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Amateo Award WinnerS 2022

For the first time ever, we are delighted to announce two winners of the annual Amateo Award! 🏆

Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities, is delighted to announce, for the first time ever, two winning groups at its 5th annual award ceremony, held online, on December 15th. The happy groups that won the prestigious Amateo Award are…

Laugh-Able Comedy Night from England and Por um GalhoSocial and Artistic Intervention for Nature – developed by GRASSA (Social Solidarity Institution), from Portugal!

The most important criteria we had in mind when making the decision were social impact and artistic value of the project. We were also looking for a project that was innovative, original and included vulnerable social groups. After a long discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the four finalists, we chose two projects out of the four as our favorites, but we felt that because of their differences they just couldn’t be compared fairly. We decided that the best decision in this case was not to decide at all. We felt that choosing either one of the projects would mean rejecting another project that also has a large social impact and was equally original.

Kaja Savodnik, Amateo’s Board member and member of the jury for the Amateo Award 2022

Laugh-Able Comedy Night

Laugh-Able Comedy Night is an Accessible Disability and Mental Health Comedy Night set up by Autistic Comedian Mark Nicholas for the sole purpose of making comedy more accessible for those with additional needs. Mark has been running successful nights physically at a Local Library in Redbridge East London called Vision Redbridge Libraries for over 3 years. He’s also ran these nights over Zoom during the pandemic and even had TV Comic Rosie Jones coming along to perform. 

Mark recently collaborated with a local East London Disability and Mental Health Charity called One Place East and won a grant from the Mayor of London Culture Seeds Project to deliver free comedy workshops to local people with disabilities and mental health which led to a showcase they all took part in. Mark Also recently worked with his agency Ingenious Fools to win a Grant to deliver a Laugh-Able Showcase at the New Arts Exchange in Nottingham. Mark continues to work with OPE, Vision and Ingenious Fools to deliver successful workshops and Showcases up and down the country and hosts a regular free monthly night at Vision Redbridge Libraries.

Por um Galho – Social and Artistic Intervention for Nature

Por um Galho – Social and Artistic Intervention for Nature is an interactive environmental art project, located in Antas – Esposende, Portugal. It was developed by GRASSA (Social Solidarity Institution), together with the environmental partners Rio Neiva, Litoral Norte Nature Park, the Antas Parish Council and the Esposende City Council.

Five installations were built with 100% natural materials, especially invasive plants from the Litoral Norte Nature Park, and were inspired by the stories and experiences of the community. Project activities included exploration walks, artistic experimentation workshops, environmental and educational activities, project discussion sessions, community stories sessions, field trips, performance preparation sessions.

The project involved people over 65, retired, pensioners or other adults without a professional occupation in order to enhance the knowledge and skills of seniors, while promoting active ageing and lifelong learning. They had tried new art techniques with natural materials, while getting a sense of belonging to the group. Participation in this project was voluntary and free, and boosted self-esteem, wellbeing, civic and political awareness as well as cultivating higher appreciation for the intangible heritage of the community.

2022 Jury

The jury members who selected the four finalists were composed of president and members of Amateo board: Almuth Fricke (Centre of competence for Creative Ageing and Inclusive Arts (kubia), Germany), Michelle Sweeney (Fife Cultural Trust, UK), Kaja Savodnik (Slovenia) and Piet Roorda (LKCA, Netherlands).

The 2022 finalists 

  • Laugh-Able Comedy Night (England) – Accessible comedy performances to tackle mental health issues, set in various venues, from libraries to art spaces.
  • Kulturanova (Serbia) Many Perspectives, Many Experiences: Oral Histories – Storytelling project including oral histories and multimedia art by local community members.
  • Clydeside Singers (Scotland) It’s Still Me Inside – Original Song. Partnership Project of Clydeside Singers (c/o Greigarious CAS SCIO SC043756) and dementia friendly singing group called Musical Minds Inverclyde (MMI).
  • Grassa – Grupo de Ação de Solidariedade Social de Antas (Portugal) Por um Galho – Social and Artistic Intervention for Nature – An interactive environmental art project, located in Antas – Esposende, Portugal, which promotes the involvement of the senior population in the design, performance and presentation of nature-based art installations.

Read more about the 2022 Amateo Award finalists and their projects.

Follow #AmateoAward2022 on Facebook and Twitter for more updates from the awards ceremony which took place online, with participants from all over Europe! Watch the ceremony here!

Note to editors

The Amateo Award celebrates excellence in the voluntary and amateur arts, meaning those activities led by the community for their own benefit. Over the past five years, we have been shining a light on various groups and projects tackling social inclusion, innovation, diversity and local heritage through arts and creativity. In 2022, projects from 14 countries applied for the Amateo Award, led by people who share a strong passion for arts and creativity. Featuring a great mix of art forms, these projects demonstrate resilience and original ways to tackle inclusion of refugees and LGBTQ+ communities, climate action, age accessibility, mental health issues (such as dementia) and much more…

Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities that serves and promotes people’s participation in the voluntary and amateur arts. Founded in 2008 it includes 58 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.

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