About us

ACULTOS is a European network of experts, which provides support and services to cities and regions in developing their cultural strategy and realising large scale cultural projects. Our field of expertise is precisely applicable in supporting candidacies and ongoing consultancy for European Capitals of Culture - as for Plzen.2015, Pafos.2017 and Plovdiv.2019.

ACULTOS guarantees a high level of competence in specialist fields combined with efficiency and flexibility. Our work is based on attention to detail, integrity and empathy. Our consultants have a depth of experience in both, successfully bidding in the competition and realising ECoCs in the last ten years.

The methodology of ACULTOS includes the following core elements:

  • Intention: We define the objectives together with the client.
  • Involvement: We aim at an ongoing exchange and provide recruitment, coaching and capacity building for our clients.
  • Implementation: We make practical suggestions for implementing our advice.
  • Investment: We work within the agreed budget and time frame. We place particular emphasis on delivering a sustainable legacy. 

What is more - the quality management of ACULTOS is based on “double-checking”. Our consultants are constantly in touch with each other. Our clients can therefore profit from the expertise of several specialists. Every consultant has a network of other specialists all over Europe. The experts of ACULTOS draw on a wide range of working methods: analysis, research, texts and presentations, editing, translation, graphic consultancy. Native speakers are also employed as copy editors to guarantee the quality of the delivery.

The team of ACULTOS was involved in the following previous ECoCs (bidding/realising): Liverpool.08, RUHR.2010 (winning bid, CEO of the realising organisation), Plze?.2015, Pafos.2017 (winning bid, contract for realising until 2017), Sonderborg.2017 (bidding, 2nd round), Maastricht.2018 (bidding, 2nd round), Plovdiv.2019 (winning bid, contract for realising until 2019), Cluj.2021, Kalamata.2021, Austrian cities for 2024 and German cities for 2025. 

General Manager

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt studied law and music and has more than 25 years of management experience in culture, local affairs and large-scale projects. From 1986 until 1993 he worked at the German Association of Municipal Authorities and from 1993 until 2009 he was Deputy Mayor, responsible for the Culture Department of the City of Essen. Under his guidance Essen and the Ruhr became European Capital of Culture in 2010. From 2006 to 2012, he was General Manager of RUHR.2010. Many leading organisations in arts and culture rely on his expertise such as the Enquête-Commission “Culture in Germany” of the German Bundestag (2003-2007). 

Since 1997 he has been President of the Association of Cultural Policy, since 2002 a member of the advisory board of the Federal Culture Foundation and from 2004 to 2013 was a member of the German UNESCO-Committee. Since 2009 he has been in the general assembly of the Goethe Institute. Oliver Scheytt is Professor for Cultural Policy and Cultural Infrastructure at the University for Music and Theatre Hamburg. Since 2011 Oliver Scheytt works as a freelance consultant for cultural businesses and European Capitals of Culture under the brand Kulturexperten Dr. Scheytt GmbH and Acultos. He is author of more than 150 publications on cultural politics, cultural management, personal and organisational management, editor of the „Kulturpolitischen Mitteilungen“ and of the continuously updated “Handbuch für Kulturmanagement und Kulturpolitik”.

Austrian Candidacy for the Title European Capital of Culture 2024 - Workshop in Vienna

© BKA /Christopher Dunker

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt participated with a presentation at the workshop “Kultur bringt's! Die Europäische Kulturhauptstadt als Chance für nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung” ("Culture delivers! The European Capital of Culture as an opportunity for sustainable urban development"), which took place at the House of the European Union in Vienna on 29th September 2016. The event was organized by the Federal Chancellery, together with the Municipal Association. Oliver Scheytt gave a lecture on the opportunities and challenges facing the candidacy for the title European Capital of Culture. In the discussion with the top-class panel, many important aspects concerning the management and the organization of the ECoC were explored. 

PAFOS- European Capital of Culture 2017

The Cypriot City of Pafos has won the title European Capital of Culture together with the Danish city Århus. ACULTOS has been supporting Pafos throughout its successful candidacy since 2011. After the official designation in 2012, the consultancy focused on all matters concerning programme development, administration, communication and international affairs. An ongoing consultancy was delivered concerning the development process and all issues regarding the implementation and the work flow of the organisation of PAFOS.2017.

Exemplary for the success of the consultancy cooperation is the satisfactory second monitoring report from April 2016, which states that the “programme offers many elements of added value and demonstrates a strong European Dimension.” (Pdf)

ACULTOS wishes a lot of success to the team of Pafos during the whole year of 2017.


PLOVDIV- European Capital of Culture 2019

The Bulgarian city Plovdiv has been a client of ACULTOS since its application for the ECOC title. After the selection in September 2014 Androulla Vassiliou, the former European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: "I congratulate Plovdiv both on its successful bid and also on being the first ever European Capital of Culture in Bulgaria. The competition was tough, with eight initial contenders narrowed down to four finalists.”

Currently, ACULTOS has been providing ongoing consultancy for the planning process from 2016 until 

2019 as well as advice on all issues regarding the implementation and the work flow of the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation. The consultancy focuses on programme development, project and process management, communication and international affairs, personnel management, sponsoring, financing, and especially budgeting of the selected projects.

A positive sign for the cooperation is that the Report on the Monitoring Meeting in October 2016 congratulated on the progress made by the Foundation Plovdiv 2019. (Pdf)   

Programme and Project Development in Arts Management

On 11th April 2006, the city of Essen and the Ruhr were awarded the title “European Capital of Culture 2010“ by an EU panel of experts. On this day, concrete thinking regarding the future of the organisation RUHR.2010 GmbH commenced.

In their new publication, Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt and Eckart Achauer describe the process of planning and realising this complex project in six chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Development of the organisation
  • Tasks and fiels of work
  • Processes
  • Personnel, consultants, agents
  • Co-operations, partnerships, networks
  • Programme and impact of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010

This publication about the RUHR.2010 concept is the first comprehensive, practically oriented guide to planning and realising large-scale projects – A “must have” for those involved in the project management of European Capitals of Culture.