Past Projects

FACE opens a space for arts organisations to cooperate internationally and acts as an incubator, giving tailor-made advice and supporting the design process of partnerships (for example, by inviting key advisers or by providing a meeting room and travel grants to allow preparatory meetings to take place). Facilitating these early steps, FACE helps to build the capacity of cultural players to work transnationally and to interact with like-minded stakeholders, raising the quality of partnerships and funding strategies.

SHIFT - Shared Initiatives for Training (2019-2022)

FACE was part of SHIFT Culture, a new Erasmus+ project gathering nine European platforms. Coordinated by the European Music Council, the project began in December 2019 and ended in January 2022.

In today’s rapidly changing world, one of our great challenges is to create a path to more sustainable societies – and to do so by working together to face global challenges such as climate change, gender equality, and the inclusion of minority groups. Arts and culture play a recognised role in shaping societies and have the potential to significantly contribute to a better and more sustainable future for all, as demanded by the UN in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project SHIFT aimed to provide training and skills for cultural leaders who work in cultural networks. These leaders were empowered to implement the needed changes – to make the cultural shift – and to pass knowledge gained through the project on to leaders and staff members within their network, as well as to those in the broader cultural sector. Over the course of this two-year project, partners also produced resources, handbooks and guidelines on the following themes: Cultural Leadership, Climate Change, Gender and Power Relations, and Inclusion.

The project was coordinated by EMC - European Music Council and gathers: ECA-EC - European Choral Association - Europa Cantat, ELIA - European League of Institutes of the Arts, EMCY - European Union of Music Competitions for Youth, FACE - Fresh Arts Coalition Europe, IETM - International network for contemporary performing arts, IMC - International Music Council, OTM - On the Move, and TEH - Trans Europe Halles.

European Cooperation projects step by step (2019)

FACE facilitates workshops to help cultural agents develop cooperation projects. The sessions focus on several key steps that are important to taking a transversal approach to international work:

Sharing ideas, beliefs and 'food for thought' to establish meaningful partnerships and ensure players from different countries can define common ground to develop exciting projects together.

Defining and articulating communication objectives, target groups, tools, channels, media, impacts and a timeline when working on an international cultural project.

Understanding the guidelines and rules of EU budget making: from translating a project into facts/figures, to meeting reporting requirements, to overseeing and adjusting a budget – all the steps for smooth financial management.

These workshops help participants to avoid the pitfalls of international work, as well as to gather useful tips and advice through the showcasing of successful examples. Events are organised by key partners such as Creative Europe Desks in Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, etc. or IRO-International Resource Office.

Les Doms’ support scheme on international touring (2019)

As part of its missions to accompany performing arts companies based in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Belgium venue Les Doms (Avignon, France) has developed a support scheme to help companies tour their work internationally. FACE is member of the expert group providing guidance to artists, producers and tour bookers/agents in order to make the most of their experience at Avignon Festival Off 2019. Each production accesses guidance from different experts in order to maximise the impacts of showcasing work as well as prepare, make the most of and build upon the experience. The experimental support scheme takes place from March to September 2019.

Farming the Arts (2017-2018)

Farming the Arts is a European collaboration involving MiramirO (Belgium), FiraTàrrega (Spain), La Grainerie (France) and Finspangs kommun (Sweden). Together they devised a collaborative working model involving local farms and exploring, through the arts, agriculture-related topics that affect our European societies. In short, the project aims to encourage creation centres, venues and festivals to facilitate artistic residencies at farms! Following on from this, it presents the outcomes of artistic research to professionals from the fields of both Arts and Agriculture, echoing worrying societal realities and relaying vibrant hopes in regards to the production, distribution and consumption of food. Partners organised discussions with cultural professionals in order to reflect on artistic findings and areas to be investigated creatively, to share tips on how to form relationships with the agriculture sector, and to aid with the adoption of new work methods and cross-sectoral tools for collaborative practice. A conference on the project took place at FiraTàrrega in September 2018.

FACE-to-face (2015-2016)

FACE designed a co-spectatorship programme, FACE-to-face, to support venues and festivals experimenting with new ways to engage different communities: the organiser pairs an artist and a citizen, who then attend a performance together and exchange their views on the work seen. Several approaches were tested, ranging from open calls for participation to targeting specific groups (e.g. teachers from schools and universities, journalists, politicians, representatives of civil society, children, etc.). Each venue and festival makes sure the experience is understood by both participants, that they have enough time to meet before and after the performance, that they can access a quiet space for their discussion, and that they feedback on the experience. The conversation won’t be recorded or open to the public, as the goal is to bring together strangers for a shared experience of contemporary performing arts and to spark fresh debate around cross-disciplinary works. The feedback could make use of different tools (online questionnaires, videos, interviews over the phone, etc.) and was shared with colleagues from other venues and festivals. The project was trialed at La Grainerie (France), MiramirO (Belgium), across Catalonia thanks to APCC-Associació de Professionals de Circ de Catalunya (Spain), and by 2R2C-Coopérative de Rue et de Cirque (France).

Arts & Media (2014-2015)

Following the successful European cooperation project Unpack the Arts led by Circuscentrum (Belgium) and supported by the Culture programme of the European Commission, FACE proposed that performing arts festivals continue to maintain a dialogue with emerging and experienced critics and cultural journalists. The project aimed at strengthening the relationship between festivals and (new) media by proposing workshops and residencies on the occasion of the festival's events. The organisations involved supported the circulation of knowledge and experience among participants, and the development of critical discourses on contemporary artistic work, aesthetics and artistic trajectories. The project was implemented by Cirqueon (Czech Republic), Mala performerska scena (Croatia), and Montréal Complètement Cirque and En Piste (Canada), among others.

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