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The IN SITU capacity-building programme: An ongoing path towards the empowerment of cultural agents in non-urban areas

One of the key dimensions of the IN SITU project is the capacity building and skill development programme, designed to foster entrepreneurial social and business models and innovation in each of the six IN SITU Lab regions (Azores archipelago, Portugal; Western coastal region, Ireland; Western region, Iceland; Rauma and Eurajoki municipalities, Finland; Valmiera County, Latvia; Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia) and to correspond to the needs of cultural and creative agents in these areas.

IN SITU Collaborative & Interactive workshops in Galway and online, 22-23 February 2024

Recently, four collaborative interactive workshops were held in a hybrid model, both in Galway and online (22-23 February 2024), in an open and interactive atmosphere, assisting participants to gain new insights into the creative industries, enhance their skills, and share practices and examples. This collaborative and interactive environment demonstrated the power of sharing and learning to unleash the innovative potential of artists and arts entrepreneurs in non-urban areas.

Sessions allowed attendees to explore the use of new creative technologies in storytelling and attracting audiences, along with learning key aspects of developing fundraising strategies, initiating and managing creative spaces, and building partnerships with local stakeholders and artists in a strategic framework.

The workshops within “Elevate your Innovative and Creative Potential in Non-urban Areas!” were led by five lecturers and facilitators from the University of Galway’s UrbanLab, the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr´Sarafov” (NATFIZ), and the University of Galway’s Centre for Creative Technologies.

Prof. Dr. Lidia Varbanova, Professor and Program Director at NATFIZ, who held some of the workshops, states: “We tried to do all our best to assist the participants in unlocking their creative potential, learning about examples from different countries, mastering their skills to develop new innovative spaces, using new technologies in storytelling, improving their skills in financing and fundraising. Such interactive workshops are very much needed as they prove the transformative power of networking and the feeling of being part of a vibrant international community. This certainly drives positive change and brings new innovative perspectives.”

Equally important and encouraging were some of the reflections from participants: “Sometimes we need a bit of inspiration to move from zero point, and these workshops were exactly what I needed!”, “It was good to step back from everyday life and get a clear overview framework of funding and financing in the context of creative industries.”, and “Hands-on and collaborative work, learning together, the openness of the presenters, and the examples from many countries were very much appreciated!”.

Looking back at the IN SITU seminar in Rauma, Finland, 31 October – 2 November 2023

Last Fall, an  interactive seminar was held in Rauma, Finland, as part of the IN SITU project’s capacity building and skill development programme, this time the result of a collaboration between the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr’Sarafov” (NATFIZ) and the University of Turku.

The seminar entitled “How can artists and creatives be more entrepreneurial and innovative in non-urban areas?” was led by Prof. Dr. Lidia Varbanova with the assistance of 3 other moderators/presenters from NATFIZ: Assoc. Prof. Elena Trencheva, Mila Velcheva and Lyubomira Kostova.

This training activity began with a Heritage Futures Workshop from the Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku, where participants had the unique opportunity to create and co-produce visions for the future of culture and the creative industries, considering long-term, 50 years backward and forward into possible futures. The facilitators Adj. Prof. Katriina Siivonen and Adj. Prof. Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti animated the seminar with passion, professionalism and interactive visual tools.

During the seminar, participants from Finland, Bulgaria, Canada and other countries shared obstacles and opportunities to work as artists and entrepreneurs in non-urban areas and learned about inspiring international examples on storytelling, fundraising, coalition building, digitalisation in the arts, and other areas of managing small-scale art organisations in a non-urban environment.

The next IN SITU interactive seminar

“Grow your innovative and creative potential in non-urban areas!”

will be held in Valmiera, Latvia and online – 24&25 April 2024

on storytelling, sustainable business models, arts entrepreneurship, fundraising, networking and more…

Stay tuned and join us then!

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