Kyveli Aikaterini Kouvela
Athens State Orchestra - SPECIAL CONCERTS ORGANIZATION FUND
Remoteness results in limited access to culture, as cultural events tend to take place in big cities. Access to high quality classical music is exclusive to a specific group of people and fails to reach those that need it the most. Our goal is to provide all with access, by taking our orchestra and celebrated soloists at the borderline villages of Greece. All equally have the right to music and if circumstances do not allow them to reach it, we will make sure we take it to them.
Remote Greek villages at the borders of Europe.
Remoteness often acts as constraints to education, care, and community cohesion, which lead to them being cut off from cultural and economical development. Equality of access to culture is a fundamental right and a matter of democracy, rather than a luxury. Inhabitants of these villages are deprived of the tools to shape their cultural identity and from engaging with high quality classical music. The organization of 24 workshops for the children to reinforce social and community cohesion and connect them with their European cultural heritage is at the heart of our idea. The 6 concerts and the 6 seminars, in collaboration with local authorities and local music education organizations are also vital to our project, to promote community engagement and support of the local institutions.
Our idea is based on the importance of education, community engagement and equal access, as vital components of the democratic process. Furthermore, the reinforcement of the sense of belonging in the European family, its values, ideals, and culture is hard to be achieved in the remote villages of the borderline, given all the challenges these communities face. Our intention is to bring positive action to these communities, engage them actively in the process of our project and inspire them to claim and assert equal access to our shared cultural heritage by illustrating the importance of music education and the hands on involvement which can help sustain the actions and bring high quality development in the future.
The challenges of remoteness are key elements of our idea. Borderline villages, regardless their location –the south, the north or the east – are characterized by extremely limited access to culture, education, and healthcare. They are faced with a continuously aging population and huge financial difficulties. The bare fact that these people live at the borders amplifies the sense of abandonment. We wish to work with and inspire the children that are growing up in these villages and to provide the tools to the whole community to love their home again. Our experiences have taught us that when a community comes together and work around a project that helps their children, it gives them back the enthusiasm to better their conditions and demand positive change for their lives.
The project, as described above, is drafted with the aim to provide a holistic approach to classical music and enables children to familiarize themselves with all aspects of music, from playing an instrument, to being a professional musician, to being an educated audience and to be part of a group that needs to work closely together in order to produce an exceptional result. To practically implement our project, we will establish contact with local authorities for them to engage with it. Also, we will contact the local music organizations’ and include them in our project. Working closely with the school directors and teachers, we will organize the workshops and help them prepare the children and their families accordingly.
We expect results on two levels. First, the actual involvement of the children “hands on” through the workshops and the ability to reach as many people as possible without jeopardizing the quality of what we offer. Second, we aim to create strong bonds with the local schools, which face a plethora of difficulties, much of the time employing a single educator and have limited resources. With this project, which promotes the collaboration inside the community, we wish to introduce the value of incorporating music into the lives of the local communities and encourage them to seek collaboration with local musicians. This serves the creation of a network inside the community but could also be the starting point of a network between the borderline villages and other remote regions around Europe.
Our idea contributes to the strengthening of democracy in Europe in several layers, that include the geographical uniqueness and its challenges, the promotion of our common European cultural heritage, advocating for equal rights and equal access to high quality cultural products, the fact that investing in education secures a better future for all, and also the development of a stronger social and community cohesion. With this action we want to be conducive in the nurturing of active citizenship, by doing our part in promoting inclusiveness.
The dedication of A.S.O. to projects of social and educational impact is evident through the multiple activities the orchestra has organized in the past and continues to support and implement. Our motivation behind this proposed project has two sides. On the one hand we strive to enhance and develop more social and educational projects bringing people together and bridging communities, while promoting classical music. On the other hand, we consider these projects very beneficial for our musicians, employees, and our academy of young musicians. Every project of a social impact has above all a very positive impact to the orchestra itself and its people, as social change and effect must be interactive to be effective.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
4 actions – 4 days each/ 24 educational activities+ 6 concerts +6 seminars
Per Diem for 22 musicians: 9.600,00 €
Accommodation cost: 10.400,00 €
Travel costs: 8.600,00 €
Communication: 4.000,00 €
Various Concert Expenses: 5.000,00 €
Recordings/Digitization: 10.000,00 €
Indirect costs (fees covered by own funds): 17.400,00 €
Total: 65.000,00 €
Requested: 47.600,00 €
Own funds: 17.400,00 €
We would be grateful to know whether there were similar projects around Europe and have some feedback/advice on the challenges each has faced and how they were overcome. Comments that would also enrich our project would also be highly appreciated.