News

SUSAV – Serbia

amateo member: SAVEZ UMETNIČKOG STVARALAŠTVA AMATERA VOJVODINE SUSAV / AMATEUR ART ASSOCIATION OF VOJVODINA

Member country: Serbia
Contact person: Savo Mučibabić, Secretary

Who? SUSAV is an umbrella organization for amateur culture in Vojvodina, a province of Serbia. During the last four years it is working as a non-governmental member organization which reunite over 250.000 adults, children and youths engaged in different cultural activities. The majority of the programs are carried out through a pyramid scheme – from almost every local community in the province of Vojvodina, through municipal and regional competitions to final province and republic festivals. This systematic selection provides qualitative development.

What? SUSAV supervises the implementation of cultural competitions on lower – municipal and regional levels and organize province festivals for various cultural activities ranging from choirs, orchestras (both folk/traditional and classical music), folklore, theater and recitations to visual art. At all these levels, work also includes cultural education: expert jury teams conduct interviews with the ensemble leaders in order to educate and improve the quality of their work. Apart of this, our alliance organise special courses and seminars for advanced professional training for all ensembles leaders who want to raise their level of professional work and to achieve results on scenes around the world.

Why join Amateo? We are convinced that membership in the European network Amateo can help us to improve the national status and care for all amateur creativity in our country. Another, no less important reason is to get new contacts and find an inspiration for new cultural cooperation.

Importance of international connections? International cooperation is important for acquiring new experiences, knowledge and acquaintance with examples of good practice. Also, we want to give our members more opportunities for international knowledge and skills sharing.

Future hopes? Our hope for the Amateo network is that the EU will continue to support its work. It will also be a positive indication to all national governments how to behave towards amateur arts. It is our wish that Amateo becomes the founder of the Amateo Olympiad project, which will bring together the best national representatives from various fields of amateur art.

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

LKCA – The Netherlands

Amateo member:
LANDELIJK KENNISINSTITUUT CULTUUREDUCATIE EN AMATEURKUNST (LKCA)
The Netherlands in Europe
Member country: The Netherlands
Contact person: Piet Roorda, senior cultural participation officer

Who?
LKCA is the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts in the Netherlands, based in Utrecht. LKCA is for everyone who is committed to education and participation in culture and the arts, both within the education system and beyond. Anyone working in or involved with these sectors can benefit from the expertise and opportunities for active knowledge exchange that LKCA offers.

Aim
Our aim is to help a wide range of people, including art teachers, internal culture coordinators and coaches, education officers within cultural institutions, policy officers, politicians, researchers, school managers, and administrators in the education sector and in umbrella organisations for the amateur arts. Volunteers working in areas such as the amateur arts can also consult LKCA for information.

Funding
LKCA is part of the Dutch Cultural System and receives funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for its nationwide support of the education and amateur arts sectors.

What?
LKCA is committed to:

  • facilitating high-quality, active cultural education, both inside and outside school
  • encouraging active cultural participation that is available and accessible to all
  • increasing support for cultural education and participation
  • connecting cultural education and active cultural participation with society as a whole.

Meeting fellow professionals through LKCA
LKCA regularly organises conferences and network meetings on specific topics and brings professionals, policy makers and administrators into contact with each other. These meetings are publicised through a number of channels, most notably the events calendar and the LKCA newsletter.

LKCA (credit: Hanne Nijhuis)

Knowledge and knowledge exchange: website, publications, social media
The LKCA website provides independent information on cultural education and participation in the broadest sense of the term. This includes the latest news from the sector and reliable information on a wide range of issues relating to cultural education and participation. On the LKCA website there are various platforms for sharing your knowledge with other visitors.

Research
LKCA conducts independent research on developments in cultural education and participation. The institute can undertake this research on behalf of all decision-makers in this field. We help shape political and public opinion by providing stakeholders with information, both unsolicited and on request.

Partners
As a national organisation LKCA works together with a lot of partners. Among others, LKCA works with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Cultural Participation Fund, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities, the Council of Twelve and its members, and umbrella organisations in the amateur arts sector.

LKCA (credit: Ineke Fey)

Why join Amateo?
LKCA is active in a lot of international organisations and networks and supports Amateo from the beginning. We find this important because international collaboration contributes to mutual exchange and to learning from each other. By sharing research, practices and experiences we strengthen cultural participation in our own country as well as on an European level. Making visible facts and values of cultural participation to policy makers and governments we think is also an important aspect of the work from Amateo, as it is from LKCA in the Netherlands. For that LKCA is both active in the board and in the ATP program.

Future hopes?
We hope that the Amateo network will grow. More sharing and exchange and more working together can enlarge the impact of our work for participants, professionals and for the policy level. Our hope is too that the support of cultural participation and education on a European, national and other levels will grow in the future and keep (or get) a solid base.


More information: https://www.lkca.nl/lkca-english/about-lkca
Piet Roorda is working at LKCA as a senior cultural participation officer and as a team coach.

Highlights: Amateo annual Conference & Award, Novi Sad 2019

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.

There are many more photos you can see on the Amateo Facebook page and some videos of musical performances from ceremony on the Amateo YouTube channel.

You can also view some of the presentations from conference:

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!

CONNECT+, Edinburgh

SAVE THE DATE!

CONNECT+ and the Epic Awards

1st – 3rd October 2019
Edinburgh, Scotland                          

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.

Programme

Opening Reception
Tuesday 1st October, 6:00pm (venue to be confirmed)

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

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, University of 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 Gallagher, Artistic 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

Epic Awards 2019 ceremony
Thursday 3rd October, 6:30pm, Central Hall, Edinburgh

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.


Booking details for each element of the programme will be available imminently!


JSKD – Slovenia

AMATEO MEMBER:
JAVNI SKLAD REPUBLIKE SLOVENIJE ZA KULTURNE DEJAVNOSTI / REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA PUBLIC FUND FOR CULTURAL ACTIVITIES (JSKD)

320px-Slovenia_in_its_region.svg

Member country: Slovenia
Contact person: Jan Pirnat, project manager

Who? JSKD is a state umbrella organization for amateur culture in Slovenia. The nationwide network was established in 1998. In Slovenia there are approximately 5000 cultural societies, associations and groups, which reunite over 100.000 adult members engaged in cultural activities. The headquarters with an expert unit and 59 regional branch offices (all over Slovenia) are enabling multi directional interaction between cultural societies, local communities and public institutions. The spatial dispersion and integration into the local environment are key to balanced development and crucial for networking on the regional, national and international level.

What? JSKD supervises the implementation of the national cultural program for various activities ranging from vocal and instrumental music, theater and puppets, folklore, dance and film to visual art and literary activity. 

Work also includes cultural education and introduction of new practices. In addition, JSKD carries out the procedures for co-financing of amateur cultural programs and projects, organizes events (festivals, competitions, concerts, exhibitions, etc.) and publishes professional literature (books, magazines, music collections, …) covering all topics of creativity in amateur art. 

The majority of the programs are carried out through a pyramid scheme (local, regional and state level) – systematic selection that promotes qualitative development. Groups that are selected for the state level are invited to national festivals, competitions, exhibitions. 

JSKD also provides advocacy for active participation in culture and is one of two main organisers of Week of Amateur Culture. WAC seeks to create greater accessibility and mobility of cultural assets. The openness of the creative space can be seen in the interaction of amateurs and professionals, who make significant contributions to the creation of amateur culture. 

Why join Amateo? JSKD was one of the founding members of Amateo network. Behind the network start up was an idea of sharing ideas and promoting active participation in culture on an international scale. 

On the international level JSKD cooperates with other national organizations in various EU programs and projects. It is also a member of numerous international professional organizations and networks dealing with amateur culture.

Importance of international connections? Connecting with partners in international projects and networks grants partners but also participants in countries where the member organisations are working the access to information that helps to develop their full creative potential.

Future hopes? Our hopes for the Amateo network are that the network will grow not only in numbers but it will also develop in an idea hub and platform for information flow and flow of projects and participants, volunteers and groups between EU countries.

Interested in joining Amateo’s European network? Find out more!

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.

IMG_9314

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.

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

Manifesto: European Parliament Elections 2019

Active participation for Creative Europe

Amateo’s Manifesto for European Parliament 2019 – 2024

Manifesto → download PDF here

This manifesto, addressed to European policy makers as we approach the European elections in 2019, is written to profile the amateur and voluntary arts sector. The sector is not only fundamental to culture and civil society. It helps build a more inclusive Europe, supports innovation and builds cohesive societies. Therefore, our sector contributes immensely to the new European Agenda for Culture.

Amateo is a young and diverse European network with more than 40 member organisations from 18 different countries. We are the voice of  the millions of amateur artists who passionately engage in the arts in their free time. They sing in a choir, make drawings or paintings, dance, play music or perform theatre. They learn new skills and express their own artistic passion. But taking part in arts also creates a sense of belonging. Actively engaging in the arts promotes cultural cohesion, social inclusion and active citizenship.

“Culture has always been at the heart of the European project. It is what brings people together. The cultural and creative sectors also have a crucial role in driving economic and social development, and they enable us to build strong international relations. We have big ambitions for culture, and a strong Creative Europe will enable us to make them a reality. I call on all Member States and the European Parliament to back this approach.”

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

The amateur arts sector and the new European Agenda for Culture: a match made in heaven

Social Dimension

→ Amateur arts create social cohesion

Amateur arts practice contributes directly to social cohesion and inclusion and work against tendencies of  fragmentation and polarisation. Amateur arts work as a binding force between individuals, cultures and communities. There are fewer barriers to actively take part in the arts than there are to being part of an audience, where there are considerable barriers, like cost, travel, inaccessibility and lack of understanding, etc. Cultural participation is associated with a more active lifestyle; those who are excluded from participating in cultural activities also have lower level of social cohesion (Morrone, De Mauro: 2008).

→ Amateur arts contribute to cultural participation

The amateur arts are egalitarian and democratic and available to everybody, regardless of ability, age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnic origin, belief system, economic status or social background, etc. By focusing on cultural capability as the guiding principle in the new European Agenda for Culture, and thus promoting opportunities for all to take part and to create, we believe that our work is more important than ever. Numerous projects that are developed within the amateur arts sector all over Europe reach out to specific target groups and tackle the inequality in access to culture.

  • In Croatia, the project ‘Back pack full of culture’ enabled young children in rural areas access to culture.
  • In Belgium, the project ‘Sing Me In’ fostered the inclusion of migrants into the choir world and the local community.

Amateur arts contribute to intercultural dialogue

Discover the voluntary arts throughout Europe and you experience the European identity in all its diversity. People who practise or perform the arts seek out similar-minded people to create, interact, exchange and collaborate. The numerous international exchanges, emerging friendships and intercultural learning experiences within and beyond Europe between amateur artists, open the door to new cultures, help to understand cultural diversity and build bridges across European communities.

→ Amateur arts contribute to the quality of life and have positive effects on health and wellbeing

The Associations Monitor, research report by LKCA in the Netherlands, concluded that ‘the many performances, shows and expositions contribute to the quality of life of small villages, neighbourhoods and cities.’ For older people arts practice helps to remain active and healthy longer, boosts self esteem, ensures social interaction, provides personal support networks and stimulates creativity. With an ageing population in Europe active cultural participation offers huge potentials for elder citizens in sharing experience and in addressing cross-generational issues.

  • ‘The voice of my memory’ from Belgium started many choirs for people with dementia

Economic Dimension

→ Amateur arts contribute substantially to the economy

38 % of the European population is engaged in the arts in their free time. They invest in their artistic hobby by buying musical instruments, costumes, books and other materials. They pay for training and education. Amateur art groups often travel abroad to take part in festivals, events and workshops. All together, they make a substantial contribution towards national economies.

→ Amateur arts is a source of  innovation and creative thinking

Amateur arts lay close to the field of cultural education; by practising amateur arts, people learn new skills and continue to develop these skills throughout life. Research shows that learning is a key motivation for people to engage in arts practice. Through active participation, people gain and develop skills that are useful to different areas of life.

 Amateur arts provide jobs for professional artists by employing instructors and teachers

The levels of education of amateurs arts have risen over the years. The training and education of dancers, writers, performers, painters, musicians, etc., involves professional artists which raises the standard of the work and the quality of the experience as well as creating employment opportunities for this artists themselves.

→ Supporting active participation in arts is supporting the audience for professional arts

Research has shown that active engagement in the arts as a child results in both receptive and active participation in cultural activities in later life.


From stakeholders in European policy we ask to:

1. Recognise and promote the value of active cultural participation

The intrinsic value of culture and participation is reflected in the new European agenda. To support and sustain the amateur arts sector, European policy and politicians could:

  • secure easy access to funding for it’s participants in all EU programs (Horizon 2020, regional funds…)
  • give us more exposure by your attendance at the annual Amateo award ceremony and handing the prize over to the winner
  • stress the importance of national support, since many Amateo member organisations experience a decline in support for culture and participatory arts on a national level

2. Support Amateo in gathering comparable data on amateur arts practice throughout Europe

Several member countries have already conducted research on amateur arts. However, due to differences in research scale, design and concepts, the results are difficult to compare. The special Eurobarometer, which investigated the number of EU population engaged in arts in their free time, dates from 2013. Up-to-date data and a resumption of the special Eurobarometer would be essential to create a pan-European picture on the practise of amateur arts and the need for support on a national and supranational level.

3. Create opportunities for professional artists (e.g. coaches, teachers, directors, etc.) that work with amateur artists within the new mobility funding scheme under Creative Europe

The new Creative Europe programme will contain a funding scheme for the mobility of professional artists. There is a vast number of paid staff and artists that work in and for associations to provide art-based activities for non-professional artists. Promoting the new funding for this kind of artistic work would create an added value for both professional artists and amateur artist groups who are challenged by working in different cultural contexts.

4. Create opportunities for small-scale projects and transversal projects to get support

New practices and methods, innovation and experimental work often grow bottom-up. Amateur art associations often work transversal with, e.g., the health sector; innovation and technology sector; education; civil society. By merging the expertise and experience from different domains, the output and impact of the project can be even bigger. While micro-organisations make up 95% of the cultural and creative sector, they barely get funded by EU. Creating possibilities for fair funding for the smaller NGOs would value the work of these important pioneers

Amateo Manifesto: EU Parliament elections 2019
Cover Letter for Amateo manifesto


Amateo As the European network for amateur arts we are committed to stimulate the debate and dialogue on the value and role of amateur arts and culture in society. Reflections on this memorandum and opportunities to engage in conversation on its content will be welcomed and appreciated.  

President, Susan Fazakerley, president@amateo.org  |  www.amateo.org
Secretariat, Benedikte De Vos, info@amateo.org   |  www.facebook.com/amateo.org

Amateo is a  membership organisation that works as an advocate and provides support and opportunities for exchange and collaboration amongst its members, who are national and regional organisations working in the field of amateur, voluntary and participatory arts and culture. We currently have 41 national and regional umbrellas and associations from 17 EU member states and three programme countries.

Bridges of CREATIVITY

Save the date for our eleventh Amateo Annual Conference – Bridges of CREATIVITY, Amateur arts and Youth in intercultural society!

Serbia, Novi Sad, 07-08. June 2019!

About the conference

Thinking about culture always leads to thinking about the relationship between cultures or their interaction. This interaction involves the presence of mutual interest, acceptance and respect, exchanging experiences between cultures and dialogue at different levels, from local to international. Is that precisely the essence of an intercultural society?

Inter-culture means the possibility of confronting ideas, which presupposes a change in the way of thinking, and as such is based on the idea of a better and more humane society and the future in which racism and all forms of discrimination will be eliminated.

This phenomenon is of particular concern to young people – those to whom European integration enabled mobility and much more frequent encounters with other cultures, through the prism of active participation in culture.

How tolerant are young people towards others who are different and is the amateur art a bridge that connects them?

These and other issues will be addressed by experts from different fields of culture and will be an opportunity to get acquainted with examples of good practice from Serbia and Europe.

Welcome!

Event hosted by:
Amateo – European Network for Active Participation in Culture
Amateur Art Association of Vojvodina
Cultural center of Vojvodina „Milos Crnjanski“ and
The Assembly and Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina

Conference venue:  Great Hall, Assembly of AP Vojvodina, Novi Sad

Check out the conference programme  and register your place (see registration form for details).

Sign up is open until 1st June 2019.

** All Amateo network members can attend the conference for free. **
New members can join Amateo here
The participation fee for non – Amateo members, for the two-day Amateo conference is € 40.00. 

Please note hotel and transportation are not included with registration fees.

Travel & Accomodation

If you need our help concerning your accommodation and transportation to the conference, please fill in the questionnaire.

For more information, please contact:
Milka Salatić,  +381640043051, savezamv@gmail.com