A festival about civic involvement, a performance of the city






About CiviCultura

For a rejuvenation of the civic involvement of the city and the benefit of developing the implementation capacity of socio-cultural projects in Timisoara 2021, the audience of Timisoara has to become actively involved in city projects, and overcome the simple role of an observer.

CiviCultura consists of actions that promote the civic engagement of Timisoara’s inhabitants, helping them find the courage to change their role from beneficiaries of local projects into volunteers, and even initiators. The main activity, the core performance of the project, will be put up simultaneously in different non-central squares, connected through live video systems. It will include several interdisciplinary artistic moments, engaging the audience, throughout a week of rehearsals in the squares, together with notorious artists. The topic of this performance will focus on combating harmful myths, such as: “Nothing changes anyway” or „we are too small/ alone to do something” regarding engagement effectiveness. It will directly address the issues that they have and the change that people want, as well as issues and proposals formulated and collected in advance from the same squares. Their collection is an important part of the project, because these actions will facilitate the receptivity of the engaged public, towards the actions of the NGOs and of the informal groups inside community, as well as their engagement in civic actions. Concomitantly with the preparation of the core performance, the results of successful civic projects from Timisoara and the Western area will be promoted and various artistic performances, workshops, discussion forums closely related to civism, will be carried out through spot events broadcasted on all the screens installed in the squares, as well as on media channels. CiviCultura is a performance of the city bringing the inhabitants under the spotlight, showing them they aren’t the only ones who have such preoccupations, and helping them becoming aware of their capacity to change society, when working in a community of engaged citizens.

DURATA: PROJECT DURATION (max. 10 months as of the beginning of the activity)
9 months (February – October; Timotion funding May – October)


THESPIS Student Theater through the CULTURAL ASSOCIATION DIOGENE launches the project CiviCultura.
THESPIS Student Theater was established as an artistic space that would allow free expression trough theatre, in 1965, by Diogene V. Bihoi (1947-2002). “THESPIS gives its offsprings various points of tangency with the theatrical phenomenon, spectacular and cultural in general, the opportunity of freely, youthfully and, above all, humanly expressing themselves. Yes, humanly, because this implies different connotations, truths that we all carry within us, sometimes in much too latent forms, hybrid forms of self-knowledge and of knowing the Other, of investigation of human nature, primary forms of creativity and expression” (Diogene V. Bihoi).
Hundreds of people were a part of this theatrical family over time, which are now spread on all the continents activating in all domains (some in theatre, others in show-business, some in media, others in medicine, some in humanistic sciences, others in engineering).
THE CULTURAL ASSOCIATION DIOGENE is the institutional formalization of THESPIS Student Theater and it focuses on supporting the realization of theater plays or other artistic events, to stimulate the audience’s interest in dialogue, debate, social engagement, alternative art, and on facilitating public access to theatrical and cultural manifestations, as well as promoting the cultural and civic values of Timisoara. The association also focuses on putting up and promoting productions, manifestations, interdisciplinary workshops (theatre, music, dance etc.).
All THESPIS’ performances and projects are carried out with the support of the CULTURAL ASSOCIATION DIOGENE (24 hours of theatre, Theater on bread) and based on volunteering.



Why is this project needed?
Timisoara needs a greater civic engagement of its citizens.
A healthy community is a civically involved community, with the capacity of identifying and improving the issues that it faces, trough direct engagement. Unfortunately, the majority of Timisoara’s inhabitants are reluctant to investing their free time in community service, thinking that they either can’t help, or their effort won’t have any impact, or they are even frightened of the responsibilities or constraints of becoming engaged in civic activities. This reluctance leads to the current situation, in which the majority of projects and civic events in Timisoara are carried out through the involvement of the same narrow group of volunteers and promoters.
This project aims to stimulate citizen engagement, into the city life, trough social and cultural projects.
It is a major need to increase the core of civically engaged people. It is necessary to activate citizens willing to change, but who are non-receptive or even intimidated by conventional calls to engage in civic projects and organizations. A more attractive cultural and artistic environment can embrace civic engagement in a friendly and approachable manner. An integrated performance, built with the community, with strong civic messages, delivers much more easily the message of the need for engagement and promotes the community’s capacity to make a positive change. It also provides an experience that will cultivate their commitment to help the community.
In the context of Timisoara 2021 – European Capital of Culture, an increased engagement of the public, beyond its role as a simple spectator, is vital for the city to be able to benefit from the cultural programmes developed during this period. The critical mass of citizens engaged in socio-cultural projects must grow. Thus, the capacity of implementing/creating this mass will be developed through the programmes implemented up to 2021 inclusively. In this way, 2021 will not only be a peak of cultural activities in Timisoara, but also a point of relaunching the socio-cultural space of the city.








In the context of Timisoara 2021 – European Capital of Culture, an increased engagement of the public, beyond its role as a simple spectator, is vital for the city to be able to benefit from the cultural programmes developed during this period. The critical mass of citizens engaged in socio-cultural projects must grow. Thus, the capacity of implementing/creating this mass will be developed through the programmes implemented up to 2021 inclusively. In this way, 2021 will not only be a peak of cultural activities in Timisoara, but also a point of relaunching the socio-cultural space of the city.



February 2019 – Selection of project ambassadors
Civic artists, from among partners, collaborators, and sympathizers of Thespis Theater are invited to join the project as ambassadors and promoters. They are renowned artists activating in theater, literature, graphics, music, body movement, etc., visibly engaged in civic actions. The show director will be selected. We will determine the best venues for the event, together with our partners “In Comunitate” (“In the Community”).

15-25 July – Collecting issues of interest
In 4 of the non-central squares in Timisoara (e.g. Traian Square, Mocioni Square), 10 volunteers will ask the citizens, who pass through the target locations, which are their problems related to the community in which they live. (e.g.: what would you like to change?). Volunteers will work in visible groups, wearing theatrical costumes, and will inform people about the core performance and the events that will take place. Problems will be collected from 1,000 people.
We will chose, by public vote, using social media, 1-2 main topics of the show.
Based on the collected issues, there will be discussions and occasional events organized together with the members of Timişoara Civică (Civic Timişoara), which will help us identify the NGOs that directly address the problems collected in the squares. These NGOs will be invited to join the CiviCulturaproject and bring their contribution to the development of the core performance and related events.

16-22 September – Events in the squares
Rehearsals: the space in the four squares will be prepared for the core performance. Rehearsals take place on an open stage, inviting passers-by to participate and join the purpose and message of the show, thus actively contributing to the performance with their own ideas. The ambassadors of the project, “civic artists”, will make their presence felt by working and discussing with the public. The presence and activities carried out in the squares are aimed at engaging the passers-by in the event. Square activities are broadcast live on different media and online channels. In each square, projectors will broadcast images from the other squares, thus connecting people and events from different locations in Timisoara.
Related events: This week, other events will be take place, which will be transmitted through projections across all interconnected squares, such as:
A) Discussions, screenings, mobile exhibitions and workshops related to the results of civic, social and cultural projects in the counties of Timis, Arad, Caras-Severin or Hunedoara (e.g. Timotion, Timişoara Refugee Art Festival, MAD(e) in România, Market of free Things / Plants , Architecture Tour, Herculane Project, HerCity, etc.);
B) Exhibitions, screenings, workshops, discussions with civic content, located in the interconnected squares, which will address the main topics and problems gathered, by publicizing the core show: 1) Theater (plays from Thespis and other partner theaters, monologues with actors from Timisoara and from the country, reading shows etc.); 2) Literature (poems, book presentations, brochures); c) Music (concerts with civic themes etc); d) Film (screenings of documentary films, films made by Romanian associations, lectures about civism and community involvement, films on community related topics); e) Graphics (photo exhibitions, graphics workshops for the core show); f) Dance (workshops for the core show); g) Discussion Forums (Children’s philosophy workshops, forum with guests).
22 September – The core show / performance of the city (45 minutes)
The show integrates what has been created and repeated in the squares of Timisoara. It includes moments focusing on each square and moments when performances take place concurrently in all squares, using video broadcasts in the squares to put up a show of a connected city, an integrated show in Timisoara, not only through technology, but also through thematic. The show will be broadcast live in a public square in Sibiu (the former European Capital of Culture). In the next editions, CiviCultura will connect as many cities as possible in Romania.
For a minute of the show, where the square is at the center of attention, it takes about 60 minutes of rehearsals, and for a minute when all squares play concurrently, about two hours.
27-28 September – The Fair of NGOs
In the same squares, NGOs dealing with the collected issues will have posters describing their work and their members; they will explain to people what they can do as volunteers in organizations and what changes they can make through their involvement. CiviCultura volunteers, promoting NGO activities, will also be present. During the events, they have developed personal relationships with the target audience, being pre-prepared to facilitate communication between NGO volunteers and the general public.
For visibility purposes, the collected issues will be turned into messages (including video materials, graphics, etc.) and will be passed on to public authorities with responsibilities in the field. Messages related to the central authorities will be sent to Bucharest or Brussels

3 WHAT ARE THE RESULTS WE UNDERTAKE? (The Project Impact Criterion)

200 citizens directly involved in the project will acquire artistic communication skills;
400 citizens will be informed on methods to solve their problems and on the opportunities for civic engagement, right in their neighborhood;
1000 citizens will benefit from an integrated show of the city, as spectators;
40 CiviCultura volunteers will gain experience and information on how to implement a civic project, good interaction practices with project beneficiaries;
All citizens of Timisoara will benefit indirectly by bringing city issues to the attention of a larger mass of civically engaged people, who will be able to work with (public or independent) organizations focusing on the issues addressed;
The members of the partner organizations and collaborators will develop new communication networks and will lay the bases for possible long-term collaborations.


It will contribute to the development of peripheral neighborhoods
Non-central squares in Timisoara will become more accessible places for socio-cultural actions, both for informal organizations and groups, and for the general public.

It will contribute to the cultural life of the city
It creates an audience who is more receptive to participating in interactive shows and to become actively engaged in civic and cultural activities and events.

It will develop the community of socially, culturally and artistically involved citizens
The organizations joining the CiviCultura project can start as partners in the next projects, especially in areas where they identify common topics based on the collected issues.
Videos, moments from the shows, having a civic message, are offered without copyright, for use in civic campaigns.


In the description text, please include answers to the following questions: Which organization supports you, with what resources, for how long, and when?

The members of the informal group Timişoara Civică will participate in the project preparation sessions in order to find the best way of collecting the problems in the squares. They will also contact NGOs working in the West part of Romania, in order to disseminate the collected problems and to engage them or raise their interest in the CiviCultura project. Timişoara Civică will develop a database with the objectives of the informal organizations and groups related to the topics people are interested in.

Volunteers from the Association “În Comunitate” (In the Community) will propose the places for the event (squares and areas).
The “TREI COMPAS” Association will bring, in one of the squares, 50 window frames saved from historical buildings in Timisoara for use in the core show and / or related events. and Present Sound are partners for the technical part (video / sound recordings) of the project, providing technical advice and support throughout the project implementation and preparation period.


Present how you intend to promote your participation in TIMOTION 2019. How do you plan to attract as many runners, champions and supporters for the benefit of this project?

The participation of the Diogene Cultural Association in Timotion will be constantly promoted at all THESPIS shows from the permanent season and at the shows performed during other events, through direct advertisements of the actors at the end of the play, posters at the entrance, with a link to the event registration, and insertion of the ad in the actual song, wherever possible. Ads, pictures and videos will be promoted on our Facebook pages:
Dedicated web pages will be created on the websites and which will present in detail the objectives of the CiviCultura project and the possibility to donate by participating in Timotion. We expect to attract 250 runners to donate for CiviCultura.
The THESPIS Theater will appoint an actor and an actress, students, to be CiviCultura champions, following a Facebook voting campaign, engaging the audience in this competition. Old THESPIS members and other collaborators will be asked to become champions (especially those from other cities, so as to increase the chances of donations from other cities). 7 champions will run for CiviCultura. Civic artists involved in the project will be Ambassadors at Timotion.
We will regularly send press releases to our media partners. At present, there are written press journalists (e.g. Evz, Adevărul, DeBanat) who are interested in making materials during the preparation and implementation period of the CiviCulturaproject, and for our participation in Timotion.


Please indicate how donors will be informed about the use of funds received and the results obtained (e.g. photos, posting information on the TIMOTION Facebook page, volunteers from outside the organization can get involved, e.g. runners in the event)?

The video materials will be made public on the Facebook pages of Thespis and of the organizations involved in the project. Also, the list of problems gathered during the project will be published, correlated with the NGOs in the West area that are dealing with these topics.
The budget related information will be published in financial reports on the THESPIS website and on the project page. The address of these reports will be provided by e-mail.
We will e-mail all the runners and donors who supported CiviCultura through Timotion in order to invite them to directly participate in the project, with the opportunity to get involved in organizing the event as well. We will launch calls on partner media platforms in order to encourage other volunteers to join the project. On the Timotion running route, animators from THESPIS Student Theater will promote the CiviCultura project.




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