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In 2020 Graz is all about “Urban Future”

The Graz Kulturjahr 2020 project kicks off an unique initiative in the Styrian capital city of Graz: in 2020 Graz is all about the urban future and Graz becomes the hub for an in-depth scrutiny of the pressing questions of our time and the future of our cities.

The city is now investing five million euros of subsidies to mount 94 arts and science projects dealing with the following themes: Environment and Climate, Digital Life-Worlds, Urbanism, Social Interaction, Tomorrow’s Work.

Unique in the cultural landscape: Themed around the idea of “how we want to live”, throughout the year all seventeen districts of the city form the stage for the Graz Kulturjahr 2020.

Mayor of the State Capital Graz

Mag. Siegfried Nagl

Bürgermeister Siegfried Nagl
Bürgermeister Siegfried Nagl



… our three keys to 2020 in Graz.

Firstly, Graz is taking the concept of “Culture” seriously and implementing it in its original sense: our aim is to shape our living environment and to harness it for new and seemingly unusual ideas.

Secondly, “Development” is a perennial issue facing urban spaces. Since the turn of the millennium, Graz has become a dynamic hub of knowledge and business. The impetus from the city’s year as Cultural Capital in 2003 has played a major role in this respect. The aim now is to recalibrate the urban development potential inherent in culture.

Thirdly, Graz, like any other “City”, is a place where new ideas develop faster, with greater diversity and potency. The impact of what people think and do here, the visible trends, goes far beyond the city’s borders.

“How we want to live” is the motto of the Year of Culture!

I warmly invite you to be a part of this living experience!

Councillor for Cultural Affairs of the City of Graz

Dr. Günter Riegler

Stadtrat Riegler Kulturjahr 2020
Stadtrat Riegler Kulturjahr 2020

Art and culture pervade all spheres of society. They are indicators of the quality of life of a city, an important factor for citizens to find their identity and they help us answer crucial, if awkward questions concerning the future. The great ambition of the Graz Kulturjahr 2020 is to touch, captivate and perhaps even fluster everyone in Graz, centering on what is probably one of the most important questions facing us today: How we want to live.


The breadth that we aim to achieve with the Year of Culture is reflected in the blanket coverage of projects throughout the city. All of the districts of Graz will be involved in the Year of Culture on 366 days, with the programme revolving around the main themes Environment, Climate and Urbanity. The aim is thus to do justice to the overriding importance of art, culture and science for forward-looking urban development.


Ultimately, the Year of Culture 2020 will have been a success if the discourse on cultural policy impacts on the way people in Graz think and act and sticks in their minds and hearts in one way or another.

Program Manager of the Culture Year 2020

Mag. Christian Mayer

Christian Mayer Kulturjahr 2020
Christian Mayer Kulturjahr 2020

It was the residents of Graz themselves who shaped the Graz Year of Culture 2020, and as a result it represents the current assessments, observations, expertises and wishes with regard to the future of our city—and indeed cities! After all, like many other European cities, Graz is facing similar, urgent questions of urban living in which specific local conditions and global developments are mutually dependent.

The calendar of events is rich and varied, the contributions informative, stimulating and entertaining. They stem from fields of scientific research including town planning, architecture, life sciences or robotics and venture deep into the universe of the various genres of art: theatre, the visual arts or electronic music. Some of the projects focus on very specific economic sectors such as waste management and public utilities, small trades businesses, high technology, the creative industries or forestry. Many of the projects on the programme run for a period of several weeks or months: we encounter them in public space, we can visit them as exhibitions in museums, they invite us to take part in workshops or to listen in on university lectures. The Graz Kulturjahr 2020 projects often aim to make direct contact with the residents of Graz, with many being developed with local citizen participation. The ninety-four projects are developed by hundreds of active participants who, in addition, often cooperate closely with nurseries, schools, neighbourhood centres and communities.

We invite you to take a look at what’s happening in your neighbourhood, in your district. I am sure that there will be something for you, something that catches your interest and gets you excited and hope you enjoy the various events.

Team Kulturjahr 2020

Team Büro Kulturjahr 2020
Team Büro Kulturjahr 2020

The Team Graz Kulturjahr 2020 (from left):
Valerie Soran, MA
Sara Lesky
Alexander Pipam, MA
Mag. Christian Mayer (Head)

Stadt Graz Kulturamt
Office Graz Kulturjahr 2020
Stigergasse 2, 8020 Graz, Austria
+43 316 872 4940

Program Advisory Board

Darrel Toulon, former ballet director of the Oper Graz; freelance choreographer, director and lecturer

DI Günter Koberg, former head of Baukultur Land Steiermark

Mag. Christian Mayer, Program Manager Graz Kulturjahr 2020

Mag.a Monika Pessler MSC, Director Sigmund Freud Museum

GDR. Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, General Director and Artistic Director MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art Vienna and Director of the VIENNA BIENNALE

Mag.a Annette Knoch, head of literary publishing company  “Droschl”

Prof. Mark Blaschitz, Professor of Housing, Fundamentals and Design in the Architecture Section at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design; Co-founder of the Graz artist collective “SPLITTERWERK”

Mag.a Bettina Steindl (not in the picture), project manager of the “Kultur Perspektiven 2024”


Programm-Manager: Christian Mayer

Office Kulturjahr 2020: Sara Lesky, Valerie Soran, Alexander Pipam

Communication: TRAFO – developing arts & audiences, Anna Hartweger, Andreas R. Peternell

Graphic Concept: Perndl+Co

Graphic Design and Processing: achtzigzehn – Konzept & Gestaltung GmbH

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Graz Kulturjahr 2020 was supported by: