LIBERTY Creative Europe Programme
LIBERTY is an exciting international arts programme exploring and celebrating freedom, led by ArtReach.
Led by UK cultural development charity, ArtReach, LIBERTY is an ambitious and innovative creative response to current challenges facing the European Union. At a time of significant change for Europe – with substantial movement of people and arrival into Europe of refugees; disturbing breakdown in community cohesion, focused by the terrorist threat; and the implications of BREXIT (and other possible EU structural change) – ArtReach and partners want to focus on the positive impact of creative integration through art and culture, helping to forge new sense of identity and place (both locally and Europe-wide) with strong engagement from young people. We also want to significantly develop and enhance a process of artist and artistic collaboration and audience development that previous ArtReach-led Creative Europe projects have initiated. Our commitment is to engagement of young artists and young audiences.
LIBERTY brings together 12 cultural partners from 10 countries, partners with shared values, passions and commitment. We will forge a vibrant curatorial and development team, enabling artists and cultural professionals to work together over three years, commissioning at least 75 new collaborative works from 750 young artists that are presented as free access events across Europe and with transnational circulation. Inside Out Performance, Processional Theatre, Liberty Wall-Art, Outdoor Digital Arts projects, workshops and seminars will together explore our theme of creative integration and identity, encompassing Festivals, venues, interdisciplinary arts, training and conferences. Embedded in the project is commitment to audience development and education/training, prioritising culturally diverse and disadvantaged communities, including refugees, those from deprived socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people. LIBERTY will conclude with a five-month pan-European programme from May to September 2022, maximising new technology to share works and ideas as widely as possible, and generating substantial legacy momentum.
LIBERTY comprises of six strands of artistic creation and presentation:
- Inside – Out Performance: A performance taking place both outdoors and inside cultural or non-traditional venues; bridging the two spaces.
- Processional Theatre: A moving, parade-like, performance that engages passers-by and audiences on the street.
- Liberty Art: Provocative and place-making visual art, sculptural art, murals, street art and graffiti that exhibits anywhere there is a suitable space.
- Outdoor Digital Art: Presented outdoors, this work cuts across any art form and features significant digital elements in its creation.
- Educational Workshops: LIBERTY workshops are practical, accessible, challenging and fun. They enable the co-creation and exploration of the project’s themes.
- Seminars: Enable a deep-dive into the project’s themes; raising questions, seeking actions, and galvanising more interest and spin-off activity.
The six elements of the project will maximise engagement of audiences by being delivered in public spaces with prolonged artist development and sector learning opportunities. LIBERTY will be presented across 10 countries from September 2019 to October 2022.
In September, partners on the project from locations across Europe came to Leicester to celebrate the start of this ambitious project. The celebrations included meeting the City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, and visiting the city’s cultural quarter, which will be the site for some of the projects performances and workshops over the next 3 years.
Leicester based ArtReach, the Lead Partner for the project, is the only UK organisation this year to receive funding on this scale from Creative Europe. They will be teaming up with eleven other arts organisations representing ten European countries from; Germany, Italy, Romania, Denmark, Serbia, France, Slovenia, Hungary and Belgium.
David Hill, Founding Director and Chairman of ArtReach said: “The team at ArtReach is delighted that our successful track record of artistic leadership in European collaboration will be enhanced with this major award. It is brilliant for our continued work based here in Leicester and for the development of the festivals we deliver in the city.
City Mayor, Peter Soulsby said: “This is excellent news for ArtReach and for Leicester. It was a great pleasure to introduce the project’s European partners to our city, where they are very welcome.
“We’re very proud of our Cultural Quarter, which regularly hosts artistic works and performances of international significance, as well as acting as a creative hub for local businesses, so I’m very pleased that ArtReach will be using the Cultural Quarter as a base for their part in the exciting Liberty project.”
The full list of partners involved in LIBERTY are: ArtReach (UK), Altonale GmbH (Germany), Museo dei Bambini (Italy), CESIE (Italy), Teatrul National Radu Stanca Sibiu (Romania), Aalborg Karneval (Denmark), Center E8, for promoting lifestyles (Serbia), CNC Danse (Nathalie Cornille Company) (France), Pionirski dom – Center za kulturo mladiih (Slovenia), Den Selvejende Institution Swinging Europe (Denmark), Trafo House of Contemporary Arts (Hungary), European Educational Exchanges – Youth for Understanding (Belgium).
Image courtesy of Pete Martin Photography.