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.

Because we are not only aiming to stimulate pioneer projects, but we also want to share experiences and outcomes to help other initiatives, we will monitor the three projects. We will ask questions before, during and after the project, and share the answers on the Amateo website. We intend to do this for a few years, so we can collect a variety of answers on the same series of questions. In the end, these answers will be published in a small took kit; ‘How to start a pioneer project’.

Now – 10 March: Subscribe for CONNECT2019
13 – 18 March: participate in CONNECT2019; meet people, find a partner, make a plan
18 March – 26 April: work on your project plan, and send it in to Amateo
10 May: Amateo will announce the three rewarded project plans
6 –8 June: presentation of the three project plans during Amateo’s Annual conference in Novi Sad, Serbia
8 June – March 2020: time to do your project
March 2020: sharing of the outcomes of your project at CONNECT2020

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.

What has the team been doing recently?

In year 1 we first focused on trying to formulate a definition. We started as Pilot projects, then we realised that we were not looking for Pilots, but for Pioneers. So we came up with a definition of pioneer projects in the context of Amateo’s Arts Take Part programme, which is:

  • ‘A pioneer project is a kind of artistic laboratory; a small scale project, delivered in a short period of time, with an experimental character, made by and/or performed by (mainly) non-professional artist/performers.
  • A pioneer project is designed to try out new things, like working methods, artistic approaches, or collaborations.
  • A pioneer project delivered as an artistic project in itself, but picked up by Amateo as a good and inspiring example, easily to copy or adapt, without loosing its original approach.’

Within the Arts Take Part project:

  • It should have an international component (European collaboration and/or exchange)
  • It should have to do with one of the targeted groups as mentioned in the Arts Take Part project plan (Older people, the disadvantaged, youth, outskirt areas, lifelong learning, democracy building, disabled people)
  • It should have an interdisciplinary component

Or at least two out of the three above-mentioned elements.

In March 2018 we had our first CONNECT: a four day working-conference in Deventer, Netherlands, where 40 people (young people, young creatives, organisations and policymakers) were together to work, talk, see performances, meet local organisations and make plans for pioneer projects. And we are happy to tell you that one of the projects born here (a cooperation between youth theatre organisations from Finland, Scotland, The Netherlands and Slovenia) just got a Erasmus+ grant.

Pioneer Projects - CONNECT 2018 - Deventer

What are you working on for the future?

Now we are working hard of the second edition of CONNECT, which will take place in Narva, Estonia, from 14 – 17 of March 2019. The sub-title of CONNECT 2019 is ‘create new perspectives’. With this sub-title we would like to encourage young people, young creatives and organisations from all possible arts disciplines to come and join, to stimulate not only the international aspect, but also the interdisciplinary aspect.
And to encourage that, we are also happy to announce that we can reward three project-ideas that are made during CONNECT 2019 with a mini-grant of € 2.500 each.
In the end we would like to build a European community of pioneers within the bigger Amateo family. We can meet during CONNECT or the other pioneer presentations, and we can share information through the Facebook page or the Amateo website

What are the highlights or best moments so far?

CONNECT 2018 was a highlight, because here it was very clear what we as the Pioneer Projects team want to do: bring people together, create time and space to talk and exchange, to get inspired, and to make new plans. But the pioneer presentation in Ljubljana, during the annual Amateo conference was also a highlight. It works very well to talk about art, and at the same time be able to talk with the people we are working for, and see some inspiring performances.

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

Join CONNECT 2019 in Estonia, or follow us on the Facebook page.

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


CONNECT2018 – Highlights

In March 2018 the first CONNECT took place in Deventer (NL)!

Fifteen young people joined a theatre workshop by DeGasten (Amsterdam, NL), and in total 44 people from 14 European countries joined the event. In 2018 the focus was mainly on meeting people, making inspiring plans and new connections.

Highlights of CONNECT2018

Boundless in Slovenia

The Dutch Theaterschip and the German Theater am Fluss have made several international projects together. In 2017 they made ‘Boundless’, an interdisciplinary project about feeling at home. In May 2018 they did a remake in Slovenia, together with Glej theatre. Three young professionals (a filmmaker, a choreographer and a theatre-maker) and five young participants (from Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia) worked for a week, and showed the outcomes during the annual Amateo conference in Ljubljana


During CONNECT2018, Strangetown (Scotland), Glej (Slovenia), Teaterskolan i Svenskfinland (Finland) and Theaterschip (the Netherlands) met each other. After some inspiring and intensive sessions, these four organisations (all making theatre with young people) decided to do some research to see if there are possibilities to organise an exchange programme in 2019.

At the end of 2018 the result was positive: Erasmus+ has accepted the application made by Glej, so in March 2019 the four artistic leaders will meet in Ljubljana, joined by four young professionals and four young participants.

This meeting in Ljubljana is to prepare a big project, planned in October 2019. In this project seven young participants from each country will take part in workshops, see performances and work together on one big performance in one week. A great example of exchange on the level of young participants, young professionals and organisations, born during CONNECT2018.

We are the memory

Tamara Pomoriški joined the full four days of CONNECT2018, as a young professional in the workshop. On Monday, she met Hanna Timmers, from the Dutch organisation Theater na de Dam. Theater na de Dam is a theatre company from Amsterdam that organises annual public performances with young people commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. An agreement was made to spread this concept to other European countries, so in January this year they together made a first theatre project of this kind in Prague, Czech Republic. And it was also agreed that this will become an annual event. Read more about the project.



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:

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.