Memo May 2001


A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of The Budapest Observatory (BO) in May 2001


Dear Colleagues,

Regretfully news about the latest call for bursaries under the Gulliver's Connect scheme reached us a day after our last memo was sent out. And the deadline is passed since. It seems to be a very well designed project, combining forces of various agencies, going on for years now, giving real help to people in our region.

This statement is based on indirect evidences, like reading the text of this last call - I wonder if those who have received such a bursary agree with me.

Houses of culture
We are firmly committed to this project, although the first round of fundraising did not produce a euro cent. Too bad!

Check the outline of the research at our site and comment... or rather advise. Not necessarily on the mauve colour of the page but about the most likely donor agency.

Grants in Bulgaria and Czechia
What is common? First, that we have added a (green) page on both of them to our databank on national agencies of cultural grants during May. Second, that neither of them really presents a full-fledged arts council. The one in Sofia is a baby of few months, and the other one in Prague is a bankrupt adolescent.  

The April issue of Culturelink, the journal of the organisation with the same name, was made richer by a (roughly) 300-word article on the Budapest Observatory.

EU enlargement conference
Names are pouring in. Those of early registering and of suggested key speakers; your suggestions are welcome, too. The structure of the sessions and some of the speakers will be added soon to the outline of the conference on BO web site. There are 32 weeks left to the opening of the event on 14th February (Thursday).

Unesco Observer
Isn't it natural from a dominantly Unesco funded organisation to operate a chapter like this, in addition to the one below? Yes, it is. Have a look at the multicolour squares on-line. It works as a portal to selected Unesco web pages, like this one:

Design contest
10 May 2001 Unesco and Felissimo launched an International Design Contest. This is part of  the so-called Design 21 Programme, which was built for the development of cooperative ties between artists, crafts people, manufacturers, journalists and students of fashion schools.


EU Observer

As foreseen in the programme of the Swedish presidency, ministers for cultural affairs held an informal council meeting in Falun between 20-22 May. The main items on the agenda reflected the domain of the word „culture" in the EU: at least ¾ is media and film. This time the core subject was commercials targeting children, as well as the case of public service radio and television in an enlarged Union.

Architecture, children...
Children were focused by another EU meeting in Sweden a week earlier, entitled Children - Identity - Architecture. You deserve a bonus if you are able to concoct a conference title which beats this one.

Culture 2000
We also know from colleagues that heads of cultural contact points also flocked to Stockholm; if they bring us unofficial early news about the Culture 2000 contest, we shall hurry to enter it into the on-line version of EU Observer.

In Brussels May saw a cohesion forum. Among others, the second EU report on cohesion was discussed there in the presence of a great many people, including from the accession countries, especially civil servants, representing also the cultural sector. The report is reviewed on our site. Discrepancies between regions and countries of the EU seem to have remarkably lessened in the last several years. The enlargement of the Union to 27 members (as discussed in the report) poses huge questions. How to adapt the system of structural and cohesion funds to dozens of millions of new EU citizens with low per capita GDP?

In principle the forum was about these issues. Those present may have a better understanding now. And can tell if the word "culture" was mentioned.

The festival is an opportunity for EU politicians to have talks and meetings on the Azure Coast on the development of the audiovisual sector in Europe. So it happened this year, too; the newly announced financial source exceeds half a milliard euros.

Members of the EU Committee of the Regions met with representatives of Slovak towns and regions in Bratislava on 18 May. They encouraged local governments not to wait for their central government in forging links with EU partners.

Beautiful Bulgaria
This is labelled as a UNDP project everywhere, although most of the foreign aid to it comes from the EU. For more, see our site.

Support for Vietnam
A strange piece of news from the external relationship of the Union: nearly one million euros were pledged to the development of the Vietnamese television sector on 11 May. Isn't it generous of Europe?

Summer Academy in Salzburg
Subject: culture, media, management. Dates: 23 July - 4 August. Participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria (outside big cities), Kosova, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania (outside Bucharest), Russia (outside Moscow and St.Petersburg), Ukraine (outside Kiev), Caucasus countries and Central Asian countries have a chance to attend free of charge. Quick, quick - the deadline is 5 June. Go here.

Summer University in AmsterdamSubject: The relationship between economics and culture. Dates: 6-15 August. This will be the fifth summer course under the title "The Value of Culture". Deadline: 6 July. Link: