The era of creative hubs: Matera European Capital of Culture

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On the 18th of January, one day before celebrating the start of the year as European Capital of Culture, Materahub hosted the event “The Era of Creative Hubs”, organised in the framework of the 3I project, in partnership with Europe Direct center of Matera and the Knowledge Alliance project Arts & Humanities Entrepreneurship Hubs.

Materahub (Italy)

The “Era of Creative Hubs” event has been the occasion to present, for the first time in Italy, the newly funded European Creative Hubs Network, born as a legacy of the Creative Europe pilot project with the same name.

First things first, what is a creative hub?

We take the definition from how creative hubs in the European network recognize themselves:

Creative hubs are platforms or workplaces for artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, app developers or start-up entrepreneurs. They are uniquely diverse in structure, sector and services, and range from collective and co-operative, to labs and incubators; and can be static, mobile or online. 

For a city starting a year full of cultural events, aiming at making creative economy the cornerstone of its development and future, there was no better way to anticipate the opening cerimony of the ECOC than discussing with those who are running places in Europe where creative entrepreneurs are hosted, supported and connected at local, national and European level.

The Era of Creative Hubs

The event was called “The Era of Creative Hubs” as this is the time when Creative Industry have gained widespread recognition for their economic impact at EU and country level and so places like creative hubs are the perfect environment for creative industry players, very often alone and with small dimension, the get access to capacity building measures and initiatives, internationalization opportunities, funding and access to other sectors for contamination.

The event saw the presentation of the network by two of its board members, Tania Santos from Cru Cowork, based in Porto, and Relja Bobic from Nova Iskra, based in Belgrade. From their presentation the audience had already the chance to discover some of the keywords that would have become part of a picture the event wanted to highlight. After them, Materahub had invited representatives of local, national and European experiences of creative hubs or places that, without recognizing themselves as hubs, are actually performing some of their key activities. From Origin in Izmir, to Warehouse in Marotta, from Comincenter to Casa Naturalin Matera, passing through the vision of the Apulian Creative Industry Cluster Puglia Creativa and their work to support creative hubs, spaces and industry., common patterns have been detected, common challenges and opportunities, interests and needs.

One of the experiences Materahub is currently running on this topic is the 3I Erasmus + project, trying to build a mobility scheme for young creatives to be hosted by companies part of creative hubs and creative hubs themselves. Another important project is AHEH, where the model of creative hubs is proposed as a laboratory to be developed in faculties of Arts & Humanities to promote entrepreneurial competences development at all levels in faculties staff, students and with companies of the CCI sector and of different sectors to start recruiting their future employees from this sector too.

The era of creative hubs has just started, as well as 2019 for Materahub and Matera.

If you are curious about what is happening in the European Capital of Culture follow on social media @Materahub and @Matera2019. For more information on ECHN follow


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