Aims and activities


The main objectives and activities of Tartu as UNESCO City of Literature

In the autumn of 2014 the City Government of Tartu summoned a committee of the representatives of various cultural and educational organisations and institutions to outline the main aims, plans and courses of action which would help the city to present its application to UNESCO this for membership of the Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature and would also remain the central strategy for the development of the literary field whether or not Tartu will be accepted to the network. These aims and activities have been formulated as five main courses of action, which include a wide range of necessities and plans for the future, but also many projects and activities at work already.


1) Encouraging and developing the reading habit, including educational programmes and the popularisation of reading and literature in a variety of ways
Courses of action:
Educational programmes for parents and teachers at the day-care centres to inspire the parents to introduce their children to books and literature and to help the teachers make more informed choices when selecting books for the nurseries.
Increasing children's interest in books and reading, creating better reading environments and setting example
Systematic cooperation between the schools and the Tartu Public Library
Regular literary events in the public space
Assuring the availability of the recommended books and cultural magazines for the students
Improving the availability of the new books and providing information about the contemporary literature
Increasing the awareness about the benefits of reading fiction
Improving the reading environment, creating new opportunities to enjoy reading outside home
Introducing the writers and literature related to Tartu in the public space


2) Developing the literary scene, extending the cooperation and partnerships between different cultural organisations and institutions; increasing the international reach and cooperation
Courses of action:
Improving the conditions for creative work
Developing the international exchange programmes
Extending the scale of the Tartu International Literary Festival Prima Vista
Developing the Tartu Writers' House to make it the main centre of Tartu as a City of Literature
Creating a mobility foundation for the organisers of literary events
Developing the identity of Tartu as a City of Literature through public campaigns and various types of media


3) Contributing to the development of creative writing, literary studies and translating
Courses of action:
Educational programmes including both academic higher education and further education for teachers of Estonian language and literature, the participation of the scholars of the University of Tartu in developing the study programmes for schools and compiling educational materials.
Offering creative writing courses at the University of Tartu and extending the learning opportunities through international cooperation.
Launching new courses at the University of Tartu, including an interdisciplinary seminar "Phenomenological Tartu" and a lecture course "Texts From The Contemporary World Literature". 
Offering opportunities of internships and practical experience for the students of literature and other fields related to literature: internship of cultural management, internship of intercultural relations, museum internship, practice in editing, translating, writing book reviews and guiding city tours; finding publishing opportunities for the practical studies of translating fiction.
Encouraging the students of the University of Tartu to choose research topics related to Tartu as a literary city.
Compiling and publishing an anthology of poems related to Tartu
Organising translation competitions


4) Protecting the freedom of speech and creative freedom
Courses of action:
Developing the Russian programme of the Literary Festival
Developing the activities of Tartu City Museum to introduce the actions and ideas of dissident thinkers
Developing the research of the Finno-Ugric cultures at the Estonian Literary Museum
Considering the possibility of joining ICORN
Contributing to making the dissident ideas and activities visible.


5) Supporting the diversity of the literary culture
Courses of action:
Supporting and introducing the Finno-Ugric, Russian, Southern-Estonian and other literatures represented in the literary scene of Tartu historically or in the present times.
Increasing general cultural knowledge