TEH Conference 97 in Tartu

This upcoming spring we are meeting in Tartu, Estonia, for the 97th time! We will be hosted by our member centre Aparaaditehas - a popular destination for locals and an important landmark in the Estonia independent arts and culture scene.

The theme of this event is 'Art of Survival'!

Get Your Early Bird!

We have released 50 Early Bird tickets for TEH members and associates. Get one before they run out!


Why 'Art of Survival'?

We are living in tumultuous times, the world is changing rapidly, and we all must adapt and find ways to survive. What kind of difficulties do (independent) art and culture centres face in these changing times and how will we survive? How can our centres support each other and our communities? 

The term "Arts of Survival" encompasses the wisdom, abilities, and principles essential for navigating these difficult times to enjoy a culturally diverse and exciting future.

Sub-themes for Art of Survival

In a world where things are turned upside down, we unravel the intricate connection between humanity and democracy. Observing the distressing events unfolding in the world, it becomes crucial to emphasize the significance of amplifying the voices of the victims and refusing to remain passive bystanders. In addition to that, the deafening silence brought about by cutting funding and shutting down cultural spaces prompts a call to action.

Amidst adversity, however, emerges resilience. Our discourse embraces the empowering notion of participatory funding for cultural spaces, exploring innovative ways for communities to own and sustain these vital hubs. In the face of censorship, we discover the transformative power of sharing ideas and resources, sparking a creative rebellion that transcends borders.

In our exploration of 'Green Resilience: Sustaining the Arts in a Changing Climate,' we embark on a journey to cultivate environmental consciousness within the realm of creative centres. Join us as we share knowledge and best practices, weaving a narrative of how to make our creative spaces more sustainable and greener.

Our discourse extends beyond the walls of our cultural centres to the very fabric of our network conferences and meetings. Together, we delve into the environmental impact of our gatherings, seeking innovative solutions to ensure the sustainability of our collaborative endeavours.

A special focus is placed on the voices of tomorrow – the youth. We dedicate time to listen, engage, and address their concerns, recognizing the importance of fostering a sustainable future through intergenerational dialogue.

Amid economic turbulence, join us in an exploration of 'Adapting and Thriving: The Creative Economy in Times of Turmoil.' We acknowledge the challenges many of us are facing, providing a space to share experiences, difficulties, and, importantly, the resilient strategies that have emerged in response.

Together, we create a supportive environment to vent, connecting with peers who understand the struggles unique to our field. As we candidly discuss what we've had to give up and change, we will foster a collective dialogue on the evolving landscape of the cultural sector.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the vibrant and colorful tapestry of Tartu, exploring both its overground and underground treasures with us. Join our various tours of Aparaaditehas and the enchanting streets of Tartu – whether by walking, running, or cycling, there's a unique adventure awaiting every enthusiast.

Aparaaditehas with the Culture Capital of Tartu team will put on an underground extravaganza, a celebration that transcends the challenges we face daily. Join us to revel in the essence of life – a reminder of why we endure, survive, and thrive. Amidst music, art, food, and the warmth of good company, we'll rediscover the reasons that make life truly worth living.

Contribute to the Programme!

Let's co-create the programme together! If you are a TEH member or associate and have a session idea that perfectly explores one of the themes mentioned earlier, then send us your proposal!


About the host

The venue and host is Aparaaditehas (Kastani 42, Tartu), a cultural and creative centre. The name “Aparaaditehas” translates to “widget factory” in English, and it is housed in a former factory building that has been converted into a space for events, exhibitions, workshops, and performances. It is known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Aparaaditehas is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it has become a hub for the creative community in Tartu. The centre has helped to revitalise the area and has played an important role in promoting the arts and culture in Tartu.

During the Soviet times, the factory was used for manufacturing refrigeration equipment, secret submarine parts and in order to mislead the public, also non-functioning umbrellas and zippers. At its heyday in the middle of 1970s, the factory provided employment for almost 1,500 people. Since 2014, the 14,000 m2 centre has been developed into a culture factory.

Aparaaditehas hosts four restaurants and two cafés, many galleries, artists’ studios, many different event spaces and venues. There is a rooftop sauna and a rooftop garden. The Widget Factory is a home for many different office spaces, a co-working area called Sofa Office and rooms for numerous small and exciting shops. The courtyard called Taskupark (the Pocket Park) is the coolest meeting place in the area that hosts both concerts, flea markets and an outdoor cinema in the summer. Aparaaditehas hosts a variety of different events every week from concerts to workshops and parties to exhibitions.

TYPA centre (formerly The Estonian Print and Paper Museum) recently moved to a larger building and is located in the neighbouring courtyard.

General information

We are working on the programme right now and have just released an open call for TEH members to submit programme suggestions. Mind, this call is open ONLY to TEH members and associates.

  • Early Bird TEH full or associate member - 140 Eur (only 50 tickets available!)
  • TEH full and associate member - 180 Eur
  • Non-member - 200 Eur
  • One-day (participation only on Friday, 31 May 2024)


  • Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia.
  • Tartu is often considered the intellectual center of the country, since it is home to the nation’s oldest and most renowned university – University of Tartu.
  • The population of Tartu is about 100,000 people.

Top three recommendations of restaurants to visit during in Tartu

Top three recommendations of cafes where to enjoy a cup of coffee

Top three recommendations of bars to have the most interesting chats with the locals

MUST SEE SIGHTS in Tartu are

  • Tartu Town Hall Square together with the old town and “The Kissing Students“ fountain
  • Toome Hill park together with the Angel Bridge and Devil Bridge
  • Tartu University Botanical Garden
  • Upside Down House


  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum
  • Tartu Art Museum
  • Tartu City Museum

Read more about all these sights here


  • …has a population of just 1.3 million but is larger than Denmark or the Netherlands. Being among the least densely populated countries in Europe, Estonia makes for a great nature and city break destination for those looking to stretch out their limbs and enjoy some peace, quiet, and solitude.
  • …is more than 50% forest. It’s fair to say that Estonians have a certain tree-hugging spirit. More than half of the country is covered by forested land and almost a quarter is protected by nature. As a result, Estonia has the 4th best air quality in the world.
  • …has over 2,000 islands. Estonia is the only Baltic country with a deep-rooted and extensive island culture. Although most are uninhabited, Estonian islands tend to be rural, with some holding traces of their local Viking and medieval legacy.
  • …is a Digital Society. From voting to signing documents to doing taxes online, Estonia implements a hassle-free and modern approach to doing errands.

Accommodation & Travel Guides are coming soon!

If you have a question or need an invitation letter from us, please reach out to us at events@teh.net.

Discover Tartu!