Baltic Sea Region Cultural Pearls for more resilient Cities and Regions
BSR Cultural Pearls

Kiel Crowned “BSR Cultural Pearl 2024” for Culture and Resilience Action Plan

08 March 2024
The German city of Kiel was distinguished as one of the four inaugural "BSR Cultural Pearl 2024" title awardees, recognising its culture and resilience action plan to enhance community well-being and cohesion.
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On 1 March, the German city of Kiel was honoured as the first of four “BSR Cultural Pearl 2024” awardees, in a ceremony that took place at the city’s Wissenschaftszentrum. This title is part of a CBSS-led project focusing on culture-driven social resilience.

The selection of Kiel by an international jury was celebrated for its dynamic creative sector, its high-quality events and cultural initiatives with an international scope, and for its ambitious yet realistic action plan aimed at bolstering the social resilience of its communities through the transformative power of culture.

Particular praise was given to the city’s efforts to bridge social divides, empower children and youth through cultural education, and enhance inclusivity for people with disabilities.

Throughout the “BSR Cultural Pearl 2024” title year, Kiel will host various events, using culture to unite its citizens and strengthen community ties.

The ceremony attracted 120 attendees, including representatives from the CBSS, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Areas, European Affairs and Consumer Protection of Schleswig-Holstein, Ars Baltica, and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, as well as stakeholders from the arts, culture and social sectors, and project partners.

In her acceptance speech, Kiel’s Mayor, Renate Treutel, emphasized the vital role of culture in fostering societal cohesion and highlighted the newly established twinning with Cherson, Ukraine, underscoring the role of culture in times of conflict.

“Culture is not the cherry on top; it is the glue that holds it all together,” she remarked.

Concurrent with the award ceremony was the “Kieler Kulturkraft 2024” barcamp, a participatory event that invited members of the culture and creative sector to contribute their insights on implementing the city’s culture and resilience action plan, developed as part of the BSR Cultural Pearls programme.

The “BSR Cultural Pearl 2024” title is part BSR Cultural Pearls project, which is led by the CBSS and financed by the EU’s Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme. The title is given every year to four municipalities in the Baltic Sea Region with the most convincing and impactful social resilience action plans.

In addition to Kiel, the municipalities of Jakobstad (Finland), Rūjiena (Latvia) and Svendborg (Denmark) were also awarded the BSR Cultural Pearls title in 2024, emerging as winners from a pool of 12 candidates.