From preparation to implementation: Volunteer involvement in the Veszprém – Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture program
Virág Zsófia Szendrei – Marietta Timár – Zsófia Happ
In 2023, after thirteen years, once again Veszprem and the Bakony-Balaton region in Hungary was selected as the European Capital of Culture. The primary goal of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture program (VEB2023 ECoC program) was to establish long-term volunteer involvement, to engage the residents in cultural activities, to and enhance the efficiency of organizations that involve volunteers. To promote volunteering, to increase its social prestige, and to strengthen communities were also among the objectives. The success of the program is evident from the increased number of volunteers and their service hours and from the active participation of students who complete their School Community Service. This study reviews the process from preparation (2020-2022) to implementation (2023), during which the a Volunteer Involvement Program called "Shinies" became an integral part of the VEB2023 ECoC series of events. The realization of VEB2023 ECoC demonstrates the best practices of how volunteering in a series of cultural events positively impacts to the development of a region and the empowers the residents.
Keywords: volunteering, European Capital of Culture, Veszprém-Balaton region, "Shinies" Volunteer Program, cultural events