#Ode2Joy Challenge

The #Ode2Joy Challenge is a participatory creative and social media initiative celebrating Europe’s cultural heritage – both tangible and intangible – on the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. It seeks to unlock creativity and encourage participants to make an “#Ode2Europe” as a humanistic and cultural project, based on shared values, history & heritage.


  • Everybody is invited to contribute! The #Ode2Joy Challenge does not only target professional and amateur performing artists (such as singers, musicians or dancers); any creative and imaginative interpretation or expression of “#Ode2Joy” is also welcome (e.g. photography, video, a drawing, a cartoon, an app, a game, design, story and or poem). The participation of schools is also strongly encouraged;
  • Let yourself be inspired by the Ode to Joy composed by Luwdig van Beethoven. This famous music has become a symbol of Europe, the anthem of Europe. Perform the original score or create your own version and do this at a heritage site which matters to you: a small parish chapel, a famous historic theater, a garden in your village, or a museum in your town;
  • Record your creation and share it via social media on 9 May – Europe Day


    • 31 January: Official launch of the #Ode2Joy Challenge by Plácido Domingo (via video message) at the Citizens’ Dialogue in Brussels with Michel Magnier, Director for Culture & Creativity, DG EAC;
    • February-April: imaginative and dynamic promotion of the #Ode2Joy Challenge & mobilisation of a large range of supporters/contributors (heritage sites, networks, artists, schools & the general public);
    • 9 May / Europe Day: Focal point of the #Ode2Joy Challenge with as many performances/contributions as possible from across Europe (and beyond) to be live streamed or recorded and posted on social media;
    • June European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin: A selection of the most inspiring and creative contributions will be showcased. A symbolic visit by Maestro Plácido Domingo and leaders of EU Institutions and civil society organisations will be made to the National Library in Berlin where the original manuscript of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is being preserved.
    • Until the end of 2018 & beyond: on-going promotion of the results of the #Ode2Joy Challenge which will stay available (via creative commons license) & new performances/recordings will continuously be encouraged and added.

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