The strategies set out the guidelines for the cultural development of the municipality, and, by (re)defining the identity of the city, which is based on the collective memory of the people, cultural heritage (movable and immovable) and vision for the future. Postulates of these documents are that they are open and dynamic and that the process of (re)defining and (re)positioning of local cultural policies is complex and certainly not short. Maximizing the power of culture as a central activity in a society, includes a number of steps. They promote new models of cultural planning at the local level that focus on de-institutionalization of culture, civic awareness, programming based on the needs of the community, participatory decision-making and public-private partnerships between cultural actors at the local level.
The strategies are developed in the framework of the project “Culture For/From All: policy cooperation among Kosovo and Macedonia”. The project is based on the assumption that culture is an essential component of social cohesion and the process of improving the quality of life for citizens in the municipalities in Macedonia and Kosovo, regardless of their ethnic, religious, educational, social background or gender, and an important factor in economic development.
The project, which began to be implemented three years ago and has been implemented in three municipalities of Macedonia (Kichevo, Tetovo and Gostivar) and three municipalities of Kosovo (Prizren, Novo Brdo and Gnilanje) is among the first collaboration of cultural / civic / research stages of these two countries, and among the first that allowed the exchange of experiences and knowledge among the municipalities.
The project included representatives from local government – municipalities, central government officials, representatives of public cultural institutions, as well as representatives of civil society organizations in an open and participatory process of policy-making and decision-making at the local level.
Through the implementation of seven trainings on issues related to local cultural policy in a period of three years; an international conference and a regional conference; four creative workshops of artists and artistic production; research activities of the needs of the citizens, the cultural sector and cultural mapping in the involved municipalities, the process finalized with creating and writing participatory cultural policies and strategies for cultural development.
The Macedonian municipalities involved in the project are few of those in the country which have a defined strategy for local cultural development, which is specific in its structure, but involves an integrating approach in developmental planning system of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors.