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Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities. Founded in 2008 it now includes 51 national and regional umbrellas and associations from EU member states and programme countries.

Amateo sees active participation in the arts as a core value for a free and open society as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Active participation in arts and cultural activities empowers individuals to freely express themselves and promotes cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship with an added value for humanistic and democratic values.

The participatory arts (amateur arts and voluntary culture) are a vital aspect of civic life for people across the European Union. A large number of voluntary and paid staff and artists are employed in a myriad of associations to provide arts based activities for about 38% of the population in the member states, with strong added value through personal empowerment, cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship.

While the benefits of participation are clear for those involved at a local level, we aim to secure wider international recognition at a national level of the importance of this work to our social, civic, political and cultural lives. We want to encourage and support the many small organisations that are involved in this work to recognise and promote their work at a national and cross-European level.

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