After the International Seminar, in Pergine, and the Writing Residency, in Mondaino, the project A Manual on Work and Happiness is now reaching a new stage: the Southern Coalition. This stage assembles a series of training sessions focused on Audience Development and Cultural Mediation, which will tackle different topics such as the involvement of communities in artistic projects and the accessibility to culture.
Southern Coalition #1 kicked off in the Portuguese cities of Alcobaça and Montijo. These are two of the 15 cities which are part of the Manual’s project leader Artemrede. The 3-day training is open to the staff of Artemrede’s 15 associated members.
On October 9, the opening masterclass focused on the know-how of Italian curator Luca Ricci regarding the involvement of audiences in cultural projects. Ricci is the Artistic Director of Kilowatt festival – an event whose growing international reputation is partially due to an initiative named Visionari, in which the community of Sansepolcro selects part of the programme of the festival. Visionari was then replicated in other Italian cities and gained an European scope with the project Be SpectACTive!
On October 10 and 11, Inês Barahona, from Portuguese theatre company Formiga Atómica, gave a workshop which articulated the expertise shared by Ricci at the opening day with the projects currently developed by Artemrede.
Indeed, Artemrede is working on several projects which demand strong cultural mediation. A Manual On Work and Happiness is one of those projects. In 2018, the communities from Alcobaça and Montijo will have the opportunity to join theatre company mala voadora in two artistic residencies and will ultimately perform in the play A Manual on Work and Happiness.
Another project is the Portuguese version of the Italian Visionari, in which spectators will become curators by selecting part of the programming of their local cultural venues. The first group of Visionários will be formed in October 2017, just on time for some of them to take part of the European Spectators Day on November 18, 2017.
The groups of Visionários will then, throughout 2018, watch and discuss shows under the coordination of Artemrede’s staff members, who thus become mediators between local audiences and their own cultural institutions. Some of the selected shows will be part of the programming of the second Manobras Festival, which is scheduled for October and November 2018.
Since the creation of Artemrede that training is one of the main lines of action of the network. In 12 years of activity, over 100 professionals from its associated members got qualified in different areas such as arts management, programming, mediation and communication, among others.