ECF and ECF Princess Margriet Award jury in support of the goals of Teatro Valle Occupato / Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune

updated on 08 August 2014

The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and the ECF Princess Margriet Award jury 2014 — express our solidarity and support for Teatro Valle Occupato and their Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune (Foundation for the Commons) in their brave transition from a citizen-led cultural initiative to defining, together with the City of Rome, a new participatory model for the theatre. This is a continuation of the vision and the path the occupiers of the theatre took, in bringing urgent societal and cultural questions to the table and shaping the theatre as a space of commons. We believe that everyone involved over the last three years of occupation significantly succeeded in bringing the theatre to public life. This experience forms an undeniably rich ground from which to determine — now and onwards — how the Teatro Valle can be managed in cooperation with the City of Rome.

Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune facilitates cultural initiatives and experiments that allow new traditions of togetherness and commoning to grow. It focuses on participation, on empowerment of local, national and European citizens to share in decision-making processes when it comes to culture as a public, commonly shared and enjoyed resource and space. The initiative of Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune is one of the extraordinary new visions in Europe which is a result of bottom-up action and creativity. This is a model of creative expression and democratic culture in which ECF firmly believes.  Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune enjoys support from many in Europe and beyond. We, together with these groups and so many others will continue to follow the exciting process which we consider a most invaluable example of change-making not only for Italy but also for the European cultural landscape at large.

The undersigned express the hope that the goals of the Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune will be realised and, through dialogue with the Italian political authorities, that this theatre will remain a space for broad public participation in defining and shaping Teatro Valle as an exemplary model of a cultural public space for and by citizens.

The last three years of remarkable engagement of all those involved in the occupation of Teatro Valle and the formation of the Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune, which gave Italian and European citizens room to become directly involved in culture has been a period of learning in how to work constructively with citizens in the ongoing development of the city and its public cultural spaces. We sincerely hope that Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune will be able to continue its inspiring work in shaping this truly unique public cultural space in the heart of Rome.

Katherine Watson
Director, European Cultural Foundation

Members of the 2014 ECF Princess Margriet Award Jury:

  • Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern, London
  • Christian Esch, Director, NRW Kultursekretariat, Wuppertal
  • Els van der Plas, General Director, Muziektheater, Amsterdam
  • Bojana Cvejic, Performance theorist and maker
  • Brussels Rana Zincir Celal, Program Manager, Columbia Global Centers | Turkey and Executive Board Member, Anadolu Kültür