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The “START – Create Cultural Change” is a capacity building and fellowship programme for aspiring cultural managers in Greece. The programme supports young creative minds to kick-start their cultural initiatives with the purpose of generating positive social impact in their local communities.
The START programme consists of three consecutive phases in Germany and Greece, enabling START fellows to develop innovative ideas into independent cultural initiatives and acquire professional skills.
The programme includes the following phases:
In 2020, the programme’s fifth and last cycle was implemented; it concluded with the online granting of the “Scaling Awards” by the Latsis Foundation for the fourth consecutive year. The fellows distinguished in 2020 were:
“Ideas are always there, they are abundant, and what they need is a push. And it is truly beautiful to be able to implement even one single idea with some support, not only in financial, but also in accounting, organisational, or even psychological terms. This is exactly what ‘START’ did. I saw my idea come to life, and people getting involved. I felt fulfilled and deeply moved, with no insecurity about how to proceed. The Scaling Award has come as a second push to broaden my vision and help it expand in scope. Our little Sazman is growing and looking forward to new adventures with cycling tours, DIY constructions and its own feministic makerspace.”
“As a ‘START – Create Cultural Change’ fellow, I realised the existing need for such programmes which provide active citizens with the opportunity and support to contribute with their projects to a better society in the context of cultural management. Having a vision for ‘Zero Waste Schools’, we managed, through the ‘kookoonari’ project and the network of collaborators created, to educate the children, parents and teachers at the 10th Nursery School of Komotini about Zero Waste principles and ways in which they can reduce their school waste. This would have been difficult to achieve without the continuous guidance offered by the team of ‘START’.”
“The ‘START’ programme enabled us to contribute, in our own way, to the restoration of quality in the urban space. The infrastructure and tools we have developed can empower local communities by giving voice to unrepresented and marginalised social groups. But the most important thing is the new collaborations and the determined social network created. The CLOUDS network can ultimately enhance social innovation and active citizenship, but also upgrade urban institutional policies around public space. Through the Scaling Award and the success of this second phase, our work and vision continue. We propose new ways for bottom-up production of a city, where open dialogue, solidarity and creativity are collectively integrated into the public sphere, leading to new models of city management inspired by practices of the commons.”