What is the overall mission of this team during the Arts Take Part project?

The mission of the Pioneer Project Team is officially ‘To implement full support to innovative cross-border pilot work, identify and assess new innovative cross-border pilot work, exchange good practice and share innovative ideas, including topics of engaging marginalised social groups (ageing, disadvantaged, ethnic, migrants)’, and we do that by ‘providing contact fora, project fair meetings, and advice and helpdesk; and initiate one own pilot project and allocate micro-grants to new initiatives – which is of course a lot of work for a team of four people.

What has the team been doing recently?

In year 1 we first focused on trying to formulate a definition. We started as Pilot projects, then we realised that we were not looking for Pilots, but for Pioneers. So we came up with a definition of pioneer projects in the context of Amateo’s Arts Take Part programme, which is:

  • ‘A pioneer project is a kind of artistic laboratory; a small scale project, delivered in a short period of time, with an experimental character, made by and/or performed by (mainly) non-professional artist/performers.
  • A pioneer project is designed to try out new things, like working methods, artistic approaches, or collaborations.
  • A pioneer project delivered as an artistic project in itself, but picked up by Amateo as a good and inspiring example, easily to copy or adapt, without loosing its original approach.’

Within the Arts Take Part project:

  • It should have an international component (European collaboration and/or exchange)
  • It should have to do with one of the targeted groups as mentioned in the Arts Take Part project plan (Older people, the disadvantaged, youth, outskirt areas, lifelong learning, democracy building, disabled people)
  • It should have an interdisciplinary component

Or at least two out of the three above-mentioned elements.

In March 2018 we had our first CONNECT: a four day working-conference in Deventer, Netherlands, where 40 people (young people, young creatives, organisations and policymakers) were together to work, talk, see performances, meet local organisations and make plans for pioneer projects. And we are happy to tell you that one of the projects born here (a cooperation between youth theatre organisations from Finland, Scotland, The Netherlands and Slovenia) just got a Erasmus+ grant.

Pioneer Projects - CONNECT 2018 - Deventer

What are you working on for the future?

Now we are working hard of the second edition of CONNECT, which will take place in Narva, Estonia, from 14 – 17 of March 2019. The sub-title of CONNECT 2019 is ‘create new perspectives’. With this sub-title we would like to encourage young people, young creatives and organisations from all possible arts disciplines to come and join, to stimulate not only the international aspect, but also the interdisciplinary aspect.
And to encourage that, we are also happy to announce that we can reward three project-ideas that are made during CONNECT 2019 with a mini-grant of € 2.500 each.
In the end we would like to build a European community of pioneers within the bigger Amateo family. We can meet during CONNECT or the other pioneer presentations, and we can share information through the Facebook page or the Amateo website

What are the highlights or best moments so far?

CONNECT 2018 was a highlight, because here it was very clear what we as the Pioneer Projects team want to do: bring people together, create time and space to talk and exchange, to get inspired, and to make new plans. But the pioneer presentation in Ljubljana, during the annual Amateo conference was also a highlight. It works very well to talk about art, and at the same time be able to talk with the people we are working for, and see some inspiring performances.

How can other Amateo members, or non-members, get involved with this work?

Join CONNECT 2019 in Estonia, or follow us on the Facebook page.


Arts Take Part is a four-year network project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Find out more about Arts Take Part on the project page.

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