Tackling community issues through creative action.

The A-Team is one of many projects of the Engine Room Europe project initiated by the Trans Europe Halles network. Engine Room Europe is supported by the European Union Culture 2007 – 2013 Programme and managed by the culture centre Melkweg in Amsterdam, Holland. 10 more culture centres in 10 European countries are project partners. The project activities are of benefit for all members of the Trans Europe Halles network and even culture workers that are not connected to the network can participate in activities.

From May till July 2012, A-Team: Artists for Change will realise four creative processes in partnership with culture centres in

Each A-Team consists of

  • 1 artist (from another country)
  • 1 project manager (who represents the hosting Trans Europe Halles centre)
  • 1 local mediator (local community professional or volunteer leading the community dimension, whose professional skills ideally relate to the A-Team´s task)

Each team will work with a community for approximately 1 month, addressing a specific question of relevance to the local community. The work will be carried out through close partnerships between the independent cultural centres in question, the artist and the local inhabitants. This is the place where the 4 A-Teams will be documented.

What are the overall project aims of the A-Team?

  • Test practices for sustainable working relationships between artists and the community
  • Create opportunities led by independent cultural centres whereby local communities and European cultural workers intersect to address issues of civic concern through stimulating art processes
  • Liberate artistic potential in addressing these issues. Create possibilities for artists to use their skills on a wider platform
  • Provide the community with an outcome and a post-project plan for further collaboration on the issues in question, if necessary
  • Documentation of the 4 A-Teams on the A-Team blog.

On what principles is the A-Team concept based?

  • Relevance of the work to the local community: the process should be as close to, accessible and meaningful for locals as possible.
  • Collaborations: in order to build bridges with the local community it is useful to create partnerships with other local associations, organisations, administrations, individuals.
  • Process before product orientation: each A-Team starts with a theme/topic to address collaboratively and it’s mission is to provide possible solutions through creative action.
  • Shared decision making: the A-Team process evolves as a set of equal relationships and an organic process between the three stakeholders: the artist, the centre (represented by the centres A-Team manager), the local community (represented by the mediator).

Trans Europe Halles

Trans Europe Halles (TEH) is a European Network of Independent Cultural Centres that connects pioneering cultural actors of Moscow, Budapest and Belgrade with creative forces in Amsterdam, Helsinki and Berlin – to mention a few.
The network currently has 52 Members and 18 Friend organisations in 29 European countries. Founded in 1983, the network now brings together more than fifty multidisciplinary and socially engaged member centres throughout Europe. Most centres are located in buildings from industrial heritage and have taken important action in challenging the established cultural policy.

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