Since 2006, the River//Cities platform has developed a European-wide network of organisations, institutions and municipalities specialising in artistic and cultural programming in river and coastal cities. For the Creative Europe Co-operations Projects (Category 1), six core partners have designed a two-year programme to explore the shared themes, issues and challenges facing the post-industrial ports of Europe today.

The Residency Programme brings together artists, curators and cultural operators through a mobility initiative with the purpose of supporting transnational co-operations (year 1), transnational collaborations (year 2), and the assessment of outputs and outcomes for future activities. The programme facilitates the commissioning and circulation of artists and their work through residencies and artistic interventions hosted by the core partners.

Year 1 2019
Envisioned as an open research process in the context of 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, artistic personnel will meet with community/citizen stakeholders and organisational hosts of each partner to understand the local context, and for the meaningful exchange of ideas and research methodologies addressing the ecological, economic, political and social realities facing post-industrial ports and waterways in Europe. The organisational hosts will invite the participation of key influencers and decision-makers in terms of policy and actionable planning in each partner city. 

Principle objectives of activities include:  

  • the expansion of an international peer network
  • knowledge-sharing and capacity-building
  • the identification of relevant artistic processes from traditional (or forgotten) skills to cutting-edge technologies
  • the development of strategies for citizens’ participation as co-authors and co-creators
  • the positioning of artistic personnel as drivers for cultural and/or behavioural change

 Year 2 2020
A series of artistic interventions will focus on collaborative production and the co-curation of existing work with new commissions, expanding and retracting throughout a tour of European waterfront heritage zones. The outputs of artists will not be predetermined however – allowing for an authentic engagement with new colleagues, citizens of a locale, and specific topics identified in year 1 – and may take unexpected but appropriate forms.

Principle objectives of activities include: 

  • supporting artists in the research and development phase of production
  • supporting artists in the production of ambitious and high-quality work
  • brokering collaborative processes between artists and organisational hosts
  • the development and delivery a touring initiative of artists’ work through an evolving programme of artistic interventions hosted by core partners
  • the development of public engagement programmes for the wide dissemination of learning (in response to local social demographics and audience development plans)