Conference: Accessing the Arts, Vilnius

15 June 2017 I will be speaking at the conference ‘Accessing the Arts: Museums, Communities and Social groups’ that will take place in the National Art Gallery, Konstitucijos pr. 22, Vilnius, Lithuania. More info and full programme here.

Meno prieinamumas

Tarptautinis renginys „Meno prieinamumas: muziejai, bendruomenės ir socialinės atskirties grupės”

Nacionalinėje dailės galerijoje 2017 m. birželio 14-15 d. vyks tarptautinis renginys „Meno prieinamumas: muziejai, bendruomenės ir socialinės atskirties grupės“. Renginį organizuoja viešoji įstaiga „Socialiniai meno projektai“, įgyvendinanti meno iniciatyvas, mokymus ir tyrimus, kuriais siekiama aktualizuoti meno prieinamumo įvairioms atskirties grupėms klausimus, plėtoti naujus dalyvavimo kūrybinėje veikloje būdus ir skatinti kultūros paslaugų kūrimą.

„Renginiu siekiame atkreipti dėmesį į tai, kad šiandien kultūros sektoriui tenka atsakomybė didinti meno prieinamumą visuomenei. Muziejų, menininkų ir meno organizacijų veikimas, telkiant ir stiprinant bendruomenes, gali sudaryti sąlygas įvairaus amžiaus, skirtingus interesus ir galimybes turintiems asmenims burtis ir dalyvauti saviraiškos veikloje, plėsti akiratį, pažinti kultūros procesus bei skatinti socialinius pokyčius ir atvirumą visuomenėje“, – teigia renginio organizatoriai, – „šiandien individualių menininkų ar jų grupių meninė kūryba gali būti plėtojama kaip bendruomenę kuriantis ar stiprinantis procesas. Panašiai kaip muziejus ar kita kultūros organizacija, menininkas gali tapti stebėtoju – tyrėju, kurio objektas – socialinės atskirties situacijos“.

Renginio organizatoriai pakvies į diskusiją apie auditorijos vaidmenį muziejų veikloje. Kartu su Airijos ir Skandinavijos šalių meno muziejų atstovais pasidalins prieinamumo programų kūrimo patirtimi. Lietuvos, Jungtinės Karalystės ir Australijos menininkai bei kultūros organizacijos pristatys iniciatyvas, stiprinančias bendruomeniškumo jausmą bei kuriančias saviraiškos galimybes socialinės atskirties grupėse.

www.menasgerovei.lt

Institute for Public Art-Research Network meeting

I am currently attending Institute for Public Art-Research Network meeting in China, where I’ve been invited to talk about my work in Kaunas. I am very grateful to College of Fine Arts, Shanghai University for the opportunity to share my work and meet colleagues who share the passion for public art. You may read an abstract from my speech below.

 

‘Šilainiai Project’: Connecting people and places through art

 

The microdistrict of Šilainiai is the largest residential complex in the city of Kaunas, Lithuania. Built in 1980s, the area and its residents make up more than 50,000 people, however there are currently no space or centre for cultural events or activities. The local library is the only non-commercial space for residents to come together or to have any sense of a community gathering. They usually have to travel to the town centre or the countryside in order to spend any leisurely time.

 

During my research into the history of Šilainiai, I had discovered a large number of creative people living and producing work within this area, but later found out that none of them had any recognition whatsoever. I found that young people of whom desire to follow a creative path were unable to pursue their ambitions, due to the lack of support and space for them to practice and share ideas. Even a larger number of residents who simply want to engage in activities closer to home or after work, there is no place for. Having lived in Šilainiai myself, I have noticed that the people within this district have become disconnected and the communities fragmented.

 

In 2015, I started the ‘Šilainiai Project’ in order to address some of these issues. The project has 5 branches of activity:

 

• Šilainiai Archive

• Walks and Talks

• Events in Unconventional Spaces

• Workshops

• Artist Residences

 

The project is ongoing, but already some positive changes have came as a result, e.g. A growing number of people actively participating in local events, new creative support networks being formed, abandoned and unused spaces are being utilised for creative activities and new artworks inspired by Šilainiai are being created. What is also important is that the volunteers and team members from this project are all developing the talents within their field as well as learning new skill sets via practice and social interaction. But what I found most interesting and rewarding at the same time, is that the residents of Šilainiai are starting to reconnect and are finding new connections with the place they live in. Through creative activities, they have the opportunity to re-examine their personal histories and the relationships they have with this place.

This process can affect each and every person in a different way. It can evoke such feelings of nostalgia, curiosity or even be part of the healing process from past trauma. This is invaluable for each participant as they in return will be a lot more connected, encouraged, inspired, and ultimately content living in Šilainiai, and that is a lot.

 

Since the start of this project, culture de-centralisation and better access to cultural activities has become an important part of the official strategy within the culture sector for the city of Kaunas.

Conferences

I will be presenting Šilainiai Project and my further research in public art practices at these conferences/ events:

Audience Links Xchange Conference and Baltic Audience Links workshop, Stockholm, Sweden 20-24 February 2017.

3rd International Pulblic Art Research Network Meeting for global research about art in public space and place-making, Zhejiang Province,  China 13-16 March 2017.

College of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Art, Place-making and Resilient Cities Conference, Hong Kong 17-20 March 2017. 

IPA-Hong Kong Baptist University Conference, and the IPA-HK Govt. Dept. of Leisure and Culture Services – Oi! Workshops.

 

It is important to me to share my practice and learn from other good examples. I feel very privileged to be able to do so.

Conference ‘ARTS AND SOCIAL INNOVATION: EMPOWERMENT, IMPACT AND POLICY’

I will be presenting Šilainiai Project at this conference 30 September, 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania. My session starts 10 am and will be held at Theatre ‘MI’, Pranciškonų Palace, Trakų st. 8, Room 122 a. The event is free to attend. Everyone welcome. Programme attached.

International Scientific – Practical Conference

ARTS AND SOCIAL INNOVATION: EMPOWERMENT, IMPACT AND POLICY

29-30 September 2016

 

Organizers: Arts Agency “Artscape” and Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre

International scientific-practical conference Arts and Social Innovation: Empowerment, Impact and Policy aims to bring together scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary backgrounds to give a platform for theoretical and practical discussions on social innovations development through arts and inspire innovative politically and socially engaged art projects. The conference will cover the following topics:

  • Policy Framework and Political Activism for Social Innovation through Arts
  • Access to Culture and Social Innovation
  • Social Integration and Inclusion through Arts

The first day of the conference – the research session will focus on various theoretical insights and examples of good practices in Europe on social innovation through arts. The second day will give the conference participants a chance to visit projects that involve art for social change, to hear more about these projects, challenges and opportunities and share their own expertise.

More information on the conference webpage.