Traditional artforms as a foundation for modern European culture

Building communities through active participation in amateur arts


What are the challenges of traditional artforms today? Different regions and different (ethnic) minority groups have their own traditions, but share the same challenges. How to involve youth, or how to implement digital technology? How can traditions in art build bridges between people? How can we engage people in arts in their own communities? And last but not least, how can we spread the word and share the joy of taking part in arts?

These 3 main topics guided us through the conference which had a participatory approach that gave everyone attending a voice. 

The conference took place at the remarkable sites of the Kodály Conference and Concert Centre and the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, both built in 2010 when Pécs used to be Cultural Capital of Europe.


Please click here to open the programme of the conference!


AMATEO, the European network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities is happy and proud to announce that our application 'ARTS TAKE PART', has been selected for co-financing by the Creative Europe Programme – Cultural Networks strand.

The project will be implemented between August 2017 and July 2021.

The overall aim of the project is to develop the capacity of national and regional participatory arts organisations, and their networks, to operate transnationally and to support their active participation in art and cultural activities at a European level.



Network for those who believe that

Active Participation in Cultural Activities

  • should be better acknowledged for its importance to art, society, and individuals by politicians, bureaucrats, researchers, opinion leaders, and professional artists
  • should be recognised as worthy of support from national and EU institutions
  • should be encouraged by the reduction of bureaucratic obstacles. 

AMATEO Conference and General Assembly 2016 in Croatia


Leaflet - programme

Models, Practice and Policy in Creative Participation

The 9th Annual AMATEO Conference and General Assembly was held from 19th to 21st May 2016 in Vrsar, Croatia hosted by the Croatian Cultural Association, Hrvatski Sabor Kulture.

The conference ‘Connect – Influence – Inspire’ considered the importance of the role of creative participation in the arts in society in general and in particular in a rapidly changing Europe.

The conference focused on how collaboration and networking can help in tackling the challenges of operating in 21st Century Europe. We considered how to convince policy makers of the added value of creative participation in the arts. And we looked at ways in which sharing information, data and good practice can spread the impact of regional or national successes to the whole of Europe.

The AMATEO Conference was linked to the FAKS festival in the neighbouring city of Rovinj. This is an international festival of the participatory arts; bringing  together choral singing, wind orchestras and theatre performances in a celebration of the arts, lifelong learning and creative participation on the beautiful Adriatic coast.

Click HERE to find more information and to consult the presentations of the workshops and speakers.


AMATEO Conference and General Assembly 2015 in Finland

'Youth! Arts! Sharing Youth Arts Models of Practice Across Europe'

The 2015 AMATEO Conference and General Assembly was held in Helsinki, Finland from May 25th - 27th. The conference Youth! Arts! Sharing Youth Arts Models of Practice Across Europe was embedded in a larger "Seminar on Cultural Youth Work and its development". It was arranged by six different independent and municipal organisations in Helsinki and nationwide. The aim of the conference was to bring together best practices on cultural youth work and art education and also develop concepts even further. At the seminar, around 100 active planners and executors from all around Finland were present.

Speakers from different member countries brought good practices on amateur arts and art education for children and youngsters.

Click HERE to find more information and to consult the presentations of the workshops and speakers.


AMATEO memorandum april 2014

This memorandum reflects the input and support of the members of our organisation and is intended to give profile to a largely undervalued part of society that is pretty much taken for granted.

We ask that policy makers and politicians recognise the role that the local choir, town jazz band, amateur theatre group play within civil society and accept your responsibility towards supporting amateur arts and culture. You have the chance to provide the tools to citizens and communities to use the amateur arts and culture to create, define identity, speak out and shape society.

As the European network for amateur arts we are committed to stimulate the debate and dialogue on the value and role of amateur arts and culture in society.

We invite you to reflect on this memorandum and encourage you to contact us to engage in conversation on its content.

You can read the memorandum here.

Please contact us through our secretariat in Belgium:
AMATEO c/o Forum voor Amateurkunsten, Abrahamstraat 13, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium E-mail address:

International Conference On Culture, Health, and Wellbeing in Stockholm, 
May 8th - 10th 2014

Amateo’s 7th conference on culture and cultural practices was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in May 2014; on the theme Culture, Health, and Well?being. The host for the arrangement was ax – The Swedish Amateur Culture Council. Click here to read more!



Manifesto of the Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign we are more

  • We are many individuals that value and shape contemporary European cultures. We are more than many. We are more than producers and consumers. We are committed to cultural rights, education and active citizenship.
  • We believe that the strong tradition of public funding of the arts across Europe makes a difference to the diversity, accessibility and quality of the arts available to us all.
  • The arts, culture and the humanities engage and inspire us, and stimulate us to challenge the world we live in. Investing in the arts from kindergarten to old age builds societies that are creative, innovative, democratic and diverse.
  • Let us re-imagine long-term public investment that contributes to human, social and environmental progress.

National governments and EU policymakers are currently taking decisions on the next EU budget that will influence the next ten years of support to cultural activities that benefit everyone who lives in Europe.

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