CONNECT2021 Programme: Keynotes and Workshops

CONNECT2021 Connect to the unexpected

CONNECT is an interactive programme offering an opportunity for cross-cultural collaboration, developing projects with partners and creative exchange through interdisciplinary workshops.

In 2020 we had planned a live event in Brussels, but due to the pandemic we decided to reform the concept to an online version. Now, in 2021 we keep both options open. We keep our fingers crossed that it can be a live event in Maribor (Slovenia), but we also prepare the online version on the same dates. On April 30th, we’ll decide which version it will become, but you can subscribe to the event now, because there will be limited places!

In both versions the theme is ‘CONNECT to the unexpected’, and the focus will be on all sorts of community arts. Join us 4th – 6th of June to explore these themes, develop collaborative Pioneer Projects and apply for one of three grants of €2500 to develop these with partners.

Parallel with this organisers’ programme, there is an active workshop programme for enthusiastic non-professional artists from all disciplines, all age groups and all kind of communities. This year we offer two workshops:

Double dolls – Tamás Bakó and Márton Debreczeni

We’ll be dipping ourselves in the work with our bodies, focusing on partnering ways of communication through touch, attention and openness, exploring consensual movement, and get a taste of performance practice bound to the keyword “Home” of CONNECT2021. We’ll be mainly using contact techniques mixed with elements of Hungarian folklore dance.
Tamás Bakó, dancer, teacher, choreographer. Member of numerous companies, Ismael Ivo, Marco Santi, Hodworks, Artus, freelance dancer and choreographer of many productions. Winner of Stuttgart Solo dance festival. Leading teacher of contemporary dance and contact dance improvisation in Budapest Dance Academy, teacher of professional contemporary dance schools, like SEAD / Salzburg, P.A.R.T.S. / Brussels, Manufacture HES-SO / Lausanne.
Márton Debreczeni director, teacher. Member and director of Kompania and Artus Contemporary Arts Studio. Cross-field artist working with dance, fine arts, film, augmented reality. Choreographer for Budapest Philharmonic, composer of music for theatre performances and sound installations. Drama, and theatre in education teacher.

Postcards from home Maribor – Photini Papahatzi

What is HOME? Where do you feel like HOME and why? How does it feel in your new home? What do you miss? Is there an object that makes you feel HOME? A gesture, a movement, something abstract? Where is home? What does home mean? What does it symbolize and how is it defined? What is the role that the home can play in people’s lives? Ηome as an origin, as a natural environment, as the body itself, as the neighbourhood, the place, the country, the nation…

The concept of home provides a framework for a wide variety of photographic studies. At a time when migration is a daily event globally, we are returning to the concept of home, and in particular of the Hestia (Mythology).

‘Postcards from home’ is an international art community that reflects and creates on the theme of home. Postcards from home brings together local communities, refugees, immigrants and artists to reflect, create and send a postcard on the idea of HOME. Each postcard has on one side the picture taken from the participant and on the back side of the postcard the story of the photo, along with the details of the participant, if he/she want to share them. Visit www.postcardsfromhome.eu to see what home is for other people on this planet!

The overall vision with this workshop: To reflect, create and share your stories and photos of what home means for you and become a part of this international community. The workshop is addressed to everyone who wants to bring their experience, their thoughts and creativity on the concept of home: anything from the home tradition and customs that was left behind or brought forward, the family archive, the new home; a person that feels like home, an idea, an object or a memory.

PHOTINI PAPAHATZI
Photini Papahatzi born in Athens, Greece is a cultural manager, certified non-formal learning adult trainer and a visual artist. Since 2016 she organizes the project “Postcards from home”, which she created during her fellow shop at START Create Cultural Change program (2016) and since then she organises the homonymous interdisciplinary workshop in collaboration with photographers, curators and organisations in various parts of the world.
In 2021 she implements the research project “Postcards from home: Geography of feelings” with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. In 2020-2021, as a founding member of NGO Artifactory, she is working on the implementation of the project “Art + Culture vs Xenophobia” in the framework of Active Citizens Fund, of the EEA grants. She is a partner of AMAKA with which they implement the topos: Lefkada in 2020-2021.
She has organised and participated in contemporary art exhibitions (most recent: 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2018, and The Provinces , TAF Athens 2019) and in photography exhibitions in NY, Cuba, UK, Germany, Greece, FYROM, Russia and Croatia. Her works are held in
private collections in Greece and abroad. Her book “Elevador” is in the collection of the New York & Beinecke International Book Collection & Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, USA. She is a member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. Website: http://www.photinipapahatzi.com



*Workshop participants are asked to follow the parts of the program marked in red

DAY 1: Friday 4th June, 18.00 – 21.00 (all together)

Welcome dinner and an evening programme with local performances.
An evening to get to know each other and to get a good impression of Maribor’s cultural life.

DAY 2: Saturday 5th June

09.00 – 12.30 Workshop programme: 1st round
09.15 – 10.00 Organisers’ programme: Keynote speaker Beate Kegler

Dr. Beate Kegler

Dr. Beate Kegler researches and teaches to the topic of cultural work in rural areas, especially to the political aspects and meaning, chances and challenges of community arts for rural development. She is asked as cultural consultant by political bodies, cultural associations and networks and contributes to several juries of grant programs and scientific advisory boards. Before starting her academic career at the Department of Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim, Beate Kegler studied cultural sciences in Lüneburg (D) and London (GB) and ruled socio cultural organisations in remote territories. In the last years she has written a wide range of articles and contributed to publications like the European anthology “Vital Villages. Development of Rural Areas as a Challenge for Cultural Policy” (Vital Village bei transcript Verlag (transcript-verlag.de)). Together with her family she lives in a small village at the German North Sea coast.

Dr. Beate Kegler

10.00 – 11.00 Speed dating
All participants of the organizers programme are set up in a series of short, intensive one-to-one meetings, to see if there are inspiring and unexpected possibilities for a small scale, international and/or interdisciplinary project.

11.15 – 12.30 World Café – aspects of community arts
The World Cafe is a method which makes use of an informal cafe setting for participants to explore an issue by discussing it in small table groups. Discussion is held in multiple rounds of 20 minutes, with the cafe ambiance intended to allow for more relaxed and open conversations to take place.

12.30 -13.30 Lunch (all together)

13.45 – 15.45 Workshop programme: 2nd round
13.45 – 15.15 Organizers programme: Best practices
Three organizations working in the field of community arts zoom in on one of their projects:

ANASA (Winner of the Amateo Award 2020):

Anasa Cultural Center is a nonprofit, grassroots, civil society organisation working to eliminate racism, exclusion and discrimination, and promote multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue among peoples, while focusing greatly on the art forms of the African continent and its diaspora. Anasa started operating in 2010 and acquired legal status as a non-profit organisation in 2012 based in Athens, Greece. Since the beginning of our actions we have been working on empowering and integrating, through arts and culture, Greeks and young people of migrant descent who were either born in Greece or came as immigrants or refugees. ANASA offers a wide range of arts, such as circus, music, dance, singing, literature, narration, theatre, painting and gastronomy, and implements pedagogical programs and solidarity actions throughout the school year. The founders of Anasa are youth of African descent who have been born and raised in Greece and who are constantly working towards racial equality in Greece, always through the powerful tools of performing and fine arts. Nowadays Anasa has built a wide audience from different cultural backgrounds and collaborates with young professionals of Greek and migrant descent regarding administration, social media, and artistic events. The Social Circus Project is an arts and culture initiative which uses circus techniques to share the beauty of skill, art, team work, and self-discipline to youth locals of Greek, migrant or refugee backgrounds. Trainers in circus arts, such as juggling, monocycling, acrobatics, stilt technique, and rhythm games have come together to share their knowledge with youth aged 12-18 who were born and/or grew up in Greece or who arrived in the country recently. Conceptualized in 2014 and trying out some local circus meetings with Roma youth, the social circus team officially started doing outreach programmes in 2018 in refugee shelters, asylum centres, and camps around Athens, Greece. This led to a weekly 3-hour training in 2019 open to all kids of migrant or Greek origin in Kerameikos area. In the summer of 2020 the Social Circus Project of Anasa won the Amateo Award for its voluntary aspects on amateur arts for youth. At the moment the project is trying to launch an online version with tutorials and virtual meetings.

Cultural society Stična

Cultural society Stična has over 100 members in its groups. It involves theatre, music, folklore and instrumental activity and Festival Stična, which is the society’s overall project. The theatre section has three groups: adult, youth and children group Drzne in lepi, in the last years each group does one theatre production and hosts with it throughout the year in the wider area. Since 2004 the Folklore group Stična has been extremely successful, which attracted a lot of youth; besides numerous performances in Slovenia and abroad the group also prepares an annual independent evening concert. In 2010 was formed also youth group. The singing section is increasingly re-developing. For several years a male vocal cast Boys Octet and mixed choir Zborallica are also a big part of the Cultural society Stična. In 2012 the String orchestra of Cultural society Stična was established which brings together musicians from the Ivančna Gorica municipality. The big band was established in 2017 and is led by the Slovenian musician Mr. Braco Doblekar. He played in well-known bands in Slovenia as are September, Hazard, The Generals and others. Two years later joined to society also etno folk group Gross upi. All members and all the sections of Cultural society Stična have Festival Stična in common. Festival Stična should marked its twentieth anniversary in 2019, but because of virus COVID-19 it was not possible. Since 2006 festival became international. More than 250 native and foreign artistic groups performed on the stages of Stična. Through theatre, music, art and other events Festival Stična educates and promotes creativity, innovation, multiculturalism and unrecognized local artists.

The Yoram Loewenstein acting school

is located in the most neglected neighbourhood in Tel- Aviv, “the neighbourhood of hope”. The uniqueness of the school is in the combination between the highest level of professional acting studies with community work in the neighbourhood where the school is located. Few such institutions exist around the world. As part of the training to become professional actors, the acting students are committed to lead 300 participants in 19 drama groups within the community such as: children and youth at-risk, children with special needs and emotional problems, youth with mental problems, youth at risk youth from the religious sector, elementary schools in the neighbourhood, blinds and partly blinds, senior homeless youngsters, prisoners’ children and many more. Our youth at risk groups represented Israel in an international festival around the world. Our community works empower the neighbourhood residents and gives them tools for individual growth and development. Furthermore, the studio operates subscription project for the residents of our neighbourhood, who can attend the shows which are produced in our theatre hall. For most of the people in the community it is the first time in their lives to see theatre. By attending our shows (which are played by the third year acting students) they are exposed to the best classic and modern
theatre repertoire. Halil Itzhak graduated at the Yoram Loewenstein Acting Studio in 2000. He has featured in numerous television shows and commercials. He has performed in various theatres: Habima national theatre, Herzliya Theater, Tzavta Theater, Tmoona Theater and in various children’s theatres. Since 2003 he has been working at Yoram Loewenstein Performing Arts Studio as a Community Program Coordinator (working with children at risk, elderly, people with disabilities, youth at risk, migrants, homeless youngsters and more). Halil led international workshops – “from imagination to improvisation” (Thailand, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Austria and more).

15.15 – 15.45 Slow dates
The first opportunity to reconnect with other participants with shared or complementary interests to identify potential areas of collaboration.

16.00 – 19.30 Local safari and dinner at location (all together)
Several local cultural initiatives (of whom we might have seen a few performing on Friday evening) take us to their location, present their organisation, their successes and the problems they are facing. Inspiration in two directions, through discussion and brainstorms, all ended with a good joined meal.

19.30 – 21.00 (all together)
Performance/concert

DAY 3: Sunday 6th of June

09.00 – 12.30 Workshop programme: 3rd round
09.15 – 10.00 Organisers’ programme: Keynote speaker Branka Cvjetičanin

Branka Cvjetičanin

Branka Cvjetičanin, General Artistic Programme Manager of „27 Neighbourhoods“, a flagship program within Rijeka 2020 EcoC. She is an intermedia artist, curator and cultural worker. She is working on a different artistic and cultural programs in rural and post-industrial areas in Croatia and internationaly where she brings together artists and communities in creative practice, where dialogue and art practice meets social visibility. In 1999 she initiated the idea of the Polygon – an organisation as a format of experimenting the organisation structure and setting up the space for artistic-antropological research – http://www.polygon.hr. Branka Cvjetičanin studied various forms of performing arts, site-specific theater direction and art production (MAPA Amsterdam, Internship @Oerol Festival Terschelling). She holds the PhD on UN Urbanism from the Bauhaus Kollege Dessau.

10.00 – 12.30 Working on the project plans
Time to put the ideas on paper, helped by the inspiration canvas, which will be introduced here.

12.30 -13.30 Lunch (all together)

13.30 – 16.00 Presentations & Wrap up
Final presentation of Pioneer Project ideas and discussion to share and refine proposals, and the presentations of the outcomes of the two workshops that has been running parallel. Then time for some reflection on the weekend, and a wrap up.

*Amateo can make changes to the programme in the future due to practical and logistic reasons

REGISTRATION

To register, please complete this short form. This will provide the introductory text for all participants and support you to link with potential partners.

Participation fees:
Option A: for the live event in Maribor;
€ 200,– for the organisers’ programme, and € 100,– for workshop participants, based on shared rooms. All meals are provided. If you like a room for yourself, please contact the organisation at pioneers@amateo.org)

Option B: for the online event (if we cannot go live)
There is a €35 participation fee, that will be collected following registration. Following payment, access to all conference materials and sessions will be provided.

We recognise that many organisations and individuals are struggling financially at this time, so we can offer a limited number of sponsored places.
If you would like to apply, please email: pioneers@amateo.org

CONNECT2021 is an initiative of Amateo’s Art Take Part Pioneers Projects, organized together with JSKD and with financial support of Creative Europe and the Culture of Solidarity fund

Amateo Award 2021 – open for entries!

Are you making an impact through your creative group?



Dance, theatre, street art and more – all participatory arts projects run by amateur groups across Europe are welcome to enter!

If your creative group could inspire others to try something different, this is the best way to spotlight your achievement!

Get the chance to win 1,000 euros and a trip to the beautiful city of Milan in October 2021. Help us spread the word about this wonderful opportunity far and wide!

AMATEO AWARD 2021 open for entries until 31 May 2021!

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

Inspiring creative projects that are having a powerful, positive impact on their community!

The culture and creative sector has been severely challenged in recent times. In the year 2020 a lot of projects had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. But the creative sector has innovated rapidly, notably with accelerated digitization. We are even more determined now to put the spotlight on all the projects (both live and online) that have found solutions to give participants the chance to be creative, show off what they do and encourage others to take part.

Last year, 64 projects from 16 countries across Europe applied for the Amateo Award 2020 and featured activity focused on young people, older people (including those with dementia), those with different cultural or migrant backgrounds and projects to improve the community or environment. Five groups have been shortlisted by the jury. Read more about the 2020 finalists.

Read full Terms & Conditions for Amateo Award.

WHY GET INVOLVED

Completing the short Application Form will not take much time. If you know of other inspiring projects, please share this invitation or encourage them to apply.

The Amateo Award 2021 is an opportunity for you to profile your amateur arts group or creative project to an international audience and, in turn, to make connections with participants, policy makers and funders from across Europe. Previous applicants have also found the Amateo Award gave increased recognition and support at a local level.


Throwback to 2020 Winners

The Social Circus project by Anasa Cultural Center in Greece has been awarded the 2020 Amateo Award in an online ceremony with participants from all over Europe. Read more about last year winner.

Amateo – the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities

Postcards from Home

Join our European exchange and connect across the continent


From NoVember 2020 – MaY 2021
Amateo invites citizens from across Europe to take part and connect, through the creative exchange of ‘Postcards from Home‘.
WHAT HAS MADE YOU FEEL AT HOME RECENTLY?
WE ARE INVITING PEOPLE OF ALL AGES FROM ACROSS EUROPE TO SEND THREE POSTCARDS FROM HOME

The first postcard: ‘Home is…’
November 2020

Sharing what home has meant for you currently through words and images

The second postcard: ‘Home was…’
January 2021

Sharing a memory of home (an image, story, smell that brings back a person or place that meant home to you) in the past

The third postcard: ‘Home will be…’
March 2021

Sharing your vision of home for the future


Take Part

Step 1

Post your first postcard to Galway, Ireland – European Capital of Culture 2020 before 15 November 2020
Download instructions template
(See terms)

Step 2

Receive a package from Galway including your postal partners first postcard with their address + a gift from one of the local creative workshops in Galway.

Step 3

Continue your exchange of postcards.

Join the creative workshops online (see below and register for updates)

Share your postcards with us pioneers@amateo.org via Facebook

Join Postcards from Home creative workshops online

26-30 November 2020

LAUNCH conversation and THREE workshops including Lockdown Portraiture, Textile Landscapes and Postcard Journal Bookbinding broadcast live from Galway (Ireland), European Capital of Culture 2020

DEC
2020

Online Creative Workshop, 15 December: Traditional Lithuanian ‘Sodai’ craft

JAN
2021

Re-re-CONNECT: Join pioneer projects sharing their activity

JAN
2021

Online Creative Workshop, 28 January: Picture Sonnets

APRIL
2021

Cut-out Animation: Animate postcards with a smart-phone or tablet

Mar
2021

Online Creative Workshop, 1 March: Indo-persian Miniature Painting

MAY
2021

CONNECT meeting prior to live event

JUNE 2021

Online creative sessions linked to the live event ‘CONNECT The Unexpected‘ in Maribor (Slovenia).

The words and images created by everyone taking part in the Postcards from Home project, across Europe, will inspire new collaborative participatory creative works that blend the art-forms and themes shared between November and May.

Find out more about the live programme and register for the CONNECT the Unexpected creative residency

Postcards from Home project is supported by funding from Culture of Solidarity programme led by European Cultural Foundation


Amateo Award Winner 2020

GREEK SOCIAL CIRCUS IMPROVING THE LIVES OF YOUNG REFUGEES WIN €1,000 EUROPEAN ARTS PRIZE


Ελληνικά

The Social Circus project by Anasa Cultural Center in Greece has been awarded the 2020
Amateo Award
in an online ceremony with participants from all over Europe. In the winner, the jury especially loved the great spirit and passion.

“The project is authentic and resonates right to the heart. It shows a mix of creativity and human aspects. A team of voluntary trainers work with all kind of different skills and artforms with young refugees from all over the world. The person we interviewed has experienced the power of the project itself.”

Social Circus (Greece)
Social Circus

The winners described what this project means to them:

“Social circus and circus skills in general always involve a challenge. You are challenged to learn to ride a unicycle. You are challenged to break your fear of heights and go on stilts… You are challenged to exceed yourself. You go beyond what you think your limits are.

We thought that the social circus is a way where youth can understand that there are enormous capabilities when you are trying. So through the medium of art you are learning to be persistent. To empower yourself. Because you see that the only thing that is stopping you is your mind.” 

– Social Circus

You can read more about Social Circus on www.anasa.org.gr


Some 64 projects from across Europe competed for the €1,000 prize which celebrates exceptional amateur arts projects. The finalists from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Slovenia and The Netherlands were all represented at the online announcement of the winner.

The Amateo Award is in its third year and was launched by Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities in Europe. The Award has been part of the Arts Take Part project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

The 2019 Amateo Award was won by Moving Ground from Belgium.


#Double4Culture Campaign

Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities, is joining with other members of the Culture Action Europe network in calling for European Council to urgently consider substantial increases in the EU budgets supporting culture and the Creative Europe programme for the coming years.

Through our work supporting grassroots creative participation across Europe, we see the incredible positive effects this has for individuals and communities. Our network helps participants and professionals to connect through culture across borders and find common ground and mutual understanding. This kind of cultural unity is desperately needed to face the challenges of the coming years and adequately supporting Europe’s collaborative cultural sector is a necessary first step in ensuring that this important work can continue in challenging times.

Amateo supports the statement of Culture Action Europe calling for the doubling of the Creative Europe budget, and to ensure that funds from the Next Generation EU initiative support cultural activities and practitioners in the recovery from the current pandemic.

We encourage Amateo members and supporters to sign and share the new petition below or on the CAE website ahead of the European Council meeting on 19 June 2020.

REBELS WITH A CAUSE

Online Music & Video Event made by Young People


UPDATE: Watch the final video below!


Do you make music or is the camera your best friend? And are you between 12 and 25 years old? Then this is the chance to make yourself heard!


For the international Make Music Day 2020, dozens of young people from six European countries are working together on a very cool and cross-border online project; the film images and the soundtrack for the “Rebels with a Cause” short film. Whether you come from Lithuania, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovakia or the Netherlands; together you can speak from your heart!

We would very much like to know what concerns you as a young person. What helps you get through this bizarre time? What are you worried about, or maybe not? What do you want to leave behind from before this time? What do you want to take into the future? Together with dozens of young people from all over Europe, you answer these questions in your own way. By making music or submitting a video. Film & sound professionals make out of all submissions the first international short film of “Rebels with a Cause”.

The short film – premiere online – in six European countries – Sunday 21st June at 13:00 CEST! In the Netherlands, through social media of Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture, with more than 100,000 followers.

You can sign up for music or film!

MUSIC MAKERS

We invite you to join our online orchestra! Reinout Douma, conductor of the Noordpool Orkest, has composed a great basic soundtrack. If you sign up, you will receive a link to download the scores for your instrument and instructions for recording.

VIDEO MAKERS

If you sign up to participate in this project, you will certainly not regret it. Because you can participate for free in useful online video workshops about script development and making a movie (with your mobile phone). You will receive tips & tricks from professionals from film platform New Noardic Wave and Editors from Lithuania to make your short video of up to 1 minute as cool as possible.

Your video is used for the short film and also posted on the webpage: http://www.lockdownstories.net. There are already many videos for inspiration!

Schedule
  • Register before June 5! You will receive more information about what to do as soon as possible.
  • Submissions no later than June 15!
  • Premiere Sunday June 21 at 13:00 CEST during Make Music Day

Contact person:

Jan-Willem van Kruyssen (OMF): jwvankruyssen@omfryslan.nl +31631665582

Rebels with a Cause is a project by:
  • Amateo (European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities)
  • OMF (Organisation of Music Associations in Fryslân, the Netherlands)
  • Noordpool Orkest / Noordpool Troupe (Groningen, the Netherlands, musicians between 14 and 23 years old)
  • New Noardic Wave, film platform for makers in the Northern Netherlands
  • Fulkaan, talent platform for young musicians (Fryslân, the Netherlands)
  • iktoon, LKCA (Utrecht, the Netherlands)
  • Making Music UK (London, United Kingdom)
  • House of Activity and Creativity (Public Institution, Zapyskis, Lithuania)
  • Národné osvetové centrum (Bratislava, Slovakia)
  • VZW Kuumba (Brussels, Belgium)
  • JSKD, Javni Sklad za Kulturne Dejavnosti (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Amateo Award Finalists 2020

FIVE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE AMATEO AWARD 2020

Exceptional amateur arts groups are having a profound impact on their communities across Europe. Some 64 projects from 16 countries across Europe applied for the Amateo Award 2020, a €1000 prize supported by Creative Europe to celebrate and strengthen participatory arts. The applications show a wide scope of themes, featuring initiatives focused on young people, projects with older people (including those with dementia) and those with different cultural or migrant backgrounds and projects to improve the community or environment.

Five finalists have been announced representing work from Belgium, Greece, Germany, Slovenia and The Netherlands. The jury loved the diversity and the impact of the initiatives in their communities.

The project “Heimatkarawane” from 1. Stage Divers(e) e.V. – Germany is examining and crossing many borders: between remote and urban areas, the past and present, traditional and new residents and between all art forms.

Fanfakids from Belgium is about 20 young people (aged 7-15) who transform their youthful energy in an explosive concoction of rhythms. The uniqueness of the project is the collaboration between a youth group that supports the young people on a social basis, and an artistic organisation which guarantees the artistic quality of the group.

The Hand-in-Hand Dance Program in the Netherlands connects older adults experiencing dementia with young children in non-verbal contact through dance and music. The model involves dance workshops with different work forms.

Social Circus from Greece is a voluntary initiative which uses circus techniques to share the beauty of skill, art, team work, and self-discipline with unaccompanied minors from the refugee camps of Greece. The initiative aims to create the first refugee-led circus academy in the long-term future.

In Slovenia “The flock of experienced birds” takes the viewer along a pre-drawn path overflowing with the visual colours of the city’s landscapes. It expands views into the memory of all participants using headphones and creates a unique story of the city.

The finalists will be represented at the announcement of the winner in an online event on Friday, June 19th at 18:00 CET.

Hand-in-Hand (Netherlands)
Hand-in-Hand (NL)

The Amateo Award is in its third year now and was launched by Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities in Europe. The Network was founded in 2008 as the multi-disciplinary European organisation within the field of participatory arts and cultural activities. There are now 51 members 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 co-funded by Creative Europe and aims to grow and strengthen the network over the next four years. The winner of 2019 was Moving Ground from Belgium. 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.


ABOUT THE PROJECTS
Our 2020 Finalists

Press enquiries:

  1. Stage Divers(e) e.V. Germany
    The project „Heimatkarawane- wie klingt das Land heute“ is examining and crossing many borders: Crossing those dividing remote and urban areas, the past and present, traditional and new residents, as well as those between music, poetry, acrobatics and theatre.
    The participants and the team have very diverse backgrounds from around the world (Chile, Israel, Iran, Arabic countries and Germany). New impressions are made that are experienced by all residents, both new and local. The team works on creating an atmosphere that is built on trust and equality, using a variety of artistic realisations. Through the work they do together they artistically
    create both the old and the new, the known and the strange, and present the overall result in a performance: an authentic picture of the village gets created, focussing on the definition of the word “Home”. Unexpectedly the corona crisis is further expanding the project and the network, by using digitally meetings, which gave others the opportunity to participate.
    Website: http://www.heimatkarawane.de/
  2. Fanfakids Belgium
    The Fanfakids are about 20 of youngsters (7-15 of age) who transform their youthful energy in an explosive concoction of rhythms. Their groove is the metropolitan music mix that they grew up with in their headquarters (Youth house Centrum West, Brussels). The uniqueness of the project is the collaboration between a youth house (Centrum West – D’Broej) who supports the youngsters on a social basis, and an artistic organisation (Met-X Moving Music) who guarantees the artistic quality of the group. Despite their age, they have already performed in numerous venues over the globe (Europe & Africa). Over the years, they have developed a strong relationship with different drum and dance groups in Ghana and Guinea. Fanfakids exists in 2020 for 20 years and is been supported by a
    lot of voluntary work.
    Website: http://www.fanfakids.be / http://www.metx.be/en/projecten/fanfakids-3/
  3. Hand-in-Hand
    The Hand-in-Hand Dance Program in the Netherlands is stimulating to connect older adults with dementia with young children with non-verbal contact through dance and music. An accompanying teacher: “I see behavior of my children that I never thought possible.” And a health care worker: “Our elderly don’t only have to receive, they can give so much love and tenderness. That moves me to tears.” The dance form at the heart of Hand-in-Hand is Biodanza, which means “Dance of Life”. It is a dance style involving a wide range of forms of movement which doesn’t require learning complicated dance moves. The Hand-in-Hand model involves 9 dance workshops in total, with different work forms with dance, but also discussion and a drawing of their experiences. To date, 60 Dutch dance teachers and more than 20 schools and care institutions have been carrying out inter-generational dance projects or still are. This spring we expect the first group of refugee children to dance together with elderly people with dementia.
    Website: http://www.vriendenvanbiodanza.nl
  4. Social Circus by Anasa Cultural Center
    Social Circus is a voluntary initiative which uses circus techniques to share the beauty of skill, art, team work, and self-discipline to unaccompanied minors from the refugee camps of Greece. A total of four trainers in circus arts, such as juggling, monocycling, acrobatics, slackline, stilt technique, and rhythm games came together on a voluntary basis to share their knowledge with refugees aged 12-18 who have arrived in Greece on their own in the recent years. The social circus team officially started doing outreach programmes in 2018 in refugee shelters, asylum centers, and camps around Athens, Greece. This led to a weekly 3-hour training in 2019 open to all kids of migrant or Greek origin in Kerameikos area. The initiative aims in creating the first refugee-driven circus academy in the long-term future. Youth from Syria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, UK, Norway, and Greece come together under this non-verbal art form.
    Website: http://www.anasa.org.gr
  5. The Flock of Experienced Birds
    The flock of experienced birds takes the viewer along a pre-drawn path through the city with headphones that can be overflowed with the visual colours of the city’s landscapes. It expands views into the memory of all participants and creates a unique story of city. The first-person narrative, with its heavy subjectivity, expands on the many things of the perceptions of individual places in the city, and thus, with the sensitivity of spreading the conversation about change, passing, memories, many, interdependence and connectedness. Even though the views are intimate, are so unique that the common can indirectly recognise themselves in them as well as announce the beauty of the mutual differences in our own vulnerability. The project became a part of the program Kranj 2025 – application for the European Capital of Culture. The project has long term plans to create sustainable environment, programme and content for new generations of elderly.
    Website: odprti.art

info [at] amateo.org | comms [at] amateo.org
Damien McGlynn
+44 [UK] 7818 028128

NIPOS – Czech Republic

Amateo member: National Information and Consulting Centre for Culture (NIPOS)

Member Country: Czech Republic

Contact Person: Kateřina Klementová, Project Manager

Who is NIPOS?

National Information and Consulting Centre for Culture (NIPOS), re-established in 1991, is a governmental organization which has history leading back to 1925, when Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia, founded a cultural/educational institute for his new citizens. Nowadays, NIPOS is a nationwide organization working as a coordinating body for more than 20 artistic specializations in non-professional art, is the official provider of national statistics on culture and realizes cultural research, methodological and expert service for the Ministry of Culture and offers consultation and advisory service for people.

What do you do?

Apart from large-scale statistical work and service for the Ministry of Culture, our work in non-professional art activities covers project managing, consultation, methodology issues, festivals, education and publishing activity in many different artistic specializations. NIPOS takes care of the very wide variety of regional festivals throughout the Czech Republic, which are leading to 21 large national festivals being the „grand finale“ for many amateur artist’s activities of the year. But it’s not only about presentation, NIPOS seeks to cherish the different art disciplines in terms of quality and development of the art forms. And so the natural part of every festival is education, workshops, seminars and (sensitive) expert reflection of what has been seen.

In the long-term perspective, NIPOS is taking care about the methodology and development of the different art branches: publishing perdiodicals and books in different arts, being in permanent touch with the artists, educators and cultural stakeholders of the time, works towards a better environment for amateur arts in the Czech Republic. That’s why we provide research: for many years, we are developing The Czech Amateur  Theatre Database. Currently, NIPOS is the leader of two larger research projects about seniors, culture and inter-generational dialogue and an oral history project on roots of contemporary dance in the Czech Republic.  

Why did you join Amateo?

NIPOS was there when Amateo was founded in 2008. As an umbrella organization for many amateur art forms, we felt it was necessary to share our experience, visions and problems we have been facing, with other similar European organizations. We were interested in the others’ experience and wanted to learn from them too. This curiosity remains up to these days and will last (hopefully) forever!

Why are international connections important?

International connections are essential for our work, in two ways: exchange of ideas, visions and sharing the never-ending creativity across nations is such an exciting experience (and makes fun of course!). It can change anybody’s life forever. On the other hand (and more seriously put): methodology, advocacy and knowledge of the broader (European) context of non-professional art helps us to better understand the field of amateur arts in the Czech Republic: where are we now and how can we do better? How can we help our (still quite young) democracy to take care about the unique world of amateur arts?

What are your future hopes?

We hope that our work will help the amateur arts to develop and flourish across Europe, with the help of our work together in different countries.

In creativity, we all are equal. We believe that creativity is the way that we can better discover each other and do something for calming the „restless times“ we live in Europe now.


Interested in being part of the Amateo network? Find out more about the members and how to join!

Travelling Light

Amateo’s Carbon Footprint
by Arts Take Part coordinator, Jim Tough

In Amateo, the European membership network for active participation in cultural activities, we value the opportunity to bring people together to learn, share and explore. With vital support from Creative Europe our Arts Take Part programme has helped us come together in venues across Europe. The opportunity for human contact, the face-to-face and personal experiences for our staff and members is at the heart of our work. But there is a price. The price of travel in Euros and in carbon emissions. Our carbon footprint is a European shoe size 47! So, inspired and challenged by the climate emergency and Extinction Rebellion activists, we decided to take the first steps towards smaller footprint.

We challenged our Arts Take Part team of 23 workers from across Europe to explore how to travel lighter to our meeting in Utrecht, Netherlands. So we thought it would be useful to share some of the personal experiences of taking on that challenge and what we learned as a result.

ATP team dinner in Utrecht

Mixing business and pleasure — in some cases taking a different means of travel meant there was time for other things. So Claire took the overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam and cycled 70 km from Ijmuiden to Utrecht. The pleasure of the cycle part helped make the longer trip acceptable at a personal level. Anna-Karin built in a stay with a friend in Stockholm to help with her rail travel plans. Jan travelled by train from Ljubljana but took the opportunity to visit friends in Haarlem. My own travel from Scotland to Utrecht by train meant an additional night away in a London hotel. But I timed the travel to allow a visit to the theatre in London. 

It takes time — what became clear is that to avoid air travel there is usually a time cost. For all of us with busy working lives, that extra day or two to travel by train, ferry or bicycle can be a problem. But maybe this is part of the bigger problem of the pace and demands of modern work cultures. It’s as much about a change in how we see the world of work and the pace of life. I know I find travelling by train far less stressful and more productive. Joining Damien on the leg from Rotterdam to Utrecht we were able to add some value to the team meeting agenda in preparing a session. I find air travel can be soulless and impersonal. Travel by land may take a bit longer but we may arrive in a better state of mind.

Inflexible bureaucracies — one challenge for some our our members from different national systems is the requirements of their own financial rules. So the common sense of travelling from one meeting for a project in Frankfurt by direct train to Utrecht was not permitted because the two projects are supported from different budgets. So Katerina had to go back to Prague to restart her journey to Utrecht! The good news is that by raising this issue the rules may change. 

It can be more expensive — yes, indeed it can. But the worst of that can be minimised by good forward planning of the dates for our meetings and being thoughtful about where we meet to reduce other costs such as accommodation. Travel to and accommodation in Brussels where Creative Europe holds its briefing meetings can be very expensive and very often the dates are late in being planned and confirmed. So our friends that fund all of this good work could help by planning meetings well ahead so we can get the best value for trains and hotels. 

It makes a difference — this was a first attempt but it was encouraging. By inviting the team to try out different approaches we reduced our carbon footprint by 33%. It added about 73% in journey time (but much of that time was used well) and about 20% in cost. It reminds me of an old quote – “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. In the current crisis we might suggest that if you think reducing your carbon footprint is expensive try a global environmental catastrophe.

ATP team meeting in Utrecht

SSCW – Estonia

AMATEO MEMBER: Sillamäe Lastekaitse Ühing / Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare (SSCW)

Member country: Estonia

Contact person: Mr. Vassili Golikov, programme director of Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare

Who is SSCW? Sillamäe Society for Child Welfare (SSCW) is a public interest non-governmental organisation that was created December, 8th in 1989. During these years, SSCW has been working actively towards creating a child and youth friendly environment in our society. Each year we have broadened the reach of our activities to initiate broad-based and society-wide noticeable initiatives. Today SSCW has conducted and supported more than 220 projects, not only in the county but also lately on an international level by using culture and education as one of the good methods to reach organisation goals. 

What do you do? SSCW activity is consistently expanding. Activities have been directed at the entire nation and more specifically different areas of Estonian country. SSCW has been actively working with partners on culture (promoting cultural cooperation), education (intercultural education cooperation) and youth (youth participation, engagement and advocacy and volunteer work) from the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, Slovenia, Belgium, etc. SSCW is celebrating its own 30th anniversary in 2019. A small regional organisation has grown over three decades into a respected organisation, capable of conducting creative projects and initiatives on the local, national and international level and is a part of (among other things) Estonian Civil Society Concept joint committee, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), Anna Lindh Foundation Estonian network, Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation, Amateo and has a consultative status with ECOSOC at the UN.

Although the organisation has received bigger international opportunities, SSCW has always valued local development at Ida-Virumaa and actively involving organisations who don’t speak Estonian as a main language. SSCW translates information related to civil society and organises events to increase awareness and skills, among them Ida-Virumaa Civil Society Forum and Ida-Virumaa Youth Forum. A special programme is also developed for youth and culture fields – by promoting cooperation between youth and adults via culture, by staging performances, running a creative training and conferences (conference.sscw.ee), musicals (muusikal.sscw.ee), singing in a choir (pcao.sscw.ee), running a cultural festivals etc.

SSCW is presently also in charge of Ida-Virumaa Civil Society Network that involves culture organisations, social and educational organisations and experts. Our development cooperation consists of activities that we do in the frameworks of our projects, especially relating to international cooperation. We have done several projects in cooperation with our partners from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Southern American countries. With countries of North-Africa (Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia) we cooperate on developing their civil society and we support (when we can) cultural and youth organisations and community development. We are also an active partner in the networks of Peace Child International and Water & Youth, where we contribute to environmental issues and have participated in expert meetings in Scotland (UK), Korea, Canada, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and Spain. In addition, one of our organisation’s programmes is propagating healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle and raising awareness of Intercultural Dialogue and World Education.  

Why did you join Amateo? Our organisation has joined with the Amateo network because we are interested to cooperate with culture and creative organisations, including cultural research organisations. We want to get a new impulse in cultural cooperation with European cultural cooperation, get new skills and knowledge from European colleagues. We also were happy to host a meeting of the CONNECT programme in March 2019.   

Why are international connections important? It’s important to communicate and collaborate with international partners, as is increasing capacity of involved parties. We are happy to be part of the network, as it connects a unique European network of creative practitioners, cultural policy-makers, civil society organisations, research organsiations and other interested bodies, united to create together real and lasting change in cultural field’s most pressing problems. Collaboration with international partners is a great opportunity to get new skills, knowledge, influence on national and EU policies, also advocate our common goals and run joint workshops, training, study visits, and cultural projects including new methods and visions.

What are your future hopes? We hope that the Amateo network will became a strong influential advocacy and culture cooperation organisation, that will be recognised by the EU member states and European Commission as an important player in culture and creative fields.

We hope that the Amateo network will increase its capacity by empowering its own members and running a strong practical joint cooperation between its members, by providing necessary support and tools for this better cultural participation in Europe.

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