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Supporting Culture is Supporting Europe!

EUROPEAN CITIZENS AND CULTURAL ACTORS SAY: “SUPPORTING CULTURE IS SUPPORTING EUROPE!”

Culture is the foundation of European unity, underpinning our sense of belonging to a common project. It constitutes an enormous economic asset, enhances community cohesion, intercultural understanding and solidarity. Culture promotes democratic participation; in times of growing polarisation and challenges to freedom of expression, safeguarding artistic freedom and diversity is crucial. Therefore, culture needs a proper financial commitment to ensure the sustainability of the European project.

Strong evidence exists on the impacts of culture across EU policy fields. “The Value and Values of Culture” impact review has substantiated “20 reasons why” culture merits financial support in the next 2020 EU budget. The multifaceted nature of EU cultural action requires a robust stand-alone cultural programme and an acknowledgement of cultural cross-overs with other fields of EU action.

Concerned European citizens, cultural operators, artists, policy-makers, researchers, and students have already supported Culture Action Europe’s campaign calling on the European Commission to recognise the EU added value of cultural investment, by:

  • Doubling the budget available for culture in absolute terms, given that the current EU programme dedicated to culture is over-subscribed and suffers from severe under-investment, despite its proven efficacy and relevance.
  • Ensuring that 1% of the budget of each EU policy field is allocated to culture given its positive impact on health and well-being, social cohesion and equality, education, promotion of democratic principles, external relations, alongside with growth and jobs, research and innovation.

The European Commission proposed a new Agenda for Culture on 22 May and a new Creative Europe programme for the 2021-2027 cycle on 30 May. They set ambitious objectives for culture in the social domain, as well as in the area of external relations and the economy. These agendas tackle key challenges for the future, such as the digital transition, the need to build synergies between culture, education and R+D+i, all crucial areas to ensure the common European assets of tomorrow. Proper funding is required to fund this new approach. In addition, current priorities are chronically underfunded, as shown in mid-term evaluation of the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020) published on 30 April. Thus, a double increase of the next Creative Europe programme is necessary to achieve EU added value and the desired impact in both current and future areas of EU action.

Building on Culture Action Europe MFF position, we strongly support sectoral initiatives, such as the open letter signed by 70 organisations from across Europe’s cultural and creative sectors sent to President Juncker and the position put forward by IETM calling for an EU programme for culture in the post-2020 cycle with strengthened financial allocation and, at least, a double budget increase.

Yours sincerely,

Susan Fazakerly

President of Amateo, European network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities and member of Culture Action Europe


 

Amateo – European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities

Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities that serves and promotes people’s participation in the voluntary and amateur arts. Founded in 2008 it includes today more then 30 national and regional umbrellas and associations from EU member states and programme countries. Amateo sees active participation in the arts as a core value for a free and open society as enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Active participation in arts and cultural activities empowers individuals to freely express themselves and promotes cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship with an added value for humanistic and democratic values.

Arts Takes Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, is a unique and exciting new project being undertaken by Amateo. It will help to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events. In the process it will raise the profile of the participatory arts and the important impact that has on people’s lives.

www.amateo.org

Culture Action Europe (CAE)

Culture Action Europe (CAE) is the major European network of cultural organisations, artists, activists, academics and policy-makers. CAE is the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in Europe.

As the only cross-sectoral network, we represent all sub-sectors in culture: from performing arts, literature, visual arts, design and cross-arts initiatives to community centres and activist groups.

Culture Action Europe aims to put culture at the heart of public debate and decision-making by raising awareness of the contribution of culture to the development of sustainable and inclusive societies.

To achieve this aim, Culture Action Europe organises cross-sectoral conferences and workshops, online debates and offline high level panels. We explore, aggregate and disseminate cross-sectoral knowledge, build the capacity of cultural operators and advocate for a better cultural policy for EU citizens and the cultural sector.

www.cultureactioneurope.org

Op Roet: Amateo Ambassador 2018

On Thursday 11th May 2018, the Op Roet theatre foundation received the first European Amateo Award in Ljubljana for their performance of Ed van Hoorn FucktheSystem. The jury of the Amateo Award was impressed with the artistic and meaningful impact of the performance. Ed van Hoorn FtS was one of 42 cultural projects that were nominated for the prize, from 16 European countries.

European Ambassador
One part of the Amateo Award consists of being an ambassador for participatory art projects. For one year, Op Roet will use this ambassadorship to facilitate interaction between newcomers and inhabitants through art and theatre.

The performance of Ed van Hoorn FtS has shown what such interaction between newcomers and inhabitants can yield. It’s a way to uncover and reduce biases, and a way to stimulate social integration. The performance showed how important it is to listen and share stories with each other and how cultural differences are precious and form special relationships.

As part of the ambassadorship Op Roet has created a program consisting of 4 parts: a trailer, a new performance, new encounters, and the makers. These 4 parts can be combined or used individually.

Trailer of Ed van Hoorn FtS
A taste of the atmosphere of the performance and interviews with newcomers, who talk about what participating in the performance meant for them. The trailer is 7 minutes long and is in English.

https://www.facebook.com/StichtingOpRoet/videos/737811503227281/

Ed van Hoorn FtS lead to the making of a new performance: Friends to be… What happens when a Arab and a westerner meet and want to become friends? How can they learn from each other, what do they have in common?

Nour Mardini and Gerard Venverloo will go on a quest to find the right answers. They ask the questions that often stay untouched. The performance will be 40 minutes long and it will be in English.

Monique Schoorl, director of the Language training centre: “Nour takes us on a journey about the power of people: when your own world literally collapses, and you accept this fate, you can start again, in a strange and foreign country”.

The Interaction
Op Roet aims to emphasise on interaction between local newcomers and visitors of Amateo events. Together with local organisations in charge of integration (which will differ per country), Op Roet will organise encounters within the programme of the current Amateo congresses and symposia. As such, Op Roet has developed a program consisting of theatrical speed dates, that have already proven to be successful.

The makers
Lyda Tijsen and Ingrid Docter are, as director and writer, responsible for connecting and shaping the various parts of the program. The foundation Op Roet develops art & theatre projects with immaterial heritage as main inspiration. The purpose of these projects is to create a dynamic and vivid connection between material and immaterial heritage in the past, present and future.

NOC – Slovakia

AMATEO MEMBER: NARODNE OSVETOVE CENTRUM / NATIONAL CENTER OF CULTURE AND FURTHER EDUCATION (NOC)


Member country: Slovak Republik 
Contact person: Alexandra Stefkova

Who: National center of culture and further education (NOC) is a state contributory organisation of the Ministry of Culture of Slovak Republic, which provides functionality and nationwide professional methodology for educational and cultural activities.

What: NOC supports the development of cultural, educational and artistic activities in local, regional and national conditions, in particular: publishing activity, research and monitoring activities in culture, exhibitions and presentation activities.

Continue reading “NOC – Slovakia”

Sharing Arts & Heritage

The National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA), the Cultural Participation Fund (FCP), Keunstwurk (regional cultural organisation of Fryslân) and the ministry of Education, Culture and Science in the Netherlands is organising the European conference on arts and heritage education and participation: Sharing Arts & Heritage. The conference will take place on 18 & 19 October 2018 in the city of Leeuwarden, European Capital of Culture 2018.

Sharing Arts & Heritage

This international conference investigates how cultural education and cultural participation relate to challenges of access, social cohesion, heritage and cooperation. Arts and heritage are key factors for building a sustainable Europe, that is now facing growing diversity and polarisation. How can we best channel our research and policies to promote an open, inclusive, resilient European society?

Nick Wilson, Reader in Creativity, Arts & Cultural Management at the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries, King’s College London will deliver the key note for the conference.

The target groups of the conference are: professionals working in the fields of policy and practice related to cultural education and participation.

Free tickets for Amateo members

** All Amateo network members can attend the conference for free. **
New members can join Amateo here. Amateo network members can sign up to the conference here.


In a session on Friday 19 October, Amateo wants to share and discuss our ideas about collecting new data and the way to initiate that.

In Europe, data on numbers of people involved in amateur arts are scarce, while the importance of evidence-based policy is increasing. There is a growing urge for valid figures for advocacy purposes, both to influence strategies of the European Commission as well as cultural policies of individual states.

Regrettably, neither Eurostat nor any other source gives us the detailed, compatible and validated information on the amateur arts we need. It is therefore of vital importance to develop a methodology and a questionnaire which can be used in all European countries.

John Lievens (Ghent University, Belgium) and Hamish Fyfe (University of South Wales) present the report ‘Considerations regarding Comparative European Research into Amateur Arts Participation’. This session is initiated by the team for Research and Documentation from the European network Amateo.

Do you know researchers or cultural professionals who have been working on or have a big interest in collecting data on amateur arts? Please share this information with them! In addition, Amateo can offer 10 sponsored places for taking part in this research session during the conference! Need more information? Email us!

Highlights: Conference & Award, Ljubljana

Amateo celebrated its tenth birthday in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the network was originally founded in 2008. The annual conference was held in Ljubljana at Cankarjev dom, while the first ever Amateo Award was presented at a special ceremony in Kranj as part of the launch of the Slovenian Week of Amateur Arts (Teden ljubiteljske kulture).

Slovenia’s national broadcaster, RTV Slovenija, featured the announcement of the inaugural Amateo Award in their news broadcasts. Watch the clip and read the news article here.

As well as this, Susan Fazakerley, President of Amateo, was interviewed on Slovenian radio about the importance of participation in culture. Listen to the interview here.

See photos below and on the Amateo Facebook page. You can also view the presentations of Réka Bálog (Europa Cantat) and Akademska folklorna skupina France Marolt.

During the annual General Assembly 2018 of Amateo, held on 10 May in Ljubljana, we were delighted that four new members joined our growing European network:

  • Fèisean nan Gàidheal, UK
  • Making Music, UK
  • House of Children and Youth of the capital city Prague, Czech Republic
  • Consulta Periferie Milano, Italy
'Before you say YES', Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
‘Before you say YES’, Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
Réka Bálog, Europa Cantat, keynote presentation at Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
Réka Bálog, Europa Cantat, keynote presentation at Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
Vuk Cosic, presentation at Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
Vuk Cosic, presentation at Amateo Annual Conference, Ljubljana, May 2018
Pioneer project presentation at Glej Theatre, Ljubljana, May 2018
Pioneer project presentation at Glej Theatre, Ljubljana, May 2018
First ever Amateo Award winners, EdvanHoornFucktheSystem from the Netherlands.
First ever Amateo Award winners, EdvanHoornFucktheSystem from the Netherlands.

Amateo Award 2018 winner announced

The first annual Amateo Award has been announced at a ceremony held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The inaugural winners are EdvanHoornFucktheSystem from the Netherlands!

In 2017 the Dutch theatre group Op Roet decided to make the performance, EdVanHoornFuckTheSystem, about a very special guy from the city of Hoorn, his name is Ed. It’s based on a true story about a guy – a loner – who works at a refugee camp in Syria. He finds himself fighting the systems at NGOs, the United Nations… because the money does not always reach the people/refugees who really need it. They made this play with 40 actors, musicians and singers. By matching 20 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea with a Dutch buddy, the creative process became an inclusive and social process as well, with a beautiful and inspiring result. The refugees played an integral part of the performance and this performance gave them a natural way to learn the language and, most importantly, to make new friends.

The jury selected this project for their outstanding social impact, their innovative way of making a non-professional theatre performance and the beautiful artistic result that was the result of this performance.

“We were very, very proud and honoured. It means a lot to us because now we are sure that we made a project & a performance with a lot of participation from the community and universal meaning, so it means a lot to us.

I think there are a lot of prejudices surrounding refugees and you can only really get away from that if you can really meet, really listen to the refugees’ stories and think ‘there’s a person’. We want to give the refugees a voice and a face.

Every refugee buddied up with a member of the cast, learning about each other and making friends. And the play and the performance of Ed van Hoorn became a very special moment where cultures were shared. Every performance, it was so very special to see that the audience was very touched when the story of the individual refugee was told by them.”

– Lyda Tijsen, Op Roet

“All of the projects on the Amateo Award shortlist were incredibly inspiring in different ways. It was a very difficult decision for the judging panel to select just one winner. Op Roet’s EdvanHoornFucktheSystem project really stood out as an example that embodies the power of participatory culture to have real, positive impact in our communities. The creativity and dedication evident in this project makes it a thoroughly deserving winner of the first ever Amateo Award!”

– Klemen Janežič, Slovenian actor and guest judge for the Amateo Award 2018

See more about the five Amateo Award nominated projects here.

Stay up to date on future Amateo events and awards by subscribing to our newsletter.

Amateo Award 2018 Nominations

Our new programme Arts Take Part – supported by Creative Europe – aims to grow and strengthen the network over the next four years. As part of this new programme and to celebrate our 10th anniversary we have initiated the new Amateo Award celebrating participatory arts in Europe.

These inaugural awards have attracted significant interest from across Europe and we are excited to have received 42 applications from 16 countries. The five shortlisted projects represent exceptional work from Denmark, Slovenia, Belgium, Netherlands and Scotland. All five will be represented at the announcement of the winner on 10 May 2018 in Ljubljana, as part of the Amateo Annual Conference “Before You Say Yes”. The conference is being hosted by Amateo member JSKD in Slovenia.

Aled Rhys-Jones – former Amateo president and member of judging panel said:

“The shortlisting jury for the first Amateo Award considered 42 eligible applications from creative cultural projects in 16 different countries. The range of projects was startlingly diverse from established large scale events involving thousands of participants, to innovative, new, first-time-out projects led by individuals. I was amazed by the breadth of diverse applications in this our first Amateo award and it was very gratifying for the jury to have such a breadth of high quality applications to consider.”

The Buddy Beat

Buddy Beat – UK

The judging panel were impressed with the positive impact this project has had on the quality of life the participants. It has nurtured mental well being, grown their confidence and created a real sense of belonging and support. Their public performances add to both their enjoyment as well as showing the rest of the world how active participation in arts can have a positive effect.

DAOS

DAOS – Denmark

This summer school can be set as an example throughout Europe. The jury were impressed by the simple, but effective design of this project. This project is intergenerational and focuses on classical music. By it’s simple design they are able to reach a large scale of people and they ensure that people from every age group can actively participate in classical music.

Over mijn lijf

“Over mijn lijf” (‘About my body’) – Belgium

“Over mijn lijf” (‘About My Body’) OPENDOEK Flanders, Belgium. A project which focuses on working with seniors through the challenging medium of physical theatre. This project interested the shortlisting jury for considering the issues relating to senior citizens and active cultural participation. Older amateur actors often withdraw from performing owing to the pressures of line-learning; when, owing to advancing years and failing sensory or memory issues, an otherwise capable performer can suddenly be relegated to serving the refreshments in the interval. The project offers older actors new exciting challenges through working with physical theatre and finding new ways of expression and communication and a new ‘voice’, supported by professional input. The new work is then toured and performed for senior audiences.

Ed from Hoorn, Fuck The System

EdvanHoornFucktheSystem – The Netherlands

The jury was impressed by their interaction with refugees together with actors and musicians from the Netherlands. They use the refugee theme to create an intense and original play with over 40 actors and musicians. By allocating the refugees with a Dutch buddy, the creative process became an inclusive and social process as well, with a beautiful and inspiring result.

Dotikanja

Touching (Dotikanja) – Slovenia

The judging panel were impressed with the positive impact this project has had on community of dystrophic people in Slovenia. Many exhibitions taking place all over Slovenia and the final product wall calendar with finger prints of artists showed artistic value of Dotikanja and great receipt from audience and amateurs. The project gave to the participants energy and power to do more and to express themselves through fine arts.

Before you say YES

The programme for our Amateo Annual Conference in Ljlubljana – Before You Say YES, Management Challenges in Active Participation in Culture is now online!

Speakers will include Réka Bálog (HU), Chief programme manager & international executive of the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra in Pécs, Vuk Ćosić (CRO), internet veteran and internationally acclaimed classic of internet art, who si also an author of the communications strategy for Rijeka 2020 European Capital of Culture, MSc. Livija Rojc Štremfelj (SLO), Certified Fund Raising Executive and Master of Non-profit Organisations.

How to deal with the management of cultural projects is the main topic of this year’s Amateo conference organised for the tenth consecutive year by the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities (Amateo). The program of the conference answers questions that all organisers of cultural events are asking: as creators we are constantly faced with organisational challenges – how to organise a successful and rewarding cultural event? On the 10th anniversary of Amateo we would like to focus on you, cultural organisers, who are doing your best so that artistic achievements can be appropriately presented. The management of cultural projects is multifaceted. The knowledge of leadership, management, promotion and acquisition of resources are challenging tasks, which are often neglected in amateur culture and therefore we are constantly discovering how to deal with those tasks.

Check out the full program [PDF]and register your place. (see registration form for details).

Sign up until 5 May 2018.

The participation fee for the two-day Amateo conference is € 80.00. For participants from Slovenia a half of the fee is covered by the Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities. For participants from Croatia a half of the fee is covered by the Croatian Culture Council.

For more information, please contact:
Marjeta Turk, JSKD, +38612410524, marjeta.turk@jskd.si
Jan Pirnat, JSKD, +38612410528, jan.pirnat@jskd.si

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.

Opportunity: Fundraising & Sponsorship Consultant

Freelance Fundraising & Sponsorship Consultant
Deadline: Friday 23 February 2018

Arts Take Part is a unique and exciting new project being undertaken by Amateo, a network that serves and promotes people’s participation in the voluntary and amateur arts. Arts Take Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, will help to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events.

The project is being delivered by a Management Team and five Activity Teams. The application for funding from Creative Europe included match-funding from the network and targets for income from fundraising and sponsorship. As such, the Board of Amateo are now seeking to recruit a freelance Fundraising & Sponsorship Consultant.

Fee: up to €7,000 (including all expenses)

Download the Fundraising and Sponsorship Consultant Brief

Applications should be sent to Project Co-ordinator, Jim Tough at jim@amateo.org by Friday 23 February 2018.