In 2012, Guimarães will be hosting a major gathering of creators and creations: music, cinema, photography, fine arts, architecture, literature, thought, theatre, dance, street art. In Guimarães, the artistic products imagined and created by its residents will merge with those coming to the city from all over Europe. Over the course of one year, the city will be the promoter of Europe’s cultural diversity, revealing its creations and welcoming those from other countries.
Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture will also be a catalyst for development of the city and surrounding region, having Culture, in its broadest sense, as the main driver of this transformation. It is aimed to improve the quality of life by contributing to the city’s urban, social and economic renewal, promoting comprehensive access to culture and enhancing the region and its collective public heritage. The material component of the project – a broad and ambitious programme of urban regeneration, already underway by the responsibility of the Municipal Council of Guimarães – complements the valorization of the symbolic capital of the city and its people, which is the intent behind all the programming work for the European Capital Culture.
Based on the values of “City”, “Citizenship and Participation” and “European Scope”, Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture is built on three goals:
• Development of human capital – Empower the local community with new human resources and professional expertise, by encouraging their proactive involvement in the project;
• Development of a creative economy – Transform the city’s economy, based on an industrial economic model, into an internationally competitive creative economy;
• Generation of a new geography of the senses – Transform a space that passively preserves memory into a space that constantly offers new and surprising cultural and creative experiences.
Based on the strategic goals laid out and their underlying values – and in accordance with the guiding principles of a European Agenda for Culture and the actual title of European Capital of Culture – the mission statement of the Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture is born: Through solid community involvement, to generate vibrant creative energy in Guimarães, contributing to the city’s urban, social and economic renewal, consolidating its cultural offering and resources, and creating a new dynamic and broader cultural landscape in the people’s memory and aspirations thereby changing how they see the world.