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.
Partners: Centrum West-D’Broej and Met-X Moving Music from Brussels, Belgium and Brassbandschool from Rotterdam, Netherlands
Description of the project:
The first part of the project has already been successfully realised. Seven FanfaKids have visited Rotterdam for two days. On 8th and 9th of June BBS organised a Brassbandbattle during the Festival “WereldsDelfshaven” for young players. Fanfakids joined the battle on Saturday.
The second part of the project will take part from 1st till 3rd of August 2019. Seven BBS players will come to Belgium and together with seven players from FanfaKids will make a performance in four days, guided by teachers from both organisations. On the last day, 3rd of August, these two groups will perform together in Brussels at the big Belgian festival – Reggae Geel.
Partners: Post Bellum and The House of Children and Youth from Prague, Czech Republic; G.O. Tallinn Music College from Tallinn, Estonia, and Das Letzte Kleinod from Schiffdorf, Germany
Description of the project:
In the project “Hidden Tracks”, young people from different countries will look for traditional music and songs that are likely to disappear. Through interviews and meeting different groups of people (older people, folklore dance or song groups, elderly family members and others) the young people will collect “old” songs and develop their own interpretation of traditional music through the means of theatre. The cultures will mix, they will find similarities and differences. Through this project the forgotten melodies will be revived in a new way that corresponds to youngsters of today.
The youngsters will start working in their own countries and then meet all together to create a common performance in Germany. Later the performance should be presented in all the countries who are involved (Czech Republic, Estonia). The youngsters will be accompanied by professional musicians, theatre pedagogues, a dancer and an actress.
Partners: Post Bellum and The House of Children and Youth from Prague, Czech Republic and Centrum West-D’Broej and Met-X Moving Music from Brussels, Belgium
Description of the project:
A cultural exchange between Belgian and Czech students for children who are already active in extracurricular theatre and music programmes. During their visit, participants will learn about the cultural and social backgrounds of the children in the other organisation and actively engage in a workshop led by local theatre and music lecturers together with the local children, with the goal of making a documentary performance about their meeting.
Five Czech students from Prague, in the Czech Republic will visit five Fanfakids from Belgium (ten 11-13 year old children altogether) for five days and create a performance called “Meeting Unknown” accompanied by four teachers (two Czech and two Belgian). The performance will be presented and recorded locally in Belgium before being shown in Prague to a Czech audience.
Subsequently, in 2020, five Fanfakids from Belgium will visit the Czech students and create another documentary theatre performance, this time about the farewell, named “Goodbye Known.”
BELGIUM ARTISTS IMPROVING CHILDREN’S LIVES WIN €1,000 EUROPEAN ARTS PRIZE
Belgium arts group Moving Ground has been awarded the 2019 Amateo Award at a ceremony in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Jurors for the EU-backed arts prize said it was a project “from the heart to the heart” which had a huge impact on the youngsters involved in an area struggling with poverty and cultural division.
Dancers Evelyne Van Hecke and Roxette Chikua run Club MG which last summer set-up in a square in Terloplein in Borgerhout. They worked with local children to create a show for them to perform to their neighbours in this ethnically-diverse part of Antwerp.
Focusing on the theme “Kattenkwaad” meaning mischief, artists worked with the children exploring what made them want to behave badly sometimes, how they felt unsafe when on the receiving end of bad behaviour and what they wanted to do.
“They heard about each other’s feelings and the ‘us and them’ thinking got broken a bit, that made them feel safer in the square when we were gone,” said Evelyne Van Hecke. “One of the girls said months later ‘the boys are still nicer to us! And one of the boys said the biggest thing he’d learnt was to talk about his problems instead of trying to solve them with violence.”
“It’s quite an honour for us for Amateo to recognise this project and gives us more strength to continue our work.”
Jurors said it was clear how a small project focused on one area could have a significant impact. All the children have gone on to be involved in other art groups.
Ingrid Doctor, winner 2018 and member of the jury, said: “The jury was really touched by the bottom-up approach of this project. By helping the young people connect it had a big impact on them and the community. If there were more projects like this, the world would be a better place.”
Some 65 projects from across Europe competed for the €1,000 prize which celebrates exceptional amateur arts projects.
“Our five finalists have all done amazing things, “ said Susan Fazakerley, President of Amateo. “Choosing a winner was difficult, every project has in its own way made a hugely positive contribution to its participants and their communities.”
The finalists from Serbia, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands were all represented at the announcement of the winner in Novi Sad as part of the Bridges of Creativity conference hosted by Amateo member the Amateur Art Association of Vojvodina.
The Amateo Award is in its second year now and was launched by Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities in Europe.
It was won by OpRoet in 2018, an amazing collective from The Netherlands who brought together refugees with over 40 local actors and musicians to create the show ‘Ed van Hoorn, Fuck the System’ about a local activist credited with building refugee camps.
Notes for Editors
Our 2019 Finalists
Theater na de Dam, The Netherlands
For a special act of remembrance for the war dead of the Netherlands, this project brought young people together with older citizens to hear their stories of WW2. Those exchanges were used to inspire theatre performances which on May 4th (Dutch Remembrance Day), were performed simultaneously after the traditional two-minute’s silence. More than 40 venues took part.
The Amateo jury said this was a profound way to connect a new generation with the impact of war and give the act of Remembrance renewed significance. Its resonance & sustainability is also demonstrated by the fact it’s inspired similar projects in eight European cities for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This Austrian project aims to bridge the gap between the local community and migrants with a refugee background in a very special way. It was initiated and supported by a human rights organization and a contemporary dance platform (RedSapata Tanzfabrik). Artistic goals and the aim of integrating and connecting people are combined. The jury was impressed by the creative way the work was made involving a collaboration in which all members (non-professional artists) were invited to share their individual stories and ideas. This resulted in strong networks that are highly valuable for the people involved and also for the audience. The video shows also the artistic impact of the performance. At the moment the 3rd edition has been started with “10+10 Brücken #3”.
“Art Kvart-Start!” (Start Art in your Quarter) is an annual art project by NGO Novo kulturno naselje, held in Novi Sad, Serbia. It aims to decentralize culture and art-making by encouraging unemployed emerging/professional artists to get involved in working with youngsters. The jury was impressed by the project’s big impact in the city with more than 100 events and workshops held attracting an audience of 14,000 people. Especially valuable for the jury is the goal of giving people ‘a better place to live in’. The website shows on its front page the diversity and the creativity at work. The concept can also be used by other organizations and in other countries.
The Irish Video Game Orchestra has wowed audiences throughout Ireland and the UK by bringing the music of video games to life with a live orchestra. It began in 2015 and has evolved into a group of over 40 young musicians playing the scores of classic games like Mario and Zelda accompanied by video and a light show. The group is based in Belfast in Northern Ireland and aims to bridge community divides by encouraging cross-community membership.
The jury loved the way this project combined orchestral performance and games culture in an innovative way, engaging young people. The work bridging communities in Belfast, a city divided by sectarian violence in the past, was also felt to be very valuable – especially with Brexit looming.
The dance group Moving Ground spent a summer with children in Terloplein in Borgerhout creating a show for them to perform to their community in this ethnically-diverse neighbourhood in Antwerp. Working on the theme “Kattenkwaad” meaning mischief, artists worked with the children exploring what made them want to behave badly sometimes, how they felt unsafe when on the receiving end of bad behavior and what they wanted to do. It brought the children closer together and afterwards they said they felt safer playing outside.
Jurors were impressed at how this project gave children from different backgrounds the chance to connect and express themselves. It was also clear how a small project focused on one area can have a big impact. All the children have gone on to be involved in other art groups.
The Amateo Network was founded in 2008 as the multi-disciplinary European organisation within the field of participatory arts and cultural activities. There are 32 national and regional umbrella groups and associations from 14 EU member states and 2 programme countries, with contacts to a huge network of regional and local associations within the European field of amateur arts.
Amateo’s 4-year programme Arts Take Part is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and aims to grow and strengthen the network over the next four years.
Preservation and Improvement of amateur Art in the Context of Progress of the Republic of Croatia: Assessment of the State (2015-2017) and strategic Perspectives
The paper evaluates the existing state of amateur art in the Republic of Croatia. Data from the scope of legislation, financing and planning, practice and needs, organization and international cultural cooperation are analyzed and provided a detailed insight into the current situation, essential for creating a strategy for preservation and development of amateur art in the Republic of Croatia. The strategy assumes solutions to problems encountered by cultural and artistic associations in everyday life and work. The solutions to these problems are presented in the form of proposed legislation with the explanation of its potential in the preservation and development of amateur art in the Republic of Croatia because since the formation of the Republic of Croatia to date, a similar legal framework has not been established. Since the paper belongs to the field of applied ethnomusicology, it provides examples of developing new situational “frames” for musical and other amateur art performances in the territory of individual counties. To this end, in the paper are presented initiatives and participation of the author in the project of the establishment of the Community of Cultural Associations of Požega-Slavonia County, as well as in the revitalization and starting county festivals and the national Meeting of Croatian tamburitza orchestras and ensembles.