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
All three projects were created as a result of new connections that were made at CONNECT2019 in Narva, Estonia, in March 2019.
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.
The second part of the project will happen in autumn or winter (depending on the school holidays in both countries). 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 these two groups will perform together in Brussels.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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”.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
→ 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
→ 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
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.
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.
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.
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
Do you (voluntarily) work for a member organisation of Amateo, do you have a passion for amateur arts, time to attend 3 international Board Meetings in a year, an open view and a bright spirit? Then we are looking for you! **
Amateo supports and promotes the activities of the amateur arts sector cause we believe that all European citizens should have access and opportunities to enjoy, participate in and benefit from creative and cultural experiences of their choice.
Arts Takes Part, supported by Creative Europe and Amateo member organisations, helps to strengthen the organisations involved in this work, grow the network and offer training, knowledge exchange and events.
Do you want to follow our Arts Take Part project from closeby and at the same time give direction to our long-term evolution as a network? Then join the Board of Amateo!
What do you get? You get the chance to be part of an international and enthusiastic team of Board members, learn and exchange with colleagues from all over Europe and follow our events from the first row.
Are you interested? Then put forward your candidacy by sending your CV and a short motivation letter from your organisation to email@example.com.
**We are also looking for a new treasurer, so having some experience with accountancy would be great (but is not at all a must!).
“My short time in the Amateo board has really opened my eyes for the diverse and valuable work in voluntary and amateur arts in Europe. This network has given our organisation new possibilities for European collaboration that otherwise never would have happened. Amateo connects us and truly is an organisation with a big and open heart.”
Jani Lastuniemi, Project leader FSU, Finland
“8 years has past by rather fast. I worked with great people all over the Europe and I am glad that I have learned so much new and great stuff. I started when Amateo was just young and unknown and I am leaving now with great experience of being a part of Arts Take Part project. Thank you all and wish you the best!”
Valentina Dačnik, prof., Hrvatski Sabor Kulture, Croatia
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.
Member country: Italy Contact person: Giorgio Bacchiega
My name is GiorgioBacchiega 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?
2011 Figino 2b
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.
In the spring of 2018 The Joint Council of Amateur Arts Associations in Denmark (AKKS), interviewed all it’s 19 national music organisations. One of the themes mentioned throughout all the interviews was the difficulty the organisations were experiencing, attracting young members to take part in the management of the organisations. As this is both an organisational and democratic challenge for the survival of the voluntary based organisations, something needed to be done…
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.