The Three Sisters 2020 bid team for European Capital of Culture will be the only Irish representative taking part in an upcoming European study visit. The European Commission initiative, led by Eurocities, will focus on exploring ‘culture for social inclusion’ in Antwerp this week.
The study visit, running from April 25th to April 27th, is part of the Culture for Cities and Regions project. Two candidates will represent the Three Sisters region, the Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County Council Cllr John O’Leary, and Catherine Power of Waterford Area Partnership. Three Sisters is a unique partnership between Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford, bidding to win the European Capital of Culture 2020.
The region was selected by Eurocities from more than 150 applications that were submitted for five upcoming thematic study visits. All are aimed at facilitating peer-learning between representatives of European cities and regions. Representatives for the Three Sisters region were also successfully chosen for a study visit to Regensberg, Germany, which will take place in June this year. Representing the region on that trip will be Colette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council and John Carley, Director of Services, Wexford County Council.
The Three Sisters 2020 representatives will now join a delegation of nine other European cities and regions on the study visit to the Belgium city. They will explore the heritage of migration, young people and culture, intercultural dialogue and social role of libraries.
Speaking ahead of the study visit, Catherine Power said: “The Three Sisters participation in this will give us a unique insight into culture for social inclusion. We can learn from our hosts, take inspiration in helping shape our own cultural vision for the future of the region, and be part of building a broad learning community in Europe.”
She added: “It will be a great interactive opportunity for the Three Sisters 2020 team to exchange experience between cities and regions, along with key local stakeholders and decision-makers.”
The Antwerp study visit will be a mix of on-site visits, interviews with local stakeholders, workshops and feedback meetings. The delegation will visit the city’s Elsschot Library and the Red Star Line Museum, which focuses on the 3 million people who emigrated to America onboard the Red Star Line Ships.