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Heroes are close to you! | Civic Europe
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Heroes are close to you!

Fostering active citizenship and empowering local communities by inclusive art education and self-representation


Who is behind this?

Rodrigó Balogh

Independent Theater Hungary / Women for the Future Association


Who is joining forces?


Idea pitch

We bring theater, dramatic heroes to remote communities, bring together Roma and non-Roma communities, support them in finding their local heroes and present them by cooperative art work, in order to give them pride, common success and competences for co-operation and co-creation, which are the bases of democratic functioning. ‘If we focus on our local heroes who were able to bring changes in our community, we will believe more in our own active citizenship.’

Where will your project idea take place?

Sárkeresztúr and Csobanka are villages, Dunafoldvar is a small town, with numerous Roma inhabitants.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In the focused communities there is lack of cultural activities, memory of local heroes, positive identity of the community and common experience of success by inclusive initiate of the community members. The Roma and non-Roma people are segregated in different fields of life. The focus is on the differences of the different ethnic groups instead of the common human values, which are relevant for all of them. There is lack of community cooperation creative self-representation. The community members can’t believe they can change the community and its circumstances for a better one, and they consider themselves more as victims than active citizens/heroes. Instead of focusing on potential of active cooperation, they many times focus on the other groups as scapegoats causing their situation.

Who are you doing it for?

We will target disadvantaged and middle-class, Roma and non-Roma community members, who are usually separated. A quite rare theater performance is attractive enough for both groups – in order to come to the same place and gain a common experience and share opinions in a discussion. Later on we will involve smaller groups to workshops and in a mid-term creative art work related to the local heroes proposed by participants by diverse group members. They will join in order to represent their own values and heroes, but then they will recognize their heroes have also common values, and create a common artwork including all of their aspects. 500 persons reached by theater performance and presentation of local art work, and 40 persons in workshops and community art work – in each communities.

How do you plan to get there?

We had experience of cooperation in all communities, who wanted to continue as our workshops and performances empowered and inspired their community members although they lasted only for one day.
1. Preparation, recruitment of participants and local stories, organizing and realizing local theater performance and audience discussion (1-3rd month)
2. Inviting people from the theater to workshops focusing on dramatic heroes and the local heroes of participants their stories and values (4th)
3. Inviting people from workshops in 8-weeks-long community art work focusing on their own heroes and organizing the local presentation of the work – meanwhile giving method of community art work for local coordinator (5-8th)
4. Showing the work for public, closing, evaluation, follow-up. (9-11th)

What are the expected results?

The local heroes and inclusive creative work of diverse groups in community will empower the communities and inspire their further creative and citizens’ activities. Roma and non-Roma people will gain positive experience regarding each other, which develops also their attitudes and cooperation. The coordinators will have methods how to do similar initiatives without external professional help.
3*200 persons participating in performances and discussions
3*2*20 persons participate in workshops and share their own heroes’ stories
3*15 persons participate in creation and presentation of community art work focusing on local heroes.
3 community art products presented in 3 events reaching 3*200 persons
3 trained local coordinator
1 method of community art work
200.000 informed by media

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

At the first step we show theater performance, in which dramatic heroes make decisions and bring change just as active citizens do. Afterwards we will start open debate (1st base of democracy) related to the focused dramatic heroes, and stories in order to bring in different points (2nd base) and ask for their own local heroes stories in order to focus on their own positive identity (3.) afterwards do a cooperative artwork, where they use self-expression (4.), make common decision (5.), and have personal tasks and responsibilities (6.) and show the result of the artwork to the other community members in a transparent way (7.) and gain an experience of common success in an inclusive cooperation (8.), which is inspiration for other inclusive initiatives in the future.

Why is this idea important to you?

“You choose: If you see the other people as a problem, no matter what you do, the situation becomes worse and worse but if you see them as a partner, they become your partner.”
The Independent Theater Hungary and its partners are working in order all people can live with equal chances, rights and responsibilities in shaping their own lives and their surroundings. We want to show perspectives and ensure positive encounters for diverse groups in order they everyone can find their own ways meanwhile respecting other ones, who go on different paths. We empower disadvantaged groups in order they can become more active and impactful, and we raise awareness the members of majority, in order they can also see potential and not obstacle in their disadvantaged peers.

€ 44430,-

Total budget

€ 38930,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

3 theater performances - 4800
3*2 workshops - 3000
3 community art work and presentation - 7200
materials - 1950
catering - 1800
travel - 1800
venues - 2000
communication - 1100
fees of project/professional leader, adiministrator, coordinators - 20780

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to learn community art methods, and any initiatives, which brought together diverse groups in one communities, and any initiatives working with the concept of hero. Any ideas, suggestions and feed back are welcome on our ideas.



Idea created on May 26, 2020

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