Creative Europe Revitalizes Classical Art and Music

As with any other forms of art, classical music is to be valued and enjoyed, despite the perception that they it is not meant for the average citizen or that certain knowledge and education is needed in order to appreciate it. The Centre for Education and Culture “Akademija” in Čapljina strives to raise new generations of listeners, artists and audiences through classical music. Their unique project ‘Ardea’ has been supported by the European Union, through the flagship programme for the cultural and audio-visual sectors – Creative Europe.


The name of the project Ardea is derived from the Latin word for heron (čaplja), the type of bird that Čapljina was named after, and the name is integrated in the name of the project to connect the acoustics of the name with the activity of this unique sonorous travel through history and culture. “The aim of the project is to promote classical music, offer young people not only from Čapljina but from all over the country the possibility to work with renowned professors from all over the world. The masterclass is an opportunity for the participants to attend high quality classes, and develop and grow through this musical education,” says fra Mile Vlasić, Director of the Centre for Culture and Education ‘Akademija’.

With the support of Creative Europe, the Ardea project included five students from four different musical academies in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Banja Luka, Sarajevo, East Sarajevo and Mostar, who practiced playing guitar, cello, violin and piano. “In addition to the classes, the students had an opportunity to perform and participate at concerts, out of which the idea for the project ‘Trio Ardea’ was born. Three women created the programme, enabling the performance of two concerts in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the continuation of our yearlong project and just one of the reasons we can say that ‘Ardea’ has been successful. The atmosphere was very positive because our goal is to use music to achieve peace, to connect people within the country and internationally. From its very beginning, the project has had an international character, we have had participants from Japan, Korea, Germany, Austria, Ukraine, and Russia, etc. Finally, the aim of the project is building trust, enabling networking and forging cooperation between the academies and through international cooperation, as well as getting to know colleagues and younger musicians from the rest of the world,” explains fra Mile Vlašić.

The Centre for Education and Culture ‘Akademija’ has been working for over a decade to promote culture and organises numerous musical and cultural events, especially in the promotion of classical music. “In general, the promotion of cultural events in Čapljina through music has been present, but we took it to the next level with this project. We were very pleased with the attendance at the concerts, and had eight concerts during the masterclass. Considering that you have a concert almost daily, it is not easy to gather an audience, even in larger cities, especially when you consider that it all took place during the summer holidays. Despite that, every concert was very well attended, which is a confirmation of our contribution to the cultural life our local community,” says fra Mile Vlašić.

The support of local and other institutions is not lacking for similar initiatives, but it is not always present and equally distributed to smaller organisations that require assistance. Creative Europe enabled Akademija to start a successful project. Akademija firmly believes dedicated work will help them to firmly establish classical art, attract partners from other European countries and successfully apply for another project. “It is a big project, and we express our gratitude to everyone who has recognised our work. Creative Europe gave us a much needed boost. We want to apply again, this time for a three-year project, to see if we can match with other European organisations, because as an NGO we depend on support from others. In this manner, the support of Creative Europe has been vital for us, and a much needed incentive to continue working,” says fra Mile Vlasic.

The Ardea project continues to grow and this year had 70 participants and new professors so the youth can be introduced to, and collaborate with, world renowned professors. Members of Akademija note that the youth is not that disinterested in classical art and music and that similar events and activities help them to educate new generations of listeners, musicians and audiences. Devoted to the promotion of cultural diversity, through Creative Europe the European Union aims to support the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity and thus helps the creative sectors through smart and sustainable growth and access to the international markets.