Connecting Athens’ Cultural Organizations
Bloomberg Associates helped Athens launch its first network of cultural institutions to encourage collaboration and skills-sharing and to promote diverse arts programming across the city.
To understand the richness of Athens, you need look no further than the remarkable arts and cultural organizations that call our city home.
Georgios Kaminis, Former Mayor of Athens
Athens is best known as a popular tourist destination with treasures of antiquity and numerous historical attractions. Yet Athens possesses a vibrant cultural scene that has largely gone unnoticed, despite a wealth of contemporary and traditional venues, and dance and music organizations. Many of these cultural institutions did not have the organizational resources to publicize their events and offerings to residents and visitors, nor did they have a way to interact easily and collaborate with each other.
Recognizing the need to connect the city’s cultural institutions, Bloomberg Associates worked alongside Athens’ city leaders to design, launch and secure funding for the Athens Culture Net (ACN).
ACN is comprised of more than 60 cultural organizations who work in partnership with the municipal government to promote idea exchange, collaboration, best practices, and shared resources. ACN helps to elevate Athens as a destination for cultural enterprise, social integration, and creative inspiration.
With founding support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, ACN was able to establish its office at City Hall with a team dedicated to the program and the furthering of Athens’ network of cultural institutions. The strategic decision to place the ACN team within City Hall allowed its member cultural institutions to have a direct link to the Mayor’s office. This worked not only to strengthen relationships with the City of Athens, but also to create a shared vision for the city and the ACN member network.
ACN has been an unmitigated success in helping cultural institutions of all sizes and interests to work together to improve outcomes for all of its members. It has raised the profile of member organizations within Athens and has increased visits from both residents and tourists. In its first two years, ACN has developed a diverse array of programming and resources, producing large-scale cultural events, hosting best practice workshops, administering a public survey of cultural participation, and incorporating members’ activities into citywide promotional campaigns. With the establishment of the Athens Culture Network, Athens has been able to better show that, while Athens may begin with classical antiquity, it does not end there.