The Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture consisted of a large number of cultural events and activities throughout 2017 in the City of Aarhus and the sorrounding region involving artists and cultural operators from Denmark and abroad. The preparation and organisation were carried out by the Aarhus 2017 foundation in cooperation with the Municipality of Aarhus and 18 municipalities in the region, the Region of Midtjylland, citizens, including a great number of volunteers, institutions and businesses. The overall theme of the cultural programme was "Let's Rethink" reflecting the wish to promote change, innovation and the courage to think and act in a smarter way for the future. With the initiative, everybody was invited to make changes through art and culture, to strengthen the regional identity and to create, experience and take part in cultural activities of high quality, many of which were free, with a view to leaving an important legacy for the future.
A comprehensive report has presented numerous short term results following from the initiative. For example, the cultural programme resulted in 442 core projects, involved 1,200 international artists and had in total 3,3 million audience visits. As for the citizens of Aarhus, 98 % responded that they knew about the initative and 60 % of the Aarhus citizens indicated that they had participated in the Aarhus 2017 events. In addition, the initiative created growth in the region with an increase of around 180 million USD in turnover in the private sector in the region and the creation of around 2.000 new full time jobs.
64,9 million USD.
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Numerous partners were involved in the initiatives representing the public and private sectors as well as the CSOs.
The initiative was assessed as being af record breaking year in terms of attendees at cultural events, tourism and employment reaching and surpassing most Key Performance Indicators. Involved in the programme were both established institutions and the up-and-coming artists and cultural operators. Culture was used to enhance social cohesion by encouraging community engagement and involving thousands of citizens in an inclusive volunteer programme. More than half of the programme was free of charge making culture accessible to new audiences. A substantial increase in tourists to Aarhus and the region was found creating new jobs and driving growth for businesses. The overall conclusion is that the initiative leaves a legacy of exploring the potential of using culture as a catalyst for change and pointing towards continued positive outcomes in the years ahead.