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…
Member country: United Kingdom Contact person: Barbara Eifler (Chief Executive)
Who?: Barbara Eifler is the Chief Executive of Making Music. Making Music is the UK organisation for leisure-time music groups, with over 3,500 member groups throughout the UK. Our members are choral societies, gospel choirs, community choirs, amateur orchestras, brass bands, jazz ensembles, folk groups, ukulele groups, drumming circles, handbell ringers, samba groups, hobby rock bands, etc.
The first annual Amateo Award has been announced at a ceremony held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The inaugural winners are EdvanHoornFucktheSystem from the Netherlands!
In 2017 the Dutch theatre group Op Roet decided to make the performance, EdVanHoornFuckTheSystem, about a very special guy from the city of Hoorn, his name is Ed. It’s based on a true story about a guy – a loner – who works at a refugee camp in Syria. He finds himself fighting the systems at NGOs, the United Nations… because the money does not always reach the people/refugees who really need it. They made this play with 40 actors, musicians and singers. By matching 20 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea with a Dutch buddy, the creative process became an inclusive and social process as well, with a beautiful and inspiring result. The refugees played an integral part of the performance and this performance gave them a natural way to learn the language and, most importantly, to make new friends.
The jury selected this project for their outstanding social impact, their innovative way of making a non-professional theatre performance and the beautiful artistic result that was the result of this performance.
“We were very, very proud and honoured. It means a lot to us because now we are sure that we made a project & a performance with a lot of participation from the community and universal meaning, so it means a lot to us.
I think there are a lot of prejudices surrounding refugees and you can only really get away from that if you can really meet, really listen to the refugees’ stories and think ‘there’s a person’. We want to give the refugees a voice and a face.
Every refugee buddied up with a member of the cast, learning about each other and making friends. And the play and the performance of Ed van Hoorn became a very special moment where cultures were shared. Every performance, it was so very special to see that the audience was very touched when the story of the individual refugee was told by them.”
– Lyda Tijsen, Op Roet
“All of the projects on the Amateo Award shortlist were incredibly inspiring in different ways. It was a very difficult decision for the judging panel to select just one winner. Op Roet’s EdvanHoornFucktheSystem project really stood out as an example that embodies the power of participatory culture to have real, positive impact in our communities. The creativity and dedication evident in this project makes it a thoroughly deserving winner of the first ever Amateo Award!”
– Klemen Janežič, Slovenian actor and guest judge for the Amateo Award 2018