Highlights: CONNECT+, Edinburgh

Speakers at Don't Look Back seminar in Edinburgh (l-r: Ingrid Smit, Sylvia Dow, Anne Gallacher, Janine Husch)

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.


Opening Reception

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.


CONNECT+

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.


Epic Awards ceremony

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.


ATP Pioneer Projects

Members of the pioneer grant jury Inga Remeta and Amateo President, Suzan Fazakerley have selected three project plans for a Pioneer Project grant from Amateo:

  • FanfaKids X Brassbandschool
  • Hidden Tracks
  • Meeting Unknown

All three projects were created as a result of new connections that were made at CONNECT2019 in Narva, Estonia, in March 2019.

Granted projects:

FANFAKIDS X BRASSBANDSCHOOL

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.

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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.

HIDDEN TRACKS

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.

MEETING UNKNOWN

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.”


The Arts Take Part Pioneer Project team will continue to collect and share information about the pioneering projects using a monitoring format. Check back here for updates or follow Amateo on Facebook and Twitter.

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”

Amateo Pioneers

As part of Arts Take Part project, Amateo wants to share and highlight some of the many already excisting pioneer projects in the wonderful world of amateur arts. We are looking for unique creative projects with an experimental nature that can inspire others to develop the practises and products of amateurs in new ways. Thus moving the world of amateur culture in new directions and taking an active part in developing new artistic trends.

What’s a pioneer project?

In our view, a pioneer project is a small scale art project – which is experimental in nature, made by and/or performed by (mainly) non-professional artist/performers. It’s fundamentally designed to try out new things, like working methods, artistic approaches or collaborations as a kind of laboratory of arts.

A pioneer project can be in any kind of creative or performing artform. It can be more traditional like dance, drama, literature, painting and music or more contemporary like performance, installation, “poetry slam”, street- or urban art, digital art etc. We are very open to different kinds of submissions.

Within the ATP the pilot/pioneer projects should however:

  • have an international component (European collaboration and/or exchange)
  • have to do with target groups like the elderly, the disadvantaged, youth, peripheral areas, lifelong learning, democracy building, people with disabilities etc.
  • have an interdisciplinary component

The project should meet at least two of the demands mentioned above.

What are we asking you to do? And what do you gain?

We want you to send in one or more suggestions to pioneer projects by filling out the form below describing the goals, processes and results or your pioneer project by Tuesday 20 March 2018.

Enter your pioneer project here:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/amateopioneers

From all the projects send in, a jury of 4 people will chose three projects by the 1st of April. The chosen project will be highlighted at the annual Amateo conference in Ljubljana from 10 – 12 May 2018 as part of the programme. The travel expenses to go to Ljubljana will be paid by Amateo.

Besides being highlighted at the conference in Ljubljana, the 3 chosen projects will be shared digitally on the Amateo website, presenting the projects and their formats for inspiration and contact.

All in all we are offering a chance to share and highlight your pioneer project and for you to inspire others and show your work in a broader European context.

Jury: The members of the jury in 2018 are Susan Fazakerley (Denmark), Helen Jones (United Kingdom), Guido Bosua (Netherlands) and Matjaž Šmalc (Slovenia). The members of the jury cannot be involved in any way with the submitted projects.