Locally crafted culture grows

Region Gotland’s cultural strategist Catrine Wikström is used to work with policy documents and strategies.
Now she has a new tool – Kulturens Ö, a website for the culture community as well for visitors.
– I would like the site to enable people to come here for culture’s sake, that it will create reasons to travel here. Gotland has a rich culture; finally we got a calendar for that community, she says.

Catrine Wikström has for the last four years worked as Region Gotlands cultural strategist.
– I feel privileged to be working with a region where the cultural life is so vivid and strong, she says.
The range of her job attracts her. Once a generalist she now specializes in regional culture.
– It is a rather free assignment, my colleagues are engaged and there is good atmosphere here, she says

What do you think the website Kulturens Ö can do to help people discover Gotland?
– I noticed last fall that friends from Stockholm went to Gotland to go to a Bo Kaspers-concert and thought, is this a trend? They made their way to Gotland off-season to get a cultural experience and I think the site can help facilitate that. It can offer different kind of packages in order to make it convenient for people to make their travel arrangements.

Is it necessary to be well prepared to get the most out of a cultural experience, you think?
– Some like to research and see that as part of the build-up of the trip. But there is absolutely no need to. Gotland Museum, the Museum of Art, Körsbärsgården, The Sculpture Factory, Bergman Center, Roma Kungsgård, Bunge Museum, concerts, the theatre, it can all be experienced without preparation.

Is Gotland a cultural island?
– Yes, take the environment for example; we have the heritage around us all around the island. Visby city wall, the churches, but also the cultural associations here will get you a dose of culture when you come to Gotland.

How do you see your role in Gotland as a cultural island?
– I want to create opportunities for people to live here and experience the culture and also to work as creators. The organizations Region Gotland support financially shall work with the perspective of diversity and equality. That there is a basic infrastructure enable cultural life across the island is important. Region Gotland maps out the long-term objectives and those who receive grants are controlled to some extent. Not in detail, but in the overall mission to dock into the region’s goals for Vision Gotland by 2025.

What do you think the culture community of Gotland think about the website Kulturens Ö?
– I wish that the culture community can take a stronger part in building the brand of Gotland. Therefore, it is good with initiatives like Kulturens Ö, it will make the culture on the island noticed. The region wants to create opportunities for everyone to participate and is happy to take a part in this. We support the culture with quite a lot of money, but also with coaching and strategic consulting.

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Catrine Wikström

Age: 52
Occupation: Regional Culture strategist Region Gotland