Be SpectACTive! and Adeste+ won the 2018 European call for proposals on large-scale cooperation: both will be co-funded by the European Commission’s Creative Europe program. The two projects will work throughout 4 years to innovate the way in which cultural organizations open themselves to the public. They have been presented together in a public meeting in Turin that opened a table of discussion on cultural participation, in the belief that without culture there is no citizenship, but above all there is no Europe.

Be SpectACTive! and Adeste+ have a lot in common, they emerge from solid previous experiences, they put experimentation and processes at the centre and face the risk and change as a crucial challenge. Both projects operate in the cultural field, starting from the awareness that to “develop” the public one must first have the courage to change the way culture is done.

Be SpectACTive!, with its 19 partners located in 18 cities and in 15 European countries, focuses on experimentation in artistic processes (working on the Audience Engagement). Adeste+ involves 15 partners in 11 cities in 7 European countries and focuses on experimentation in organizational and policy processes (working on Audience Development). Both focus on processes, but they do it by looking at the impacts on artists, organizations, policies, and the public. But, why is Europe so interested in cultural participation, supporting two projects like these? The answer is simple: because without culture there is no citizenship, but above all there is no Europe. No democratic and social challenge can be won in the absence of a cultural sector that enables citizens to imagine possible futures. Be SpectACTive! and Adeste+ are two ambitious projects that believe in plural culture and its ability to influence visions of the future that European citizens need more than ever before.

Adeste+ starts to work in “empowering audiences, rethinking culture” where 15 partners will share their knowledge to improve cultural life in the European Union.

Adeste+ is a large-scale cooperation project aimed at expanding cultural participation and co-funded under the Creative Europe – Culture subprogram.

One of the main objectives of Adeste+ is to experiment with organizational and policy processes, working on audience development and looking for an organizational and managerial change in cultural organizations.

Artistic partners belong to different cultural disciplines: performing arts, museums and multidisciplinary production centers. Among the artistic partners, stakeholders of the first magnitude such as the Teatro Stabile di Torino (IT), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (PT), Harinera ZGZ (ES), Croatia National Theater I Zajc (HR), Mercury Theatre (UK), Norrebro Theatre (DK). All of them will work closely with research partners (Fitzcarraldo Foundation (IT), The Audience Agency (UK), Center for Arts and Interculture (DK), Deusto University (ES), Melting Pro (IT), Kultura Nova Foundation (HR ), Mapa das Ideias (PT) and with institutional partners (Compagnia di San Paolo, City of Zaragoza, City of Warsaw, and the same foundations Gulbenkian and Kultura Nova.

Adeste+ is based on previous projects and experiences. Since 2013, many of the partners have been working together to experiment on new ways of bringing the public to the center of cultural organizations. The general assumption on which Adeste+ is based is that to increase cultural participation, cultural organizations need to face a managerial change through innovative approaches. The key challenge is to make available a wide range of quality cultural activities providing opportunities for all to take part actively.

Moreover, Adeste+ provides “capacity building” paths for organizations based on “design thinking” and “collaborative learning”, the production of shows, programs and activities for various audiences and the creation of three international Summer Schools, in Lisbon, Rijeka and Turin, conceived as great moments of exchange and learning in which hundreds of operators from all over Europe will participate.

The six artistic partners will experiment on themselves different ways of producing and programming, they will join each other in production, and they will become repeater antennas to promote innovation in other organizations. A cascade program that will involve 60 organizations in Italy, United Kingdom, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Estonia, Germany, Norway France and Poland.

For the first time a project brings together, in an equal and organic way, partners that represent the whole culture chain: those who design policies to support it, who produces it and organizes it, who studies it, and who uses it. The result is an organic vision that tries to reflect the articulation and complexity of the cultural sector, where we are often very good at making ours, but not inclined to learn from each other.

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