The fourth Academy Camp of the Capacity Building for the European Capitals of Culture project took place from 2 to 4 March at the Centrul de Proiecte in Timişoara (Romania) and was directed to Timişoara ECOC 2023 delivery team and cultural operators of the Romanian city. The topic addressed was ‘Community development through creative action’. Based on the principles of cultural democracy, community development and participatory art, the programme was elaborated by François Matarasso in cooperation with the Timişoara Centre for Projects and Interarts.
The three-day Academy Camp combined theoretical inputs with practical group work of the on-site participants and built participants’ skills and confidence in working with artists, citizens, NGOs and other groups interested in developing projects with the community.
The Academy Camp 4 has been a space for training, peer learning and exchange on the growing importance of cultural participation, and on community development and empowerment through cultural action. The programme drew extensively on two publications by François Matarasso:
- A Restless Art: How participation won, and why it matters (2019) describes the history, theory and practice of participatory art in Europe, with over 50 case studies from 17 different countries.
- Living Heritage: Community Development through Cultural Resources (2005) is the report of a 4 year local cultural programme run by the King Baudouin Foundation in Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Bosnia Herzegovina.Herzegovina.
Other experts were Ed Carroll, Vita Geluniene, community artists from Kaunas, Corina Bucea, Cultural Manager and member of the Timișoara 2023 Curatorial Team, Teodora Borghoff, Director at Fundatia Comunitara Timişoara, James Bingham, Studio and Outreach Producer at the Irish National Opera, Eugene van Erven, Professor of Media and Performance at Utrecht Unviersity, Sajida Carr, Director of Operations and Development at Creative Black Country, Yuriy Vulkovsky, Deputy Minister of Culture in the Bulgarian government.
Webinar and podcasts
In support of this fourth Academy Camp, the project produced a webinar and a podcast series comprising 5 episodes, which show insights from professionals on the various aspects of the community development and the importance of the audience to carry out projects. Below you can find snippets of each of the podcast episodes.
Community development through creative action | Ep. 1 François Matarasso
Community development through creative action | Ep. 2 Ed Carroll and Vita Geluniene
Community development through creative action | Ep. 3 James Bingham
Community development through creative action | Ep. 4 Dariana Pau and Mona Szucsik
Community development through creative action | Ep. 5 Yuriy Vulkovsky