Amateo Award winner 2019

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.

Amateo Award 2019 nominees and team

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.”

Moving Ground (BE) - Amateo Award 2019 winner

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.

www.theaternadedam.nl

RedSapata Tanzfabrik: 10+10 Bridges, Austria

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”.

https://redsapata.com

Art Kvart – Start!, Serbia

“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.

www.novokulturnonaselje.rs

The Irish Video Game Orchestra, Northern Ireland

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.

www.ivgorchestra.org

Moving Ground, ClubMG, Belgium

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.

www.movingground.be

About Amateo

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.

Press enquiries:
Amateo – info@amateo.org | comms@amateo.org
Damien McGlynn, 07818 028128

Assessment of the State and Strategic Perspectives of Amateur Arts in Croatia

Dražen Jelavić, PhD.

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

ABSTRACT

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.

Download this research paper

HSK – Croatia

AMATEO MEMBER:
Hrvatski sabor kulture / Croatian Cultural Association

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.

Amateo Award 2019 finalists

Five finalists announced for the Amateo Award 2019

Exceptional amateur arts groups are having a profound impact on their communities across Europe.

Some 65 projects from across the continent applied for the Amateo Award 2019, a €1,000 prize supported by Creative Europe to celebrate and strengthen participatory arts.

Today five finalists have been announced representing work from Serbia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Northern Ireland.

“The ability of the voluntary arts to make people’s lives better are writ large in the applications we’ve seen for this prize,” said Jim Tough, coordinator of the Arts Take Part project which runs the Award programme.

Continue reading “Amateo Award 2019 finalists”

Consulta Periferie Milano

Amateo Member: Consulta Periferie Milano

Italy

Member country: Italy
Contact person: Giorgio Bacchiega

My name is Giorgio Bacchiega 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?

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.

Arts Take Part: Courses & Conferences

What is the overall mission of this team during the Arts Take Part project?

Gain visibility of Amateo network, involve new partners/members in Amateo activities, to provide the paid and voluntary staff in participatory arts associations in EU states and programme countries with new trans-national skills, competences and know-how. Promote and provide trans-national courses and conferences. Sharing good practice and experiences from different European countries.

What has the team been doing recently?

Helping to write the Year 3 programme for Arts Take Part, preparing our conference in Novi Sad and preparing an e-guide for Amateo Awards and making first action towards successfully organized CONNECT event in Estonia.

What are you working on for the future?

Trying to set up our first webinar, thinking about themes for future seminars, workshops and conferences and focusing on the target groups.

Pioneer project presentation at Glej Theatre, Ljubljana, May 2018
Pioneer project presentation at Glej Theatre, Ljubljana, May 2018
What are the highlights so far?

CONNECT in Deventer, Netherlands, Amateo conference in Vrsar, Croatia, meeting in Ljubljana and the first Amateo awards in Kranj, Slovenia.

How can other Amateo members or non-members get involved with this work?

Contribute the materials for e-guides/tutorials, participate or present their work at Amateo events (seminars, conferences), give ideas for events in future, be a host of the events in future, share good will, experience and knowledge in organizing events and projects.

Join CONNECT 2019 in Estonia, follow us on the Facebook page or contact info@amateo.org.


Arts Take Part is a four-year network project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Find out more about Arts Take Part on the project page.

ATP and EU emblem banner

Pioneer Projects grants

One of the goals of Amateo’s Arts Take Part programme is to stimulate small scaled, international and interdisciplinary projects, share the experiences and outcomes of these projects, and build an international network of people and organisations who like to develop new methods, unexpected combinations and surprising projects.

Amateo’s CONNECT is a moment in time and place to meet other pioneers and organisations, and find one or more possible partners to work on a project plan. These project plans can be sent to Amateo. We will choose the three most exciting project ideas, and reward each of them with an Amateo grant of € 2.500,–. This money has to be spent on the project.

Continue reading “Pioneer Projects grants”

Arts Take Part: Pioneer Projects

What is the overall mission of this team during the Arts Take Part project?

The mission of the Pioneer Project Team is officially ‘To implement full support to innovative cross-border pilot work, identify and assess new innovative cross-border pilot work, exchange good practice and share innovative ideas, including topics of engaging marginalised social groups (ageing, disadvantaged, ethnic, migrants)’, and we do that by ‘providing contact fora, project fair meetings, and advice and helpdesk; and initiate one own pilot project and allocate micro-grants to new initiatives – which is of course a lot of work for a team of four people.

Continue reading “Arts Take Part: Pioneer Projects”

Arts Take Part update | Jim Tough

My baby grandson is living with us for a few months. He’s culturally emancipated. He participates in his own small cultural and creative life without a policy, strategy or state subsidy in sight. Some picture books, building blocks, his grannie’s songs, his mum’s dancing rhythms and his father’s stories are all embraced with curiosity and energy.

From the day we are born our creative impulses are strong. Amateo, Europe’s network supporting active participation in arts and culture, recognises that those impulses can stay with us throughout our lives, from birth to old age. An active creative and cultural life can bring pleasure and it can have a very positive impact on so many other aspects of our lives as individuals and communities.

Continue reading “Arts Take Part update | Jim Tough”