The European Network of Cultural Centres was founded in 1994 to promote dialogue and cooperation between social-oriented cultural centres in Europe.
In the 2000s it became a “network of networks”, before gradually opening membership to individual cultural centres in direct interaction with communities and citizens. It also includes culture professionals and other types of cultural-promotion organisations as associate members.
The ENCC operates under the supervision of a Board
, composed of 9 distinguished professionals.
Today, the ENCC reaches over 3,000 cultural venues in 27 countries, with very diverse structures, practices and audiences.
Our main action lines are capacity building, networking and advocacy. We organise meetings, conferences, trainings and staff exchanges, participate in research and data-gathering, create tools and publications, and connect our members with other actors from the cultural sector. Empowering cultural centres and their communities is our priority.
Read about our flagship programmes (LIGHTS ON staff exchange/training, Inspired by Diversity, Seeds of Sustainability).
We're supported by Creative Europe as one of the 36 networks representing the arts and the cultural sector in Europe.
The ENCC's core values are cultural equality, interculturalism, cultural democratisation and active citizenship through participation in cultural activities. We believe that active participation in arts and culture on an individual level brings personal but also societal development.
- Strengthening the position and role of national networks of cultural centres and, in places where no such networks exist, stimulate their creation;
- Building bridges between cultural centres and networks by facilitating mobility;
- Supporting the professionalisation of cultural centres and their staff;
- Facilitating communication between cultural centres on a Europe-wide level;
- Exploring and supporting models of cooperation and networking of cultural organisations in rural areas;
- Undertaking research and data collection related to cultural centres, their audiences and their impact, in order to influence new models of practice;
- Stimulating inter-sectoral cooperation in the cultural field;
- Stimulating informal learning and education processes by the recognition of the best practices and highlighting and disseminating relevant work in the cultural field;
- Cooperating with other European cultural networks to create greater synergy between such networks.
The ENCC currently gathers 16 national and regional networks, 5 urban and rural/local networks, 44 individual cultural centres, and 19 associate members.