IGCAT experts delivers training to Rhodes 2021 bid team

Rhodes 2021,  one of the pre-selected cities to hold the title European Capital of Culture (ECoC) has a strong bid team headed by Aliki Moschis-Gauguet and supported by  IGCAT experts, Robert Palmer and Diane Dodd.   From 30 March – 2 April 2016, IGCAT led the bid team through a complete review of the first draft of their bid, taking into consideration the jury’s comments and what the bid team felt were their strengths and weaknesses.

The selection of just three cities for the second and final round of the competition was announced in late February and the cities recently received advise in the form of a written report from the ECoC jury on how to improve their candidacy. It became immediately clear that Rhodes and the Dodecanese islands have an important role, as the only islands now left in the competition. This is an advantage given that the last two ECoC titles to be celebrated in Greece took place on the mainland.  Furthermore, with the other islands out of the competition, the Region of South Aegean can now firmly back the Rhodes 2021 candidacy.  In a meeting with key stakeholders for the candidacy, the Governor of the Region of South Aegean, George Hatzimarkos committed his full support and agreed to provide the resources necessary to ensure a successful bid.  Given, the Region and the City represent distinct political camps this bid indeed can be said to have cross-political support which Mayor Fotis Chatzidiakos has worked hard to ensure. At the same time, IGCAT was assured that efforts would be made to include all other cities and islands that had entered the competition so as not to waste resources that had and will be invested throughout the competition.

Another key to Rhodes candidacy will be its geographical positioning and historical role in peace and reconciliation efforts. In a Europe that is now feeling incredibly threatened by ‘others’ it is becoming more important than ever in Europe to counter-balance negative images of the Middle East with positive artistic and creative collaborative processes. At the same time, Rhodes 2021 will be a chance to celebrate the humanitarian role that Greece has played in the refugee crisis by emphasising the incredible role the islands have played on the front line of these very dramatic events.  Aliki Moschis-Gauguet is in this respect an ideal Director for Rhodes 2021, having dedicated herself to the promotion of intercultural understanding, communication and cooperation – especially in conflicting areas – through the arts. Most notably, in 1998 Aliki Moschis-Gauguet founded the FAM Network (Femme-Art-Mediterranee) operating under the Aegis of UNESCO and she currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Anna Lindh Foundation. She expressed her strong conviction that Rhodes can deliver a very strong bid for 2021 with a key message to shine a light in Europe.

Under Mrs Moschis-Gauget’s leadership the Rhodes 2021 bid team is currently being expanded to take up the challenges that lie ahead. One of the key needs is to enhance the capacity and skills to deliver quality events on all the islands, not just for Rhodes 2021 but also for the future of the Dodecanese.

IGCAT experts carry our capacity building training for cities and regions using a service-learning method. They also have a growing pool of experts that have vast experience in supporting transformation in cities and regions.