Member country: United Kingdom Contact person:Hollie Wegner-Jaszkin, Communications and Marketing Manager
Who is YTAS? Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) is the national development organisation and umbrella body for Scotland’s youth theatre sector. We support inspiring experiences for young people by connecting and training the people who work with them.
What do you do? As a development body, we celebrate and encourage ambition, innovation and progression: improving pathways and aiming for quality in all that we do. We support a membership of around 120 youth theatre organisations and practitioners all across Scotland. Each week they engage around 25,000 young people in youth theatre activity. YTAS provides direct services to young people, youth groups and their leaders through a combination of youth theatre projects, training and professional development, and information and advocacy.
Why have you joined Amateo? We have joined Amateo to share knowledge, skills, and resources across seas and borders, and to support our international outlook.
What is the importance of international connections? As part of our focus on international connections, YTAS is the lead partner of a new project called the BUZZ Network. We, and other leading arts organisations from Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Germany, have been awarded funding from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union to share and develop youth theatre practice across the continent for the first time.
Over the next three years, the BUZZ Network will deliver multinational training events for youth theatre practitioners, engaging over 100 professionals from around twenty European countries. Alongside training, the BUZZ Network will undertake the first mapping research of youth theatre across Europe, and create a new web portal to increase awareness of cross-border opportunities for over 28,500 European youth theatre participants and professionals.
What are you future plans? YTAS and their BUZZ Network partners are currently recruiting European-based youth theatre artists to take part in training events all across the continent. To apply or to read more, go to buzznetwork.eu or ytas.org.uk/buzz-network.
Member country: Montenegro Contact person: Danijela Bokan, President of organisation
Who? Our organisation works all over Montenegro and represents a union of 28 independent folk groups at the moment. We welcome all organisations working in the field of tradition and culture. Cultural heritage in Montenegro is great and we are trying to explore the old days and retell the story in a complete new way.
What? We normally organise international festivals as well as national staging events such as a festival for children, veterans and active folklore groups, various cultural manifestations for folk dancing groups and choirs. We are also working in the education field and have organised about 15 seminars and workshops for interested groups, even international. All this is done with a scope to promote tradition, culture and heritage.
Why Amateo? We have joined the Amateo network to de-provincialise our tradition and find partners with similar interests, find friends and be part of big Amateo family across Europe.
Importance of international connections? For us it is very important to make international connections and collaborate, getting the opportunity to represent all Montenegrin treasures and to learn about heritage, culture and art from other countries, to learn how to be more tolerant and to accept all types of differences.
Future hopes? We hope that we shall find the way to participate together in some new Amateo project, we wish that the Amateo network becomes bigger and stronger, to connect people and promote eternal values, art, culture and humanism. We send to all the best greetings from Montenegro!
Contact person: Mr. Vassili Golikov, programme director of Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare
Who is SSCW? Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare (SSCW) is a public interest non-governmental organisation that was created December, 8th in 1989. During these years, SSCW has been working actively towards creating a child and youth friendly environment in our society. Each year we have broadened the reach of our activities to initiate broad-based and society-wide noticeable initiatives. Today SSCW has conducted and supported more than 220 projects, not only in the county but also lately on an international level by using culture and education as one of the good methods to reach organisation goals.
What do you do? SSCW activity is consistently expanding. Activities have been directed at the entire nation and more specifically different areas of Estonian country. SSCW has been actively working with partners on culture (promoting cultural cooperation), education (intercultural education cooperation) and youth (youth participation, engagement and advocacy and volunteer work) from the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, Slovenia, Belgium, etc. SSCW is celebrating its own 30th anniversary in 2019. A small regional organisation has grown over three decades into a respected organisation, capable of conducting creative projects and initiatives on the local, national and international level and is a part of (among other things) Estonian Civil Society Concept joint committee, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), Anna Lindh Foundation Estonian network, Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, Amateo and has a consultative status with ECOSOC at the UN.
Although the organisation has received bigger international opportunities, SSCW has always valued local development at Ida-Virumaa and actively involving organisations who don’t speak Estonian as a main language. SSCW translates information related to civil society and organises events to increase awareness and skills, among them Ida-Virumaa Civil Society Forum and Ida-Virumaa Youth Forum. A special programme is also developed for youth and culture fields – by promoting cooperation between youth and adults via culture, by staging performances, running a creative training and conferences (conference.sscw.ee), musicals (muusikal.sscw.ee), singing in a choir (pcao.sscw.ee), running a cultural festivals etc.
SSCW is presently also in charge of Ida-Virumaa Civil Society Network that involves culture organisations, social and educational organisations and experts. Our development cooperation consists of activities that we do in the frameworks of our projects, especially relating to international cooperation. We have done several projects in cooperation with our partners from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Southern American countries. With countries of North-Africa (Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia) we cooperate on developing their civil society and we support (when we can) cultural and youth organisations and community development. We are also an active partner in the networks of Peace Child International and Water & Youth, where we contribute to environmental issues and have participated in expert meetings in Scotland (UK), Korea, Canada, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and Spain. In addition, one of our organisation’s programmes is propagating healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle and raising awareness of Intercultural Dialogue and World Education.
Why did you join Amateo? Our organisation has joined with the Amateo network because we are interested to cooperate with culture and creative organisations, including cultural research organisations. We want to get a new impulse in cultural cooperation with European cultural cooperation, get new skills and knowledge from European colleagues. We also were happy to host a meeting of the CONNECT programme in March 2019.
Why are international connections important? It’s important to communicate and collaborate with international partners, as is increasing capacity of involved parties. We are happy to be part of the network, as it connects a unique European network of creative practitioners, cultural policy-makers, civil society organisations, research organsiations and other interested bodies, united to create together real and lasting change in cultural field’s most pressing problems. Collaboration with international partners is a great opportunity to get new skills, knowledge, influence on national and EU policies, also advocate our common goals and run joint workshops, training, study visits, and cultural projects including new methods and visions.
What are your future hopes? We hope that the Amateo network will became a strong influential advocacy and culture cooperation organisation, that will be recognised by the EU member states and European Commission as an important player in culture and creative fields.
We hope that the Amateo network will increase its capacity by empowering its own members and running a strong practical joint cooperation between its members, by providing necessary support and tools for this better cultural participation in Europe.
Member country: Finland Contact person: Sebastian Gripenberg, Executive Director
FSU is a youth organization. We represent swedish-speaking youth in Finland and focus on cultural youth work. We have approximately 50000 members and 300 local associations within our organization.
We focus primarily on cultural activities, including events. A large part of our activities are concerned with non-formal education, events, support to our organizations and advocacy.
Why join Amateo?
To increase our understanding of the voluntary cultural field in Europe, to learn about the great things being done in other countries and to make new friends.
Importance of international connections?
No one individual or organization has all the answers. We are all concerned with similar problems and challenges and need to learn from each other. True integration in Europe requires real popular engagement, and organizations like Amateo have an important role to play here.
I hope that Amateo can develop its capacities and increase its reach and strive to bring the member organizations closer together.
Member country: Serbia Contact person: Savo Mučibabić, Secretary
Who? SUSAV is an umbrella organization for amateur culture in Vojvodina, a province of Serbia. During the last four years it is working as a non-governmental member organization which reunite over 250.000 adults, children and youths engaged in different cultural activities. The majority of the programs are carried out through a pyramid scheme – from almost every local community in the province of Vojvodina, through municipal and regional competitions to final province and republic festivals. This systematic selection provides qualitative development.
What? SUSAV supervises the implementation of cultural competitions on lower – municipal and regional levels and organize province festivals for various cultural activities ranging from choirs, orchestras (both folk/traditional and classical music), folklore, theater and recitations to visual art. At all these levels, work also includes cultural education: expert jury teams conduct interviews with the ensemble leaders in order to educate and improve the quality of their work. Apart of this, our alliance organise special courses and seminars for advanced professional training for all ensembles leaders who want to raise their level of professional work and to achieve results on scenes around the world.
Why join Amateo? We are convinced that membership in the European network Amateo can help us to improve the national status and care for all amateur creativity in our country. Another, no less important reason is to get new contacts and find an inspiration for new cultural cooperation.
Importance of international connections? International cooperation is important for acquiring new experiences, knowledge and acquaintance with examples of good practice. Also, we want to give our members more opportunities for international knowledge and skills sharing.
Future hopes? Our hope for the Amateo network is that the EU will continue to support its work. It will also be a positive indication to all national governments how to behave towards amateur arts. It is our wish that Amateo becomes the founder of the Amateo Olympiad project, which will bring together the best national representatives from various fields of amateur art.
Member country: The Netherlands Contact person: Piet Roorda, senior cultural participation officer
Who? LKCA is the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts in the Netherlands, based in Utrecht. LKCA is for everyone who is committed to education and participation in culture and the arts, both within the education system and beyond. Anyone working in or involved with these sectors can benefit from the expertise and opportunities for active knowledge exchange that LKCA offers.
Aim Our aim is to help a wide range of people, including art teachers, internal culture coordinators and coaches, education officers within cultural institutions, policy officers, politicians, researchers, school managers, and administrators in the education sector and in umbrella organisations for the amateur arts. Volunteers working in areas such as the amateur arts can also consult LKCA for information.
Funding LKCA is part of the Dutch Cultural System and receives funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for its nationwide support of the education and amateur arts sectors.
What? LKCA is committed to:
facilitating high-quality, active cultural education, both inside and outside school
encouraging active cultural participation that is available and accessible to all
increasing support for cultural education and participation
connecting cultural education and active cultural participation with society as a whole.
Meeting fellow professionals through LKCA LKCA regularly organises conferences and network meetings on specific topics and brings professionals, policy makers and administrators into contact with each other. These meetings are publicised through a number of channels, most notably the events calendar and the LKCA newsletter.
Knowledge and knowledge exchange: website, publications, social media The LKCA website provides independent information on cultural education and participation in the broadest sense of the term. This includes the latest news from the sector and reliable information on a wide range of issues relating to cultural education and participation. On the LKCA website there are various platforms for sharing your knowledge with other visitors.
Research LKCA conducts independent research on developments in cultural education and participation. The institute can undertake this research on behalf of all decision-makers in this field. We help shape political and public opinion by providing stakeholders with information, both unsolicited and on request.
Partners As a national organisation LKCA works together with a lot of partners. Among others, LKCA works with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the Council of Twelve and its members, and umbrella organisations in the amateur arts sector.
Why join Amateo? LKCA is active in a lot of international organisations and networks and supports Amateo from the beginning. We find this important because international collaboration contributes to mutual exchange and to learning from each other. By sharing research, practices and experiences we strengthen cultural participation in our own country as well as on an European level. Making visible facts and values of cultural participation to policy makers and governments we think is also an important aspect of the work from Amateo, as it is from LKCA in the Netherlands. For that LKCA is both active in the board and in the ATP program.
Future hopes? We hope that the Amateo network will grow. More sharing and exchange and more working together can enlarge the impact of our work for participants, professionals and for the policy level. Our hope is too that the support of cultural participation and education on a European, national and other levels will grow in the future and keep (or get) a solid base.
Member country: Slovenia Contact person: Jan Pirnat, project manager
Who? JSKD is a state umbrella organization for amateur culture in Slovenia. The nationwide network was established in 1998. In Slovenia there are approximately 5000 cultural societies, associations and groups, which reunite over 100.000 adult members engaged in cultural activities. The headquarters with an expert unit and 59 regional branch offices (all over Slovenia) are enabling multi directional interaction between cultural societies, local communities and public institutions. The spatial dispersion and integration into the local environment are key to balanced development and crucial for networking on the regional, national and international level.
What? JSKD supervises the implementation of the national cultural program for various activities ranging from vocal and instrumental music, theater and puppets, folklore, dance and film to visual art and literary activity.
Work also includes cultural education and introduction of new practices. In addition, JSKD carries out the procedures for co-financing of amateur cultural programs and projects, organizes events (festivals, competitions, concerts, exhibitions, etc.) and publishes professional literature (books, magazines, music collections, …) covering all topics of creativity in amateur art.
The majority of the programs are carried out through a pyramid scheme (local, regional and state level) – systematic selection that promotes qualitative development. Groups that are selected for the state level are invited to national festivals, competitions, exhibitions.
JSKD also provides advocacy for active participation in culture and is one of two main organisers of Week of Amateur Culture. WAC seeks to create greater accessibility and mobility of cultural assets. The openness of the creative space can be seen in the interaction of amateurs and professionals, who make significant contributions to the creation of amateur culture.
Why join Amateo? JSKD was one of the founding members of Amateo network. Behind the network start up was an idea of sharing ideas and promoting active participation in culture on an international scale.
On the international level JSKD cooperates with other national organizations in various EU programs and projects. It is also a member of numerous international professional organizations and networks dealing with amateur culture.
Importance of international connections? Connecting with partners in international projects and networks grants partners but also participants in countries where the member organisations are working the access to information that helps to develop their full creative potential.
Future hopes?Our hopes for the Amateo network are that the network will grow not only in numbers but it will also develop in an idea hub and platform for information flow and flow of projects and participants, volunteers and groups between EU countries.
Member country: Croatia Contact person: Valentina Dačnik, Head of dance department
Who? The Croatian Cultural Association is umbrella organisation of amateur arts in Croatia and it is also a non-governmental organization that provides for amateur culture. We are working on our mission to be a strong network of 21 county cultural associations with the goal of development and preservation of Croatian amateur arts and Croatian national and cultural identity.
What? Our programme activities are:
Organisation of lectures, courses and seminars for advanced professional training and competence
Publishing activities (printing winning compositions and publication of two specialised series: Croatian Folk Costumes and Croatian Folk Dances
Stimulating domestic music creativity (competitions for new compositions)
Organising manifestations at the state level for presentation and evaluation of the best accomplishments in amateur artistic creativity (encounters and festivals of choirs, small vocal groups, wind and tamburitza orchestras, folklore, dance and theatre ensembles, literary and art groups)
Ongoing professional and organisational help to individual members
Selecting choirs, orchestras, folklore, dance and theatre ensembles for participation at international festivals
Why join Amateo? To grow our organisation internationally and to provide artistic and educational exchanges of groups and professionals for our members
Importance of international connections? HSK is a member and in co-operation with many similar European cultural associations and networks. It is very important to gain new knowledge, experiences and to get to know new people, methods and best practices.
Future hopes? That people understand the power and the benefits of amateur culture for everybody.
Do you (voluntarily) work for a member organisation of Amateo, do you have a passion for amateur arts, time to attend 3 international Board Meetings in a year, an open view and a bright spirit? Then we are looking for you! **
Amateo supports and promotes the activities of the amateur arts sector cause we believe that all European citizens should have access and opportunities to enjoy, participate in and benefit from creative and cultural experiences of their choice.
Arts Takes Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, helps to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events.
Do you want to follow our Arts Take Part project from closeby and at the same time give direction to our long-term evolution as a network? Then join the Board of Amateo!
What do you get? You get the chance to be part of an international and enthusiastic team of Board members, learn and exchange with colleagues from all over Europe and follow our events from the first row.
Are you interested? Then put forward your candidacy by sending your CV and a short motivation letter from your organisation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**We are also looking for a new treasurer, so having some experience with accountancy would be great (but is not at all a must!).
“My short time in the Amateo board has really opened my eyes for the diverse and valuable work in voluntary and amateur arts in Europe. This network has given our organisation new possibilities for European collaboration that otherwise never would have happened. Amateo connects us and truly is an organisation with a big and open heart.”
Jani Lastuniemi, Project leader FSU, Finland
“8 years has past by rather fast. I worked with great people all over the Europe and I am glad that I have learned so much new and great stuff. I started when Amateo was just young and unknown and I am leaving now with great experience of being a part of Arts Take Part project. Thank you all and wish you the best!”
Valentina Dačnik, prof., Hrvatski Sabor Kulture, Croatia
Member country: Italy Contact person: Giorgio Bacchiega
My name is GiorgioBacchiega and I’m lecturer at the Catholic University of Milan, Director of the Milan’s Urban Peripheries Research Centre for Consulta Periferie Milano and member of the Research and documentation team for Amateo.
Who is Consulta Periferie Milano?
2011 Figino 2b
Consulta Periferie Milano is a network-centric platform (formally a second-level association of undertakings or association of associations of undertakings) formed by 36 cultural, charity, trade, visual and performing arts organisations, cultural centres and local newspapers active in the peripheries of Milan with the purpose of drawing constant attention and find original solutions to the problems of the multifaceted peripheral landscape of Milan in cooperation with academic, political and societal forces.
What does the platform do?
During its first 13 years, CPM has established itself as a working method, operating through the sharing of initiatives and fostering unexpected connections among a wide range of sectors. Its current activities include:
• Elaborating a cartography of all the resources located in the peripheries and devising strategies to make them interact and work together with a shared vision. The map currently gathers, among the more numerous strategic categories CPM has attempted to investigate so far, 109 professional and, especially, amateur theatres, 168 cultural associations and centres and 87 amateur choirs.
• Creating the conditions eventually leading to a consistent development of amateur cultural activities. This goal has led CPM to sharing projects with more than 150 associations based in the peripheries up until now.
• Fostering the establishment of an alternative cultural system that nowadays, just in the field of music, embraces every year around 100 concerts with free admission, taking place in 50 different peripheral locations, involving 50 organisations, 40 amateur choirs and an increasing number of amateur classical musicians, reaching an audience of more than 10.000 people per year.
• Investigating the problems related to the peripheries and developing solutions to debated problems that cause the perceived divide between the centre of the city and its peripheries. Insights are captured during public meetings, then analysed and translated into legislative proposals with the help of the municipal commissions on peripheries and participation and finally submitted for approval to the city government.
Why join Amateo?
Amateo represents a unique, privileged opportunity for gaining information, debating and finding original solutions to complex social problems through participation. Each European country has developed its own specific strategies to give value to amateur arts and CPM aspires to be an important part of this debate, sharing its experience and learning from established practices of other countries.
What are your hopes for the future?
The peripheries are not just a local or national theme, but a global one. There amateur arts do have the potential to thrive for the foreseeable future, contributing to the reshaping of the cities, inspiring positive relationships between people from different backgrounds, nationalities and neighbourhoods and helping urban regeneration, social cohesion and crime prevention.