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!
Empowering young people is a key objective for organisations of all scale and increasing priority within cultural policy. But how do we let go of control, while offering just the right amount support, challenge and experience to help young people to develop their skills and understanding?
In times of increasing mobility, social media and digitalisation, traditional arts organisations are struggling to connect with the younger generations. Structures that have been working for decades are not working anymore. Art itself has become more fluid. The traditional way of running art projects in theatre/dance/music/poetry etc. don’t always connect.
One way to get a grip on these new developments is involving young amateur artists directly in your organisation: as advisors, as artistic co-creators, as organisers or programming their own projects or even festivals.
But how to deal with this empowerment of youth? How much freedom can they handle? And how much responsibility? Can you lead a group instead of realise your own personal, creative ideas? How can you develop your skills to become accepted and involved with your experience as a coach? Might failure maybe a part of the concept?
CONNECT 2020 brings together inspiring examples, provocations and practices.
WHEN: Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March 2020 (Friday at 18.00 – Sunday at 16.00) Deadline to register: Saturday 29 February 2020
Creating European Pioneer Projects/Expert meeting:Amateur Associations and arts professionals (producers, directors, teachers, coordinators, cultural managers etc) who are making art with children and/or young people, network organisations and policymakers.
Interdisciplinary Creative Workshops: Young people (aged 18-25 or 16-27 with prior agreement) that want to work internationally and interdisciplinary and have relevant experience with one or more artforms themselves.
These sessions will also be valuable for arts students and people who have recently finished their studies, who want to become teachers in one of the artforms.
CONNECT is a combination of an international expert meeting for art professionals and amateur associations as well as a creative workshop programme for young people.
The ultimate goal of CONNECT – arts professionals and amateur associations programme is to create time and space to find a partner and design an international interdisciplinary project in the CONNECT theme. Amateo will award the three most inspiring concepts with a grant of € 2,500 each.
CONNECT 2020 European Pioneer Projects Expert meeting: Brings together art professionals and amateur associations to focus on the theme of empowerment of young people through discussions, key notes and interactive methods.
CONNECT Interdisciplinary Creative Workshops: The young amateur artists workshop programme is a series of 4 workshops of 90 minutes, in which a group of young international amateur artists will experiment and explore different combinations of interdisciplinary artforms; how to combine spoken word and folklore|traditional music? Or urban dance and theatre? Every workshop will be led by young mentors from 4 different European countries, with different artistic backgrounds. It is a lab of unexpected combinations.
CONNECT also combines parts of the programme: – Friday’s joint welcome programme includes a surprise performance and workshop – On Saturday afternoon we explore Brussel by local safari, following an innovative cultural devepment board game, created by Lasso. – We finish on Sunday afternoon with a mixed diversity workshop.
Three days in a good company, watching, talking about, talking with, designing projects and making art with young people. Everywhere in Europe this work is happening but each country and region has its own approach. CONNECT is a platform where people can share their experiences, be curious, find shared goals and start international adventures together.
Participants fee for arts professionals: € 200 Young people workshop programme: € 100 Costs cover all sessions, food and shared accomodation. If you live in Brussels and don’t sleep in the Jes Sleep in, costs are: € 100 for professionals and € 50 for young participants
Amateo’s Carbon Footprint by Arts Take Part coordinator, Jim Tough
In Amateo, the European membership network for active participation in cultural activities, we value the opportunity to bring people together to learn, share and explore. With vital support from Creative Europe our Arts Take Part programme has helped us come together in venues across Europe. The opportunity for human contact, the face-to-face and personal experiences for our staff and members is at the heart of our work. But there is a price. The price of travel in Euros and in carbon emissions. Our carbon footprint is a European shoe size 47! So, inspired and challenged by the climate emergency and Extinction Rebellion activists, we decided to take the first steps towards smaller footprint.
We challenged our Arts Take Part team of 23 workers from across Europe to explore how to travel lighter to our meeting in Utrecht, Netherlands. So we thought it would be useful to share some of the personal experiences of taking on that challenge and what we learned as a result.
Mixing business and pleasure — in some cases taking a different means of travel meant there was time for other things. So Claire took the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam and cycled 70 km from Ijmuiden to Utrecht. The pleasure of the cycle part helped make the longer trip acceptable at a personal level. Anna-Karin built in a stay with a friend in Stockholm to help with her rail travel plans. Jan travelled by train from Ljubljana but took the opportunity to visit friends in Haarlem. My own travel from Scotland to Utrecht by train meant an additional night away in a London hotel. But I timed the travel to allow a visit to the theatre in London.
It takes time — what became clear is that to avoid air travel there is usually a time cost. For all of us with busy working lives, that extra day or two to travel by train, ferry or bicycle can be a problem. But maybe this is part of the bigger problem of the pace and demands of modern work cultures. It’s as much about a change in how we see the world of work and the pace of life. I know I find travelling by train far less stressful and more productive. Joining Damien on the leg from Rotterdam to Utrecht we were able to add some value to the team meeting agenda in preparing a session. I find air travel can be soulless and impersonal. Travel by land may take a bit longer but we may arrive in a better state of mind.
Inflexible bureaucracies — one challenge for some our our members from different national systems is the requirements of their own financial rules. So the common sense of travelling from one meeting for a project in Frankfurt by direct train to Utrecht was not permitted because the two projects are supported from different budgets. So Katerina had to go back to Prague to restart her journey to Utrecht! The good news is that by raising this issue the rules may change.
It can be more expensive — yes, indeed it can. But the worst of that can be minimised by good forward planning of the dates for our meetings and being thoughtful about where we meet to reduce other costs such as accommodation. Travel to and accommodation in Brussels where Creative Europe holds its briefing meetings can be very expensive and very often the dates are late in being planned and confirmed. So our friends that fund all of this good work could help by planning meetings well ahead so we can get the best value for trains and hotels.
It makes a difference — this was a first attempt but it was encouraging. By inviting the team to try out different approaches we reduced our carbon footprint by 33%. It added about 73% in journey time (but much of that time was used well) and about 20% in cost. It reminds me of an old quote – “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. In the current crisis we might suggest that if you think reducing your carbon footprint is expensive try a global environmental catastrophe.
The next CONNECT2020 focuses on the issue of empowerment of young people. What do they need to organise their own local, regional or international project? For example: A workshop camp, a youth network, an international exchange or a festival? How do you involve them in designing a project? Where do you give them guidance, and when will we follow them in their ideas? Can they make decisions, or only give advice? Inspiring examples will show and/or tell their stories.
20/21/22 March 2020
– Young people (aged 18-25) that want to work internationally and interdisciplinary, and have relevant experience with one or more artforms themselves
– Arts students and students who want to become a teacher in one of the artforms as well as people who have recently finished one of these studies
– Organisations who are focussing on art with children and/or young people
– Network organisations and policy-makers
Three days to:
– See inspiring performances and art initiatives made/performed by young people
– Hear inspiring keynote speakers, share knowledge and have some new experiences
– Meet and speak with inspiring colleagues, and young people from all over Europe
– Explore the cultural field in Brussels
– Get to know each other, find a potential partner and design a small project together.
Amateo is rewarding three proposals each with a € 2.500,– grant.
Three days in a good company, watching, talking about, talking with, designing projects and making art with young people. Everywhere in Europe it is happening, but each country/region has its own approach. CONNECT wants to be a platform where people can share their experiences, can be curious to each other and hopefully find each other and start international adventures together.
CONNECT is an initiative of Amateo’s pioneer projects; a Arts take part project group which wants to initiate and stimulate small-scaled, international and (preferably) interdisciplinary projects in the field of amateur arts, to gain and share experiences, and to stimulate new forms and approaches within amateur arts.
The full programme will be published before the end of 2019. Do you want to know more? Send an email to email@example.com. Or go to Facebook and check the event.
CONNECT2020 is an initiative of Amateo’s Art Take Part pioneers projects, organised together MetX and Lasso (Brussels) and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Courses & Conferences Team is one of the implementing teams of Arts Take Part, a unique and exciting four-year Amateo network project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Let see what the team members say about their recent work!
Tell us about your Team?
Our team is international, but it has a Slavic soul, since the team members are from Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. The last team member from the Netherlands joined us just recently. I think we share a common vision with all the other teams within Arts Take Part and also with other people who work in the field of amateur culture. We try to encourage people to recognize the value of their work in this field, trying to gain visibility of the Amateo network, involve new partners and members in Amateo activities, to provide the paid and voluntary staff in participatory arts associations in European countries with new opportunities. In order to do that we promote and provide trans-national courses and conferences where good practices and experiences from different European countries can be shared.
What has the team been doing recently?
Lately, we have been communicating a lot with our partners from Austria and Italy for the organisation of the conferences next year. Now we are in the middle of program preparations for our next conference in June 2020, which will take place in Vienna, Austria. We are also planning promotional campaigns and trying to get as close as possible to potential participants and members. At the same time, it was also necessary to design a work program for the coming year, with collaboration between teams that differentiate the quality and diversity of our events as a key element. The Amateo Conference is also a place where the annual Amateo Award and CONNECT project has its part. The Amateo Award is aiming to highlight and support the individuals and groups whose projects are recognized as outstanding on a European level.
What are you working on for the future?
We have been working for a long time to find ways and methods which can help to share knowledge and skills with as many interested people as possible. In the future, we will endeavour to use modern information channels to display our events and to implement e-learning. It is sometimes difficult to choose the right form for a specific target audience among many forms and communication channels, and we will continue to pay much attention to this in the future. We also work with various organisations to participate in the implementation of events in the future, including a one-day conference in Galway, Ireland and in a conference in Milan, Italy.
What are your recent highlights?
Meeting interesting new people, seeing happiness on the faces of award winners, facilitating new transnational exchange of knowledge and collaborations, feeling positive energy and, at the end, satisfaction when plans become reality!
How can other Amateo members or non-members get involved with this work?
We would like to involve as many members and non-members as possible into our activities. The main aim of our team is to give people the opportunity for sharing experience and knowledge, for international collaboration to participate actively at Amateo events (seminars, conferences), give ideas for future events, be a host of the events, share positive energy… In short – to place active participation in culture under the spotlight.
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.
As part of the four-year Arts Take Part project, Amateo is working with an external evaluator to help measure our success in various areas and our impact on the wider European sector. At the end of 2018, we worked with Ruth Stevenson to conduct our first stakeholder survey. The external evaluation of the Arts Take Part project looks outwards – assessing the extent to which the project has had an effect on those that it aims to reach. As part of this external evaluation, the survey was planned to ask all of those engaging with the project about their experience of participation.
In total, 99 different stakeholders took part in the survey in 2018. The respondents spanned 17 countries, most often Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Slovenia and Denmark. Almost half of the respondents (45) represented a member of the growing Amateo network. Respondents were asked several questions about the way in which they had engaged with Amateo in the previous year and how they felt this benefitted them — as well as questions about what they’d like to see in the future.
Almost half (48%) of stakeholders attended Amateo events, with 12% considering attending and 27% hearing about the events. Almost one in five (18%) stakeholders entered the Amateo awards, with 2% considering entering and 54% hearing about the awards. The response to Amateo’s range of activities and outputs was positive: ▪ 77% agreed that the themes are relevant to their work ▪ 62% agreed that the content is high in quality ▪ 55% agreed that the information comes in a format which is easy to share
Responses were also positive when asked about Amateo’s delivery on key objectives. 74% said that Amateo was performing well in relation to supporting international cooperation, 70% said that Amateo was performing well in relation to maintaining a strong network, 64% said that Amateo was performing well in relation to providing opportunities to share learning, and 64% said that Amateo was performing well in relation to providing advocacy for amateur arts.
Overall, 86% of respondents agreed that there is a need for a network like Amateo and 81% agreeing that it is a valuable network. With the survey following the first year of the Arts Take Part project, stakeholders already recognised a positive influence by Amateo on both national and European policy and also public participation.
Individuals recognised the personal impact that involvement with Amateo and its activites has had on their work and their international connections. ▪ 66% agreed that I made new contacts through it ▪ 66% agreed that I feel better equipped to work internationally because of it ▪ 62% agreed that I made a positive change to my working practices as a result of it ▪ 46% agreed that I shared information about it with others
As we are now past the halfway point of the Arts Take Part project and delivering the third year of activities, a new stakeholder survey will be launched to measure the external impact of the work over the past year. If you’ve been part of our work, please do share your thoughts. The survey will be launched next week via our newsletter and social media channels.
People from across Europe came together last week in Edinburgh to share thoughts and ideas on creativity in an ageing population. The programme of events was organised by Amateo in partnership with Voluntary Arts and Luminate, with support from Creative Scotland as well as Creative Europe. The week included creative workshops for older people from across Europe and a seminar for those working on developing creative projects with the annual Epic Awards ceremony organised by Voluntary Arts bringing an inspiring few days to a close.
Amateo and our partners were honoured to be guests at the beautiful Institut Français d’Ecosse on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Guests were welcomed by the Deputy French Consul, Marie Vassallo; Amateo President, Susan Fazakerley; Bailie Lezley Marion Cameron of Edinburgh City Council; Luminate Director, Anne Gallacher and Amateo’s Arts Take Part coordinator, Jim Tough. As well as being treated to some fine Scottish produce throughout the evening, the guests were then treated to a performance by Edinburgh-based choir Forget Me Notes.
Participants were invited from many European countries to come together, exchange ideas and build new relationships. One strand of the programme brought together those working in the field and amateur and participatory arts with an interest in engaging older people in creative activities. There were exercises to get to know each other and even some speed-dating sessions! There were also presentations from funding bodies, including Creative Europe, to inform people of the opportunities available to support international collaboration. Staff from organisations across Europe discussed potential new projects and collaborations which we hope to see realised in the very near future.
In the Creative Workshops programme, a group of 12 older people from Belgium, Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic and Scotland came together with artists Janice Parker and Luke Pell and film maker Tao-Anas Le Thanh to explore the Don’t Look Back theme through movement and words. The process resulted in a remarkable filmed exploration on the theme. This was a powerful process of sharing, learning, reflection, and cooperation amongst this group from across Europe that will live long in the hearts and minds of those involved.
Seminar: Don’t Look Back
Taking inspiration from Bob Dylan and challenging the preconception that almost all creative work with older people needs to be about reminiscence, this one-day seminar at the University of Edinburgh’s InSpace sought to recognise that we all have a creative future. Each of the speakers gave a short presentation which led to a provocation to be discussed and debated by the participants. The event was chaired by playwright Sylvia Dow.
Throughout the day, we heard from Ingrid Smit (LKCA, Netherlands) about the Lang Leve Kunst project (Long Live Art), Janine Husch (Kubia, Germany) about the work the organisation delivers and the challenges they face in reaching a diverse range of participants, and Anne Gallacher (Luminate, Scotland) about partnership working to improve creative opportunities for older people in Scotland.
The annual Epic Awards celebrate the achievements of voluntary-led creative groups and projects across the UK and Ireland. This year’s awards ceremony was held in Edinburgh to close our week of events in Scotland’s capital city. Awards were presented to winners for Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales as well as the Peer Award (voted for by the nominated groups), the People’s Choice Award (voted for by thousands of members of the public) and the Celebrating Diversity Award which this year went to Kirrie Connections, a community dementia support hub in the rural Scottish town of Kirriemuir.
The evening was hosted by BBC Scotland’s Janice Forsyth and included an opening speech by Ben Macpherson MSP, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development in the Scottish Government. The ceremony was opened with a performance from Scotland award runners-up, 24 Carat Gold, a dance group of women aged 60 – 87 years old, while the closing performance by Scotland award winners, Musicians in Exile, had the audience up dancing in Edinburgh’s Central Hall.
It was a really enjoyable and very moving finale to a week of connection, collaboration and inspiration in Edinburgh. We’re now looking forward to upcoming Amateo events during 2020. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive invitations.
Amateur Art Association of Vojvodina had the honour to host the 11th annual Amateo conference, in Novi Sad, from 07-08. June 2019. In the year when the city of Novi Sad is the European capital of Youth, attendees had the chance to open many questions and to share many good examples.
Bridges of Creativity “Amateur Arts & Youths in intercultural society”
The first day of the conference – after the inspirational keynote of Amateo president Susan Fazakerley – we had an opportunity to hear about the current climate for amateur arts and engagement with youth in Serbia, Netherlands and Slovenia, to listen to live singing presentation of multi traditional music which erase boundaries and finally, to hear about intercultural education and intercultural learning with the aim of overcoming national and all other barriers in multicultural societies with engaging youth in cultural projects.
The second day was dedicated to good practice examples, where we heard about different projects from Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, recently initiated Amateo pioneer projects and how two titles (European Youth Capital 2019 and European Capital of Culture 2021) are helping youth from Novi Sad to participate in cultural activities and expand the voluntary service. Last, but not least, there was an interesting workshop where we found out more about our differences, similarities and prejudices.
Serbia’s regional broadcaster, RT Vojvodina, featured the Bridges of Creativity conference, telling their audience about the importance of amateur arts in their news broadcasts. Watch the clip and read the news article here.
In the beautiful venue of Vojvodina Government building, while we were watching and listening wonderful music performance, we realised how many different cultures live together in Serbia and the province of Vojvodina. The Amateo Award finalists from Serbia, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands were all represented and the winner of Amateo Award 2019 was announced!
Snežana Sedlar, Vice President of the Assembly of Autonomius Province of Vojvodina, opened the Award ceremony, together with Susan Fazakerley, president of Amateo and Savo Mucibabic, Amateur Art Association of Vojvodina secretary. Watch the clip and read the news article here.
Many more articles and extended presentations from the conference, on the theme “Amateur arts, Youth and Interculturalism” will be available to read in the upcoming book – co-published by Amateo, Cultural centre of Vojvodina “Milos Crnjanski” and Amateur Art Association of Vojvodina – later this year. One more great outcome of this Amateo event!
An intimate international gathering to explore and celebrate creativity in an ageing population combined with a high profile celebration of best practice in the participatory arts.
In partnership with Voluntary Arts and Luminate (Scotland’s Creative Ageing organisation), and supported by Creative Scotland, Amateo is presenting this programme to celebrate creativity, collaboration and the International Day of the Older Person.
Celebrating the International Day of the Older Person, this is a chance for guests, delegates and participants to meet informally. There will be food, refreshments and some special guest performers.
Creative Workshops Tuesday 1st October – Thursday 3rd October, Central Hall, Edinburgh Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for booking.
An opportunity for a group of 16 older participants from across Europe to come together, work with and learn from each other. The 2.5 day workshop will be facilitated by professional artists (two Scottish-based artists and an international guest). The focus will be on theatre and dance concluding with a sharing of their work and experience at the Epic Awards ceremony being hosted by Voluntary Arts on the evening of Thursday 3rd October. The theme of ‘Don’t Look Back’ arises from a challenge to the practice of focusing on the past when working with older people. What about their interest in the future? The artist facilitators involved are Janice Parker from Scotland and Tamara Pomoriški from the Czech Republic.
Connect+ Conversations Tuesday 1st October, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Central Hall, Edinburgh Book your free place on the Voluntary Arts website.
Practitioners and Amateo member organisations (some will be linked to the member organisations who have come with the creative workshop participants) come together to explore potential collaborations and learn more about the support available for such work. This includes presentations on funding opportunities from Creative Europe and Erasmus+. There will be €2500 available to seed fund proposals that emerge from these discussions.
‘Don’t Look Back’ Seminar and Discussion Wednesday 2nd October, 10:00am – 4:00pm, InSpace, Universityof Edinburgh Book your place on the Voluntary Arts website.
An opportunity to share best practice from across Europe in the field of creativity and participation in an ageing population. A seminar format with four speakers that engage the audience in comment and discussion. The event will also be streamed live. There will be opportunity for informal discussion, canapes and refreshments.
The speakers are:
Chair, Sylvia Dow, Playwright, with an introduction speaking on her artist’s perspective
Anne Gallacher, Director, Luminate, Scotland’s Creative Ageing organisation
Ingrid Smit, LKCA, Netherlands experiences with ‘Long live Arts’ programme
Janine Hüsch, Kubia, Germany, Centre for Creative Ageing
An annual event that celebrates the best in voluntary-led creativity across the UK and Ireland. Taking place in Scotland in 2019, the evening will be hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth and features special performances and presentations from the shortlisted projects and an opening introduction from Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs and Culture.