Culture within reach! - Kraków Culture policy
The variety of Kraków’s cultural offer presented by several hundred small and large cultural centres, over 100 museum branches and dozens of festivals is a powerful development resource, even for a city deeply affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Rebuilding inbound tourism will also be possible through closer cooperation between the cultural and tourism sectors. We present a set of tools to support the integration of Kraków’s marketing communication, cultural promotion and cultural diplomacy.
Kraków Culture is a guide to the multitude of the city’s cultural attractions and a tool for international communication. It is also the new quarterly magazine “Kraków Culture”, the development of the “Karnet” portal, and related sales platforms for the cultural sector.
Kraków Culture is an brand encompassing all of the activities of the city and its institutions, which are intended to help strengthen the reputation and recognition of Kraków as a cosmopolitan city with a particularly rich and varied programme for culture and leisure, as well as a city with a strong creative community.
- For many months, we have all been functioning in a new, different reality,” says Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Kraków. - The coronavirus pandemic has challenged us to develop a long-term cultural policy and put even more emphasis on cooperation between the culture and tourism sectors. The tourism market is undergoing a transformation and cultural products are an ideal tool for discovering the treasures of Kraków and building the city's reputation - he adds.
Sustainable Tourism Policy 2021-2028
Reviving inbound tourism through increased management efficiency, integrated marketing communication, international communication, partnership dialogue and knowledge transfer, creation of new “customised” cultural products and their communication - these are just some of the challenges of the “Sustainable Tourism Policy of Kraków for 2021-2028”, recently adopted by the Kraków City Council. It sets as an objective for the cultural and tourism sectors to “go beyond their narrow professional circle and work together to create and develop new cultural products, produce the atmosphere of the city and nurture localism as the most valuable resource for visitors to Kraków, as well as for its residents”.
- The objective of the Kraków Culture policy is to recognise what a fascinating cultural ecosystem we have developed in the two decades since the honourable title of European City of Culture 2000. Since then, there have been numerous long-term plans, innovations, agencies developing individual cultural sectors. The role of the creative sector is increasing, as is the collaboration of many entities to create a specific image and reputation for Kraków,” explains Robert Piaskowski, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of Kraków for Culture, explaining the reasons for developing the Kraków Culture policy.
- I remember one summer afternoon in 2019, before the pandemic. At the same time, Terence Blanchard was performing at a summer jazz festival in Kraków, Diana Krall was singing at the TAURON Arena Kraków, and Philippe Jaroussky at ICE Kraków. The crowds of tourists in the Kraków Main Market Square could not know about these events, as the posters in the city centre were dominated by content showing cheap and unsophisticated entertainment. A city like Kraków must present itself and its greatest assets, the treasures of its museums, the wealth of its arts and crafts, its design, fashion, local markets and high-quality gastronomy in a mature and conscious manner. It must present the treasures of its heritage and invite all representatives of the cultural world and the tourism sector to discover its so far insufficiently realised potential,” adds Piaskowski.
The emphasis in the Kraków Culture policy is placed primarily on creating modern tools to integrate the sectors, including a single portal for Kraków’s museums, a single shop for culture, cooperation between all festivals financed by the Municipality of Kraków in terms of co-creating the energy of a festival city, but also of a sustainable city, working together to build the atmosphere and nurture the city’s identity.
- New technologies play an extremely important role in Kraków Culture policy. We move with the times and act in accordance with our audiences’ expectations. We ourselves have gone through a technological revolution and we consume content in a new way. This includes cultural content. Therefore, implementing digital solutions in the area of tourist information, delivering a consistent message in marketing communication both physically in the city and in digital channels, and conscious transfer of information about the offer between local service providers and residents is now a priority for us. The sale of cultural and leisure services must therefore be linked to new content distribution channels - hence the PLAY KRAKÓW VOD platform, new websites and digital editions of the magazine. Our goal is to support the entire creative sector and include it in the rebuilding of the tourism market in such a way that cultural tourism regains its important role in the economic and social life of Kraków after the pandemic,” says Izabela Błaszczyk, director of the KBF - an institution chosen by the city to coordinate the most important elements of the Kraków Culture policy.
The idea of the project is to organise the diversity of the cultural offer according to the key of quality and accessibility, also for non-Polish speakers. This objective is served by creating a representative list of key Kraków events programmed and communicated in advance, and presenting them as seasons of culture: spring, summer, autumn, winter. The selection of events for each of the four seasons will be made by an interdisciplinary team of culture, tourism and promotion specialists and external experts. In the future, the seasons will be accompanied by promotional and communication activities in urban space highlighting the events of which the city is most proud and which are likely to attract audiences increasingly looking for an offer tailored to their interests.
Until now, Kraków has not had a communication platform for culture. Apart from the profiles of institutions and events and the “Karnet” portal, there has been a lack of a place bringing together the most important stories and areas of culture, as well as tools for the city’s cultural diplomacy. That is why we are creating Kraków Culture as a set of such tools - building the image of the city on the local and international market, developing the potential of culture, supporting joint efforts to achieve the status of a city of high quality and aware of its advantages.
Kraków Culture is also the name of a Polish-English website presenting the most important sectors and phenomena of culture. At krakowculture.pl we will find selected and recommended content developed for tour operators, Polish and international media, representatives of the world of culture and tourism. This selection is intended to show the richness of the existing ecosystem of culture, creative industries and leasure, and at the same time to provide assistance in constructing a tourist offer for recipients with specific preferences. Editorial content published here - prepared by respected authors and experts in their fields at the same time - makes up a full picture of the sources and values of Kraków’s culture, divided into 16 thematic categories, such as cultural heritage, fashion and design, jazz, classical and popular music, gastronomy, festivals, museums or film.
At the same time, a new free title will appear on the publishing market: the “Kraków Culture” quarterly. The magazine will be a Polish-English guide to the most important cultural phenomena, edited by the KBF publishing team in collaboration with local artists, journalists and organisers. It will contain news from the cultural life of the city and many other thematically related contents, all in an extraordinary graphic design created by the renowned graphic designer Kuba Sowiński. In turn, the monthly magazine “Karnet”, published until January 2021, is developing into a modern and constantly expanding internet tool. On the website karnet.krakowculture.pl we publish the full offer of the city’s culture, taking into account the location, character and field of events. Karnet is also developing its information activities towards integration with the municipalities of the Kraków agglomeration.
Kraków Culture also has its... home! Thanks to the decisions made by Kraków’s Mayor, Potocki Palace, the long-standing seat of the Goethe-Institut on the corner of Bracka Street and the Main Market Square, now serves as a cultural cluster. It is home to the headquarters of Bunkier Sztuki, the MOCAK bookshop, the Kraków City of Literature UNESCO complex managed by KBF, and will soon be the venue for the Kraków Culture: Summer programme. Organisers of the city’s festivals, non-governmental organisations and municipal institutions will invite visitors to their events held in the beautiful interiors and courtyard of the Palace. It will also be a venue for important discussions on culture, heritage and tourism, a meeting place for artists, organisers, residents and the tourism industry.
- By taking care of this place and dedicating it to the cooperation of the cultural sector, the city wants to clearly emphasise its concern not only to create a high-quality cultural offer tailored to the various needs of the inhabitants and the non-Polish-speaking public, but also to show the importance of the cultural heritage of our city. Revitalisation through culture is also an important direction for the necessary change in the perception of the most invaluable space of our city, which is Kraków’s Main Market Square and the adjacent streets - the regeneration of this space by embedding in it important functions that build the quality of our city is more than urgent, says Katarzyna Olesiak, Director of the Department of Culture and National Heritage.
We invite you to visit the krakowculture.pl website, see the new edition of karnet.krakowculture.pl and the free Kraków Culture quarterly, which is now available in nearly 200 places in Kraków, including selected points in the official InfoKraków city and tourist information network.