Liberty EU Programme

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An Art Reach project

Image: Waterfields by Juli Balázs, András Juhász, Eszter Kálmán, Gábor Keresztes, Ármin Szabó-Székely. Prouced by Trafo House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest 2021.

Liberty EU Programme

Image: Liberty UK Festival — Slow Down photo by Luke Thomas


Liberty EU

partners are committed to engaging young artists and young audiences with new work

Liberty EU

has enabled artists and cultural professionals to work together and connect at free events across Europe

Image: Reflektor Teatar — Hi Everyone

image: Aalborg Karneval

About Liberty EU Liberty EU is an international arts programme exploring and celebrating freedom. Led by UK-based arts charity, Art Reach, Liberty EU brings together a partnership of 12 cultural and youth organisations based in 10 European countries. The partnership works collaboratively to empower the voice of young people— in particular young artists, aged 30 and under—through accessible cultural events that explore the topics of freedom and identity in engaging and relevant ways for diverse audiences — especially those that might not feel mainstream art and culture is for them. Where we engage new audiences with this work, Liberty EU aims to inspire them to continue to participate in cultural activity and explore the project’s themes further. ​ Since the launch of Liberty EU in September 2019, and even with the backdrop of a pandemic, audiences have connected to Liberty events produced by partners and young artists in outdoor festivals, cultural and community venues, and digital streams comprising six Liberty EU strands of artistic creation and presentation: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Digital Art Liberty Art Inside-Out Performances Processional Theatre Educational Workshops Seminars

Liberty has helped to enhance the careers of young artists, profile their work and increase their cultural connections. Hundreds of young artists have benefitted from the opportunity to participate in the programme and share their work with audiences. In May 2020, we also launched the Liberty Young Artist Portfolio — a free online resource featuring over 250 young artist profiles available for organisations and producers to browse, connect to, and commission socially conscious young artists. Liberty EU will celebrate its final season in 2022, with a European wide programme of events and cultural connections, using new technology to share works and ideas as widely as possible. Here, we share more about the work that has been produced by young artists and our partners. It celebrates the programme’s achievements so far, and how to get involved in Liberty in future. Liberty EU is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Image: CESIE — Music Residency


Liberty EU Young Artists on the portfolio


Liberty EU Young Artists


Image: STAMP Festival — Angels photo by Thomas Panzau

The Liberty EU Young Artist Portfolio To support emerging young artists, aged 30 and under, from across Europe on their professional journeys, the Young Artist Portfolio has been established as an integral part of the Liberty EU programme. The portfolio offers a free online presence for artists to raise their profile internationally. As a publicly available online platform, the portfolio maximises coverage for emerging artists, allowing them to share their online presence, upload their CVs, and add images or videos of themselves and their work — giving them the possibility to present their work to a wider network and enabling a greater variety of international collaborations. Liberty EU aims to establish a vital resource and search tool for producers and cultural organisations looking to connect with young artists and create new work together.

Raising the profile of emerging artists gives the portfolio the opportunity to act as a stepping stone for young creatives. It offers access into an industry that can often seem closed, breaking down barriers and forging important links through collaboration. In addition, the Liberty EU website offers a great variety of artist development resources, allowing artists to access free training, helpful tools as well as guidance on best practice — ranging from tips on how to start an effective online presence to best ways of photographing the artwork and producing an effective CV. On the website, all this valuable information and links are brought together in one place, providing useful guidance and advice for any young or emerging artist who is trying to navigate the industry.

Image: Reflektor Teatar - Hi Everyone

200,000+ Liberty EU Audience Members

8000+ Liberty EU participants across 10 countries

Image: TNRSS — Creative Workshop

Liberty EU Strands Digital Art & Liberty Art In order to maximise engagement with the programme, two strands of Liberty EU have explored the use of visual art exhibitions and digital art. Visual art exhibitions benefit from extended display periods whilst digital art content can be explored online. These strands create the opportunity for consistent and continuing engagement of audiences with the content of the programme. One long-term exhibition for the Liberty EU programme was created by artists for Italian partner Museo Explora, The Children’s Museum of Rome, who ran their 4-month Liberty Art Festival in 2021. The successful engagement with the offered activities is evident: The Liberty Art Festival attracted audiences of 8000 people, the workshops engaged 1660 participants and, to date, the podcast series that ran alongside the exhibition has reached audiences of over 6000. The podcast was launched to ensure that people who were apprehensive about returning to in-person events due to the pandemic could access high-quality art in their own time and space.

Explora further invited the artists to turn The International UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into 12 beautiful artworks, which were exhibited in free-to-access areas in the museum, including the gardens and the restaurant area. With a significant part of the programme focusing on exploring liberty and its relevance today, it has also been crucial to reflect on life when liberties are restricted and the effects of those restrictions on the people experiencing them. One Liberty EU project opted to explore this through large-scale digital animations and projections. Showcased as part of ArtReach’s annual Journeys Festival International — which celebrates and highlights artists from sanctuary-seeking backgrounds — was the animation and projection piece Bloodland Embrace by Italian artist collective Kalico Jack.

Bloodland Embrace uses large-scale projections to engage its audiences, as Kalico Jack explains: “This art project was born from our need to tell more about the 11 artists under the age of 30 — five Italian living conditions of refugees, to use images to artists and six international artists — were raise awareness on one of the humanitarian commissioned by Explora to create work for emergencies of our times.” Bloodland the festival, enabling artistic collaborations Embrace was projected onto large screens between young and emerging artists against at Journeys Festival International in both Manchester and Leicester in 2021 and is now the backdrop of the pandemic, when available to view online. physical borders were closed.

Image: Explora Museo — Liberty Art

Image: Pionirski Dom — Likfest

Image: Trafo — Under the Sun

Image: Trafó — Colony photo by Máté Bartha

Liberty EU has enabled artists and cultural professionals to work together and connect at free events across Europe

Liberty EU has developed new ways for young artists to collaborate and create new work across Europe

Image: Cham Saloum on oud — photo by Uffe Okkels Birk

Liberty EU Strands

Image: STAMP Festival — Angels photo by Thomas Panzau

Inside-Out Performances and Processional Theatre Strands Through Inside-Out Performances, Liberty EU aims to bridge artistic and non-artistic venues together, linking audiences to indoor areas they might not be familiar with outdoor spaces they venture often. Inside-Out Performances celebrate the fact that with imagination and creativity many buildings can be utilised beyond their original intentions. With Processional Theatre, audiences can follow intriguing creative trails of street theatre, live music and storytelling through the streets of their cities and be guided to spaces they might not have ventured to before. The Hungarian Liberty EU partner Trafó has focused some of their new work towards the Inside-Out Performance strand, including commissioning the artwork Waterfields. With the journeys of migrants across the sea continuing to be part of a humanitarian crisis, putting it at the forefront of their Liberty EU programme provides a pertinent and timely addition to the artistic programme. Waterfields offers a dual experience of immersion and contemplation to participants — feeling like shipwrecked

people at sea or lost hikers in high mountains — while immersing them in a medium that is constantly changing and overwhelming their senses. Whether the atmosphere around the audience makes them feel safe, suffocated or liberated can often depend on the ability of the audience to change their perspective. Allowing people to meaningfully engage with the arts should not rely on buildings or creative venues, which are often seen as a barrier to many people accessing the arts. Instead, the arts should be brought out to the streets and to the people who live, work and walk along them. This is what the Liberty EU programme celebrates with Processional Theatre. One such example is Here, a piece which aimed to analyse the world of today’s teenagers from various social backgrounds in Romania. This processional piece is twofold. The first is an installation made up of a visual-arts labyrinth based on the process of ‘analysing freedom’ (seen through the eyes of young people), and the second is a performance comprising of Hip-Hop music, literacy and visual art. This was performed at Teatrul National Radu Stanca Sibiu in Romania in August 2021.

Image: Reflektor Teatar — Hi Everyone

Image: STAMP Festival — Superpower by Wirvier collective

“Being invited into the Liberty EU programme endorses our work and strengthens the value of it.” Kollektiv Kubilk — Germany

“Liberty EU is a safe space where to express oneself, where you’re free to get over your limits, have fun and spread your creativity.” Esdra Sciortino — Italy

“For me, one of the most important things as a young artist is the ability to collaborate with other artists — and that is what the Liberty EU project offers.” mandla rae — UK

Liberty EU Strands Educational Workshops and Seminars Strands Two important parts of our Liberty EU programme are the two strands focusing on Educational Workshops and Seminars. These strands aim to enable the co-creation and exploration of the Liberty EU themes around young people, identity and place with participants and artists alike. A great example is a recent collaboration between Danish Liberty EU partner Aalborg Karneval and UK-based arts organisation Mandinga Arts. In workshops with local young people, they have worked together to develop a carnival float and performance that tours events and performances around Europe. As part of the workshops, Artistic Director of Mandinga Arts, Charles Beauchamp, visited the team of Northern Europe’s largest carnival in Aalborg to share Mandinga Arts’ vast carnival experience. Mandinga Arts are world-renowned for creating extraordinary outdoor performances with costumes, puppetry and street processions. Developing the project with a group of students in a local school, the workshops were an opportunity to explore a creative discourse in a practical way as Charles brought props and costumes for the young

Image: TNRSS — Creative Workshop

people to work with. This allowed the students to learn more about how carnival performances develop which in turn served as inspiration when building the new touring carnival float and in the creation of the choreography and costumes for their project. Sjaja Haddadi, Director of Aalborg Karneval, said: “We are very excited to be continuing our work with the students and Charles and the rest of Mandinga’s crew!” German partner, Altonale held a symposium in September 2021, inviting 20 young artists from across Europe to explore the power of engaging diverse audiences through performance in public spaces. This practical symposium allowed Young Artists to share work in progress and get feedback from, and connect to, a specially invited team of experts from the Germanybased Contemporary Performing Street Arts Network. Speeches and special talks explored the power of outdoor arts to convey the complex topics and themes that Liberty EU explores, and the impact that can be achieved when shared with a wide audience. Altonale selected a participating young artist to give a public performance during its high-profile street arts event, Stamp Festival in September 2021.

Image: Mandinga Arts visits Aalborg Karneval

Image: STAMP Festival — Superpower by Wirvier collective


Conclusions The sheer passion and intent to embrace the messages around the meaning of liberty by the organisations and artists involved has become evident throughout the programme, with the desire to engage with audiences at the heart of each project. This is set to continue until the project concludes in January 2023. Alongside this desire for extended audience engagement remains a focus on creating meaningful dialogue with young people and those from underrepresented groups. In under three years, Liberty EU has created an international platform and delivered international events that bring together communities to benefit from shared experiences and celebrate a collectiveness in what many have considered some of the most challenging of times. The vast array of programme content and engagement opportunities created by our Liberty EU partnership shows how collaborative working can enhance the creative output of a multi-national programme. From virtual reality to urban arts, and live touring music to street theatre performances, the LibertyEU partners have produced a programme that is innovative, inclusive and relevant.

Whilst taking place against the backdrop of a global pandemic, multiple European lockdowns and a reduction in live event audiences, each Liberty EU partner adjusted locally, nationally and internationally in order to continue to push the programme forward. Under these difficult conditions, each partner, artist and collaborator used their experiences, knowledge and passion to find innovative ways to reach out to audiences through place-based outdoor arts interventions and online content. The Liberty EU programme has demonstrated an exemplary ambition and desire to partner with organisations on an international level, bringing high-quality arts and diverse cultural activities to audiences across the continent. The Liberty EU partners continue to develop an international profile and create opportunities for the artists involved, highlighting the programme’s message, that through explorative arts and creative cultural engagement we are unified, integrated and connected. This summer will see the programme’s finale season deliver remarkable events in a variety of countries and locations. To see a Liberty EU event near you, go to

Image: CNC DANSE Nathalie Cornille — Un Petit Courant D’Air

Partners ArtReach

Aalborg Karneval

Altonale GmbH

Centar e8


CNC Danse — Nathalie Cornille EEE YFU eee-yfu

Explora Il Museo Dei Bambini Di Roma Pionirski Dom Swinging Europe



ArtReach is a UK-based arts and cultural charity. ArtReach commissions bold ambitious art and festivals that bring people together and delivers activities and authentic experiences that unify art, audiences and cultures. Aalborg Karneval is northern Europe’s largest carnival with almost 100,000 participants across the festival. The Danish carnival aims to share the understanding and knowledge of the carnival’s traditions, history, music, universal character and local differences. As a non-profit cultural organisation, the German Altonale GmbH has set itself the task of making the local and international diversity in Hamburg’s Altona district visible, promoting mutual acceptance and developing sustainable and open networks for arts and culture. Centar E8 is focused on working with young people across Serbia. With innovative campaigns, the use of social networks and various work methodologies, they educate young people on the topics of healthy lifestyles, gender equality, violence prevention and the importance of activation in society. Italian-based CESIE is a European centre of studies and initiatives, focusing on the development of cultural, recreational, social, educational, and economic research initiatives without profit-making purposes. CNC Danse — Nathalie Cornille, based in France, produce choreographic creations for young audiences in their early childhood, participatory choreographic creations, public awareness projects, collective dances, performances and events. EEE-YFU is an international non-profit organisation and the umbrella organisation of Youth For Understanding (YFU) in Europe. Based in Belgium, EEE-YFU supports its 28 European member organisations to have a strong impact in youth exchanges and intercultural education and a visible and growing community. Explora is a not-for-profit museum in Rome with a mission to encourage and help the natural desire of every child to learn — with stimulating, entertaining proposals for children of all ages. Pionirski dom — Center for Youth Culture is a leading public cultural institution based in Slovenia, operating in the field of extracurricular activities since 1963. Swinging Europe is a non-profit institution situated in the Danish Herning Municipality, which has worked internationally in the arts and cultural sector since 1998. With music as one of the primary focus areas, it creates and facilitates artistic and cultural projects and activities through art, music and talent development of young people between 18 and 25. Teatrul National Radu Stanca is one of the most important theatres in Romania and among the most active ones in Europe — a repertory theatre consisting of a Romanian and a German section, presenting performances in both languages. Trafó House of Contemporary Arts in Budapest is an inviting and co-producing venue unique in Hungary and a cornerstone of the international contemporary arts scene. Its performances, concerts, exhibitions as well as community and audience-building programmes are accessible to all who look for something new.

Image: The Liberty Orchestra — photo by Uffe Okkels Birk

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