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What is Escalator?

Escalator is an effective and intensive mentorship programme with a long tradition, which aims to professionalize organizations working in the creative industry and culture. It is composed of several parts that will gradually lead you to understand the principles of managing your own project, creating, planning and functioning on the market.

The main part is based on individual growth and getting to know one’s own needs through in-depth interviews with foreign mentors. This enables us to identify the key needs and objectives of your project or organization. As a result, a “tailor-made” training in the form of training, seminars, mentoring, strategic planning and research is created.

You can apply if

  • you are an individual/organisation
  • you have been active in the creative/creative industry for at least 1 year
  • you need a new impulse
  • you want to professionalise your work
  • you want to succeed in the market
  • you are creative and ambitious with the determination and ability to connect with others

How does Escalator work?


  • you can apply by filling out an online application form for an open call which we generally open in December and close in February
  • you will fill out the application form in English since the programme's mentors are international
  • if we haven't published the open call yet but you are eager to apply, do not hesitate and email us here:

Selection process

  • your application will be sent for evaluation to Paul Bogen, John Fitzgerald, Brigitte Persson and Michal Hladký
  • mentors assess the level of engagement, time constraints, language skills and the potential of proposed activities being beneficial for the city locally and internationally
  • the chosen participants will be divided between the three mentors

Introductory interviews

  • you will go through a personal audit led by one of the mentors
  • all participants are key team members
  • we will determine the current state of organisations, management, programme and plans
  • we will define the needs of the participants (education, networking, common goals)

One to ones

  • your opportunity to talk with mentors, get specific advice and tailor-made instructions
  • consult projects, intentions, ideas, programme, project structure

Escalator Academy – study week

  • it consists of group educational activities, aside from everyday duties
  • these educational activities take place over a week-long stay outside of Košice
  • partnerships between organisations are formed during this week
  • positions within teams will be clarified
  • the themes of workshops are based on the outcomes of personal audits and the needs of organisations

Networking meetings

  • their form depends on the organisations taking part in the project
  • they serve to create new ideas, projects, products and mutual support

Who are the mentors?


He started as an actor, comedian and a DJ. He then went on to become a theatre producer at London’s Fringe and then at the Commercial ‘West end' Theatre. Paul was also the first director of The Junction at Cambridge - a cultural centre which focuses on youth culture in the UK. He oversaw the development of The Junction and its multidisciplinary programme with 400 rock/pop/jazz music, theatre, dance, comedy and annual sales of 5 million pounds, 150 employees and 150,000 visitors a year.

For seven years he was the Executive Board Member and later became the President of Trans Europe Halles (European Network of Cultural Centers). He is currently the director of the Korjaamo Cultural Factory, Helsinki, an associate expert at the European Commission’s Culture Programme, a lecturer of Culture Management at the St. Mary’s University, London and a member of the Royal Society of Arts.



He started as an actor, writer and musician and became the founder and the director of the City Arts Center, Dublin. John, or Sandy, has partaken in many areas of cultural development in Ireland and abroad. He has worked at local, national and international level.

His portfolio includes: Director of the Dublin Street Carnival; Founding Member of the Creative Activity for Everyone (CAF) now known as CREATE; Member of the Royal Hospital National Cultural Center (later became the Irish Museum of Modern Art); Member of the Executive Committee of the Trans Europe Halles; and Member of the Committee for Dublin Film Festival and Junior Dublin Film Festival.



She worked in the cultural centre of Mejeriet in Lund, Sweden and later became the first Coordinator and General Secretary of Trans Europe Halles, a European network of over 100 cultural centres. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of Swedish theatre company Månteatern, Member of ARNA's Board of Directors and the COO of company VALUE.

What happens after Escalator?

The programme ends when strategic plans are developed which represents the beginning of a change. Participants start to make decisions based on the things they realised, experienced and heard. In addition, they will remain in contact with other organisations and continue to have access to ideas and information. Their work will improve creative production in Slovakia and raise awareness about current trends.

Past years

Do you want to participate in the programme?

Write to us!