Amateo Annual Conference 2022

A free one-day conference in Dublin for arts practitioners and organisations, exploring diverse perspectives and examples on community-based creative participation from across Europe.

Amateo is the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities. It currently has 60 member organisations across 23 European countries. Since 2008, Amateo has organised an annual conference for those involved in creative participation to meet and exchange ideas, learning and best practices. These have previously taken place in: Ljubljana, Slovenia; London, England; Pécs, Hungary; Utrecht, Netherlands; Stockholm, Sweden; Novi Sad, Serbia; Slagelse, Denmark; Helsinki, Finland; Ghent, Belgium; Vrsar, Croatia; Milan, Italy and online.

In November 2022, Creative Lives is bringing the Amateo conference to Ireland for the first time, as we also return to full capacity events for the first time since 2019. Creative Lives is the UK and Ireland charity that champions community and volunteer-led creative activity and works to improve opportunities for everyone to be creative. Creative Lives - a founder member of the Amateo network - will host a free one-day conference at Europe House in Dublin on Tuesday 29 November on the theme of Building Creative Communities.

Building Creative Communities aims to bring together diverse perspectives on community-based cultural participation with practice examples from different contexts across Europe. The conference will address the need to measure and articulate impact, the necessary environment for this work to flourish, and ways to make this work more effective and sustainable in the future.

Invited guest speakers from around Ireland and Europe will play a key role in stimulating discussions, offering provocations and leading a collaborative workshop. Participants will include national and local arts organisations from around Ireland, County Council Arts Officers, funders and network organisations. International guests will include national bodies working in the field of creative participation, researchers and freelance practitioners.

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Conference schedule

Time Session Speakers
10.45am Conference registration and welcome

Robin Simpson [Chief Executive, Creative Lives]

Piet Roorda [President, Amateo]

11am - 11.45am

Creative community voices 

Three examples from Ireland: Take a Part Carlow; Exit 15, Ballyogan; Creative Places: Edenderry.

Lisa Brooks [Take a Part Carlow]

Fidele O’Riordan [Exit 15, Ballyogan]

Nesrin Elazaly [Creative Places: Edenderry]

11.45am - 12.30pm

Increasing creative community engagement

Place-based programmes in England, Scotland and Ireland

Sinead O'Reilly [Head of Local, Place and Public Art at The Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaoin]

Jim Tough [Former Executive Director of Arts Council England, who established the Creative People and Places scheme in England]

Kathryn Welch [Programme Lead for the Culture Collective scheme in Scotland]

12.30pm - 1pm

Creative communities and social inclusion

Learning from the Erasmus+ project, BOOST, in Ireland

Damien McGlynn [Create]

Conor O’Leary [Creative Lives]

Lisa Brooks [Take a Part Carlow]

Aileen Nolan [Carlow County Council]

1pm - 2pm Lunch  
2pm - 2.30pm

Creative provocations

A series of micro presentations by speakers from across Europe to inform the following workshop

  • how to empower communities to be creative 
  • including older people in building creative communities
  • equality, diversity and inclusion in creative communities
  • climate change and sustainability in creative communities
  • creative communities and health and wellbeing

Sheila Deegan [Creative Ireland]

Barbara Eifler [Making Music, UK]

Katarina Klementova [NIPOS, Czech Republic]

Almuth Fricke [Kubia, Germany]

2.30pm - 4.30pm

Interactive workshop on building creative communities

‘Pressure cooker’ workshop activity and short presentation

Jan Willem Van Kruyssen [The Netherlands]
4.30 - 5pm

Plenary panel discussion

A fair and inclusive future for creative communities

Damien McGlynn [Director, Create]

Aoife Tunney [Head of Culture Office, Creative Europe Desk Ireland]

5pm CLOSE  

Please note that the Amateo General Assembly, a hybrid meeting for Amateo members only, will take place between 9.30am - 10.30am, before the official start of the conference. 

Meet the speakers

Sinéad O’Reilly 

Sinéad O’Reilly is the Local, Place and Public Art Manager in Arts Council Ireland where she has worked since 2016. Working in the Strategic Development Department, primarily across public sector partnerships and relationships, her role includes Local Authority Partnership, Public Art, Culture Night and the Creative Places national programme. 

Following a two year research phase, the first pilot Creative Places programme was launched in Tuam in January 2020 and has since expanded to include 11 other places around Ireland, from urban neighbourhoods to island communities. Sinéad came to the Arts Council with over 15 years of local arts development expertise and works to ensure that the universality of  the local arts experience is valued at a national level. She holds an MA in Public Culture Studies (IADT, 2009) is currently completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Change Management (UCD 2022).

Picture of Damien McGlynn

Damien McGlynn

Damien McGlynn is the Director of Create, Ireland’s national development agency for collaborative arts. He is responsible for core programming and strategic and organisational development and partnerships, nationally and internationally. 


He has worked in the cultural sector across Ireland, the UK and Europe for 15 years, including as Ireland Director of Creative Lives and as part of the ARTIST ROOMS team at Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, delivering youth engagement projects across the UK as part of a touring collection of work. Damien was born in Dublin and studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at NCAD. 

Aoife Tunney

Aoife Tunney is the Head of Culture Office, Creative Europe Desk Ireland. Aoife has over 15 years’ experience as a Visual Arts Curator and Public Arts programmer & manager with in-depth knowledge of the Irish arts and culture sector. Aoife worked with the Visual Arts and Architecture teams in the Arts Council before joining the Culture Office in 2019. She advises on Creative Europe funding, hosts information events, and facilitate European partnerships. Aoife is a valuable source of information on Creative Europe’s Artist Mobility scheme Culture Moves Europe.

Jan-Willem Van Kruyssen

Jan-Willem began his career as pianist and composer for television / film / theatre. He founded a professional Dutch theatre company for young audiences in 1984. Since 1997 he initiates and implements European exchange projects, joined the European Commission Jury (Creative Europe) and has a track record of: Project and process management, cross sector and transnational collaboration, connecting ideas and people, network building and EU funding.

After working for many years in Berlin, Sønderborg and Vienna, he moved back to the Netherlands and became Executive Producer and Fundraiser for European projects at Leeuwarden-Fryslân European Capital of Culture 2018. At the moment he works for Team Europe Fryslân, Frisian Project Machine, etc., developing and leading many cross sectoral EU projects on culture, nature, science, sustainability, biodiversity, circular economy, climate adaptation, urban renewal, health & well-being, etc.

Almuth Fricke

Almuth Fricke, M.A., graduated in Spanish, French and Comparative Literatures and Cultural Management. Since 2007 she has been the director of Institut für Bildung und Kultur and its associated Centre for Creative Ageing and Inclusive Arts (kubia) which provides information, training, research, networking opportunities and advice on all issues relating to cultural and arts-based activities and lifelong learning. She is an expert in cultural adult education and active arts participation of all age groups. She has been involved in several European partnerships and networks. Since 2020, she has been on the board of AMATEO.

Kateřina Klementová

Kateřina Klementová, Ph.D., works at National Information and Consulting Centre for Culture (NIPOS), Prague, the Czech Republic as a leader of the Centre for Children´s Art Activities and as a researcher. NIPOS deals with amateur and participatory arts, organizing events, festivals, workshops, educational activities, and research of cultural participation in all stages of life. As part of several years of activity within the OMC expert working groups by the European Commission, Katerina led the group 'Fostering the Contribution of Culture to Social Inclusion' on the role of culture in the process of social inclusion.

She is employed at the National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic in the educational field of Art and Culture. She is also a dancer, choreographer, and lecturer of seminars and workshops in the Czech Republic and abroad. She's a lecturer of educational programs of the Czech Philharmonic and was teaching Early Dance at the Dance Conservatory of the City of Prague.

Barbara Eifler

Barbara Eifler is Making Music’s Chief Executive. Born in Italy to German parents, Barbara eventually settled in London, England. Following an earlier career as stage manager in theatre, Barbara has been leading Making Music since 2013. She sings, and plays the cornet in a brass band.

We look forward to seeing you in Dublin!