BLOG - Congratulations Trenčín 2026! - Impact Audience

Congratulations Trenčín 2026!

Between writing this text and releasing our website (as we have explained in our first post: it took us a while… but for a good reason!) the most amazing thing happened: Trenčín was formally announced as the European Capital of Culture 2026!

Congratulations to all members of Trenčín 2026 candidacy team and all citizens of Trenčín involved in the process! We couldn't be happier for you!

Trenčín 2026’s project is entitled Cultivating Curiosity. It is all about “cultivating genuine care, interest, empathy, and inspiration, and creating space for creative collaborations and new opportunities”.

We had a pleasure to be a tiny part of Trenčín’s journey and what we can say is this - that above quote in 100% reflects reality). The main reason why we have decided to work with the Trenčín 2026 candidacy team is because they actually care about people. It’s not a slogan, it is not a stunt. They truly and deeply care about people. People, i.e. citizens of Trenčín, people i.e. audiences of cultural and artistic events. ALL the people, that means that they wish everybody to have equal access and opportunities to utilise the city and benefit from its culture. It also means that NO ONE should be excluded, especially not because of one's disability, age, financial situation or educational background.

They do want to make Trenčín a better place for everybody. Their words match their actions.

Our collaboration with Trenčín is based on understanding the interconnection between accessibility and audience development. Meaning: when you apply accessibility tools to everything you do, as a result you become better at working with ALL the audiences. Also with those who are currently non-audiences.

Living proof of taking this approach and a result of our cooperation is the ETR (Easy-to-Read) version of the bid-book. The first one in the history of ECoCs (as far as we know…).
Based on this example let me explain what we mean by something we call a² (audience development & accessibility). Easy-to-read information is one of the tools for accessibility. It is important mainly for people with intellectual disabilities. But at the same time it is also an amazing tool for all people. Especially when it is applied to complicated information or in relation to issues from outside one’s “usual field of interest”. For many people to understand “what this whole European Capital of Culture is all about” and “what will actually happen if our city gets the title” might be too complicated. Largely due to the language we use within the culture sector (I’m quite sure you know what I mean by that…).

So, the ETR information can be very useful and it can make difficult issues understandable to ALL people.

Do you want to see for yourselves? Visit Trenčín 2026 website and have a go!

Meetings, workshops and the ETR version of the application hopefully is just the beginning of making a long-term Cultivating Accessibility Plan to happen! This plan is part of Trenčín’s 2026 Audience Development Strategy and aims at removing physical barriers as well as barriers of cultural content, communication, and information.

There’s a lot planned for the upcoming years, so stay tuned!

And if you want a sneak peek of what’s coming, read Trenčín’s application. Links to Trenčín’s application - “regular” and in ETR versions are available here:
Agata Etmanowicz