Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Mar 31, 2017
UrbanArtVentures project seeks to reactivate and revitalise urban spaces of Thessaloniki through street art and cultural activities and give to the local people, to young people with fewer opportunities and to the international participants, a chance to explore the possibilities of engagement in the cultural life and the development urban landscape of Thessaloniki. 35 youth workers, facilitators, trainers and urban art educators from Albania, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom will be gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece from 19 to 27 September 2015 to share their experiences, best practices and knowledge regarding the use of street art as a medium to promote active participation, tolerance, understanding, respect for the other as well as for public spaces and to contribute to the urban and cultural development of Thessaloniki. Their diverse background secures different aspects on the topics of project and fosters a multifaceted solution process.
The project wishes to change the perception of many people about street art, who confuse it with vandalism and, to show through open workshops for the local people and a presentation of urban art works and street performances that street art can transform urban spaces into creative hubs and open air galleries. Furthermore, UrbanArtVentures aims at fostering social interaction, intercultural exchange and dialogue, by creating a platform for discussion and exchange of experiences between the participants, the locals and the authorities. This should function as a bridge between the policymakers and the locals of the city and enhance the dialogue about the potential of urban art which can add to the artistic appeal of Thessaloniki and convey social messages.
UrbanArtVenture's main objectives are to make street art accessible and free for everyone to explore, and in this sense, urban art will thereby fit in to the main objectives of JKPeV; carrying out urban art and creative workshops that intend to familiarise local and international people with the idea of cooperating in a multicultural environment, which will foster tolerance, social dialogue, social inclusion and understanding. Additionally, an important objective of this project is to give the chance to local urban artists to convey the social messages of their urban artworks to the public and bring in their ideas as well as share their beliefs and concerns. Young people with fewer opportunities will be given the opportunity to express themselves by learning to do street art and at the same time respecting the private and public property. Presentations and discussions concerning vandalism to the local society of Thessaloniki will be held as graffiti vandalism has affected a considerrable number of monuments in Thessaloniki which subsequently harms the city’s image and the monuments themselves.
Through non-formal learning methods, the participants will exchange best practices and their ideas regarding the use of urban art as a tool for social inclusion and social dialogue. They will gain knowledge about the different aspects of urban development and active participation in the society and will acquire methods and tools to incorporate street art in youth work by working with people from different disciplines. The participants will discover innovative and alternative methods and ideas to utilise and implement in their work with the youth at local, national and international level, as well as improve their personal acquisition of competences.
The working methods of the project are the following: presentations, round-table discussions, team-building games, energizers and warm-ups, workshops, creative group-orientated work, discussions and intercultural activities with the local people, intercultural evenings, evaluation and reflection meetings, study visits and a presentation of urban artworks and street performances which will be prepared during the project. Multifaceted workshops will be creative realisations of the participants ideas, and will involve actively the participants, the locals, the local young people and young people with fewer opportunities.
The desired impact of the training course is an enhanced awareness concerning the potential of engagement in the society through urban art and the opportunities of changing the urban landscape of European cities and of spreading messages that promote social inclusion, social dialogue, understanding, cultural diversity and solidarity. The transnational aspect of the project will furthermore improve the networking across boarders, and thereby will have an international impact, securing the exchange of multifaceted experience and ideas. On all levels, this project is desired to have a long term impact of improved social integration, active engagement and a positive attitude towards creativity and art in urban spaces.
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