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ENCC is an International network of arts and cultural centres, founded in Turnhout-Belgium in june 1994.
The network is functioning on the exchanges between its members. The secretariat is done on voluntary base, without support from European institutes.

One of the primary conditions for a better co-operation and an intense cultural exchange is a better knowledge of each other and of the way we operate. Not only national cultural institutes have a mission to fulfil in Europe's future. Also local actors in the cultural field do need a platform where they can meet, talk about their experiences, dream about projects in co-operation with partners all over Europe.

Europe is a beautiful mosaic of cultures; arts products and arts education can teach us, perhaps more than history itself, about daily life and global culture of a region. We live in a time where mass events, from stadium rock concerts to open-air opera performances, tour from continent to continent and attract then thousands of people, a time where television and mass media are key factors in the growing cocooning. Therefore we are convinced that local cultural institutes and their artistic programmes become more important than ever before.

Europe becomes smaller as mobility increases so fast and even new language technologies will lower barriers to co-operate with each other. This makes it possible that staff members of local cultural institutes by closer networking become strong intermediaries between the arts, artists and the public, not only on the local level but also on European level.

Multi-disciplinary cultural centres have their own way of acting, their own problems and fields of interest. Therefore the ENCC aims to reach as close as possible its criteria for membership. The ENCC wants to be their platform: networking on a global level for acting stronger in the local community.

California Vineyards. San Francisco: Visit luxury shops along maiden lane. On Geary and Sutter streets, art galleries stay open late on the first Thursdays of the month. June brings pride month, a celebration of the city's gay community. Sonoma Valley/Glen Ellen: Luxury lodgings abound in this charming town in the heart of the vineyard-rich Sonoma Valley.

Focus on Los Angeles. Yes, the stars live in Los Angeles - Demi Moore eating at The Ivy, Jack Nicholson cheering at a Lakers basketball game, Jennifer Aniston on the beach - and they live here for the same reasons you visit: great leisure opportunities, exciting events and camera-ready ocean sunsets.

Central Valley. With endless miles of orchards, vineyards, tomato fields and other crops, the verdant central Valley is known as California's breadbasket. Down the country roads around Davis, Stockton, Fresno and Modesto, you'll find roadside farm stalls and farmers' markets selling everything from homemade marinated artichoke hearts to braids of garlic.

Best Theme Parks. Say "hi" to Mickey and friends and feel the magic of Anaheim's Disneyland Park, especially at night when it lights up with parades and fireworks. Next-door at Disney's California Adventure, take a simulated hang glider tour in Soarin' Over California or ride the adrenalin-pumping The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Gold Country. Evidence of California's history is everywhere in the centrally located Gold Country. Tour the restored district of Old Sacramento, which sprang up almost overnight after the discovery of gold in the nearby foothills in 1848. Stroll around Angels Camp, the setting for Mark Twain's 1867 short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

San Francisco. From sailing boats skimming under the Golden Gate Bridge, to clanging cable cars climbing steep hills, San Francisco has a magic that consistently makes it one of the most exciting cities in the world. taste fresh-steamed Dungeness crab on fisherman's wharf. Shop for treasures along luxurious maiden lane. enjoy long-running shows: the circus-like Teatro ZinZanni and the irreverent musical revue, Beach Blanket Babylon.

Orange County. With miles of sun-kissed beaches and some of the world's best-loved theme parks, it's no surprise that Orange County makes it onto most visitors' must-see lists. With Disneyland Park, Disney's California Adventure Park and Knott's Berry Farm all within the region, "OC" makes a fantastic family destination.

North Coast. Rent a bike to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Visit Alcatraz Island and its famous prison. In Golden Gate Park, tour the new California Academy of Sciences (an ultra-green building, with eye-catching exhibits), then walk to the glorious de Young Museum. Visit colorful Fisherman's Wharf. At Pier 39, get more sightseeing ideas at the California Welcome Center.

High Sierra. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is a geological wonder, home to three national parks - the glacier-carved canyons and "big tree" forests of Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks, as well as spectacular yosemite. Ski resorts (many open in summer for hiking and mountain biking) dot the steep slopes, especially around the jewel of the Sierra, turquoise blue Lake Tahoe.


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