Forum Guimarães took place on 16-17 October 2009 in Guimarães, North Portugal. The city had been recently confirmed as the European Capital of Culture in 2012, which reinforced the significance of organizing this Forum in Guimarães. The Forum was one of the first initiatives of the European Cultural Capital 2012, which aims to enhance the transformation of the urban scene through culture. The European Capital of Culture project was assumedly a European Cultural Leadership project and the involvement of the civil society was paramount to its goals.
Forum Guimarães set up various discussion panels on issues ranging from the European dimension of urban development, to the participation of civil society and also held debates concerning best practices of community engagement and evaluation among previous and future European Capitals of Culture. It had a wide scope of participants, including MEPs, national cultural practitioners, local councillors and government officials, as well as a team of active members of the “A Soul for Europe” Initiative. Additionally, there had been a series of parallel networking opportunities among Portuguese and international cultural agents.
Forum Guimarães marked a crucial step in the preparations for Guimarães’s assumption of the title European Capital of Culture 2012. The Forum brought together a significant group of those who have been involved in directing the European Cultural Capitals and influential cultural networks in Europe during the last 25 years. 200 hundred people attended the Forum during these two days of work, between experts, professionals in culture and civil society.
The “A Soul for Europe” Initiative in co-operation with the Município de Guimarães and SETEPÉS, Oporto
Guimarães – Capital Europeia da Cultura 2012
In cooperation with