EU Creative Europe Platform “MagiC Carpets”: a large-scale network for emerging artists and curators
“MagiC Carpets” is co-funded by the “Creative Europe” Programme of the European Union. Led by Kaunas Biennial (Lithuania), the platform includes: Diyalog Derneği (Istanbul / Turkey), Folkestone Fringe (Folkestone / UK), IDEIAS EMERGENTES – Produção Cultural, CRL (Porto (Guimarães) / Portugal), Jam Factory Art Centre (Lviv / Ukraine), Lab852 d.o.o. za promidžbu (Zagreb / Croatia), Latitudo Srl (Rome / Italy), META Cultural Foundation (Bucharest (Slon) / Romania), New Theatre Institute of Latvia (Riga / Latvia), Novo Kulturno Naselje (Novi Sad / Serbia), OPENART, Örebro Kommun (Örebro / Sweden), Openspace.Innsbruck (Innsbruck / Austria), SA Tartu 2024 (Tartu / Estonia), Tbilisi International Photo Festival (Tbilisi / Georgia), Trempo (Nantes / France), Wroclaw Institute of Culture (Wroclaw / Poland).
“MagiC Carpets” platform is an opportunity for cultural organizations to engage in artist residencies and collaborate with other European organizations specifically in the field of artist development, participating in carefully designed international mobility schemes, opening new opportunities for exchange, learning and creation. The platform also offers a possibility to show and boost the careers of emerging talents abroad and provides a great chance to develop artists locally as they are able to collaborate with other artists brought together through the partnership. The diversity of platform members gives a possibility to explore different cultural fields across Europe and initiate more transdisciplinary activities.
“MagiC Carpets” unites 16 cultural organizations from EU and candidate countries, and is intended for traveling emerging artists to work in a socially engaged and responsible art field (visual art, public art, community art, exhibitions, performances, documentary theatre, online art, etc.) to research and to implement new productions together with local artists and local communities.
Over the first co-funding period in 2017–2021, the platform has developed curatorial practices and methods based on story-telling, inclusive and co-creative processes with around 150 emerging artists sent on residencies to partner countries or who (due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions) completed residencies in their home countries, working with local communities. Awarded with a second three-year EU “Creative Europe” co-funding (2022–2025), “MagiC Carpets” platform aims to support small-scale initiatives in the NGO sector, including cultural organizations, artists and cultural professionals, in order to help build their resilience and recover after the global Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
Neringa Kulik, the project manager for the “MagiC Carpets” and the director of NGO Kaunas Biennial (Lithuania) commented on the new phase of the continuing project: “The most innovative aspect of the “MagiC Carpets” platform is the development of innovative curatorship methods that are focused on local community inclusion and co-creative practices. As we have learnt over the past 4 years, these methods cannot be a “copy-paste” type of activity across the platform network and each curator needs to find an approach that works for a particular context and community.”
All of the platform members have an interest in developing activities that involve emerging talents (curators and artists) through a programme of residencies with the inclusion of local communities and working in public spaces. Participation in the “MagiC Carpets” platform strengthens the focus of all platform members towards emerging talents and raises their competences to work in a broad European network cultivating together European values of democracy, inclusion, social awareness and equality.
Community projects has always been an important item in the agenda of all of the partners: to work in a socially engaged art and cultural field. Through a systematic dialogue and productive relation between all platform members, “MagiC Carpets” will share innovative methods to run, maintain and progressively develop emerging artist residencies in the light of new social and political challenges in Europe. The focus of these explorations will remain on the relation between artists and local communities. “MagiC Carpets” platform members will support the activities of the European Community Award CO-CREATE & COMPREHEND – the award provided for the projects in which communities are open to share their stories, resources and skills with artists and cultural professionals to create a better cultural, emotional, and, thus, social environment together.
In this new phase of the platform and context of changes in the global and European contexts, “MagiC Carpets” seeks to bring opportunities to exchange skills and knowledge with other projects funded by “Creative Europe” that focus on community inclusion and work in public spaces. It will allow a focus on our connection to Europe and to unity between people at a time where differences are being exploited.