Trans Europe Halles

Founded in 1983, TEH is a European network of cultural centres initiated by citizens & artists with its head office in Lund, Sweden. Located in 28 countries, most of the 66 members are converted industrial buildings with a multi-disciplinary arts programme.
For Trans Europe Halles, the power of culture is in inspirational, transformative experiences that have the capacity to change people, perceptions and societies.
The core purpose of TEH is to promote arts & culture through facilitating its exchange, making accessible our knowledge and expertise to the cultural sector and encouraging new centres and initiatives that share our values. The long-term goal of TEH is to support and strengthen the sustainable development of its members, culture initiatives originated by citizens & artists and the sector as a whole.

The three key objectives to achieve the long-term goal are:
1. Establish TEH as a lead organisation in providing professional development and international exchange in the cultural sector.
2. To promote the importance and value of citizens’ and artists’ initiatives in setting up and managing cultural spaces.
3. To increase and improve the long-term operational capacity of Trans Europe Halles.

During 30 years, Trans Europe Halles has established itself as a growing and dynamic network with an active and dedicated membership. It is the role of the network to connect the practice of cultural centres and organizations throughout Europe and provide an international professional development and exchange programme that can strengthen the practice and skills of cultural professionals to the benefit of their organisations and audiences. TEH runs and coordinates several international projects with a focus on capacity building and mobility of cultural professionals. One of the main activities of the network is also the international meetings organised twice a year to gather all the members, invited guests and relevant stakeholders around a specific topic.

All member centres in Trans Europe Halles embrace the co-existence of different art disciplines with the aim to foster inter-disciplinary artistic work as well as bringing different audience groups together. To be able to do this successfully, appropriate and flexible management models and skilled staff that can understand the unique qualities and needs of the artists and their audiences are required. As a network, TEH supports both exchange of experiences in this field and provides inter-disciplinary training opportunities at the meetings.

The members of TEH annually reach a highly diversified audience of approximately 8 million people in 28 countries. This audience consists of much more than “bums on seats” since the centres offer art education, community work, open studios and production spaces 24-7. The network offers an ideal forum for discussing new trends and innovative approaches for audience development for European cultural work when programmers and producers of these centres come together.

During the last 8 years, Trans Europe Halles has successfully organised numerous capacity building and mobility programmes developing the skills, competences and know how of cultural professionals. In Engine Room Europe 2010-2014, the last capacity building programme, an estimated 2.200 cultural professionals, artists and volunteers benefitted directly from training and exchanges provided by 19 projects in 26 countries. This has resulted in a unique experiences and expertise in designing, organising and developing professional development for cultural professionals on a European level.

Trans Europe Halles has over 30 years experience of supporting and facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience of managing and leading cultural projects and centres. In recent years, the network has focused more and more on training and capacity building manifested in several projects:
– The leadership programme called Leaders Lab 2011-2014 for 11 leaders of independent cultural organisations in the Nordic countries and Latin European countries. A book based on their experiences called Leaders Stories was published in April 2014 (
– Customized methodologies for running workshops and training modules for emerging leaders focusing on different topics such as creative teams, governance, vision&mission work, business models etc.
– A Mentorship Programme (2010-2015) connecting emerging project managers and experienced leaders during one year at a time.
– The Creative Business Models (2014-2015) project for supporting leaders of cultural organisations to develop and improve their business models and finding new income streams without compromising with their not-for-profit values.

Secretary General Birgitta Persson at the Coordination Office has more than 15 years of experience in setting up and leading successful international projects and events. In the network of Trans Europe Halles, there is a unique pool of senior expertise in 28 countries of how to set up, manage and lead cultural centres and events rooted in practice and international collaboration.

Leaders and managers from the non-profit cultural sector are usually poorly resourced and supported and therefore the priority of TEH has been and still is capacity building. The opportunity to collaborate with Nätverkstan, Olivearte, ENCATC and Sue Kay in this project focusing international leadership is therefore highest priority for TEH. Together with Nätverkstan and the other partners, we aim to design and put together an education that will provide emerging cultural leaders with the skills and competences needed to not only manage and lead cultural organisations, but to push the boundaries for how cultural organisations can be sustained and developed in the future.