Cultural Playing Field

Launching Amateo by Robin Simpson
June 27, 2008, 12:41 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , ,

Last weekend I attended the ‘Amateo’ conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we agreed the constitution for a ‘European network for active participation in cultural activities’ and elected the first Board for the new organisation. VAN is the UK representative amongst the seven founding members of ‘Amateo’. In launching the network, its first President, Villy Dall from Denmark, emphasised that the idea was not to duplicate what other European organisations already do: the main idea was to convince politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg that the application procedures for European funding schemes need to be made more accessible to amateur cultural groups. Amateo will press for an opening up of European funding to the amateur sector and will then develop support to help groups with the application process. Amateo aims to encompass not just the 27 countries of the European Union but all 47 members of the Council of Europe. Villy said that the most essential argument is that the amateur arts need to be recognised as part of the arts across Europe.

Villy Dall launching Amateo - the European network for active participation in cultural activities - at the Amateo Conference in Ljubljana

The conference was small but friendly and constructive. There were around 40 delegates with Robin Osterley from Making Music and me the only representatives from the UK or the Republic of Ireland. As well as the business of the conference we enjoyed a reception hosted by the Mayor of Ljubljana, a fantastic concert in the medieval coastal town of Piran, featuring choral groups from Slovenia, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, and the 39th annual Slovenian Outdoor Choral Festival in the village of Sendvit.

39th Annual Slovenian Outdoor Choral Festival, Sendvit, Slovenia

This festival consisted of massed choirs involving nearly 4000 singers from across Slovenia as well as Portugal, Germany, Belgium and Argentina. An amazing event at which we were introduced to the Prime Minister of Slovenia. A very enjoyable conference and hopefully the start of a new chapter for the amateur arts across Europe. For more details see


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: