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In 2020 Graz is all about “Urban Future”

The Graz Kulturjahr 2020 project kicks off a unique initiative in the Styrian capital city of Graz: in 2020 Graz is all about the urban future and 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

Culture! Development! City!

… Our triple key to 2020 in Graz.

For Graz, for the first time, takes the term “culture” seriously and in its original sense: we design our living space, make it fertile for new and unusual ideas.

Secondly, “development” is an ever-present topic of urban spaces. Graz has developed into a dynamic knowledge and business center since the turn of the millennium. The impulses from the 2003 Capital of Culture have made a significant contribution. Now it is time to recalibrate the urban development potential inherent in culture.

And thirdly, like any “city”, Graz is a place where new ideas develop faster, more diverse and more powerful. What is thought, done and visible here radiates far beyond the city limits.

“How we want to live” is the motto of the cultural year!

I cordially invite you to live and experience!

Graz City Councilor for Culture

Dr. Günter Riegler

Stadtrat Riegler Kulturjahr 2020
Stadtrat Riegler Kulturjahr 2020

Art and culture permeate all areas of society. They are indicators of the quality of life in a city, an important factor in identifying citizens and they help us to answer uncomfortable but equally important questions of the future. The cultural year 2020 has the great aspiration to touch, captivate, maybe even upset everyone in Graz and focuses on one of the most important questions of our time, how we want to live.

The breadth that we want to achieve with the cultural year is reflected in the nationwide coverage of the entire city. All Graz districts with the main focus on environment, climate and urbanity are included in the cultural year for over 366 days. The great importance of art, culture and science for future-oriented urban development is thus taken into account.

In the end, the cultural year 2020 will have been successful when the cultural-political discourse has reached the thinking and acting of the people of Graz and in whatever form remains stuck in the minds and hearts.

Program Manager of the Culture Year 2020

Mag. Christian Mayer

Christian Mayer Kulturjahr 2020
Christian Mayer Kulturjahr 2020

The Graz Culture Year 2020 was designed by Graz residents themselves with their contributions, so it represents the current assessments, considerations, expertise and wishes for the future of our city – and cities! Because with many other European cities, Graz shares the similar, virulent questions of an urban life, in which specific local conditions are mutually dependent on global developments.

The calendar of events is varied and varied. The contributions are informative, stimulating, entertaining. They come from scientific research fields such as urban planning, architecture, life sciences or robotics, and lead deep into the cosmos of art, theater, visual arts and electronic music. Some projects also deal with very specific economic sectors such as waste and supply management, small craft businesses, high technology, the creative industries or forestry. Many items on the program extend over a period of several weeks and months: You meet us in public space, can be visited as exhibitions in museums, invite you to participate in workshops or listen to university lectures. The projects in the 2020 cultural year often seek direct contact with the people of Graz, and quite a few are created with the participation of local citizens. The 94 projects are backed by hundreds of active people, who often cooperate closely with kindergartens, schools, neighborhood centers and communities.

We cordially invite you to see what is taking place near you in your district. I am sure that there is something for you as well that will arouse your interest and I hope you enjoy it and enjoy it.

Team Kulturjahr 2020

Team Büro Kulturjahr 2020
Team Büro Kulturjahr 2020

The Culture Year 2020 team (from left):
Valerie Soran, MA
Sara Lesky
Alexander Pipam, MA
Mag. Christian Mayer (Head)

Stadt Graz Kulturamt
Büro Graz Kulturjahr 2020
Stigergasse 2, 8020 Graz, Österreich
+43 316 872 4940

Program Advisory Board

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

DI Günter Koberg, former head of Baukultur Land Steiermark

Mag. Christian Mayer, Program Manager Graz Culture Year 2020; Theater dramaturg

Mag.a Monika Pessler MSC, Director Sigmund Freud Museum

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

Mag.a Annette Knoch, head of literature publisher Droschl

Prof. Mark Blaschitz, Professor of Housing, Fundamentals and Design in the Architecture Section at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart; 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

Büro 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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The cultural year 2020 is supported by: