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New Times New Models book is here!

Dear friends, speakers, colleagues, NTNM conference participants, TEH delegates, supporters, independent cultural operators...

End of January 2010, over ninety cultural operators, activists, artists, managers, experts and writers met at the independent cultural centre Pekarna in Maribor, Slovenia. The purpose of this conference was to discuss issues regarding the role independent culture plays in the development of civil society while focusing on inventive, dynamic and sustainable models of governance, that do not obstruct autonomy and artistic flexibility.


This debate was part of a larger project and ongoing process called New Times New Models (NTNM) that represents the ambition of Pekarna magdalenske mreže to search, find and share answers to a range of questions that would inform our own future development around internal governance and external relations with city and state institutions – but also contribute our common experience to others in similar situations. NTNM was the mechanism for seeking those answers and among others involved workshops, meetings, research and the conference in January 2010.

We made some friends, we exchanged valuable insights, but this book is the first published manifestation of the NTNM process and it represents both the wide range of European interest there is in the NTNM topics and captures the ideas, insights and reflections of independent cultural workers from all over Europe.

Rooted in local experience but with an international view, the NTNM book presents case studies, informed views and practical experience from a wide range of countries and organisations, alongside with tangible result – a governance model for independent cultural centre Pekarna.

Thank you all for coming to Maribor and/or supporting us from a distance; nor the process, nor the NTNM book would be possible without your contributions and support.

So, what’s next?

Well, it is also up to you; with your help we would like to see that the NTNM process is beneficial also to all others, that are trying to find their tailored solution for internal governance, role in public-private(-people) partnerships and relations with city and state officials. NTNM has already participated at Culture Watch Europe conference in Brussels (BE) in September 2010 as co-moderator of New management and governance models working group and as panellist in  "Bottom Up or Top-Down " governance panel at symposium "How to survive - Strategies of Revitalisation trough Arts and Culture" in Halle14, Leipzig (DE).

Currently we are looking for other independent/autonomous cultural centres that would like to host and benefit from NTNM process, its accumulated knowledge and expertise. If you are working in one such cultural centre or local government or know one that would be interested in hosting such event, let us know on case2case<at>



The e- version of NTNM e-book (PDF) is free to download HERE.

Your opinions and comments about the book are welcome at case2case[at]; what do you like, what you don’t like? Is there anything you would like to add, or suggest?

There is a limited number of free printed copies available  - please fill in the form at if you wish to receive one.

Please allow up to 3 months for delivery, as we are solely dependant on donations for postage and handling.

If you wish to make a donation, you are welcome to do so via PayPal - please click on DONATE button (no PayPal account needed -more info here!)

All donations are used to cover the expenses of postage&handling for sending the books out to you.

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Conference is finished…but New Times New Models marches on

Dear participants, visitors, guests, speakers, friends....

NTNM Conference is finished, but the project goes on - in next weeks we'll publish photo and video documentation plus summary of reccomendations, that are direct result of the conference.

If you were not able to participate at the conference, but would like to receive updates about future development of Pekarna governance model, please write to case2case[AT]

Last, but not least; thank you for all comments and congratulations, that you keep sending; if you want to add something more, you're welcome to comment below or write us a mail.

NTNM team

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International conference on governance models of independent cultural centres
MARIBOR, Slovenia 28/29/30 January 2010

NEW TIMES NEW MODELS is a conference that will look at the role independent culture plays in the development of society, both on a global and a local level. The conference will focus on inventive, dynamic and sustainable models of governance of independent cultural centres and the relationship between these and public authorities. Over three days, it will provide a space for expert insights, for comparisons between Europe, East and West, and for the sharing of best practice in the area of cultural development. A core issue of New Times New Models is how relations can be improved between public authorities, the private sector and independent cultural centres. The conference will therefore explore the obstacles to these relations: how coordinating legislation and other policy challenges might be addressed; presenting and sharing knowledge on good as well as bad practices and investigating innovative approaches.


An opening Key Note address by PHIL WOOD (Comedia): »A NEW CREATIVE ECOLOGY«


What does independence mean, what is it? What does it mean for society (local community)? What are the responsibilities of both, public authorities and non-profit actors? Why and how those two sectors should/could collaborate and how to protect independence from compromise in such relations? Why public support should be given to independent groups/organisations etc.


The conference will take advantage of the unique experiences other countries and centres have to offer in shaping and solving the structural issues arising from the status of being an independent cultural actor. Review of governance models of independent cultural centres in the West Balkans and in the EU should present succeding as well as missed approaches to sustainable models of public-private cultural partnerships.


Participants will have the opportunity to work together to examine how policies and strategies can be formulated and implemented to establish sustainable participatory models of governance, while maintaining different kinds of independence of cultural centres.

The themes will be approached and presented through case-studies, speaker presentations by experts and experienced practitioners, panel debates and by working in smaller breakout groups in order to reach informed conclusions, which will hopefully set guidelines for future models of practice.
You are kindly invited to view the draft programme and details at


Participation is open to all who have a professional interest in the themes of the conference, and may include members of authorities responsible for culture at national, regional or local levels, as well as workers and professionals, experts and experienced practitioners engaged in the cultural field and cultural policy advisors and researchers.
Registration deadline: 15th January 2010
Early bird deadline (-50% conference fee): 31st December 2009

You are encouraged to register early. For details, please visit REGISTRATION.


You can still contribute a case study of your centre’s governance structure – deadline is extended until 25th December 2009! Selected authors will be invited to participate in the conference and/or selected case studies will be featured in the programme and surrounding documentation. Case study guidelines can be found HERE.


The conference will take place in Cultural Centre Pekarna, Maribor, Slovenia:
Address: Cultural Centre Pekarna - Pekarna magdalenske mreže
Ob železnici 16, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia  /

Conference office: (Marko Brumen, project manager)
Registration: (Ms. Polonca Podgorsek, conference co-ordinator)

Visit of mr. Wood has been made possible by British Council Slovenia.

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