Written by: Charmaine Andre and Shannon Zurhaar
Leeuwarden: Cultural Capital of Europe 2018! It’s been the talk of the town the past couple of years and the city of Leeuwarden has been hard at work with its improvements to the city to show the world how beautiful it is. You have probably noticed the white boy & girl statues, the pedestrian area and changes by the train station, the flags, flowers, trees, among many other things. But what is ‘Cultural Capital’? And what does it mean for Leeuwarden and Friesland?
The EU designed ‘Cultural Capital of Europe’ to connect people in Europe and to raise awareness in common history and values. The theme is ‘Iepen Mienskip (a sense of open community) Leeuwarden and Friesland are bringing on change to make it an open community and society in the province, the country and in Europe. It has great cultural, social and economic benefits. It puts Leeuwarden and Friesland ‘on the map’, changes the city’s and province’s image and raises its profile on an international scale.
How are we going to celebrate this prestigious award? In too many ways to count. For one year there will be an array of festivals, shows, performances and concerts. Something to suit everyone’s interests.
LF2018 Events to Look Out For
While there are over a hundred of different programs and events celebrating European Cultural Capitol 2018 throughout Leeuwarden and Friesland, there are a few we would like to highlight.
The Giants of Royal De Luxe ~ Daily August 17th, 2018 – August 19th, 2018
“Colossal, beautiful and extremely impressive: street theatre company Royal de Luxe and their iconic Giants will come to Leeuwarden, all the way from France. Creatures so high they tower over office buildings! Believe us when we say this will truly be memorable…. The Giants amaze and marvel everyone, aged young and old.” ~LF2018
Escher’s Journey ~ Starting 28 April 2018 until 28 October 2018
“M.C. Escher is one of the most famous artists of the Netherlands. What many people don’t know, however, is that he comes from Leeuwarden. The Frisian Museum will showcase a large-scale exhibition of his work in 2018. With over fifty earlier and later original prints, his artistic development from a technically competent graphic artist to a world famous virtuoso becomes visually clear. Follow Escher through his physical and mental travels.” ~LF2018
The Tall Ships Races: a cultural armada ~ Starting 3 August, 2018 until 6 August, 2018
“After two exciting races, eighty sailing ships finish in Harlingen – where they will remain for four days and provide the setting for this nautical spectacle. With more than 200,000 visitors expected, it promises to be a big event. Visitors can take a look at the tall ships and enjoy many free performances at different places in the city.” ~LF2018
More events and special programs can be found in English at the Leeuwarden-Friesland site: https://www.friesland.nl/en/european-capital-of-culture/calendar
Connect International is also celebrating Cultural Capitol of Europe with events aimed at show casing some of LF2018 special engagements, such as, a visit to De Kruidhof Hortus for the Silence of the Bees project and our “A Little Taste of Leeuwarden” series. (To find out more about these events and future events go the Connect International website: http://www.connect-int.org/connecting-worlds/)
With Leeuwarden/Friesland being awarded European Cultural Capitol 2018, it has given us a great opportunity to get better acquainted with our neighbouring cities and more involved in our communities-Iepen Mienskip!