the urban and social environment. 

– Social dimension: as already mentioned in the cross-cutting priority of inclusion, the involvement of disadvantaged or marginalized people will be promoted by offering work opportunities to unemployed people (in collaboration with local job centres), by granting discounted or free tickets to economically disadvantaged people or people with disabilities and, in general, by ensuring the easy access to all the cultural activities, especially the open-air and itinerant ones that will involve the host city as a whole. 

– International dimension: thanks to the international partnership, exchanges of artists, performances and volunteers will be encouraged, for both the activity organisation and the shows to be aired. This international dimension will also be the occasion to find the best way to overcome the language barrier, thus showing that cultural products have no borders.


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 EACEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.