Learning and Exchange Program

Learning and Exchange Program

Transforming a community through sustainable management of cultural heritage


Location: St. John’s Fortress Educational Campus in Šibenik, Croatia

Date: from June 30 to July 7, 2024


We are pleased to announce Learning and Exchange Program “Transforming a community through sustainable management of cultural heritage” designed specifically to support and build capacities of Ukrainian professional or soon to be professionals (students) working in the field of heritage and culture management.

The program is a partnership initiative of the Erste Stiftung Foundation and PCI Fortress of Culture Šibenik. 

“Transforming a community through sustainable management of cultural heritage” program offers a unique platform for cultural professionals to deepen their expertise in sustainable heritage management and revitalization.

Key Focus Areas Include:

  • Cultural heritage revitalization Šibenik’s context: Historical, local context and foresights: from post-war former industrial city to a vibrant creative and touristic community.
  • Heritage infrastructure re-building - EU funds and financing: Utilize EU funds for cultural projects, featuring PCI as a model of successful implementation.
  • Sustainable heritage management: Exploring sustainable management models in public cultural institutions: A case study of the entrepreneurial outlook and environmental sustainability efforts at Fortress of Culture Šibenik.
  • Audience development and marketing: Increase public engagement and awareness around the importance of cultural heritage.
  • International Collaboration: Foster cross border networks through peer-to-peer exchange and collaborative projects.
  • Digital technologies in valorisation and presentation of heritage: Exploring the use of digital technologies to enhance the value and presentation of cultural heritage.
  • Interactive Session: Engaging Panel Discussion and Interactive Q&A Session with Participants

This program is designed to inspire through best practices, strategic insights, and hands-on visits to historically significant sites managed by the PCI and its partners, enhancing collaborative and creative thinking among participants.

St. John's Fortress, Šibenik
St. John's Fortress, Šibenik

The program is free of charge for the selected participants. The organizers will cover the expenses associated with program fees, materials, travel, accommodation, meals, and access to all program sites. Additionally, assistance with transfers to and from Ukraine will be provided by the organizers.


We would like to thank all applicants who applied for the Learning and Exchange Program "Transforming a community through sustainable management of cultural heritage." The organizational team will review the applications and publicly announce the candidate ranking list on May 22nd. All applicants will be notified via email.



Vera Jergović Bolanča, International cooperation and projects department, Fortress of Culture Šibenik


The idea came after the participation of Fortress of Culture at the Policy labs organized in Vienna as a joint project of ERSTE Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Information of Ukraine in 2022. 

Fortress of Culture director Gorana Barišić Bačelić was among other respectable international, interdisciplinary experts who participated in the CPL and help developed practical recommendations for the preservation of Ukraine’s cultural heritage as a way of contributing to the country’s post war transition and EU accession through capacity building of Ukrainian experts in the fields of culture. The leading objective and one of the foundations that support such capacity building is developing relationships with good practices of sustainable heritage management.

Ukraine’s EU candidate status signifies a need to prepare Ukrainian professional working in the field of heritage, culture, tourism and CCI to apply for pre-accession and recovery funds by developing a strategy and action plan to appeal to the EU. The Croatian PCI Fortress of Culture Šibenik went through a very similar path and it is recognized at the international level as an example of sustainable management of cultural heritage financed by EU founds.

To address the challenges the partners: Erste Stiftung Foundation and PCI Fortress of Culture are initiating on-site Learning and exchange programme - Transforming a community through sustainable management of cultural heritage to support and relish cultural heritage as an asset in Ukraine recovery.

The programme is envisaged to open new, different perspectives to participants via in-depth knowledge and expertise exchange, inspire by presenting good practices and visits to the sites the institution manages, enhance teamwork and brainstorming among participants, use creative thinking methods to develop new ideas and concepts on sustainable re-use and heritage management.



Fortress of Culture Šibenik holds all the rights of the programme “Transforming communities through sustainable management of cultural heritage”, meaning the presentations and lectures prepared by Fortress of Culture expert team will not be used by other parties and for other purposes without the written permission of the institution. 


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