Factories of Imagination

Investing in Cultural Changemakers

In many European countries, non-governmental cultural centres are under-resourced and lack the means for the professional development of their staff. These issues are seldom preventing them from fully achieving their potential. This is especially true in regions and countries where civil society and critical artistic production are not encouraged by the public authorities. In many places, they are even opposed…

To address these issues, our project Factories of Imagination: Investing in Cultural Changemakers (2017-2021) has set three objectives:

Objective 1: To structure and connect the fragmented sector of independent cultural centres. Actions under this objective include: organise biannual Conferences, to map non-governmental cultural centres, gather relevant data from the sector, as well as to collect and disseminate best practices and case studies.

Objective 2: To promote and facilitate international cooperation and mobility between cultural centres, networks and initiatives in Europe. This objective includes actions such as organising Camp Meetings, developing Thematic Hubs together with our members, and continuing our successful Staff Exchange Programme.

Objective 3: To make our member centres more resilient by supporting their staff’s professional development, so they can better serve their audiences, users and communities. Under Objective 3, the project includes an overarching Capacity Building Programme expected to contribute to a more competitive, skilled and robust cultural sector. This programme contains the following (sub-) programmes:

  • Startup Support. Through this programme, we are providing free strategic consultancy and training for selected emerging non-governmental cultural centres. The beneficiary regions are Balkans, Eastern Partnership and South Mediterranean.
  • Leadership. This hands-on programme aims to improve the leadership skills of changemakers working in non-governmental cultural centres.
  • Organisational Development. This programme supports the development of non-governmental cultural centres. This is done through training on strategic management, new models of governance, engaging local communities, and facilitation of civil-private-public partnerships.
  • Business Model Development. This programme is complementary to the previous one. It offers both face-to-face and online training on business model innovation for non-governmental cultural centres.
  • Arts Education Platform: this programme is addressed to arts educators working in non-governmental cultural centres. It includes yearly seminars with invited experts, study visits, professional meetings, and a conference on the topic of participation in the arts.

The following project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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