28 May 2024
Communities Adopt US Experience in Developing Productive Culture
Communities Adopt US Experience in Developing Productive Culture

Over 200 representatives from 17 Ukrainian regions participated in a Ukrainian-American online dialogue on the potential of creative cultural industries and tourism, and how they enhance the development of small Ukrainian towns. This meeting was made facilitated by USAID projects:  The USAID Program, “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency” (DOBRE)  and USAID Governance and Local Accountability (HOVERLA) Activity. Communities learned about the US experience and valuable insights from the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace representatives.

Olivia Bailey, Marketing Director of the Centre of Culture and Marketplace, emphasized:

“A cultural hub is not built on the principle of ‘Space first, then People.’ Find where people gather, and around that, build space—that's what will make it a HUB.”

The American speakers shared insights on collaborating with local craftsmen and selling their goods in hub shops, creating advertising, branding, and merchandise to attract more visitors to activities and events, and securing funding for culture through grant competitions and assistance programs. They also presented the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the well-known film-tourism brand Virginia for Lovers, and explained the importance of developing cultural management:

In the United States, over $100 billion is allocated annually from the state budget to education in the field of culture. This contribution has a significant effect on the economic growth of the United States," added Olivia.


Ukrainian mayors next to the Southwest Virginia Centre of Culture and Marketplace in 2019


The idea for such cultural exchanges originated in 2019 when, under the auspices of USAID, about 20 Ukrainian mayors visited the USA to explore local economic development and learn about the work of the Southwest Virginia Centre of Culture and Marketplace. At that time, cultural hubs and creative cultural industries were emerging in Ukraine. Today, they are integral to the country's economic growth, especially during wartime.

The next meeting will take place and focus on craft production, digital and foreign markets for Ukrainian craft products, and the economic impact of creative industries on community budgets.

This knowledge exchange event jointly conducted by USAID projects DOBRE and HOVERLA, support the government’s and the Ministry of Restoration’s efforts in strengthening the revenue generation capacity of local self-government bodies.

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