CONNECT2021 Connect to the unexpected Programme: Keynotes and Workshops

CONNECT is an interactive programme offering an opportunity for cross-cultural collaboration, developing projects with partners and creative exchange through interdisciplinary workshops.

In 2020 we had planned a live event in Brussels, but due to the pandemic we decided to reform the concept to an online version. Now, in 2021 we keep both options open. We keep our fingers crossed that it can be a live event in Maribor (Slovenia), but we also prepare the online version on the same dates. On April 30th, we’ll decide which version it will become, but you can subscribe to the event now, because there will be limited places!

In both versions the theme is ‘CONNECT to the unexpected’, and the focus will be on all sorts of community arts. Join us 4th – 6th of June to explore these themes, develop collaborative Pioneer Projects and apply for one of three grants of €2500 to develop these with partners.

Parallel with this organisers’ programme, there is an active workshop programme for enthusiastic non-professional artists from all disciplines, all age groups and all kind of communities. This year we offer two workshops:

Double dolls – Tamás Bakó and Márton Debreczeni

We’ll be dipping ourselves in the work with our bodies, focusing on partnering ways of communication through touch, attention and openness, exploring consensual movement, and get a taste of performance practice bound to the keyword “Home” of CONNECT2021. We’ll be mainly using contact techniques mixed with elements of Hungarian folklore dance.
Tamás Bakó, dancer, teacher, choreographer. Member of numerous companies, Ismael Ivo, Marco Santi, Hodworks, Artus, freelance dancer and choreographer of many productions. Winner of Stuttgart Solo dance festival. Leading teacher of contemporary dance and contact dance improvisation in Budapest Dance Academy, teacher of professional contemporary dance schools, like SEAD / Salzburg, P.A.R.T.S. / Brussels, Manufacture HES-SO / Lausanne.
Márton Debreczeni director, teacher. Member and director of Kompania and Artus Contemporary Arts Studio. Cross-field artist working with dance, fine arts, film, augmented reality. Choreographer for Budapest Philharmonic, composer of music for theatre performances and sound installations. Drama, and theatre in education teacher.

Postcards from home Maribor – Photini Papahatzi

What is HOME? Where do you feel like HOME and why? How does it feel in your new home? What do you miss? Is there an object that makes you feel HOME? A gesture, a movement, something abstract? Where is home? What does home mean? What does it symbolize and how is it defined? What is the role that the home can play in people’s lives? Ηome as an origin, as a natural environment, as the body itself, as the neighbourhood, the place, the country, the nation…

The concept of home provides a framework for a wide variety of photographic studies. At a time when migration is a daily event globally, we are returning to the concept of home, and in particular of the Hestia (Mythology).

‘Postcards from home’ is an international art community that reflects and creates on the theme of home. Postcards from home brings together local communities, refugees, immigrants and artists to reflect, create and send a postcard on the idea of HOME. Each postcard has on one side the picture taken from the participant and on the back side of the postcard the story of the photo, along with the details of the participant, if he/she want to share them. Visit to see what home is for other people on this planet!

The overall vision with this workshop: To reflect, create and share your stories and photos of what home means for you and become a part of this international community. The workshop is addressed to everyone who wants to bring their experience, their thoughts and creativity on the concept of home: anything from the home tradition and customs that was left behind or brought forward, the family archive, the new home; a person that feels like home, an idea, an object or a memory.

Photini Papahatzi born in Athens, Greece is a cultural manager, certified non-formal learning adult trainer and a visual artist. Since 2016 she organizes the project “Postcards from home”, which she created during her fellow shop at START Create Cultural Change program (2016) and since then she organises the homonymous interdisciplinary workshop in collaboration with photographers, curators and organisations in various parts of the world.
In 2021 she implements the research project “Postcards from home: Geography of feelings” with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. In 2020-2021, as a founding member of NGO Artifactory, she is working on the implementation of the project “Art + Culture vs Xenophobia” in the framework of Active Citizens Fund, of the EEA grants. She is a partner of AMAKA with which they implement the topos: Lefkada in 2020-2021.
She has organised and participated in contemporary art exhibitions (most recent: 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2018, and The Provinces , TAF Athens 2019) and in photography exhibitions in NY, Cuba, UK, Germany, Greece, FYROM, Russia and Croatia. Her works are held in
private collections in Greece and abroad. Her book “Elevador” is in the collection of the New York & Beinecke International Book Collection & Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, USA. She is a member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. Website:

*Workshop participants are asked to follow the parts of the program marked in red

DAY 1: Friday 4th June, 18.00 – 21.00 (all together)

Welcome dinner and an evening programme with local performances.
An evening to get to know each other and to get a good impression of Maribor’s cultural life.

DAY 2: Saturday 5th June

09.00 – 12.30 Workshop programme: 1st round
09.15 – 10.00 Organisers’ programme: Keynote speaker Beate Kegler

Dr. Beate Kegler

Dr. Beate Kegler researches and teaches to the topic of cultural work in rural areas, especially to the political aspects and meaning, chances and challenges of community arts for rural development. She is asked as cultural consultant by political bodies, cultural associations and networks and contributes to several juries of grant programs and scientific advisory boards. Before starting her academic career at the Department of Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim, Beate Kegler studied cultural sciences in Lüneburg (D) and London (GB) and ruled socio cultural organisations in remote territories. In the last years she has written a wide range of articles and contributed to publications like the European anthology “Vital Villages. Development of Rural Areas as a Challenge for Cultural Policy” (Vital Village bei transcript Verlag ( Together with her family she lives in a small village at the German North Sea coast.

Dr. Beate Kegler

10.00 – 11.00 Speed dating
All participants of the organizers programme are set up in a series of short, intensive one-to-one meetings, to see if there are inspiring and unexpected possibilities for a small scale, international and/or interdisciplinary project.

11.15 – 12.30 World Café – aspects of community arts
The World Cafe is a method which makes use of an informal cafe setting for participants to explore an issue by discussing it in small table groups. Discussion is held in multiple rounds of 20 minutes, with the cafe ambiance intended to allow for more relaxed and open conversations to take place.

12.30 -13.30 Lunch (all together)

13.45 – 15.45 Workshop programme: 2nd round
13.45 – 15.15 Organizers programme: Best practices
Three organizations working in the field of community arts zoom in on one of their projects:

ANASA (Winner of the Amateo Award 2020):

Anasa Cultural Center is a nonprofit, grassroots, civil society organisation working to eliminate racism, exclusion and discrimination, and promote multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue among peoples, while focusing greatly on the art forms of the African continent and its diaspora. Anasa started operating in 2010 and acquired legal status as a non-profit organisation in 2012 based in Athens, Greece. Since the beginning of our actions we have been working on empowering and integrating, through arts and culture, Greeks and young people of migrant descent who were either born in Greece or came as immigrants or refugees. ANASA offers a wide range of arts, such as circus, music, dance, singing, literature, narration, theatre, painting and gastronomy, and implements pedagogical programs and solidarity actions throughout the school year. The founders of Anasa are youth of African descent who have been born and raised in Greece and who are constantly working towards racial equality in Greece, always through the powerful tools of performing and fine arts. Nowadays Anasa has built a wide audience from different cultural backgrounds and collaborates with young professionals of Greek and migrant descent regarding administration, social media, and artistic events. The Social Circus Project is an arts and culture initiative which uses circus techniques to share the beauty of skill, art, team work, and self-discipline to youth locals of Greek, migrant or refugee backgrounds. Trainers in circus arts, such as juggling, monocycling, acrobatics, stilt technique, and rhythm games have come together to share their knowledge with youth aged 12-18 who were born and/or grew up in Greece or who arrived in the country recently. Conceptualized in 2014 and trying out some local circus meetings with Roma youth, the social circus team officially started doing outreach programmes in 2018 in refugee shelters, asylum centres, and camps around Athens, Greece. This led to a weekly 3-hour training in 2019 open to all kids of migrant or Greek origin in Kerameikos area. In the summer of 2020 the Social Circus Project of Anasa won the Amateo Award for its voluntary aspects on amateur arts for youth. At the moment the project is trying to launch an online version with tutorials and virtual meetings.

Cultural society Stična

Cultural society Stična has over 100 members in its groups. It involves theatre, music, folklore and instrumental activity and Festival Stična, which is the society’s overall project. The theatre section has three groups: adult, youth and children group Drzne in lepi, in the last years each group does one theatre production and hosts with it throughout the year in the wider area. Since 2004 the Folklore group Stična has been extremely successful, which attracted a lot of youth; besides numerous performances in Slovenia and abroad the group also prepares an annual independent evening concert. In 2010 was formed also youth group. The singing section is increasingly re-developing. For several years a male vocal cast Boys Octet and mixed choir Zborallica are also a big part of the Cultural society Stična. In 2012 the String orchestra of Cultural society Stična was established which brings together musicians from the Ivančna Gorica municipality. The big band was established in 2017 and is led by the Slovenian musician Mr. Braco Doblekar. He played in well-known bands in Slovenia as are September, Hazard, The Generals and others. Two years later joined to society also etno folk group Gross upi. All members and all the sections of Cultural society Stična have Festival Stična in common. Festival Stična should marked its twentieth anniversary in 2019, but because of virus COVID-19 it was not possible. Since 2006 festival became international. More than 250 native and foreign artistic groups performed on the stages of Stična. Through theatre, music, art and other events Festival Stična educates and promotes creativity, innovation, multiculturalism and unrecognized local artists.

The Yoram Loewenstein acting school

is located in the most neglected neighbourhood in Tel- Aviv, “the neighbourhood of hope”. The uniqueness of the school is in the combination between the highest level of professional acting studies with community work in the neighbourhood where the school is located. Few such institutions exist around the world. As part of the training to become professional actors, the acting students are committed to lead 300 participants in 19 drama groups within the community such as: children and youth at-risk, children with special needs and emotional problems, youth with mental problems, youth at risk youth from the religious sector, elementary schools in the neighbourhood, blinds and partly blinds, senior homeless youngsters, prisoners’ children and many more. Our youth at risk groups represented Israel in an international festival around the world. Our community works empower the neighbourhood residents and gives them tools for individual growth and development. Furthermore, the studio operates subscription project for the residents of our neighbourhood, who can attend the shows which are produced in our theatre hall. For most of the people in the community it is the first time in their lives to see theatre. By attending our shows (which are played by the third year acting students) they are exposed to the best classic and modern
theatre repertoire. Halil Itzhak graduated at the Yoram Loewenstein Acting Studio in 2000. He has featured in numerous television shows and commercials. He has performed in various theatres: Habima national theatre, Herzliya Theater, Tzavta Theater, Tmoona Theater and in various children’s theatres. Since 2003 he has been working at Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio as a Community Program Coordinator (working with children at risk, elderly, people with disabilities, youth at risk, migrants, homeless youngsters and more). Halil led international workshops – “from imagination to improvisation” (Thailand, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Austria and more).

15.15 – 15.45 Slow dates
The first opportunity to reconnect with other participants with shared or complementary interests to identify potential areas of collaboration.

16.00 – 19.30 Local safari and dinner at location (all together)
Several local cultural initiatives (of whom we might have seen a few performing on Friday evening) take us to their location, present their organisation, their successes and the problems they are facing. Inspiration in two directions, through discussion and brainstorms, all ended with a good joined meal.

19.30 – 21.00 (all together)

DAY 3: Sunday 6th of June

09.00 – 12.30 Workshop programme: 3rd round
09.15 – 10.00 Organisers’ programme: Keynote speaker Branka Cvjetičanin

Branka Cvjetičanin

Branka Cvjetičanin, General Artistic Programme Manager of „27 Neighbourhoods“, a flagship program within Rijeka 2020 EcoC. She is an intermedia artist, curator and cultural worker. She is working on a different artistic and cultural programs in rural and post-industrial areas in Croatia and internationaly where she brings together artists and communities in creative practice, where dialogue and art practice meets social visibility. In 1999 she initiated the idea of the Polygon – an organisation as a format of experimenting the organisation structure and setting up the space for artistic-antropological research – Branka Cvjetičanin studied various forms of performing arts, site-specific theater direction and art production (MAPA Amsterdam, Internship @Oerol Festival Terschelling). She holds the PhD on UN Urbanism from the Bauhaus Kollege Dessau.

10.00 – 12.30 Working on the project plans
Time to put the ideas on paper, helped by the inspiration canvas, which will be introduced here.

12.30 -13.30 Lunch (all together)

13.30 – 16.00 Presentations & Wrap up
Final presentation of Pioneer Project ideas and discussion to share and refine proposals, and the presentations of the outcomes of the two workshops that has been running parallel. Then time for some reflection on the weekend, and a wrap up.

*Amateo can make changes to the programme in the future due to practical and logistic reasons


To register, please complete this short form. This will provide the introductory text for all participants and support you to link with potential partners.

Participation fees:
Option A: for the live event in Maribor;
€ 200,– for the organisers’ programme, and € 100,– for workshop participants, based on shared rooms. All meals are provided. If you like a room for yourself, please contact the organisation at

Option B: for the online event (if we cannot go live)
There is a €35 participation fee, that will be collected following registration. Following payment, access to all conference materials and sessions will be provided.

We recognise that many organisations and individuals are struggling financially at this time, so we can offer a limited number of sponsored places.
If you would like to apply, please email:

CONNECT2021 is an initiative of Amateo’s Art Take Part Pioneers Projects, organized together with JSKD and with financial support of Creative Europe and the Culture of Solidarity fund

Secure a future for cultural life in Europe

Make culture central in the EU Recovery | Open letter

Amateo has co-signed the second open letter, alongside Culture Action Europe and 108 other networks and associations from across Europe!

Following the open letter published by 110 pan-European networks on 30 October 2020 “Make culture central in the EU recovery”, the group comes together again to reiterate their call to the national governments and the European Commission. In the second open letter, published today by the group, coordinated by Culture Action Europe, the European cultural community call on the Member States and the European Commission to secure a future for culture and cultural life in Europe.

Culture must be included in each and every National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) that EU countries should present to the European Commission before the 30 April deadline. The representatives of the European cultural ecosystem urge governments to dedicate at least 2% of the Recovery Fund to culture and put culture as a priority sector when using funds from Next Generation EU. In addition, 110 cultural networks call on the Member States to engage with the representatives of their cultural communities and civil society organizations in the design and implementation of the NRRPs. “Long-term structural support to rebuild the European cultural ecosystem needs to be co-developed, involving all relevant stakeholders, both public and private”, – reads the letter.

Ensuring that culture is explicitly included in the NRRPs will help secure both the future of the sector and its important contribution to Europe’s future. Reinvigorating the cultural ecosystem not only offers hope to millions of workers who saw their jobs endangered by the pandemic, it can also create new meaning and purpose to all Europeans and the European project.

CONNECT 2021 – Save the date!

CONNECT the unexpected

CONNECT to find a partner for your next international project or to create a pan-European, interdisciplinary creative work with other amateur artists.

CONNECT2021 is a two strand programme, running parallel, with some moments together.

One part of the programme is for professional and amateur arts organisations, networks and policy makers. CONNECT offers three days of inspirational presentations, sharing and visits to local initiatives, during which you identify partners and work with them to develop a proposal for a transnational, interdisciplinary pilot project. Three of these project ideas will be granted with an Amateo grant of € 2,500 each.

Alongside this programme, a three day creative workshop programme for amateur arts practitioners (all art-form and ages; 18+). Collaborating with arts practitioners with a range of specialisms, participants will create an interdisciplinary work responding to the theme ‘Home’.

Read more…


CONNECT2021 looks at the theme of ‘Home’ through the lens of Community Arts practice. We will look at ways that ‘professional’ arts organizers and networks work with non-professionals to develop interventions using shared knowledge, skills and experience to actively make a change in society.

  • How do we work with communities that are different from our own?
  • How do we build bridges between different communities?
  • And how do we make these projects and changes sustainable?

Parallel workshops, led by professional artists, will deal with the same theme in a practical way, using materials, created during Amateo’s ‘Postcards from Home’ project (running since November 2020) as inspiration. 


04/05/06 June 2021


MARIBOR, Slovenia (and online*)


  • People of all ages who want to work internationally and interdisciplinary and have experience with one or more artform
  • Students interested in community arts facilitation, as well as people who have recently finished their studies.
  • Organisations/artists who are working in community based art projects and want to develop their practice and network.
  • Network organisations and policy makers


Three days to:

  • Enjoy art initiatives and performances
  • Hear inspiring keynote speakers, share knowledge and experience
  • Meet colleagues and creative citizens from all over Europe
  • Explore the cultural field in Maribor and its surroundings
  • Get to know each other, find a potential partner and design a small project together.
    Amateo awards three project proposals with a € 2,500 grant to develop the idea


We set aside three days to be immersed in good company; watching, listening, talking, designing and making art with non-professional artists. Approaches and contexts vary hugely across Europe, CONNECT is a platform where people can share, be curious and test ideas together, which has resulted in successful long term collaboration.

*CONNECT2021 will be a hybrid physical event and will make it possible for people who cannot travel to join live events virtually. If Europe is still in lockdown the event will be completely virtual (final decision at the end of April 2021)


The full programme will be published before the end of April. Want to know more?
Email us at pioneers[]

The cost will be € 200 per person for the organization’s programme / € 100,– per person for the creative workshop (this participation fee includes food and shared accommodation in Maribor, a small number of bursaries will be available for those unable to pay).
Online participation is €35

CONNECT2021 is an initiative of Amateo’s Art Take Part Pioneers Projects, organized together with JSKD and with financial support of Creative Europe and the  Culture of Solidarity fund

Opendoek – Belgium

AMATEO MEMBER: Opendoek Belgium

Member country: Belgium
Contact person: Bram De Win, project coordinator


OPENDOEK is the umbrella organization supporting amateur theatre in Flanders and Brussels (Belgium) and wants to reach out to everybody who has a passion for theatre, individual artists as well as theatre companies.


OPENDOEK wants to inspire the field and create a platform to promote and renew amateur theatre. It wants to expand the field and remove boundaries of artists, theatre groups and stage art in general. OPENDOEK is open to everybody, every theatre style, every specialism and all new developments. It puts effort into the hybridity of the theatre field. OPENDOEK offers members and companies organizational and artistic support like insurance, copyright advice, the theatre library, workshops, coaching…

Furthermore, it stimulates creativity, organizes meetings, creates interaction through festivals, diverse projects, encounters… to let amateurs and professionals share experience and inspiration with each other. Through JongDOEK and AGE on stAGE, young and old people get mobilized and inspired to work on the theatre of the future and through initiatives and cooperation OPENDOEK encourages governments to support the amateur arts.

OPENDOEK also works on the internationalization of amateur arts. Through its policy, OPENDOEK works with 4 important parameters and verifies them in every aspect of the organization: inclusive, diverse, sustainable and professional.

Why Amateo?

Het Forum voor Amateurkunsten in Flanders has been the administrative home of Amateo for a long time, and they recommended us to join the Amateo network. For OPENDOEK it is important to meet international partners in order to create sustainable collaborations.

Importance of international cooperation?

All these different origins have different views and perspectives on the world we live in. These connections enrich our organizations and lead us to new creative development.

Future hopes?

Best case scenario, the network will grow with more members and countries and these members will inspire each other. This will result in more and greater collaborations.

If you want to read more about OPENDOEK, please visit their web page!

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

Ideias do Levante – Portugal

AMATEO MEMBER: Ideias do Levante – Cultural Association

Member country: Portugal
Contact person: Roberto Estorninho, chairman of the board

Ideias do Levante is a non profit cultural association based in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve, in the city of Lagoa. As a cultural association, we stage events, festivals, provide education about performing arts and fine arts. And we promote healthy and sustainable activities.

It was inspired by the restlessness of the wind, which gave it its name, which emerged as the non-profit, the Cultural Association of Lagoa – Ideias do Levante, on 27 April 1995. At its origin, there was a group of young people who, bewitched by the south-east wind and by the force of their ideas, desired to foment culture in the Municipality of Lagoa under the motto “grab your dreams!”.

There are several cultural activities (and other activities) that the association develops throughout each year in order to build new audiences and participants for the association. Among all these activities, we highlight the regular classes, training and workshops in various aspects, and the nuclei of the association, namely in the areas of Theater, Music, Dance, Cinema, Photography, and the Internet.

We have joined the Amateo network to connect with other institutions and to share knowledge and support. By connecting internationally we will be profiting from a better understanding regarding different realities, different cultures and different ways to act and to react.

We believe that Amateo, as a network, can make the difference and add value to culture, locally and globally. On behalf of Ideias do Levante, we are so grateful to be part of it.

Video message from Roberto Estorninho, President of Ideias do Levante

If you want to read more about Ideas do Levante, please visit their web page!

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

Post Bellum – Czech Republic

AMATEO MEMBER: Post Bellum – Memory of Nation’s Theatre

Member country: Czech Republic
Contact person: Tamara Pomoriski, M.A., theatre maker, artistic director


Post Bellum is a non-governmental, non-profit organization which documents the memories of witnesses of the important historical phenomena of the 20th century and which tries to pass these testimonies on to the broader public since 2001. We are led by the conviction that witnesses of historic events need to have an opportunity to tell their stories in detail and in their entirety. These memories bear precious testimony not only about modern history, but about the character of the Czech people as well. If they are not preserved for the present-day and future generations, the society will hardly be able to cope with its history of totalitarianism. Our aim is to form a collection of interviews as extensive as possible – a collection of authentic personal stories and testimonies.


Apart from recording witnesses’ memories, Post Bellum tries to pass on their stories to the broader public. We prepare exhibitions, publish books and organize social events. We continuously search for new ways of getting people interested in the topic, of stirring up a society-wide debate on democratic values. Memory of Nation’s Theatre is an educational and creative project for youngsters. The participants learn about the stories and historical events of the 20th century and get to know the different perspectives, circumstances and attitudes of people who have experienced the dramatic moments of World War II and Communism. On the basis of a specific story, participants will understand the historical context of the 20th century and become familiar with the essence of totalitarian regimes. The project offers to young people the opportunity to respond to recent historical events.

Why Amateo?

Post Bellum wants to be part of a network of partner organizations within and without Europe, and is actively working to create and develop such a network. We bring together documentarians, historians, journalists, teachers and artists in order to preserve peoples’ memories, develop critical thinking and support the values at the core of our society.

Importance of international cooperation?

We want to bring together people who care about the past and who support its preservation – not only through theatre and not only among young people. Our goal is to expand this approach within Europe and beyond. Our international collection,, is one of the broadest open databases of witness testimonies and contains hundreds of recordings of foreign witnesses from tens of countries.

Future hopes?

Thanks to Amateo, we have established cooperation with several international partners (from the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia and Belgium) at the Memory of the Nation’s Theatre and created amazing projects such as Hidden Tracks, Meeting Unknown and We are the Memory. We look forward to new international friendships and new projects!

If you want to read more about Post Bellum, please visit their web page!

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

Resetting the Stage: Programme

Amateo online Conference

Friday 22 January 2021

10:30 – 12:00 CET: Keynote speakers/interviews
13:30 – 14:00 CET: ‘Your Stage’
14:00 – 15:00 CET: Workshop

Amateo invites you to join this special online conference where we will discuss how participatory arts can help to tackle the big issues in our world. We will hear from experts from across Europe, share our past experiences and think positively and ambitiously about the future.

By means of best practices we want to explore new opportunities and inspire practitioners and organisers of participatory arts, politicians, and others. Together with inspiring experts, we’ll assess ways to collaborate and Reset the Stage by means of some examples that go beyond art for art’s sake, they make art for our sake.

During some engaging and interactive sessions we’ll try to find answers to these questions: How to stimulate collaboration between the participatory arts and other sectors/domains (like health & wellbeing / Sustainable Development Goals / biodiversity / agriculture / shrinkage areas / children’s rights / gender equality). And how can local/regional government authorities become cooperation partners of organisations in the voluntary and amateur arts?

How do we tackle global problems with imagination, beauty and creativity?

As well as an inspiring session in the morning, you will also have the chance to present your own ideas or proposals on creative community art projects that aim for broader societal impact in the afternoon programme. No slides, no sales pitches – just inspiring ideas! The stage is yours…

Merlijn Twaalfhoven will send us into the weekend with an inspiring workshop: Long-term thinking for a short-term world.


10:30 – 12:00 (CET)
Keynote speakers & interviews
  • Tania Banotti (IE), Director of Creative Ireland: ‘Engaging the Public on Climate Change through the Cultural and Creative Sectors. More about Tania….
  • Andreas Ceska (AT), Art Director, Theatre for Education: ‘Using performing art with children and young people in India, for children’s rights, education, health care, gender equality and against poverty and climate change’. More about Andreas….
  • Sjoerd Feitsma (NL), Director of Platform ACCT (Platform Labor Market Cultural and Creative Future) and former councilor of the city of Leeuwarden (European Capital of Culture 2018): ‘Opportunities for governments in collaboration with the cultural and creative sector’. More about Sjoerd…
  • Merlijn Twaalfhoven (NL), Director, The Turn Club, musician, composer and organiser of (music) events: ‘Tackling world problems with imagination, beauty and creativity’. More about Merlijn…
  • Juraj Čarný (SK), Director of WANDERING GALLERY nomadSpace: ‘Artistic Activism with mobile art projects and exhibitions and mobilizing art to reach all walks of life’. More about Juraj….
  • Q&A

13:30 – 14:00 (CET)
‘Your Stage’

Do you have an idea worth spreading?
Have you thought of a project or are you currently bringing a project to life?
Do you have an inspiring idea you want to share, or are you looking for tips/European partners?
We are looking for 2-3 minute talks about ideas or proposals on creative community art projects that aim for broader societal impact. No slides, no sales pitches – just inspiring ideas! The stage is yours…

14:00 – 15:00 (CET) Workshop
Merlijn Twaalfhoven: Long-term thinking for a short-term world

Underneath all the major problems the world is grappling with is one crystal clear cause; we only think of the short term.
In this workshop, Merlijn Twaalfhoven takes us out of this time bubble. He takes us on a tour of how we can see beyond our own generation.
A new way to stand in time so that we can ultimately be a good ancestor to our grandchildren’s children. How can we give voice to future generations? And how can creativity help us to realize that we can do things ourselves?

Jan-Willem van Kruyssen & Francesca Robson


Registration is closed.
This event took place on 22 January 2021.

Vlamo – Belgium

AMATEO MEMBER: VLAMO (The Flemish Association of Music Bands and Musicians)

Member country: Belgium
Contact person: Jan Matthys, CEO


VLAMO wants amateur instrumental music to flourish in Flanders, Belgium. We work for 1200 amateur orchestras (or 65000 musicians) around Flanders. Most of the orchestras are wind bands and fanfare orchestras (typical for the low countries), but we also have members which are brass bands, symphony orchestras, string orchestras, pipe bands, show bands, drum bands, accordion orchestras, majorettes and twirlers, etc.


We have a broad range of services. We support our members with advice, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. We organise events, festivals, projects and competitions. We have a music library with 40000 music scores, recordings, books and magazines. But maybe most important, we want to be a platform and connect people in real life and through digital platforms. We try to improve the image of our amateur music scene. Through advocacy we try to improve the framework for amateur orchestras and musicians.

Why Amateo?

We joined Amateo to exchange knowledge and to make international connections. In the first years going to the annual Amateo conference was also a team building activity for the Flemish amateur arts organisations, which was really fun!

Importance of international cooperation?

We all live in a European context and sharing knowledge can be interesting for all members. Benchmarking can be useful for advocacy and policy workers. Flanders is a small region in the heart of Europe. For us it is unthinkable not to cooperate internationally. The borders of our neighboring countries are always very close. For our members it is always an enriching experience to go abroad, meet other European orchestras and cultures. It confronts us with the beautiful diversity within the European Union, and at the same time it strengthens the unity of the union.

Future hopes?

I hope Amateo becomes a strong network and the go-to organisation for people who have questions about amateur arts in Europe. It would be very nice if we could put the amateur arts higher on the European agenda. The amateur arts can be used as a tool to build a more connected Europe. It can help to build an open, diverse and inclusive society.

If you want to read more about VLAMO, please visit their web page!

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

New Amateo Research Publication: Slovenia


In 2020, as part of the “Arts Take Part” project, our team managed to translate into English and publish another research publication (this time it is a Slovenian publication) and we are excited to share it with you!

The purpose of this research is to identify the needs and priorities for networking and advocacy in amateur cultural activities by analyzing the financing, human resources and spatial capacities of cultural societies, mentorships, advocacy, consulting, informing, networking and cooperation with related organizations. It was led by The Union of Cultural Societies of Slovenia in cooperation with the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities (JSKD).


Amateur culture in Slovenia is a wide-ranging sector compared to other cultural sectors, which is why it is difficult to precisely delimit or define its area of activity. There are around 5.000 cultural societies and groups active on the field of amateur art and culture in Slovenia, with more than 100.000 actively involved adults. They showcase approximately 25.000 cultural events per year, which are viewed by 4.000.000 visitors.


Generally, cultural societies find the situation in amateur culture good locally and nationally. Only a few respondents (5.6% for the local level and 3.9% for the national level) believe that the general state of amateur culture is insufficient, which shows that both the state and local communities take good care of amateur culture and creativity. The respondents identified several reasons for low scores (sufficient and insufficient) for amateur culture in local communities (26.4%) and in general (21.3%). The most common reasons are related to financing, but other reasons are: insufficient engagement and presence in devising local cultural policies, insufficient interest of municipal authorities in the development of cultural activities, spatial problems, disinterest in amateur culture, especially among young people, insufficient programme cooperation and interaction between different activities of societies, vast bureaucracy, small audiences, lack of adequate staff, lack of young people to carry on work, ageing members of cultural societies, poor regulation of remuneration to mentors, lack of local education and training, insufficient promotion of amateur culture, lack of concrete instructions for monitoring and adapting to amendments to legislation, inadequate national cultural policy, lack of concrete guidelines for societies’ operation, poor links between culture and tourism, lack of time for proper preparation of cultural programmes, activities and events.

Get Inspired! Amateo Award Winners

Amateo Award Winner 2018

Op Roet (Netherlands): EdvanHoornFucktheSystem 

Around the Dutch city of Hoorn in 2018, refugees united with more than 40 amateur actors, singers and musicians to create a very special musical.

The script was based on the real story of EdvanHoorn who was born in Hoorn and worked for 25 years with refugees, mostly in Syria. He’s credited with building camps, roads and hospitals. The play is the story of Ed, a loner, who wants to help the refugees fight against the systems that prevent them from improving their conditions.

20 refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Iraq staying in the region took part and joined the performance in Phylipsfactory, where the rough walls of the great old factory were filled with projected images as the backdrop to the play. 2000 people came to watch the performance. 

Every refugee buddied-up with a Dutch member of the cast, learning the language and making friends. The play and performance of EdvanHoorn – with food and drink circulated afterwards – became a special moment where cultures were shared.