1. What is a "European Capital of Culture"?

Since 1985 the Council of the European Union has bestowed the title of "European Capital of Culture" on at least one European city per year. Since 2005, the title has been awarded to a different country in the European Union every year. From 2009 on there will be a "Capital of Culture" from one old, and one new member state in the EU. There also exists an option to select one city from outside the EU.
The aim of selecting a "European Capital of Culture" is to emphasise the cultural riches, the variety and the common cultural heritage in Europe, and to make a contribution towards mutual understanding amongst the citizens of Europe. The chosen "Capital of Culture" presents numerous cultural events throughout its respective year.
The EU have selected the Hungarian city of Pécs and the Turkish city of Istanbul to be "European Capitals of Culture" alongside the city of Essen and the Ruhr metropolitan area.

2. What is RUHR.2010?

The RUHR.2010 GmbH is the organisation responsible for preparing and implementing the programme for the European Capital of Culture, entitled "Essen für das Ruhrgebiet". Since 2006 it has used the trademark "RUHR.2010" not only for the project itself, but also for marketing purposes. The shareholders of RUHR.2010 GmbH are the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR), the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ruhrgebiet Initiative Circle and the City of Essen.
"RUHR.2010 - European Capital of Culture" comprises the 53 urban and rural local authorities in the Ruhr.

3. What's going on in the Ruhr metropolitan area in 2010?

The European Capital of Culture year in the Ruhr Metropolis will start officially with a festive opening ceremony at Zollverein in Essen on the 9th of January 2010.  Throughout the whole year, lots of exciting projects, festivals and exhibitions will take place which shall radiate far beyond the year of 2010. We invite everyone to participate and to celebrate with us the European Capital of Culture year.
For detailed information about the individual projects, please visit the category program.

4. Do you have any information material and merchandising products?

The current publications of RUHR.2010 GmbH are available for download on the website.
In late summer 2009, you can purchase all merchandising and give-away products in our new online shop at www.ruhr2010-shop.de.
Among other products, there will be coffee mugs, t-shirts, baseball caps, bags, wine gum, flags, umbrellas, and lanyards.

5. Can I work on the staff at RUHR.2010 GmbH?

Internships in the artistic teams, the marketing and communication department and the event management and other job opportunities are regularly announced on the website.

6. Are there contact persons in the towns and cities?

The 53 local authorities in the Ruhr metropolitan area have appointed their own capital of culture officers in the ruhr metropolis. They are not only the contact persons for RUHR.2010 GmbH, but also for local inhabitants and organisations wishing to be involved in the activities of the Capital of Culture.

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