From October 1 to October 5, 2024, the UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art Viljandi is organizing the Viljandi Heritage Festival which belongs to the Tartu 2024 regional program, taking place at the Estonian Traditional Music Centre and its surroundings. The festival's goal is to demonstrate that heritage demonstrates how we can better our lives in today’s world.
The festival will explore from various perspectives how traditional cultural knowledge can provide sustainable solutions to economic and environmental challenges. Participants can also learn heritage skills themselves.
Viljandi, a Heritage City, has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network since 2019, and its activities are coordinated by the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy. "What makes the Heritage Festival truly special are the guests from various UNESCO Creative Cities around the world," emphasizes the festival's initiator and program director, Ave Matsin. In addition to international experiences, attendees can get acquainted with phenomena listed by the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO.
The following events will take place during the festival:
October 1-2: International Conference "Heritage in the Service of Sustainable Communities."
October 2-3: International workshops for professionals and students in the field of folk culture.
October 4-5: Public heritage celebration, including the third Viljandi Repair Festival and the Harvest Festival organized by the Estonian Traditional Music Center.
Collaborating with the Viljandi Art School, art objects related to heritage and performance art will be created in the city's public spaces.
The Viljandi Heritage Festival is part of the Tartu 2024 program line "Human and Skills." The festival is organized by the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy and the Estonian Traditional Music Center.
The festival is funded in co-operation with Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture.