Carolina Creative Quarter - an NGO established with the purpose of bringing together all the creative and innovative resources of the city of Alba Iulia.
Carolina Creative Quarter was established as an NGO, in order to bring together all the creative and innovative resources of the city of Alba Iulia and create a permanent culture and art infrastructure, within the premises of the historic Carolina Citadel. The initiative has received the full support of the administration of the city of Alba Iulia, which has planned to set up a series of spaces dedicated to the cultural and creative industries in the city: workshops, galleries, incubators, training facilities – all within the historic citadel.
Carolina Creative Quarter is the first initiative of its kind in Romania, and has already managed to overcome one of the most common barriers that appear in front of such projects – the reluctance of the public administration to such initiatives and projects. Both public administration and community work towards a common goal and each entity has its plan of action and role well established.
The objectives of the Carolina Creative Quarter initiative are: to refocus the economic development of Alba Iulia city towards cultural and creative industries, to bring talented people from the Cultural and Creative Industries (back) to Alba Iulia and to bring the historic Carolina Citadel back to life, by repopulating it with creative businesses and people.
The association has a team of 8 active staff members that implement specific cultural projects and initiatives. The financial resources needed for the implementation of different cultural projects come from different sources: Alba Iulia Municipality, European or national funds, CCI community.
Evidence of success
The first creative space opened up in Alba Iulia in 2016 and operates as gallery and events space. The most important cultural projects implemented by the association are: 1 - Urbingo Centenar, a cultural project consisting of cultural manifestations dedicated to the celebration of the 100 years since the great union of the Romanian provinces, and 2 - The Great Union of the [email protected]
Iulia, a cultural project that aimed to design a model of community development based on culture.
Until now, in its short existence, CCC has encountered two main problems. One difficulty was to mitigate the personality clashes between creative people. The other lesson was that an idea is not embraced by a community only because is creative (see Urbingo Centenar – an urban game created by CCC).
Potential for learning or transfer
This initiative can be transferred to other similar cities within the European Union, where gentrification of derelict quarters or diversification of monolithic economic structures is required. Cities with population of up to 50.000-250.000 people, with historical or industrial derelict buildings in (potential) public property and a minimal local community of 100 - 200 people working in the Cultural Creative Industries would be ideal to transfer such practices.
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