The European Cultural Foundation is happy to announce the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture laureates for 2016: theatre-makers and community developers Krétakör (Budapest, Hungary) and citizen laboratory for digital culture Medialab-Prado (Madrid, Spain). 

Krétakör is an internationally acclaimed theatre group led by the renowned theatre maker Árpád Schilling. The group uses dramaturgy as a means to bring different perspectives into debate and conversation. Since 2008 Krétakör has made a determined shift from theatre as a stage-based experience to theatre as a social forum. The jury selected Krétakör for their work as a collective that enters into direct dialogue with different communities and settings across Hungary. Their work in secondary schools enables them to interact with and evoke the voices of young people especially. Krétakör's artistic work exemplifies a dynamic quest for new methods and theatrical forms capable of engaging with the changing landscape and social urgencies in today’s Hungary and Europe. 

Free School Project. Photo by Máté Tóth-Ridovics

Free School Project. Photo by Máté Tóth-Ridovics

Medialab-Prado is a digital platform and physical workspace where people with different skills and knowledge come together to access and build a digital commons in Madrid, across Spain and the global media sphere. Through workshops, participatory events and modes of collaborative action, Medialab-Prado has been among the front-runners for many projects that have gone on to nourish democratic processes between digital culture and the public sphere in Spain. Supported by the municipality of Madrid, Medialab-Prado demonstrates that it is possible to develop new cultural initiatives as permeable, civic-public partnerships that are capable of rethinking public institutions from within. 

Workshop "Interactivos?'09: Garage Science", February 2009. Medialab Prado  CC BY-SA 2.0 . 

Workshop "Interactivos?'09: Garage Science", February 2009. Medialab Prado CC BY-SA 2.0

Krétakör and Medialab-Prado haven been chosen for the 2016 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture for their exceptional bodies of artistic and cultural work in developing critical spaces of social participation and political experimentation through culture. 

By honouring these two laureates, ECF is highlighting the importance of culture in creating a more open and inclusive Europe. This is a Europe that ECF believes in and supports through its entire body of work, from its grant schemes and cultural managers’ exchange programme to its Connected Action for the Commons programme, which connects cultural change-makers at grassroots level and encourages new models of participation and democracy.

2016 Award Jury

  • Andreas Broeckmann (Curator, Leuphana Arts Program, Lüneburg/Berlin) 
  • Bojana Cvejić (Performance theorist and maker, Brussels/Belgrade)
  • Chris Dercon (Director, Tate Modern, London)
  • Juan Freire (Founding Partner, Teamlabs and mmodulUS, Madrid) 
  • Saskia van Stein (Director of Bureau Europa, platform for architecture & design, Maastricht)


In support of the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2016 ECF has decided to bring the Award ceremony, which is usually held in Brussels, to Amsterdam. The Award will be presented on 15 March 2016 in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam.