The 25th and 26th of October 2017, BEK, Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, organized the seminar “Think- and share tank-creating communities that create.” The seminar was part of Future DiverCities research and commitment to art production where audience impact and community development are integrated. Invited participants were from different local organizations and individual artists who work experimental with arts and cultural projects in the context of healt, care and social innovation. Common to all invitees is the use of professional artists and musicians for projects, long experience and knowledge of groups with special needs and art’s potential in different contexts.
The goal of the two days was to present to each other their own practices, discuss similarities and inequalities, and to think about the way forward. To expand one’s own network with similar practitioners. The methods and knowledge are many and varied and the seminar was meant to be a space for sharing. Future DiverCities aims to take seriously into account that art can work and arise in many more communities and contexts, and that many community addressed art practices takes place in the margins of the art scene. What happens, how and with what expressions and results? Some results are measurable, some must be experienced, but all of them can be shared in a professional forum.
Amalie Skram’s house, a creative house for people with experience with mental health problems by artistic director Eli Veim, Gallery VOX, a workplace for artists and creative people with mental disorders by leader Unni Hachvaag and artist Nina Grieg, Arts, Culture and Mental Health ( KKPH) facilitates art and cultural activities and experiences for people with mental health problems at the head of Livelin Remme, The Correctional Service, region west of regional deputy director Leif Waage, The Correctional Service, region west of senior counselor Ellen Svendsen, Bjørgvin Prison at music therapist Kjetil Hjørnevik and artist Marie Storaas and Artist Katrine Meisfjord. For Future DiverCities project coordinator Laetitia Manach and Patsy Lang, Project Developer with extensive and long-standing experience from art and cultural projects in the UK and abroad. BEK, Bergen Center for Electronic Art by Artist and Artistic Developer Anne Marthe Dyvi was the initiator and moderator.
The seminar was supported by The EU-Creative Europe, through Future DiverCities and BEK, Bergen Center for Electronic Art.
Quotes from some of the participants after the seminar:
We have benefited from exchanging experiences from so many different actors and gaining insight into their work within the field of art. The model from England is quite different from ours, but a cross-border network of art exchanges is always good and can provide opportunities. (Galleri Vox)
This is relevant for us because it is so important to learn, and be aware of, how we in different countries work towards people with special needs. Our way of working – using professional artist towards, and together with people with special needs – will be an important part of the future, both for the involved participants and for the involved artists – and for the societies they live in. We truly believe that increased participation in art and the arts gives people richer lives, in the true meaning of the word rich. Our (www.kkph.no) experience for more than 13 years of work have given us more than enough feedback from our participants to completely put ourselves behind Future DiverCities statement: Experience positive change through creativity. (Kunst, kultur og psykisk helse)
Exchanging experience from artists across workplaces and work situations is important and promotes understanding of what we are working with and the groups we work with. The seminar was amazingly inspiring and, in particular, confirming that the work we do locally is important and meaningful, and that it is interesting for people outside our local context. We would like an opportunity to dig deeper into the addressed topics in the seminar on a later occasion. (Amalie Skrams hus)
Images/text: Anne Marthe Dyvi. Locations: Amalie Skrams hus/Galleri VOX