Memo August 2001

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

We are virus-free. Hopefully the new protection system will save us from the horrible experience of mid-August, when for a few days we were infected. It is not clear how many fake messages were created and sent out by the worm in the name of BO to addresses stored in our list: a few dozens? Over a hundred? I apologise. Fortunately, so far we have not come across any lasting harms caused by the assault.

Europe goes visual
Brussels has announced the call for proposals for grants in 2002 from the Culture 2000 fund. Each year another field of culture will get preferential treatment. Next year it will be the visual arts: the preference means that about 100 projects will get support from the various areas of the visual sector, while performing arts and heritage get 15-15 only in 2002. Books and translation will be evenly promoted year by year. The deadline for one-year projects is 15 November, multiannual undertakings will have two more weeks to work on the application forms. The actual call confirms that particular attention will be given to the involvement of transition countries. In the next memo we promise to point at changes since the spring round, if we find any in the documents. Hopefully we shall get information - maybe from you? - about how April and May applications from east-central Europe fared at the evaluation.

Enlargement conference
Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for culture has confirmed in writing about her patronage over the conference on the effects of the enlargement on culture. It seems, however, that Ms Reding has another engagement elsewhere at that time, so her presence is rather unlikely. We are confident about other VIPs, though. We are screening major cultural institutions in Budapest to find the best venue for the first day. The idea is to have an opening plenary at a prestigious place in the afternoon of 14 February, Thursday, followed by a stroll around in the building guided by the hosts, ending with a reception.

It is literally the last moment to e-mail your application to meet the 3 September deadline, if you intend to get a grant for your cultural policy project in 2001.

You may remember that Circle has chosen volunteering in culture as the topic for this year's Round Table in Newcastle. If you see anything remarkable around you with regard to voluntary civic contribution to culture, you may present it to an international audience. Something very typical - or the opposite, unorthodox way of volunteering? You may send a note even if you are not planning to attend. Upon the invitation of the United Nations a number of other events will be held on the subject.

Two more events in England
Next autumn there will be at least two more interesting conferences in England, with relevance to the financing of culture. Cheap flights and lots of native speakers of English, also among the lecturers, add to the attraction. Take a look at the information on the conference in Nottingham, end of September on the convergence of culture and industry, culture and community etc, especially from the perspective of urban and community cultural policy. Closer to BO interest is the seminar on cultural policies in the world, planned for 23 November in London, with a special session on our region, moderated by the founding chairman of BO. For further information contact the organiser.

Policies for culture
If you have been able to read this message up (down) to this point, you will find interest in following the developments of the the project of the same name, covering Romania, Bulgaria and in the future Croatia. Further to the web site, you may ask for their newsletter. The July issue presents, among others, the new Cultural Fund of Bulgaria. (I would not be surprised to read about the latest member of the "Arts Council" family in the next number: the Croatian one.)

The Council of Europe has published the findings of the BO project on tax incentives to cultural donations and sponsorship. You may write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy.

Site visitors
We had mixed feelings when we found out that BO site had more visitors from outside the region than from east-central Europe. In the recent past the balance has turned. Croatia tops the list of countries - that regional power in cultural policy.