Culture is an important factor in the development of a person’s knowledge, understanding and values, as it represents, together with democracy and human rights, a key element that is necessary for a full life. It helped many successful generations to find through different ways of expression their own identity, vision and reason for existence. It helped groups and communities to form a sense of belonging and sharing of a common destiny. It ultimately managed to survive in the darkest moments as a vital source of humanity and an irreplaceable way of expression.
Culture is being increasingly acknowledged as a support to sustainable development, as a base for social cohesion, as a fertile area for the development of a civil society, as a driving force for innovation and new technologies, as a medicine for the »clash of civilizations«, as a life jacket in the ocean of globalization. As a consequence, culture has seen a sharp rise on the list of important policies.
The driving force behind the project Krog umetnosti / Art Circle is for Slovenia to achieve its goal to become a globally recognizable and renowned country through culture. The proposed strategic approach places a lot of focus on a concrete execution and a continuous improvement of the strategy. Even if culture cannot heal all the tensions of our society, it can at least alleviate some of them or at least prevent them from occurring: it can help to understand the complexity of sustainable development, it can bring a new meaning to solidarity, it can positively inspire a new economy, it can promote private connections, it can be a solid surface that is needed in order to understand and respect other cultures with self-assurance. In other words, it is a building block of societies and policies that needs to be shifted from the margins, as, for a long time, it did not receive from politicians the attention it deserved. All these functions must be included in a policy which promotes identity, respects diversity, supports creativity and promotes participation – four main principles that have been upheld by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Culture and Education since its establishment.
The area destined for the execution of the AC project is the entire territory of Goriška Brda, the Vipava Valley and subsequently also the Karst. This area was selected because it is one of the most captivating places in Slovenia from the point of view of tourism. From the cultural point of view, on the other hand, we recognize that culture and art are usually concentrated in larger urban centers (the nearest being Ljubljana, Trieste and Venice), where there is neither interest nor possibility to elevate culture on a global scale.
The rural area that we mention in the AC project is also suitable for the project’s realization thanks to its location, variegated features and size. We have been establishing the CULTURE EMBASSIES since 2011 all across Goriška Brda and a part of the Vipava Valley. These contribute to the development of a culture and arts center in this area. The Art Circle culture embassies have been established every year since 2011 at wineries, where every country with its diplomatic representation in Slovenia can have its art and culture embassy. Apart from individual presentations of single countries and their artists (art symposium, meetings, cultural events etc.), the project also aims at cultural and artistic events that take place all year round. Goriška Brda are internationally renowned for its excellent wines. As the culture embassies are being established at individual wineries, the project is at the same time promoting globally the fine Slovenian wines.