The Benefit of Failure

Peculiar cultures are symptomatic for areas of traditional industry. The purpose of this paper is to analyze and evaluate cultural and creative industries in Ostrava, the third largest town of the country that at the same time constitutes a typical representative of old industrial urban fabrics in the Czech Republic. Special attention will be devoted to the emerging cultural clusters that appear to be indispensable in terms of sustainable cultural management. Unique qualities of Ostrava’s culture culminated in 2009, when the town decided to stand for the prestigious title of the European Capital of Culture. Finally, Ostrava did not succeed, nonetheless the contest vivified the discourse on Ostrava’s culture and a distinctive potential for the creation of cultural clusters was revealed. Semi-structured interviews accomplished with relevant actors of the town’s culture facilitated contextual interpretation of the role of cultural and creative industries as well as mapping the potential cultural clusters in the town. The research question posed in this article is as follows: do development effects formed by the concentration of creative and cultural industries in Ostrava exist? It turned out that the paths towards cultural management sustainability can differ substantially from recipes, which are well-proven in leading developed territories. The results of our analysis confirmed some developmental effects evoked by the concentration of cultural industries and cultural clusters in Ostrava can be identified, but genuine qualitative transformation towards a more cultural and sustainable milieu in Ostrava undoubtedly requires more time.

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