2020-11-17 12:05
Photos by Mirthe Rijkhold Meesters

The Music Cities Network receives second EU grant approval for the Urban Link Up Euro Connection project and continues to deepen the transnational city exchange.


The Music Cities Network (MCN) recognises that music constitutes an important pillar of transnational culture as one common that holds the potential to strengthen the social cohesion. Developing joint, future-oriented ideas into new projects is one of the main goals of the collaboration-based network.

Hip Hop and R&B culture is a pan-European movement that encompasses a wide range of expressions from music, theatre, dance, art to fashion, politics & business. Municipalities acknowledge that Hip Hop and R&B culture is undeniably intertwined with youth culture, but struggle to adapt and facilitate suitable programs for talent development and professionalisation. 

The Urban Link Up Euro Connection (ULEC) is a 14-month programme of pan-European co-creation & co-production between up to 48 participants, collaborating in 4 co-creation-weeks & performing at festivals in Aarhus, Berlin, Groningen & Manchester. The activities will result in a joint vision: the ULEC Manual - On how to facilitate the development & professionalisation of young Hip Hop and R&B artists in Europe.

Jesper Mardahl, CEO Promus, Aarhus: ”On behalf of our partners at Aarhus Volume, we’re very happy to see that our “artist-in-residency”- project, that we initiated in 2018, has now developed into the ULEC-project. It is also a very important signal from Music Moves Europe, that the development of the Urban scene on an European level is being prioritized”. 

Lieuwe Rozema, Gemeente Gronningen: “On behalf of the Municipality of Groningen: we are very pleased with the grant for the Urban Link Up Euro Connection project. Hip Hop artists from Groningen have been participating in Link Up in Aarhus since 2018 and in 2020 we welcomed Danish rap artists to exchange and perform during the Eurosonic Festival. The artists in residencies are very important for both our Hip Hop artists and the Hip Hop communities in our city. They take valuable experiences from European cities back home and together we create a sustainable exchange. We would like to congratulate the Music Cities Network with this grant and we are looking forward to intensifying our collaboration with this project!”

Photo by Mirthe Rijkhold Meesters

Earlier this year the Cities Network received the first EU grant for the Music Moves Europe scheme “Professionalisation of young industry professionals”. The “European Music Business Task Force” is a training programme facilitating a working network of 12 young European music business professionals (the Task Force) at the beginning of their careers. The project is designed by a partnership of eight European cities and aims to improve the professional expertise of the Task Force through a transnational music business master class. The MCN Music Business Task Force will kick off in early 2021. ULEC in Spring 2021. 

The MCN and all its members are grateful for the European acknowledgement and excited to realise the projects. Looking back at the year 2020 with all it’s unforeseen challenges and looking ahead, it is the networks' strong belief that transnational, holistically designed projects are the key for creating and sustaining the best frames for culture and innovation in Europe and beyond.

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