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"Learn that of foreigners, but don't flee your own" - how the managers of the Zhovkva Castle culture gained experience

04 / 05 / 2020
Category: Project News

We are pleased to present the winning text in our contest for the most interesting story of a project implemented within our Programme. It’s author, Ms. Ulyana Terletska (Уляна Терлецька) from Ukraine, wrote a tale about the Promo2Castles project (PBU2/0807).

The aim of the contest launched on the Programme fan-page on Facebook was to promote projects implemented under the Programme and their effects by preparing texts illustrating them, i.e. a "project story" - an authentic story about a project, concerning one of the issues: how the idea of the project came about, project implementation, project effects - its impact on recipients, participants or people implementing the project, presented on the example of a specific person/ family/ group of people.

Enjoy reading!

Rays of the evening sun glided the spires of the St. Lawrence’s church, the roof of the Town Hall, touched the cobblestone pavement of Vicheva Square and stopped at the Zhovkva Castle. What an ancient city, built on the model of a Renaissance "ideal city"! How many epochs these walls have witnessed, how many outstanding people lived in this castle and walked on this pavement! This historic heritage of the royal city should not only be preserved and passed on to posterity, but also professionally promoted both in Ukraine and abroad to increase tourist flows and economic growth of the city.

The Institute for Regional Development (Ukraine) in cooperation with the ProArteEtHistory Foundation (Poland) and the State Historical and Architectural Reserve in Zhovkva decided to achieve this goal by designing and implementing the project “2 Castles: common history, common promotion, an incentive to strengthen cooperation, tourist flows and economic growth”. Most projects in the field of culture and historical heritage are limited to "we want to hold a festival", "we need to restore a painting", "we have to publish a book", "I have a script, I want to shoot a movie". We chose a different approach - our goal was to establish partnerships between Zhovkva and Krasiczyn Castles, increase the number of visitors through better promotion, improvement of the skills of managers in the field of management and promotion of cultural heritage, involve citizens in decision-making about cultural heritage.

First of all, Ukrainian managers in the field of culture and tourism lack knowledge in this field (we do not have education for cultural managers) and lack of understanding of the importance of communication and promotion, modern tools of promotion. We have many cool initiatives doing good local things, but are not able to promote them properly and do not know how to communicate effectively with their target audiences. Because of this, many interesting and useful initiatives are lost in the ​​information overload and usually do not reach the final recipient.

That is why, within the framework of our project, we have planned the activities that help to improve the skills of managers in the field of management and promotion of cultural heritage, through the implementation of a program of exchange and training workshops.

Kateryna Plechiy, Head of the Department of Cultural, Educational and Promotional Work of the State Historical and Architectural Reserve in Zhovkva, a representative of a one of the project Beneficiaries, has taken part in all project activities. Kateryna has been working at the State Historical and Architectural Reserve in Zhovkva for 12 years and during this time young cultural managers have been generating new ideas and introducing new approaches to the Castle promotion in order to attract the visitors, first and foremost, schoolchildren. Kateryna Plechiy admires historical heritage and is aware that it is high time now to change approaches to the promotion of historical heritage of her hometown. In her opinion, it is necessary to start with acquiring new knowledge, learning how to apply new modern promotional tools and analyzing the experience of others.

"Participation in exchange programs is not only one of the most effective ways of enriching   knowledge, but also an effective method of improving professional skills, a great platform for finding new partners, generating creative ideas and finding ways to implement them," says Kateryna.

All this was made possible during the exchange program held in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship for managers of historical and cultural heritage, representatives of authorities and public organizations of Lviv oblast. The program was extremely rich as the participants had an opportunity to communicate with the representatives of Marshal of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship Government, the Institute of National Heritage, the Przemysl city Council, and the Director of Krasiczyn castle. The participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the structure of cultural institutions in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, with the programs of national heritage promotion, tools of promotion of the Krasiczyn Castle, they also watched promotional videos about Przemysl. Representatives of the city administration enthusiastically spoke about their city as an open city of traditions.

“I am really impressed with the event and the interesting meetings we had. They helped us to understand how important it is to preserve architectural monuments, to do everything possible to restore them and give them a new life. Effective approach, interesting ideas, use of the latest technologies and creative decisions are something we can learn from our Polish partners,” summarizes the results of the exchange program Kateryna Plechiy.

The exchange program raised many questions. But, most importantly, as Kateryna said, “It changed our way of thinking, broadened the horizons of our vision of the problems, became an impulse to find alternative ways to solve the problem and helped us to visualize future steps. What to do next? First of all, we shouldn’t stop. There are so many interesting joint activities ahead.”

And, finally, “Cultural heritage is not a burden, not an economic burden. In fact, it can foster community development and help to create a positive image of a country. Only a society that chooses preservation of its cultural heritage as one of its priorities will be able to achieve a high level of development,” Kateryna said.

In developed economies, historical heritage, culture and creative industries are now regarded as an important factor in the socio-economic processes in the communities. For the small town, the existing historical and cultural heritage, with the appropriate approach applied, can become its hallmark, an object that not only brings emotional satisfaction, helps to study history, culture and architecture, is admired for its beauty, but also an additional source for sustainable socio-economic development of the community.

Written by: Ulyana Terletska

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