‘Culture and Sharing Communities’. This is the topic of the next Conference of Trans Europe Halles TEH, a Europe-based network of cultural centres initiated by citizens and artists, that will be held in Pula, Croatia from 25th to 28th May 2017.
4 days to discuss and exchange on the role and practices of independent cultural centres in sharing culture and contributing to community development. Socio-cultural centres are in fact increasingly becoming social innovators, enabling inclusion and co-creation, democratization, re-evaluation of social values and changing social paradigms.
In order to “examine the relationship between culture and sharing communities with the aim to create responsible communities that stand in solidarity with one another while supporting a better quality of life for the community“, the conference will cover four main topics: Culture of Involvement; Sharing in Art & Education; Open Spaces for Sharing and Imagination; Communities of Practice. Additional specific workshops will deal with interesting challenges such as sharing in cultural productions towards sustainable art platforms, developing digital inclusion in a creative and innovative way, promoting time banking as a tool to engage and build with a creative community, enhancing civic design and collective intelligence, crowdfunding and community empowerment, developing long term forms of collective ownership in sharing the city.
Besides the meeting, in the past few months Trans Europe Halles has been conducting a mapping project of non-governmental cultural centres around Europe, that counted 770 centres so far. It is still possible to expand the map by submitting other centres.
The network also supports independent cultural organisations, as well as local and regional bodies, through consultancy activities and dedicated project. For instance, TEH is also partner of Creative lenses, a four-year (2015-2019) project funded by the Creative Europe Programme and developed by a partnership of 13 organisations from 9 European countries, including cultural centres and agencies, international networks, universities and creative business incubators. The project aims to improve the business capacity and financial sustainability of cultural organisations, a vital issue in such a critical time, by testing and providing innovative business models.
TEH is also key partner of Europe Grand Central, “a unique digital and conceptual platform to connect audience-created narratives about the human act of crossing borders” launched in 2015. It gathers and connects many grass-roots projects developed by independent cultural centres in Europe and beyond, it promotes mutual learning as well as audience inclusion, through different tools from artistic residencies to interactive theatre, design etc.
Last January, Trans Europe Halles also signed, together with other 32 institutions, the political statement of the European Alliance for Culture and the Arts calling European institutions and Member States to include culture and the arts in the strategic goals of the Union. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, the signatories stated that “Culture and the arts are the basis of the European project and moreover the essence of every civilizational development. They are substantially important to our identity, give meaning to human existence and reflect our shared history. European culture and the arts refer to 3000 years of shared cultural heritage while bringing contemporary relevance to people’s lives today. Flourishing in dialogue with other cultures, they reflect our “living together”, interconnect people in society, and transmit knowledge and values. (…) Culture and the arts constitute a vital lever for developing the Union’s future project”.
“Culture & sharing communities”, questo il tema della prossima conferenza di Trans Europe Halles, la rete europea dei centri culturali indipendenti, che si terrà in Croazia dal 25 al 28 maggio. Varie le attività e i progetti europei che il network porta avanti a sostegno di questi centri, attori sempre più importanti dell’innovazione sociale.