Business models and values in the cultural sector at Creative Lenses Forum


Creative Lenses Forum brought to Košice the discussion about what makes cultural organizations successful and resilient. It was about strategies that work and people who bring those strategies to life. We talked about the values in the cultural sector and an innovative approach to the everyday problems we have to deal with.

Invited experts presented the functioning of cultural centers and cultural organizations with different business models and sources of funding. During the individual presentations, the speakers analyzed models of financing, management, cooperation, partnership, growth, and communication. The aim was to design a guide for the innovation of business models of cultural organizations in Slovakia.

Sue Kay (UK) | independent cultural researcher

Sue has been working in the cultural sector in the UK for over thirty years. Since 2006, she has operated as a freelance consultant and trainer in cultural policy and management. She is a board member of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres and regularly lectures in Central, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic countries.

Sandy Fitzgerald (IR) | Olivearte

Beginning as an actor, writer and musician, Sandy went on to become the founder and director of City Arts Centre, Dublin. He has participated in many areas of cultural development in Ireland and abroad. He is now part of the Olivearte Cultural Agency which offers a wide range of support to the European arts and culture sector.

creative lenses

Alexander Shevchenko (UA) | Teple Misto

He is an urbanist, engineer, spatial planner. Being passionate about the redevelopment of abandoned industrial places in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, Alexander is a part of the Teple Misto team. Teple Misto has become an important city actor with ambitious projects and local support.

Jozef Kovalčik (SK) | Slovak Arts Council

Jozef Kovalčik – the director of the Slovak Arts Council – worked as vice-rector for studies Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Slovak Arts Council is a self-governing public institution guaranteeing support of art activities, culture, and creative industry.

José Rodriguez (ES) | Trans Europe Halles

You could also meet José Rodríguez, Director of Communications at Trans Europe Halles (TEH), at Creative Lenses. He has more than 10 years of experience with project management and works for international public and non-profit organizations. TEH alone has brought together around 90 multidisciplinary cultural centers and other cultural organizations in more than 30 European countries.


Andrej Harmečko (CZ) // Cooltour Ostrava

Andrej is the founder and director of the Cooltour Cultural Centre in Ostrava. By education, he is a nuclear engineer and he has worked for companies that are mainly focused on research and development. Cooltour Ostrava is one of the few independent centers in the Czech Republic that are equipped with high-quality technology and which supports contemporary dance and theatre.

Barbora Tóthová (SK) | Kino Úsmev

Barbora Tóthová is a graduate from the University of Economics in Prague, who after several years of study and work abroad, decided to relocate back to her hometown of Košice. Since 2016, she’s a manager and co-founder of reopened art-house cinema Úsmev and at the same time coordinator of the network for independent culture – Anténa.

Michal Klembara (SK) // Malý Berlín

Michal Klembara has been active in the field of culture and the creative industry for more than 14 years. He was a part of the ECoC Košice 2013 team. Since 2006, Michal has been running organization in Trnava which stands behind over 400 cultural and educational events. They also stand behind the launch of the Malý Berlín (Little Berlin) cultural center. He is also a member of the Trnava Poster Triennial international competition organizing committee.

creative lenses

Peter Radkoff (SK) | Tabačka Kulturfabrik

Peter Radkoff is the founder and director of Tabačka Kulturfabrik cultural center. He has worked on the development of independent cultural politics and innovations, the creative industry, and communities for more than 20 years. In May 2015 they opened a new and wider space of Tabačka after fundamental reconstruction. Tabačka isn’t just an ordinary cultural center – they support young entrepreneurs, rent out coworking spaces, and connect successful local businesses.


Monika Škojcová (SK) | Theater Pôtoň

Monika works in the Pôtoň Theatre as a production manager. She participates in the development of several art and education projects, coordinates residency programs for foreign artists, and communicates with foreign festivals. The Pôtoň Theatre was created in 2000 and since 2008 it has been operating in Bátovce. They try to improve the social, cultural, and intellectual life of citizens in remote Slovak regions.

Marek Adamov (SK) // The New Synagogue in Žilina

Marek Adamov vyštudoval kulturológiu a manažment na Fakulte filozofie Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave. Od roku 2011 vedie projekt s názvom Nová synagóga Žilina, cieľom ktorého je záchrana jedinečnej budovy žilinskej synagógy navrhnutej Petrom Behrensom a jej revitalizácia a premena na nové centrum súčasného umenia a kultúry.

creative lenses

The Creative Lenses Forum introduced years of hard work, determination, lessons from failures, and successful results of the cultural centers and organizations from Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Ukraine. The forum was organized in cooperation with Anténa.

The Creative Lenses project was supported from public funds by the Slovak Arts Council and the European Union through the Creative Europe program.