NOVÁ SÍŤ / redefining cultural practices in the Czech Republic

Nová síť is a service organisation supporting performing arts and open culture. It actively creates opportunities for collaboration between Czech regions, Prague, and with abroad; improves communication between stakeholders of cultural life and the public administration; and strives for decentralization, development, and cultivation of civic society in the Czech Republic. Nová síť s main projects in 2024 include the CZECH CULTURAL NETWORK NOVÁ SÍŤ, the festival of new theatre MALÁ INVENTURA, the international programme supporting arts residencies ART-IN-RES, CULTURE GET-TOGETHER – a conference on collaboration in culture, the project supporting and promoting arts in rural settlements of Europe SPARSE PLUS, and the programme supporting young and emerging artists NEW BLOOD ON THE STAGE.

Nová sít’s organizational structure allows to respond promptly to current situation in culture, take into consideration requirements of artists and expert and general public, and engage everyone in a broader network of institutions operating both on a community and international level. This flexibility is based on extensive experiences of Nová sít’s staff.

Nová síť fills a gap between the public administration, state-funded organizations, and stakeholders of cultural life. It provides supportive environment for planning and development of activities, concepts, and complex projects. It offers services in the area of mediation and advocacy for individuals and organizations. Nová síť especially facilitates connections and evaluates collaboration between individuals and organizations in the Czech Republic and abroad.

What we do in Nová síť:
We cultivate conditions for performing arts and open culture We care for cultural infrastructure and support artists and art groups We connect individuals, independent cultural organizations, and public institutions We decentralize cultural offerings and break down the hierarchy in decision-making processes about culture
Who seeks our services:
Professionals in the field (artist, dramaturg, curator, cultural manager, producer, critic) Expert organizations, local communities, cultural public Public administration and its executive branches
Where we operate:
Prague European region Centres of Czech regions Rural areas

NOVÁ SÍŤ / Prague

Nová síť’s headquarters is in Prague. Prague is the base which provides support and positions the organization at the centre of Czech cultural landscape. Our office is a space where we work, plan, and produce projects mainly for performing arts. At the same time it is also a place open to artists and professionals from the entire Czech Republic who are welcome to bring their projects for a consultation and who seek an expert perspective or encouragement. We refer to these type of activities as ARTS SERVICE.

Inherent to Nová síť’s operations is our continued interest in issues related to culture in the Czech Republic, mediation between individuals and administrations, protection of the industry, and taking measures to benefit the industry, in other words we engage in CULTURAL ADVOCACY.

Art community is known for being particularly heterogeneous, which does not apply only to Prague, and the city or state administrations do not always communicate clearly and on a regular basis. We try to fill this gap with a fitting communication strategy and offer our INFORMATION SYSTEM. We believe that timely delivery of essential information to individuals and representatives of industry organizations is crucial.

In order to bring a real change to the Czech cultural landscape, a proper EDUCATION is indispensable for both artists and expert public. Hence our continued efforts to organize seminars, coaching for individuals and organizations, and to provide support to the youngest artists and graduates freshly out of art schools through NEW BLOOD ON THE STAGE.

In Prague we organize two large international events – MALÁ INVENTURA FESTIVAL and CULTURE GET-TOGETHER, the conference on collaboration in culture.

MALÁ INVENTURA FESTIVAL: A showcase of performances by local venues in Prague and independent young artists – both established and emerging. The festival is also a space for international networking, encouraging new collaborations, and for workshops, symposia, and discussions designed for expert and general public. The final programme features the most significant events of the past year. Because of the festival’s focus on networking and maintaining relationships with strategic partners in the Czech Republic and abroad, tens of Czech projects could be consequently presented.

Since 2012 the festival presents the CZECH THEATRE DNA awards, recognizing excellence in development and support of live arts and culture in the Czech Republic.

CULTURE GET-TOGETHER: Since 2020 Nová síť organizes a conference on collaboration in culture. The conference’s mission is to facilitate a meeting of the representatives of independent performing arts (including theatre, dance, and new circus) and cities, regions, and public administration. The conference thus serves as a functioning channel for communication which breaks down barriers and brings together both participating parties to articulate the essential!


The core of Nová síť’s activities is outside of Prague, in the regional centres, smaller towns, and rural areas. Nová síť has been focusing on regional development since its foundation in 2003 when it started building functional models for management of cultural infrastructure in the Czech regions, including: artists and art groups guest appearances, networking for cultural stakeholders and agents of local culture, sharing know-how, mediating between independent and state-founded culture and local administration.

EDUCATION, MEDIATION, AND CULTURAL ADVOCACY: Nová síť has been providing education and sharing know-how with individuals and organizations in the Czech regions over a long period. The organization strengthens stakeholders’ ability to navigate an often obscure and constantly evolving cultural environment in the Czech Republic. The main tools include seminars for expert public – covering such topics as an overview of grant rules and basics of financial literacy, cultural events planning, and assistance with decision-based processes requiring expert analysis. In recent years, Nová síť has pivoted to activities related to development, protection of and mediation in cultural policy, both in terms of general matters of cultural management in the Czech Republic and particular forms of their mediation on local level. For a number of cities and towns Nová síť acted as a mediator between local initiatives and the administrations.

CZECH CULTURAL NETWORK NOVÁ SÍŤ: The Czech Republic has a highly developed infrastructure of cultural centres. One of Nová síť’s priorities is to help manage the cultural network, and by doing so help grow more than 25 organizations. We particularly emphasize the value of supporting new organizations and individuals who intend to establish successful operations in their areas, whether it is theatre, public initiative, or an attempt to revive a cultural or industrial sight. Networking is Nová síť’s main asset not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad. The Czech Cultural Network Nová síť is part of international community thanks to the support from Norway Grants and Visegrad Fund.

MALÁ INVENTURA FESTIVAL JIČÍN, JIHLAVA, ČESKÉ BUDĚJOVICE, KARLOVY VARY, ROŽNOV POD RADHOŠTĚM: The festival of new theatre is an alternative to the mainstream touring productions. It features theatre performances conceived as original works, experimenting, reacting to current social trends, and exploring their own aesthetics. In addition, the flexibility of the format allows for consideration of local conditions, as the festivals’ dramaturges are local, knowledgeable of the local cultural environment. Discussions are part of the programme, exploring matters beyond the local community.

CIRCULATION OF THE NEW THEATRE PROJECTS: Nová síť’s long-term efforts have significantly contributed to the fact that it has become easier in recent years to feature inspiring projects of contemporary theatre, dance, and new circus in the Czech regions. Nová síť now focuses on support of artists who might be overlooked and venues that lack offerings of quality projects or face other challenges. We support emerging artists (NEW BLOOD ON THE STAGE) and facilitate guest appearances in disadvantaged locations and communities. Currently we participate in SPARSE PLUS, an European project aiming to encourage presentation of independent artists in smaller towns and rural areas.

ART-IN-RES: An online platform for arts residencies in performing arts. The platform focuses on theatre, dance and performance. We would like to provide through information about Czech residency centres and related open calls, and make the website a sought-after resource not only for Czech artists but also for artists from abroad. Today, arts residencies are indispensable for the production of art projects worldwide. Most countries run online ‘guidespots’ which connect artists with host organisations. Since there was no such tool for arts residencies in the Czech Republic, we stepped in and created the ART-IN-RES.


International scene has been a continued challenge for Nová síť. Only thanks to impulses from abroad and opportunities to compare and share and influence each other we can change the state of the Czech art and cultural landscape. The current situation is ideal for development of new models of sharing and cultural practices which could be consequently applied in local context. That is why we take initiative or participate in projects that could benefit artists and expert public in the Czech Republic as well as projects that allow for rebuilding of the common approach to arts and culture, directly effecting our lives.

IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts: Nová síť is a member of IETM, an international network of over 450 organizations and individuals working in performing arts worldwide. IETM represents a broad field of performing arts, including theatre, dance, circus, interdisciplinary live art forms and new media, yet it is not sufficiently represented compared to other segments of culture.

SPARSE PLUS: Building on SPARSE successes, it will expand and deepen the rural touring network, providing access to high quality professional arts events in rural communities.

BRIDGING THE SCENES: engages four established festivals in a collaboration including artistic exchange, hosting delegations of programme staff, and development of competences of the professional community. The partner festivals include: The Performing Arts Festival in Berlin (DEU), Selected Works Festival in Copenhagen (DK), Act Festival in Sofia (BG), Malá Inventura (CZ).

COLLABORATION WITH CZECH CENTRES: Nová síť collaborates with Czech Centres, particularly with Czech Centre London, Budapest, and Tel Aviv, creating opportunities for Czech theatres and artists in other fields to perform abroad.

At the present time we participate in a project that expands on the international connections of the CZECH CULTURAL NETWORK NOVÁ SÍŤ, working with an artist residency provider in Surnadal Billag, Norway, with support from the Norway Grants. In addition, with partners from ten countries, we are collaborating on an international project supporting presentation of contemporary theatre in smaller towns and rural areas, SPARSE PLUS, and another international project, BRIDGING THE SCENES, which focuses on sharing know-how and arranging for exchanges of professionals and artists from four EU countries.


EUROPEAN NETWORKING: From 2008 to 2013, Nová síť led an European project Development of New Art (DNA) with six participating European countries. Two new international premiers of new theatre were presented, a number of artistic exchanges and art groups residencies took place. It is because of the DNA, partnership with the Czech Centres in Europe, and networking with guests of the Malá Inventura Festival that Nová síť started collaborating with tens of other live arts organizations worldwide.

PRALIN – a communication platform between Prague and Berlin: Nová síť together with German organization LAFT Performing Arts Programm has developed a programme of cultural exchanges between performing arts scene in Prague and Berlin. The goal was to incite development of performing arts and transform conventional models of cultural practices in both cities.

VARP – PERFORMING ARTS: Until 2021 Nová síť was also a guarantor and coordinator of Visegrad residencies for the Czech Republic. More than ten projects receive each year an opportunity to realize a residency in a partner country through this programme. Because of an excellent quality of the Czech theatre infrastructure, every year more than half of the artists residencies take place in the Czech Republic.

CONNECTING V4 ART-IN-RES: An international project that maped opportunities for artists residencies in performing arts within the V4 countries. Artist residencies could be one of the key impulses for development of performing arts. However, what is the state of artist residencies within the Visegrad space, which includes us? In order to answer this question, we initiated the project Connecting V4 ART-IN-RES. Our research was based on: first, preliminary data from our consulting activities that often relate to artists residencies; second, on our analysis of the needs of foreign artists whom we meet on a regular basis during the Malá Inventura Festival. As part of the project, a publication on the phenomenon of residential stays in the V4 countries was created. We are happy to share the result of the research with you here.

NOVÁ SÍŤ INFORMS / cultural blog: The blog informes about the state of and situation in the industry, offers regional organizations a space to communicate to the public their challenges. It is a key factor in a potential development. Nová síť conducted and published over 40 interviews with members of the Czech Cultural Network in Divadelní noviny (Theatre Newspaper), an online magazine. These interviews provide the readers, particularly expert public, with up-to-date information about the situation in the regions.