European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Amsterdam 1987


Why the city wanted to be a cultural capital?

There were three main issues which formed the basis of Amsterdam Cultural Capital 1987



What was the concept?

In all activities the guiding principle was that it should not be limited to activities for the year 1987 only, instead it was the purpose to have some continuality in the activities. This goal was achieved by cooperating with cultural institutions whose activities were already connected which the goal and purposes of the cultural capital idea and which could be artistically deepened or internationalised.

The issue “Europe in geographical sense” was appearing in almost all presentations within the program. There was a specific search for performances ands presentations from all countries of Europe on the basis of artistic criteria, and not limited to the countries of the European Community during those days.



21 exhibitions (directly and indirectly) a.o. Dutch Masters and the landscape, Oskar Schlemmer: man and abstract in the twenties and thirties

17 books and catalogues

4 congresses a.o. “The other side of design”

1 general activity (Museumboat)

- Stage performances, music and dance

798 performances / concerts: a.o. Stagedoor festival

11 workshops

35 lectures / seminars

3 exhibitions

242 film and video screenings

1 exhibition

1 symposium

100 hours of cultural productions on the local TV channel

3 publications

6 readings

24 congresses / symposia

1 exhibition

7 congresses

4 publications



Within the concept emphasis was put on the fact that it was a truly European festival. Not restricted tot the European Community. In 2006 this is hardly conceivable but in the eighties this was an important aspect. In that sense the European Cultural Capital concept is dynamic and proved to be flexible in dramatically changed circumstances.

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