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Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities. Founded in 2008 it now includes 55 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.

Arts Take Part is a unique and exciting new project being undertaken by Amateo, a network that serves and promotes people’s participation in the voluntary and amateur arts.

Arts Takes Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, will help to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events. In the process it will raise the profile of the participatory arts and the important impact that has on people’s lives.

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.

The overall aim of this four-year network project is to develop the capacity to engage main national and regional associations and their local networks from the sector of participatory arts in the member states and programme countries to operate trans-nationally and to support their active participation in art and cultural activities at a European level.

The specific objectives and key activities of this network project are:

  • To strengthen the cross-border contact, knowledge exchange and contact supported through a new Communication Portal.

  • To promote trans-national skills, competences and know-how through courses and conferences.

  • To exchange and disseminate key national documentation and surveys and initiate new transnational research

  • To develop new pilot work and support innovative approaches and cross-border activity

  • To initiate new flagship events including support for the European Week of Amateur Arts and initiating the Annual Amateo Award.

  • To test a new management model; by implementing a network secretariat with transversal staff functions and five clusters of transnational activity teams.

  • To strengthen the sector’s capacity to cooperate internationally

  • To engage more national and regional associations from more EU member states and programme countries, especially from Southern Europe to be members of the Amateo Network

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