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Cultural Brand Award

Welcoming addresses for the 15th European Cultural Brand Awards


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


"United in Diversity" - the motto of the European Union is straightforward in reminding us how crucial cultural diversity is for the European project.  Our continent is a mosaic of diversity shaped by centuries of dialogue and exchanges between different nations, languages and cultures and in this diversity it thrived and developed its unique cultural richness.

It is through culture that we interpret the world. The more diverse it is, the greater the depth of our understanding of what surrounds us – of what it means to be human.

So it is only natural that, as a Union, we strive to broaden the limits of our culture. We want to preserve – indeed often even to restore, what was left by our ancestors. Their inheritance, our cultural heritage, is precious 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 upon it to make it a dynamic, living library of human expression – not just with new art, but with new art forms, new practices, new vocabularies, so that we can all live united in diversity.

To foster this living library, we need to foster those that write it. Music, literature, the performing arts, architecture, fashion – cultural and creative sectors interact and constantly evolve. Their interaction creates powerful ecosystems where artists can inspire each other, think different, innovate and create together.

The 15th Europan Cultural Brand Award does precisely this. It fosters cultural transfers between some of the most creative people we have, helping them innovate. Events like this truly help us develop an ecosystem supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals, and enriching our library of European content.

I trust that, during this difficult time, as the cultural and creative sectors start to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, your passion and work will highlight solutions and bring a new impetus to our cultural milieu. Millions of Europeans around our continent will be inspired by your ideas and innovative initiatives.

It is because of the work of our cultural and creative sectors that we have, time and time again, faced challenges with creativity and confidence. Let us reassess entrenched patterns and build on the potential of culture – for a new start into a sustainable future!


Mariya Gabriel

EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Greeting note of Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office and Patron of the European Cultural Brand Award

©Jorinde Gersina


The Chinese character for crisis consists of two symbols: danger (wei) and opportunity (ji). The dangers of the current Corona crisis have been brought home to us sufficiently in recent weeks. Now it is time for the opportunities.

The crisis had serious consequences, especially for cultural workers. Theatres, galleries, cinemas and clubs had to close at the very beginning of the crisis and are only now very slowly reopening. For many artists, this was and is threatening their existence. Supporting culture in this difficult situation is in line with our understanding of culture and is an imperative of solidarity.

At the same time, the crisis has also released a lot of creative energy. For example, how culture can unfold in the digital space. Or how digitization can open up culture for new groups, make culture even more open and accessible. This is what we need to do now. If we draw the right conclusions from the crisis, we can succeed not only in repairing the damage, but in creating something new.

For me, two aspects are particularly important, which are also in the foreground at this year's CultureInvest! Congress and the European Cultural Brand Award: Sustainability and Europe.

Corona has once again clearly shown us that we can only master global challenges together. Neither a pandemic nor climate change knows borders or nationalities. We must lay the foundations for sustainable development together. And together means: as an international community, as civil society, as science and culture.

Culture in particular can and must be an engine of change towards a sustainable society. For the transformation to a sustainable society, one thing is ultimately above all: a cultural project of self-transformation. That is why more international cultural exchange is needed. It needs joint reflection, but also joint action.

We can only be successful as Europeans. In a world in which multilateralism and international cooperation are coming under increasing pressure, Europe has a responsibility to work internationally for peaceful coexistence. We must therefore strengthen Europe. And that means first of all: strengthening cohesion within Europe. The Corona crisis has made this clear to us once again. We need a common understanding of Europe and an awareness of shared responsibility for the future.

It is particularly important to you: to European artists, creative and cultural workers, cultural managers and mediators; to your ideas and impulses, to your European networks and your commitment! Europe is more than an economic community. It is a community of shared values. Its foundation is European culture and its unity in diversity.

I am convinced that after Corona we need both: a Green Deal for sustainable and ecological economic reconstruction and a Cultural Deal to create a common European space of public and cultural life.

Let us talk about this. Preferably in Potsdam in person. If we now set the right course, we can succeed in ensuring that Corona will be remembered as one thing above all: as a symbol of a seized opportunity.

Michelle Müntefering

Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office


Greeting note of the Jury President, Dr. Hagen W. Lippe-Weißenfeld

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt


Innumerable cultural awards honor successful artistic and journalistic work and are thus an indispensable element in promoting and enabling art and cultural mediation on the one hand and an excellent means of communication for the award winners on the other hand; 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 2,500 in 2020. The number is constantly increasing from year to year and some critics are already talking about inflation and trivialization...

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

Two years ago, the Süddeutsche newspaper published the title "Anarchy in its Fourth Form of Culture", the Neue Westfälische newspaper wrote about the "Culture Oscars" and Crescendo magazine reported on the "Hollywood scent". The fascinating thing about this success is that the European Culture Brands Award has made it its task to make the enormous potential of the entire European culture market very profoundly and yet so wonderfully unconventionally visible, as well as to bring together creativity, culture, business, tourism, education and sustainability. Within a fascinating and future-oriented market, the prize honors those who create the framework conditions for this and control this market: The countless cultural managers in Europe, whose professional profile and untiring commitment has thus been enormously strengthened in our society.

By honoring dynamic cultural projects, the European Cultural Brands Award stimulates the creativity of cultural managers to think in a lively way and dare to try something new, to look beyond their own horizons and to set trends in the European cultural market with the projects submitted, which change the market and our society. This competition also promotes diversity, creativity and management skills as an inexhaustible source of energy for cultural development. In addition, it promotes outstanding marketing, identity-based brand management and efficient brand management in the cultural sector as an art form of the 21st century, that attracts audiences to the countless cultural providers. And since the heart of successful cultural brands does not really want to beat without a cosmopolitan aesthetic attitude, the European Cultural Brand Award is also political, cultural-political.

You can imagine how I, as President of the jury, look forward to the anniversary year and your applications. Because Europe's most advanced cultural prize 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 initiated this competition and has been developing it further with his ever new ideas for 15 years. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the jury, 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" in the Nikolaisaal Potsdam.

Dr. Hagen Lippe-Weißenfeld

Board Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e.V.


Greeting note of the Initiator, Hans-Conrad Walter

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt


When the first competition for the most successful cultural brand in Germany started in 2006 with a public online survey of 14,000 votes, nobody would have guessed that the now "European" cultural brand award would be traded as the most advanced cultural award in Europe only 15 years later. Since its inception, the independent competition has evolved each year, adding new categories and modifying existing ones to stimulate the cultural market, highlighting the enormous cultural potential and rewarding creativity as well as dynamic cultural projects and exceptional personalities.

Innovative cultural management in each of the eight categories is the basis for the top-class awards. A politico-cultural attitude, innovative programming, identity-based brand development, aesthetic and efficient brand management are also important elements of the jury's assessment. In addition, trends in cultural tourism, urban culture, cultural education and cooperation with commercial enterprises are also honored. The European Cultural Brand Award is thus aimed at cultural providers, companies promoting culture, 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 bronze statue, 23 centimeters high, produced in the bronze casting process. Its name is also European - AURICA, a Romanian maiden 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 prize winners from the applications in a multi-stage process in eight expert juries. The network of 50 partners and sponsors is unique and guarantees the annual financing. Thanks to the outstanding commitment of the jury and partners, the European Cultural Brand Award has been able to give significant impulses to the European cultural market over the past thirteen years by presenting 79 awards to institutions and companies and 18 outstanding cultural managers.

In our anniversary year, we want to dare something new, and respond to the current social necessities within climate change and the responsibility of cultural producers and cultural providers within the Green Deal. Together with the jury of experts, we have added sustainability to the criteria for the eight categories of the European Cultural Brand Awards. In addition, we are offering the "European Prize for Sustainability in the Cultural Market" for the first time and want to set an example - together with you - for the transformation to sustainable cultural businesses and a climate-friendly cultural industry.

For all applicants, nominees and prize winners we roll out the red carpet at this year's European Cultural Brands Awards ceremony with the Cultural Brands Gala "Night of Cultural Brands" on 26 November in Potsdam's Nikolaisaal and present the coveted Auricas in front of 750 decision-makers from culture, business, politics and the media.

As the initiator, I cordially invite you to actively apply until 31 August 2020. On behalf of our expert jury, I look forward to your application and, of course, to unforgettable emotions within the "Night of Cultural Brands" gala in the climate city of Potsdam! My special thanks go to my dedicated team, all sponsors, partners, jurors and contributors for their generous support, especially to the state of Brandenburg and the state capital Potsdam.

Hans-Conrad Walter

Managing Director Causales


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