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As part of an ongoing series Artworks asked people from in and around Umeå about the impact of being the European Capital of Culture this year. Here we put Sara Meidell, arts editor at Västerbottenskurieren, under the spotlight

2 min read

How do you feel about Umeå being the European Capital of Culture 2014?

It’s a good opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of arts and culture, both within political discussion and in general amongst the citizens of Umeå and Västerbotten.

How has it affected the city so far?

Apart from the actual 2014 programme that is right now presenting a huge amount of culture in the city, the nomination has also fuelled some large-scale building projects and a transformation of the city. 

What do you hope will come out of it in the future?

A larger understanding of the importance of free art and culture to maintain a democratic and sustainable society.

How does it affect working life in Umeå?

I think it is pointing towards the idea of culture as an important factor when it comes to create an attractive place to live and work. Umeå´s cultural life has some, but not crucial, importance in attracting new citizens that might see the benefit of a rich cultural environment. 

What is the greatest arts phenomenon in Umeå?

In my opinion the greatness lies in the diversity of expressions – the large institutions with both contemporary art and art history, the small galleries, the local and the international mix in a vital combination.