GALA Kick-off meeting at the Jan van Eyck Academie

GALA Kick-off meeting at the Jan van Eyck Academie

Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht/The Netherlands

5-8 June 2013

The kick-off meeting started with words of welcome by Jan van Eyck Academie director and host of the meeting Lex ter Braak in the evening of June 5th, 2013. Throughout the meeting, participants were invited to visit the buildings of the Jan van Eyck Academie, see films and exhibitions as well as meet with resident artists.

6 June 2013

Introduction to the EU project and the set-up of the kick-off meeting

By Maria Tuerlings and Yasmine Ostendorf

The Kick-off meeting in Maastricht brought together (almost) all project partners involved in the GALA project. The objective of the meeting was to get to know each other and each others organisations, to discuss the meaning of sustainability for each of them and from a local/national and European perspective. More practical the partners aimed to find interrelations between the proposed activities for the GALA project and discuss and reflect on opportunities to connect/combine labs and/or participating artists , to maximize the result, the  impact and outcome of the project, to define the involvement and benefits for the artists and local partner organizations, the target groups, and finally the specific roles and tasks for each partner involved in the project.

To start Maria and Yasmine from Trans Artists Desk/Dutch Culture (TAD/DC) gave an update on the status of the project and the coordination of it. They gave a short overview over the structure of the project, the objectives and the relation of the workshops and labs during the two coming years.

They stressed the overall objective of the project to build a network which will function as knowledge hub on sustainability for the arts sector. Preferably this network could collaborate in the future with partners beyond Europe, in other parts of  the world. As a first step the Asia Europe Foundation was invited in the project as media partner and Kadija de Paula from Residencias en Red (Latin America) was invited to join the kick-off meeting as an observer. Kadija set up a parallel project to develop a knowledge alliance on sustainability in Latin America, which is currently in a selection procedure for funding.  If awarded the project could start in April 2014.

Keynote Catherine Langabeer, Julie’s Bicycle

Catherine Langabeer director arts/ deputy director Julie’s Bicycle (JB) presented in her keynote how JB supports organisations in the process of becoming sustainable and identifies the challenges and opportunities for the cultural field to deal with sustainability. JB develops and offers practical tools by collecting data, creating benchmarks and advocating sustainability in the policy framework. An example is the Green Mobility guide which was developed in partnership with On-the-Move (GALA partner) and is available in several languages.

> Find the Green Mobility guide here!

Catherine points out that sustainability has several aspects, social, economic and environmental. The overall definition or meaning could be intergenerational justice.

The challenge for JB and the GALA project is to combine science and the arts and “translate” sustainability to creativity.  The arts have the power to bring out the message, make data visible  and change the perception and way of thinking and doing of people. Arts can act as a platform for dialogue on the issue. This has to begin from within the cultural sector itself, not “top down”. One argument to think about and start with is the fact that being more sustainable in the daily work saves money. This is how it started in the UK. Sustainability became a way of surviving for cultural organisations through redefining itself.

> The key-note is available to download as a pdf here.

Follow-up/To-do after the Kick-off meeting

  • JB will develop an outline for the specific wishes and needs for the sector/local situation in collaboration with each partner hosting a workshop. The workshops will be adjusted to national context and different target groups (artists, art organisations, residencies, policy makers, general public).
  • Each partner needs to find “allies” on national/regional level for a greater output of the workshops and network, invite policy makers to the workshops , so they better understand what their role can/should be on this issue in and for the arts field.
  • in collaboration with Creative Carbon Scotland JB will prepare a format for each GALA partner to measure the carbon footprint of the project.

Catherine’s keynote was the starting point for the group to discuss the meaning of sustainability for each of them, the perspective from a national or local point of view and how the GALA project is related to these perceptions. It became clear that the diversity of partners through their local or national cultural backgrounds is a key issue for the project which has to be addressed in the activities during the project. Maintaining the diversity of response in the context of a shared ambition will be critical for ensuring that the project has a strong foundation for legacy.

Stick-it session: Wishes and Challenges for GALA

In order to know what the partners expect and see as a challenges for the project (content wise and also from the management aspect) a stick-it session was organized. Each partner could write down wishes and challenges for the project. The objective of this inventory is to let everybody share his dares and desires for the project and to take these into account in order to make the project a success for everyone.  This inventory will be on the agenda of the general meetings/seminars in Sweden and Scotland to monitor what we have achieved and challenges that were overcome. A list with the collected wishes and challenges has been communicated internally to all the GALA partners.



Presentation of project by the partners

The main part of the kick off meeting programme consisted of presentations by all partners. The partners had been asked to send their presentations beforehand and gave a short presentation during the meeting on their own organisation, their role in the project, their project proposal for GALA. Each presentation included a short Q & A session.

After the presentations the partners discussed  the differences of perceptions of sustainability, the developments related to sustainability in each country, cultural differences in the approach and possible cooperation with partners for the activities to develop during GALA.

Presentation of project by Lex ter Braak, Jan van Eyck Academie

Lex presented the idea to organise a lab in cooperation with JB and Tipping Point. He would like to stimulate the discussion on sustainability in the arts in the Netherlands, by presenting the British model of measuring and collecting data on sustainability in the arts sector and the ways of implementing environmental sustainability in the arts. Next to the GALA partners JB and Tipping Point the plan is to invite the British Arts Council to present their policies towards sustainability. The target group would be artists, cultural organisations and Dutch policymakers and directors of funds.


  • June 2014 Lab/workshop in Maastricht
  • 2/3 September Pre-visit to London to organise the collaborative lab

Presentation of project ‘The Ecology Lab’ by Ika Sienkiewicz, Ujazdowski Castle

Sustainability is in the process of becoming a more important issue for Ujazdowski Castle. All projects developed in the residencies are a reflecting on the city of Warsaw and include public events to present the work to a broad public/local audiences.

For the GALA project Ika proposed a project in collaboration with the German architect collective Umschichten. They will be invited to the residency to investigate/research the waste system of the organisation of Ujazdowski Castle. The idea is based on a previous project Umschichten worked on for the city of Stuttgart.


  • Lab planned for the end of 2013 – starting with research and presentation of outcome in 2014
  • August 2013: Pre visit to JB in London to discuss plans to ask JB to make an environmental audit for the Ujadowski Castle.

Presentation of project proposal by GEO-AiR  by Tamara and Sophia

In recent years Geo-AiR has been involved in projects connected to ecology. However in general sustainability is not yet a big issue for the arts sector in Georgia, yet.

For GALA Geo-AiR proposes a lab in the form of the project ‘Discover Eliava Market’. This project will focus on the socio-economic aspects of sustainability and environmental issues. The project consists of a one or two months residency programme for two European artists working together in the project with two local artists. The artists will work through artistic interventions on the street market with materials that were found at the Eliava market itself (one of the most polluted areas in the city of Tiblis, where local entrepreneurs sell their goods). The artists organise workshops for the local community to present the work and address the issue of sustainability in the Eliava neighbourhood. The aim is that this art project  in the public space is to stimulate the debate on the issue of sustainability.


  • Second half of 2014

Presentation of project proposal by Alan Dix, Tipping Point

Finding creative responds to climate change and bringing together scientists and artists is the core business of Tipping Point. The arts play an important role in the storytelling of sustainability issues.  In cooperation project with the JVE Tipping Point will bring in its experiences and best practices of artists communicating about sustainability through two days special workshops and  intense discussions.

Idea for collaboration: Tipping Point is open for collaborations with partners and during the meeting the idea came up to cooperate with the Jan van Eyck.


  • Last quarter 2014 Workshop and / or Lab in collaboration with Jan Van Eyck

Tour through Jan van Eyck Academie by director Lex ter Braak

Lex gave an introduction and explanation on the renewed building and the new plans he introduced since his appointment as director in 2011. He gave a tour through the building  and showed the opportunities for artists at the Jan van Eyck Academie: there are several workshop locations (so called labs) for technical experiment in a range of materials and media – like wood, metals, printing, publishing, photography, audio, video.

Pierre Kemp Lab – Library Art Books

The Lab gets its name from the Maastricht poet and fine artist Pierre Kemp (1886–1967). The Pierre Kemp Lab houses an extensive collection of books, magazines, audiovisual material and multimedia.

Heimo Lab – Construction

This lab for making constructions with wood, metals and synthetics was named after Heimo, a 12th-century sculptor who worked in Maastricht and the Meuse Region.

Charles Nypels Lab – Printing & Publishing

The Charles Nypels Lab, named after Maastricht typographer and designer Charles Nypels (1895–1952), links up with the great design tradition at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Its ambition is that artists, writers, designers, poets, scientists and essayists come and print their work here. At the lab the GALA partners got a short presentation by Paul Bailey, participant Jan van Eyck Academie and designer of the GALA Kick-off program leaflet

Werner Mantz Lab – Time-Based Art

Due to the rise of National Socialism German photographer Werner Mantz (1901–1983) decides to move to Maastricht in 1938. The Werner Mantz Lab is pleased to accommodate the so-called time-based arts – photography, film and video, audio and computer art

During the whole kick-off seminar there was the possibility for the GALA partners to visit the exhibition Present presence, curated by Huib Haye van der Werf and the permanent art work Passage by Jeroen van Bergen in the flower garden.

Evening programme

The artist and curator Alessandra Saviotti  presented to the GALA partners the project Piazza dell’Artigianato. She currently has a research position at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, where she has been researching about the notion of Arte Útil, Socially Engaged Art and Collaborative Practices. In this project she projected and realized together with three other art collectives an edible auto-sustainable garden (based on the permaculture practice) in an industrial area. The aim of this project is to generate a new space for the people working in the area and use the traditional and natural techniques to build such a place. The presentation was followed by a discussion with the curator and other participants of the Jan van Eyck Academie on the project and on the notion that artists can influence peoples habits and perceptions.

Friday 7 June 2013

Presentation of project by the partners (part 2)

Presentation project proposal by Johan Pousette, Swedish Exhibition Agency

The Swedish Exhibition Agency is a government agency under the Swedish Ministry of Culture. The mission of the Swedish Exhibition Agency is to support museums and artists in Sweden to collaborate and build up international network and present art works national and internationally. The Agency monitors projects and offers workshops and trainings to share knowledge. The agency helps to identify obstacles for the arts and facilitates in finding solutions. Audience development and advocacy are important elements of the agency’s work.

The expertise on these levels will be brought into the GALA project. The Swedish Exhibition Agency wants to focus on the issue of mobility as this is the core businesses of the Agency and important for Swedish artists in order to connect to the rest of the world. In this respect it would be interesting to look at On the Move as a partner for collaboration. Connected to the mobility issue the Agency wants to raise the question: why does society not understand the urgency to do something? What can arts do to communicate the message on sustainability?


  • 21-23 May 2014: General meeting with GALA partners and a workshop in collaboration with JB

Presentation project proposal by Daniela d’Arielli, Pollinaria

For Pollinaria sustainability has a social economic importance which is strongly connected to environmental aspects. Pollinaria  will organize an artist' lab in a form of a tree house.  Futurefarmers will lead the lab, addressing the rural context of the Abruzzo region. Build together with neighbour families, using recycled materials, the Tree House will serve as a meeting place and community centre where ideas and knowledge on the role of contemporary art and culture in the sustainable development of rural areas will be shared. Pollinaria will invite artists and scientists to reflect on strategies for rural regeneration. The results or outcomes of other GALA or European or international projects can be presented and shared. For the project proposal Pollinaria was inspired by the projects of the Flatbread Society .

Interesting partners for the GALA project could be: Client Earth, a group of lawyers specialised in environmental issue, based in London. Within GALA there is an interesting link between this project and the Spanish proposal and the issue of “ good life” in connection to sustainable living could be connected.


  • July 2014

Presentation of project proposal by Reuben Fowkes, Translocal

Since 2006 Translocal organises symposia on sustainability issues in collaboration with the university of Budapest. These symposia bring sustainability in relation with the history of socialism and the effect of this ideology on ecology.

For the GALA project Translocal contributes with the River School project. This Lab will be held on the Danube with the participation of artists, theorists, environmental scientists and activists to creatively investigate the interrelation between contemporary art and ecology.  The project consists of a symposium in Budapest, debates in collaboration with the Bratislava Academy of the Arts and a boat trip with artistic interventions and presentation at the destination Santander. The results will be presented in an which is planned at the end of the project and travel to Bratislava in 2014. Hopefully the project will be published in a book.

Probably there could be a collaboration with Cape Farewell (see proposal here under) and Treci Beograd (connected to the Danube river) within this project.


  • 30th of August 2013: pre-event at the Whitechapel Gallery in London
  • Preliminary planning is September 2013: symposium, debates and boat trip  
  • End of 2013/April 2014: exhibition and publication

Presentation project proposal by Nina Horstmann, Cape Farewell

Cape Farewell connects artists to scientist  and organises expeditions to areas that are under threat of drastically change through climate change . The expeditions are the source of inspiration and discourse. 

During the GALA project Cape Farewell organises a Lab/expedition to the Scottish islands to investigate the ecological effects on the local community. The project is called ‘Sea change’. One of the artists is Ursula Biemann. She is also involved in the GALA project of Translocal and it could be an idea to include/connect her experiences with the Sea Change project in the River School project.


  • 19th of August-8th of September 2013: Sea Change – lab during boat trip expedition

Presentation project proposal by Marta Gracia, Art Motile

The Spanish residency platform Art Motile started in 2010 and the project within GALA is the first activity which they organise for the residencies.

In collaboration with the contemporary art museum of the Spanish gas company Art Motile will organise an workshop/lab about residencies and sustainability within the framework of a one month activity programme about art and sustainability organised by the museum. The lab is going to be aimed at artists, scientists, researchers, cultural operators, activists and others with an interest in the area. The workshop focusing on residencies will be developed together with JB.


  • 28th and the 29th of November 2013

Presentation project proposal by Sandra Stojanovic, Treci Beograd

The overall common issue of the art presented at the gallery is about redefining values through the arts. For GALA Treci Beograd would propose a project consisting of a workshop taking place in the Savamala neighbourhood, which is a very poor and polluted area and where arts could be used as sustainable (socially and environmentally) way to generate the area. JB will be collaborating in this workshop and probably there can be a ling to the River School Project, organised by Translocal.


  • April 2014

Presentation project proposal by Gemma Lawrence, Creative Carbon Scotland, and Jean Cameron, Glasgow Life

Glasgow will organise the commonwealth games in 2014 and has been shortlisted to be the Green Capital of Europe in 2015. For GALA Glasgow Life will collaborate with Creative Carbon Scotland and organise the final meeting/seminar for all GALA partners in March 2015 and host a series of workshops called Green Tea with a final workshop in February 2014 in collaboration with JB.

Creative Carbon Scotland will collaborate with JB to create tools to measure the carbon footprint of the GALA project. 


  • October 2013-February 2014: Workshop
  • March 2015: Seminar GALA

Presentation of Brazilian project on sustainability, by Kadija da Paula

Kadija da Paula was connected to the Residencias_en_red, an Ibero American platform of spaces working with research, production and exhibition of contemporary art and culture, connected particularly through its residency programs. She recently applied for funding for a parallel/similar project than GALA. If the application is selected there could be collaboration in knowledge-exchange and probably grow an international  alliance for green arts.

Evening programme

The GALA participants got the possibility to watch the screening of the film VLAS (2012) by Christien Meindertsma and Roel van Tour. In this film the artist analyses the history and use of the typical/traditional Dutch natural material: flax.

Saturday 8 June 2013


Presentation of project by the partners (part 3)

Introduction On the Move, by Marie Fol

On the Move was set up by the performing arts network IETM, but is now open to all cultural disciplines. There are currently 35 members. The network provides information and advocacy for cultural mobility issues. It cooperates with the European Commission and recently published a charter on sustainability and responsible cultural mobility. Together with JB they wrote the green mobility art guide. 

For GALA On the Move will organize a workshops, in collaboration with JB, for public and private funders of cultural mobility in Berlin. Furthermore GALA can communicate the project (and outcomes) via the On the Move newsletter (10.000 subscribers) and make use of the network for awareness rising and advocacy towards policy makers.  For the project partners of GALA the open calls on the On the Move website might be interesting.


  • March 2014: workshop in collaboration with JB in Berlin

Introduction media partner Imagine 2020, skype conversation with Theresa van Wuthenau

IMAGINE 2020 is a network of eleven performing arts institutions that engage with the European cultural sector in order to raise awareness for sustainability issues in the performing arts sector. It  also strongly involves the general public as audience and as participants. Six of the eleven project partners started the project in 2007 within the Thin Ice project. In 2010 Imagine 2020 got funding for the coming 5 years with a total budget of 4,4 million euro’s.  Some of the Imagine2020 partners are involved in GALA as well: Tipping Point, JB, Cape Farewell.

Important tips for the organization of the European project: regular meetings (network meetings twice a year) and skype conversations – physical meetings are essential and these meetings must also be well prepared in structure, focus and content. It is good to organize sub-groups that focus on a certain aspect of the project. The trust of all project partners is essential, as well as the internal communication to keep each other well informed about the activities.

The European Commission is very much interested in a cooperation of Imagine 2020 and the GALA project, also beyond the role of media partner. This will be followed up by TAD/DC and Imagine2020.

Introduction media partner Trans Europe Halls (TEH), represented by Barbara Denes

The TEH network grew from 5 to 50 members since 1983. The participating organizations are all independent, multidisciplinary not-for-profit industrial heritage areas’ buildings. Face-to-face meetings are very important for the network to work. There the members can share experiences, knowledge and inspiration. The next meeting will be organized in Amsterdam, in April 2014. The key issue then will be sustainability – a great moment for collaboration with the GALA project.  There is a think tank about sustainability with the TEH network which will be in charge of the conference as well.

TEH members exchange ideas for collaboration via de mail and/or skype. For the external communication: there is a special resource page on the TEH website . The outcomes of labs and workshops of the GALA project can be presented there. There is also a TEH TV online, newsletters and facebook.

Introduction media partner, by Yasmine Ostendorf is an online platform that aims to bring Asia and Europe closer by providing information, facilitating dialogue and stimulating reflection on the arts and culture. GALA can profit of the great communication tools of the network and use is for dissemination, awareness rising and advocacy.

The long-term perspective/objective of the cooperation between  culture360 and GALA is to set up a related project network in Asia, comparable to the Brazilian initiative.

Presentation of the financial rules and common agreements for project management

Marie Fol, financial administrator

Marie presented general information related to the practical management of the project and of the EU grant. She drew particular attention to the procedures for amendment of the work programme and of the budget, that need to be communicated to the Executive Agency in time. The second part of her presentation focused on the communication of the GALA project.


  • A common website will be made/coordinated by one of the partners. It must serve as platform, archive – example ON Air website
  • A GALA visual identity (and especially a logo) will be designed as a communication tool. Partners will use email and skype for internal communication
  • The use of the EU logo is mandatory for all communication tools/materials. One or two copies of the communication material has to be send to TAD/DC for the final report.
  • For the communication on partners' websites etc. all pictures/interviews etc. are collected by TAD/DC.

The meeting finishes with a reminder of the outcomes of the challenges and wishes' session, by Maria Tuerlings.


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