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16th Cultural Brand Award

Greetings for the 16th European Cultural Brands Awards


Greeting of Mariya Gabriel, EU-Commissioner for Innovation, Knowledge, Culture, Education and Youth


"United in diversity" - the motto of the European Union reminds us concretely how elemental cultural diversity is to the European project. Our continent is a mosaic of diversity, shaped by centuries of dialogue and exchange between different nations, languages and cultures; and within this diversity it has thrived and developed its unique cultural richness.

We interpret the world through culture. The more diverse it is, the deeper the understanding of our surroundings - and what it means to be human.

Accordingly, as a Union, it is only natural to strive to expand the boundaries of our culture. We want to preserve - in fact, often restore - what our ancestors left us. Their heritage, our cultural heritage, is valuable and inspiring. On the other hand, we are not passive recipients of this heritage. We make it our own, through innovative approaches and critical thinking. We build on it to make it dynamic, as living libraries of human expression - not just with new art, but with new art forms, new practice, and new vocabulary, so that we can all live united under diversity.

Nurturing this living library requires nurturing those who write it. Music, literature, drama, architecture, and fashion - cultural and creative sectors are constantly interacting and evolving. Their interaction creates a powerful ecosystem in which artists inspire each other, encourage dissent and innovation, and create together.

The 16th European Cultural Brands Award does just that. It cultivates cultural transfer between some of the most creative people we have by helping to innovate. Events like this help us develop an ecosystem that supports artists and cultural and creative experts; while enriching our library of European content.

I am sure that during this difficult time, when the cultural and creative sector is starting to recover from the Covid 19 crisis, your passion and work will highlight the solutions and create new impulses for our cultural milieu. Millions of Europeans across the continent will be inspired by your ideas and innovative initiatives.

Through the work of our cultural and creative sector, we have always met challenges with creativity and confidence. Let us rethink entrenched patterns and build on the potential of culture - for a new beginning in a sustainable future!

Yours, Mariya Gabriel
EU-Commissioner for Innovation, Knowledge, Culture, Education and Youth


Greeting of the Jurypresident, Dr. Hagen W. Lippe-Weißenfeld

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt


Countless cultural awards honor successful artistic and journalistic work and are thus an indispensable element in promoting and enabling art and cultural education on the one hand and an excellent communication opportunity for the award winners on the other, which at the same time provide appropriate attention and appreciation. In Germany, the number has been recorded in the Handbook of Cultural Prizes since 1978, and the number of regularly awarded cultural prizes will exceed 2,600 in 2021. The number is constantly increasing from year to year, and some critics are already talking about inflation and banalization...

Last year, after many years as a juror of the European Cultural Brand Award, I myself was elected president of this highly respected competition by my fellow jurors. But what is so special about this award and what distinguishes it from other competitions? How did the European Cultural Brand Award manage within 15 years to become the most advanced cultural award not only in Germany but in the whole of Europe?

I found convincing arguments for this in the press about the award ceremonies of the last few years: "Anarchy in its most cultured form" was the headline of the Süddeutsche three years ago, the Neue Westfälische wrote about the "award ceremony of the culture Oscars" and Crescendo reported about "Hollywood scent". The fascinating thing about this success is that the European Cultural Brand Award has made it its business to make the enormous potential of the entire European cultural market visible in a very profound and yet wonderfully unconventional way, as well as to think creativity, culture, business, tourism, education and sustainability together within a fascinating and future-oriented market and to award those who create the framework conditions for this and steer this market: The countless cultural managers* in Europe, whose professional image and tireless commitment have thus been enormously strengthened in our society.

By honoring dynamic cultural projects, the European Cultural Brand Award stimulates the creativity of the countless cultural managers to think vividly and to dare to do something new, to look beyond their own horizons and to set trends in the European cultural market with the submitted projects, which change the market and our society. This competition simultaneously promotes diversity, creativity and management skills as an inexhaustible source of energy for cultural development. It also promotes outstanding marketing, identity-based branding and efficient brand management in the cultural sector as a 21st century art form that attracts audiences to the myriad of cultural providers. And because the heart of successful cultural brands doesn't really want to beat without a cosmopolitan aesthetic attitude, the European KulturmarkenAward is also political, cultural-political.

You can imagine how excited I am as jury president about the anniversary year and your applications. After all, Europe's most advanced cultural award is not the Olympus for the tried and tested, but the humus on which your ideas grow and your innovative projects become visible. I would like to express my special thanks to the Causales team around the cultural manager Hans-Conrad Walter, who brought this competition into being and has been developing it for 15 years with his constantly new ideas. I would also like to thank my jury colleagues, who make the right decisions every year in an intensive, lively and sometimes controversial professional reflection. I wish this year's competition many prize-worthy entries and an unforgettable award ceremony at the "Night of Cultural Brands" at the Dresden State Operetta.

Yours sincerely, Dr. Hagen Lippe-Weißenfeld
Chairman of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e.V.


Greeting of the Award-Initiator, Hans-Conrad Walter

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt


When the first competition for the most successful cultural brand in Germany was launched in 2006 with a public online survey with 14,000 votes, no one could have imagined that the now "European" Kulturmarken Award would be considered the most advanced cultural prize in Europe just 16 years later. Since its birth, the independent competition has evolved annually, adding new categories and modifying existing ones to stimulate the cultural market, make visible the enormous cultural potential, and reward creativity as well as dynamic cultural projects and exceptional personalities.

Innovative cultural management is the basis for the top-class awards in each of the eight categories. Cultural policy stance, innovative programming, identity-based brand development, aesthetic and efficient brand management are also important elements in the jury's assessment. In addition, trends in cultural tourism, urban culture, cultural education and cooperation with business enterprises are honored. Thus, the European Cultural Brand Award is aimed at cultural providers, culture-promoting companies, foundations, municipalities, tourism regions and the media.

The most important figure within the European Cultural Brand Award is the AURICA, which is awarded annually in all categories as a prize sculpture. The icon of the European cultural market is a 23-centimeter-high bronze statue made by the bronze casting process. Its name is also European - AURICA, a Romanian girl's name meaning the golden one, carries everything that is so desirable: aura, aurum and eureka. The sculpture stands for the excellence, attractiveness and diversity of the European cultural market and symbolizes the valuable mediation work of European cultural providers and the passionate commitment of European cultural promoters.

A significant contribution to the success of the competition is made by the dedicated 40-member expert jury, which, under the innovative leadership of jury president Dr. Hagen Lippe Weißenfeld, selects the nominees and award winners in eight expert juries in a multi-stage process. The network of 50 partners and sponsors, who guarantee the annual financing, is unique. Thanks to the outstanding commitment of the jury and partners, the European Cultural Brand Award has been able to provide significant impetus for the European cultural market over the past 15 years with 88 awards to institutions and companies as well as 21 outstanding cultural managers.

We will roll out the red carpet for all applicants, nominees and award winners at this year's European Cultural Brands Awards ceremony with the "Night of Cultural Brands" gala on November 11 at the Staatsoperette Dresden and present the coveted Auricas in front of 700 decision-makers from culture, business, politics and the media.

As the initiator, I cordially invite you to actively apply by August 31, 2021. On behalf of our expert jury, I look forward to your application and, of course, to unforgettable emotions within the "Night of Cultural Brands" cultural brand gala in beautiful Elbflorenz, which is also my birthplace and hometown! My special thanks go to my dedicated team, all sponsors, partners, jurors and contributors for their generous support, especially the Free State of Saxony and the City of Dresden.

Yours, Hans-Conrad Walter
Managing Partner of Causales - Gesellschaft für Kulturmarketing und Kultursponsoring mbH

      Main Funder                                                                                                                                              Official Prize Sponsor