Amateo Award 2021 – open for entries!

Are you making an impact through your creative group?



Dance, theatre, street art and more – all participatory arts projects run by amateur groups across Europe are welcome to enter!

If your creative group could inspire others to try something different, this is the best way to spotlight your achievement!

Get the chance to win 1,000 euros and a trip to the beautiful city of Milan in October 2021. Help us spread the word about this wonderful opportunity far and wide!

AMATEO AWARD 2021 open for entries until 31 May 2021!

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Inspiring creative projects that are having a powerful, positive impact on their community!

The culture and creative sector has been severely challenged in recent times. In the year 2020 a lot of projects had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. But the creative sector has innovated rapidly, notably with accelerated digitization. We are even more determined now to put the spotlight on all the projects (both live and online) that have found solutions to give participants the chance to be creative, show off what they do and encourage others to take part.

Last year, 64 projects from 16 countries across Europe applied for the Amateo Award 2020 and featured activity focused on young people, older people (including those with dementia), those with different cultural or migrant backgrounds and projects to improve the community or environment. Five groups have been shortlisted by the jury. Read more about the 2020 finalists.

Read full Terms & Conditions for Amateo Award.

WHY GET INVOLVED

Completing the short Application Form will not take much time. If you know of other inspiring projects, please share this invitation or encourage them to apply.

The Amateo Award 2021 is an opportunity for you to profile your amateur arts group or creative project to an international audience and, in turn, to make connections with participants, policy makers and funders from across Europe. Previous applicants have also found the Amateo Award gave increased recognition and support at a local level.


Throwback to 2020 Winners

The Social Circus project by Anasa Cultural Center in Greece has been awarded the 2020 Amateo Award in an online ceremony with participants from all over Europe. Read more about last year winner.

Amateo – the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities

CONNECT 2021 – Save the date!

CONNECT the unexpected
MARIBOR, SLOVENIA, 4TH-6TH JUNE 2021


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…

WHAT?

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. 

WHEN?

04/05/06 June 2021

WHERE?

MARIBOR, Slovenia (and online*)

WHO IS IT FOR?

  • 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

WHAT’S ON OFFER?

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

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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)

WHAT NEXT?

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

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


Community Arts practice

SOCIETY

A large group of people who live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done. All the people in a country, or in several similar countries, can be referred to as a society*

If we consider Europe as a society, we also conclude that within that society there is a wide variety of communities, along and across national borders, defined by geography,  religion, language, traditions, age, social structures, sexual orientation, physical conditions and personal interests. 

COMMUNITY

The people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality*

As individuals, we may be part of several communities. But how do we discover in which communities we can feel at home? How do we develop our identities as part of these communities? And how does our personal identity relate to these different communities and our wider society?

IDENTITY

Who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others*

HOME

Someone’s or something’s place of origin, or the place where a person feels they belong*

Amateo sees active participation in the arts as a core value for a free and open society. Active participation in arts and cultural activities empowers individuals to freely express themselves and can promote cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship.

* Cambridge Dictionary

COMMUNITY ART

Community art is artistic activity that is based in a community setting, characterized by interaction or dialogue with the community and often involving a professional artist collaborating with people who may not otherwise engage in the arts.’ – Tate Modern

Despite – and in some cases because of – our modern connectivity, we are witnessing a period of rising polarisation, populism and nationalism. Often the focus is on the difference between ‘us’ and the ‘others’ rather than our shared democratic endeavors.

With the uncertainty and insecurity of austerity following the financial crisis, climate crisis, Brexit and the Covid-pandemic, it seems that we retreat to our smaller communities, are less open to other opinions and less tolerant towards other groups in society.

We think making art projects together might help to change this. But how and where to start? 

CONNECT the unexpected

Amateo’s Pioneer Projects three day event, CONNECT2021 looks at the theme of ‘Home’ through the lens of Community Arts practice. We will look at ways that ‘professional’ arts organisers and networks work with non-professionals to develop interventions using shared knowledge, skills and experience to actively make a change in society and how this related to the arts and cultural activity that is already embedded in the fabric of communities to ask:
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?

Join us!

Resetting the Stage: Programme

Amateo online Conference

Friday 22 January 2021
🎟 FREE

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.

PROGRAMME

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?

Moderation:
Jan-Willem van Kruyssen & Francesca Robson

registration

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

New Amateo Research Publication: Slovenia

ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION, IDENTIFICATION OF NEEDS, DEFINITION OF PRIORITIES IN NETWORKING, ADVOCACY AND DEVELOPMENT OF AMATEUR CULTURE IN ORDER TO ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND CULTURE OF LIVING IN 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 ART IN FIGURES

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.

THE STATE OF AMATEUR CULTURE AT LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEVELS AND EXPOSED ISSUES

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.

Conference: Resetting the Stage

Amateo Online Conference | Friday January 22nd 2021 

Cultural budgets are coming under more and more pressure. On top of that, the cultural and creative sectors themselves are among the most seriously damaged by the effects of the pandemic. Many cultural activities are being halted, millions of jobs are frozen or wiped out, micro and small businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy and many talents are forced to leave the sector altogether.

In response to the current pandemic situation, a pan-European community of 110 networks and associations called on the European Commission to encourage Member States to fully integrate culture in their national recovery and resilience plans, allocating at the very least 2% of the RRF budgets to the culture and creative sectors, as called for by the European Parliament in its recent resolution on the “Cultural Recovery of Europe”. Now it is of course important to support the cultural and creative sectors in these difficult times, it is perhaps even more important to give this sector an active role in the national recovery and resilience plans of their respective countries.

Coronavirus is not the only crisis we find ourselves in, but also the decline in biodiversity, the climate crisis and the energy transition. These are major issues that we now have to tackle! It takes imagination, and a creative process to change things. The culture and creative sectors can do that. It is increasingly recognized that art and culture have a special function as accelerators of change – through the ability to reach people at the level of emotions and beliefs, provide new ways to see problems and develop creative solutions.

How can we stimulate collaboration between the participatory arts and other sectors/domains (like health & wellbeing / Sustainable Development Goals / biodiversity / agriculture / shrinkage areas)? And how can local/regional government authorities become cooperation partners of organisations in the voluntary and amateur arts?

By means of Best Practices, we want to explore new opportunities and inspire practitioners and organisers of participatory arts, politicians, etc. Together we will 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.

Contact: Jan-Willem van Kruyssen, jw@vankruyssen.eu, +31 (0)631665582

Postcards from Home Workshop – March

Indo-Persian Miniatures WORKSHOP

18.00-20.30 GMT (19.00 CET/ 20.00 EET), MONDAY 1sT MARCH

We celebrate Spring and change in this workshop.

As plants and flowers begin to grow and our environments change, London-based artist Yasmin Hayat guides us through the traditional art-form of Indo-persian miniature painting to create a flowering shrub.

Europe’s culture and creativity has been shaped over centuries by the people and cultures throughout the world, including those for whom it is home: From migratory and trade routes across Eurasia, throughout the middle-east and Africa, to the diasporas of America and Australasia that have joined in the Postcards from Home exchange and workshops. While we’ve been less mobile over the last year, this history of global movement and exchange surrounds us, shaping our lives and local environments.

Yasmin’s work blends traditional and modern forms, which we hope can inspire your reflections on home, as we move from past to future with this new season.

Having shared postcard one ‘Home is…’, and postcard two ‘Home was…’ looking at the different memories or sensations that evoke home. Now is the time to look forward and create your postcard ‘Home will be…‘. Visit the Postcards from Home project page.

Postcards from Home Workshop – January

PICTURE SONNETS WORKSHOP

18.15-19.30 CET (17.15 GMT / 19.15 EET), THURSDAY 28TH January

Language and images are brought together in this ‘Picture Sonnets’ workshop led by Dutch artist Ted van Lieshout. Ted shares his approach to using images to represent ideas and rhyme structures within his poems and we work together to produce our own, reflecting our shared and differing memories of home.

Having shared postcard one ‘Home is…’, we encourage you to move to postcard two ‘Home was…’ looking at the different memories or sensations that evoke home. Visit the Postcards from Home project page.

rereCONNECT

One of the good things we discovered during reCONNECT (the online alternative for CONNECT2020, originally planned in Brussels), was it was relatively simple to meet by Zoom. We had participants that would not have been able to come to Brussels physically, who now joined the event. At the end of this experimental week, we agreed to follow up.

And so we did; Thursday November 12th we had an open Zoom session for all former participants of the CONNECT events of the last three years. Fifteen people joined the session. Some of them were participants of the very first CONNECT (Deventer, NL, 2018), some had planned to come to Brussels, but could not join reCONNECT, and some of them were new Amateo members.

It was good to see everyone, and hear the stories about pioneer projects that started without a grant (4ID), and are still meeting, and working on further collaboration. Also the three projects that received grants in 2020 are preparing their projects. Of course, COVID-19 delays things, and makes things uncertain, but that doesn’t stop us being creative, and finding solutions for these project ideas.

The next rereCONNECT Zoom meeting is planned for Thursday January 28th 2021, at 16.00 hrs CET. If you would like to join this, please send an email to pioneers@amateo.org

Postcards from Home Workshop – December

SODaI WORKSHOP

3.00-4.00PM (GMT +1CET/+2EET), TUESDAY 15TH DECEMBER

From Galway, European Capital of Culture 2020 to future European Capital of Culture Kaunas (2022), create the ‘Garde’ design using Lithuanian straw to construct your own ‘sodas’ (a garden). This hour-long online workshop led by Violeta Dabrilienė and Kūrybos ir užimtumo stuba, VšĮ (House of activity and creativity) will share some of the history behind the craft and guide you in creating your own. The first participants to register will be sent a kit of the Lithuanian rye straw, thread and needle traditionally used. Alternative materials can also be used.


Having shared postcard one ‘Home is…’, we encourage you to move to postcard two ‘Home was…’ looking at the different memories or sensations that evoke home. This workshop shares the traditional Lithuanian craft of ‘Sodai’, which could be something you apply in your card or sharing traditional crafts that have meaning for you. Visit the Postcards from Home project page.