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We are all our community - Activate Shipka | Civic Europe
Arts and cultural activities, Community development

We are all our community - Activate Shipka shortlist

Uniting the different local stakeholders in Shipka town in dialogue and civic activism through art and volunteering for a common cause.


Who is behind this?

Yuliya Ivanova

POdLEZNO foundation


Who is joining forces?

Community center in Shipka town


We plan to partner with the Municipality of Shipka, as well as the local schools to achieve the maximum impact. We have their contacts and initial agreement to collaborate if the project gets funded.


Idea pitch

Art is a powerful tool for addressing sensitive topics such as democracy, human rights, inequalities. It’s successfully used for social inclusion, because of its strong level of engagement with the audience, that has a long lasting impact. Unfortunately this is not true for everyone. We want to change that by improving the access to art to the residents of underprivileged territory through the realization of multidisciplinary project at a local level and involving youths and segregated groups.

Where will your project idea take place?

We will work in Shipka - small town in Kazanlak municipality, Stara Zagora Province, Bulgaria

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

In Shipka there are a lot of Roma children coming from the nearby villages who are not included in the town`s life and are segregated from Bulgarian students. The local population fails to find a dialog between the two ethnic groups which is a prerequisite for generating xenophobia and radicalism, especially amongst youngsters. Furthermore, the local cultural life consists only in events that are mainly historical and folklore oriented. Although named "festivals", they are mostly trade shows of manufacturers. The young people from the town go to Kazanlak to seek entertainment and cultural life. Our project will use a volunteering art initiative to gather the different stakeholders and the people from different origins, provoke the dialogue between them and unite them for a common cause.

Who are you doing it for?

This project will gather together:
- children from Bulgarian origin
- children from Roma origin
- the Community center
- the Municipality
- the local schools
- parents of the above-mentioned children
- active people from Shipka and the nearby towns and villages

How do you plan to get there?

We will do the following activities:
- 1 informative campaign - to attract the youngsters and to promote the showcase
- 5 creative workshops with professionals (visual and dance arts) and 5 reflections
- 1 discussion before - to give the locals the power to decide which place they want to renovate and how
- 1 transformed space through placemaking - work with the local youngsters - this process will engage them and grab their attention on the topics the art installation will address
- 1 performance - dance is a powerful tool for starting a discussion about sensitive topics, that’s our goal
- 1 discussion after the performance - we’ll use the energy of the showcase and the possibility people with different opinions to start a dialog
- sharing the results - 1 short video showing the whole process - from the workshops to the final discussion

What are the expected results?

- The locals will be equipped with a new model of collaboration and a new way of thinking their role as active citizens and facing societal challenges
-The young talents interested in dance and art will be empowered to co-creating their environment and raise their voice, which will give the know-how and inspiration for future initiatives.
-Increasing the involvement of talented individuals in the region with art and culture by improving their knowledge and skills for realization of independent projects in the creative industries and increasing their experience for a more successful realization on the labor market.
In the long term, the impact of the results of local intervention will transform the location and the community towards new cultures and reinforce European vision and identity

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

Vision 2029 Culture is a way of life that requires the quality and diversity of cultural content offered to enable the individual citizen to make sense of their existence, including by participating in the creation of new forms of expression. Viewed from a societal perspective, culture is the basis for achieving such a quality of life that makes the individual a creative and complete person and a part of the bigger community as a result of access to the cultural achievements of humanity.
Introducing the model of co-creation and placemaking down-to-top and initiating collaboration between different actors in a project of common benefit sets the ground of continuous dialog that includes marginalized social groups and empowers them to participate in the decision making processes of the town.

Why is this idea important to you?

POdLEZNO`s team are urban planner, architect, designer, painters, director and musician. Our 8years experience is in creative renovation of the built environment using artistic approach, adding new functions and revitalizing spaces in need through cultural events. We use multidisciplined methods and gather together the local communities in different towns to participate in the creation of their own surroundings.
Some of our projects tackle the topics of integration of people from different ethnic origins, non-discrimination, social inclusion, etc.
The community center in Shipka have the local knowledge and connections, but are struggling to adopt modern approaches to the local cultural life and therefore to attract the youngsters and unite the community.

€ 27400,-

Total budget

€ 27400,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Administrative - Project manager - €5 400,00
Administrative - Project coordinator - €3 600,00
Administrative - Travel and accommodation (for the team and dancers) - €1 800,00
Workshops - Visual specialists - €4 000,00
Visual intervention - Visual intervention - €10 000,00
Showcase - Visual effects - €1 000,00
Marketing - Production of a video for the project - €1 000,00
Marketing - Advertising - €600,00

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We`ll be grateful to receive ideas of how to integrate Roma population in the community and overcome segregation
Do you know any good practices of uniting different ethnic groups through art and culture?
What do you think can be improved in our project?
Is anyone interested in future partnership?


POdLEZNO foundation


Idea created on April 26, 2021

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