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Dear readers,

Welcome to TEH Newsletter #11 2010, featuring the latest news from Trans Europe Halles – a European Network of Independent Cultural Centres. The TEH Newsletter is produced by the TEH Coordination Office in Lund, Sweden.

In this last issue of the year we have looked back and listed some of the highlights of 2010. It's been a fantastic year, but it's with mixed feelings we send off this newsletter. This week's news about the Belarus crackdown is profoundly disturbing and sad. Among the hundreds of detained men and women was Natalya Kolyada, Director of the TEH Friend organisation Belarus Free Theatre. As a response to this critical situation, TEH has decided to set up a Solidarity Fund for Belarus Free Theatre. Please see the information below, and consider the possibility of making a contribution.

:::::HIGHLIGHTS 2010:::::

Never before have so many “Trans Europe Hallers” travelled around Europe and beyond, representing the network. TEH’s values and mission have spread and gained ground, and TEH Delegates have been inspired to create new contacts and gain new impulses. The network has certainly expanded – in 2010 TEH reached over 50 Members. With this in mind, building a coherent vision and establishing long-term relationships within and outside of the network is vital.

However, no pain no gain! In 2010 TEH pulled its creative forces together and submitted three different project funding applications: Engine Room Europe, Artists-for-Change and TEH Leaders Lab (Cross-European Leadership Training). A true effort that opens up for great opportunities for the years to come.
Furthermore, the TEH Coordination Office employed a Communications and Office Assistant and reached three staff members, a magic and dynamic number indeed.

Another highlight of the year is the memorable “Schnitzel hunt” during TEH Meeting 70 at Moritzbastei in Leipzig. Put 100 TEH people from 26 different countries in a labyrinth of bars with 10 problems to solve and there you have it: intercultural dialogue at its best.

Also, we have seen the final stages and evaluation of the two-year Mobility Pilot Project CHANGING ROOM being realised. Being the largest and most ambitious TEH project to date, we can already see the great benefits it has meant not only for the network, but also for many other cultural organizations who are interested in the experiences gained. This builds a solid foundation for our plans for the next year.

Finally we would like to inform you that the TEH Coordination Office will be closed between December 23rd, 2010 and January 9th, 2011.

Happy New Year!

Birgitta Perssson, Secretary General,
Anna Weitz, Marketing & Communications Manager and
Marian Söderholm, Communications & Office Assistant

Mass arrests in Minsk in the aftermath of the presidential election
– Belarus Free Theatre’s Natalya Kolyada released on bail

This Sunday, December 19, 2010, up to a thousand men and women were arrested and jailed in Minsk, Belarus, in a violent dispersal of the protest against the latest presidential elections of Belarus. President Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was re-elected with almost 80% in the vote which international monitors, such as the OSCE criticized as flawed.

Among the arrested was Natalya Kolyada, Director of Belarus Free Theatre (TEH Friend organisation), who has been using the stage to fight for freedom of expression and democracy over the last 6 years. The company is touri
ng worldwide with huge success, but are under constant harassment by the Belarusian authorities, as is their audience.

Natalya Kolyada was released on bail after 14 hours and shortly after told the News agency Reuters that "They (the KGB) are cleansing the city." She also spoke to Index on Censorship on Monday afternoon, about the conditions in the jail. During her detention she was not allowed water, food or sleep. Those detained had to stay standing in freezing prison corridors and were fingerprinted and filmed.

The TEH Coordination Office has tried to reach Natalya without success. According to news reports, and information messages coming from the Fans of Free Theatre Facebook group she has gone underground together with her husband and co-funder of the Belarus Free Theatre, Nikolai Khalezin.

Our thoughts are with the Free Theatre members and everyone who is fighting for human rights in Belarus.

Please think about how you can take action. Index on Censorship are continuously linking to news coverage and protest events through Twitter (@indoncensorship) and on their website where there is also a petition to sign: http://zoneofsilence.org/sign-the-petition/

And consider a contribution to the TEH Solidarity Fund to support Belarus Free Theatre!


The Trans Europe Halles Executive Committe has decided to start a solidarity fund that will be in immediate function to support Free Theatre Belarus to continue their work and fight for freedom and justice in Belarus. We ask everyone who would like to support the organisation to make a contribution, big or small.

The fund is managed by TEH Coordination Office in collaboration with Free Theatre Belarus and monitored by the Executive Committee of Trans Europe Halles. We will collaborate with freeDimensional & the Creative Resistance Fund who immediately promised to send a contribution and to mobilise organisations in the US to support the fund.

Preparations for TEH Meeting 71 at Creative Center Carnation

In early December, Marian Söderholm from the TEH Coordination Office, together with Zanda Zilgalve and Alise Vetrova from NOASS (Riga, Latvia) went to Tartu, Estonia to prepare the ground for TEH Meeting 71. There they met Lemmit Kaplinski and Madis Mikkor from Creative Center Carnation (CCC) along with their team of staff to discuss the programme – and to test the in-house hostel beds, of course!

Member in Focus: A4 – Zero Space
(Bratislava, Slovakia)

With its 200 events per year, A4 is a well-known and established cultural venue in the heart of Bratislava. Lenka Bednárová, Public Relations Officer at A4, presents one of the newest TEH members in this Member in Focus.

"It is the only place in Bratislava which brings together experimental music, films that are not in normal distribution in Slovakia, and workshops on music and sound."

New Search Function on teh.net helps find out who does what
Researching for a tour or finding partners for a project has never been easier!

Thanks to a new search function on the TEH website it is now possible with just a few clicks, to find out which of the 51 TEH member centres does what and what kind of premises and services they have.

The information comes from the TEH Database, which is updated by the members themselves.

TEH's recomendations to the EC Culture Programme Submitted
Last Wednesday, December 15th, Trans Europe Halles submitted a contribution to the European Commission's consultation on the Culture Programme. The contribution, which is 13 page long questionnaire, is to a large extent based on the contribution of Culture Action Europe. We decided to make our own contribution in order to reinforce the joint message of Culture Action Europe and its membership, but also to emphasize the importance of international networking and the mobility of cultural operators as well as artists.

You find the TEH Contribution on our website, please visit: www.teh.net/publications.

Pro Rodopi Art Centre finds new home in municipal building

As the current economical crisis reduced the possibilities for Pro Rodopi Art Centre (PRAC) to find money to reconstruct their own premises in the village of Bostina, the centre has now entered a long term partnership with a beautiful building owned by the municipality of Smolyan, 10 km away from the village of Bostina.

The complex is called Konaka, and it use to be the old residency of the Turkish governer of the region from centuries ago. It has working and living facilities, including a restaurant.

TEH shared experiences as old Spanish prison takes first steps
to become an independent cultural centre

In the end of November TEH Ambassador Xavi Perez presented TEH in a meeting on new participative models for cultural centres in A Coruña, Spain. The main goal of the meeting was to promote dialogue between different emerging cultural sectors
in the city in the light of a possible transformation of the old provincial prison into a new, independent cultural centre.

TEH Member WUK (Vienna, Austria), represented by their board member David Stelzig, and Jose Luis Rodriguez Fernández from the research project Culturalindependiente.com also attended the meeting to share their examples of independent management with the about one hundred local organisations from the cultural, educational, economic and social sectors.

"It was super to discover this amazing space, an old prison in a beautiful seafront landscape, a fantastic future place for an alternative cultural center!" said Xavi Perez after the meeting.

The Naive Art Museum in Riga represented at FESTNAIVE-2010
Festnaive-10 is an international festival in Moscow, Russia, focusing on the promotion of naive and outsiders’ art. This year's theme is “Ecology and culture”. The Naive Art Museum in Riga is represented with ten paintings and Dzintars Zilgalvis, director of Naive Art Museum of Latvia and NOASS (Riga, Latvia) attended the opening.

Picture: "Wild horse", Rahmails Jakrins, 2001

Subtopia welcomes bookers to Subcase 2011
On the 17-18th of February 2011, Subcase will take place in Subtopia (Botkyrka/Stockholm, Sweden). During two intensive days artists and bookers from Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe meet up to present and observe the latest within Swedish circus and street arts.

Copenhagen Youth Culture in focus during first ever !TAC! event
Copenhagen, Denmark, February 22-25th, 2011

Curious about the current state of Danish Youth Culture, its history and development? The first ever !TAC! event offers a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of interesting cultural spaces in Copenhagen in the company of colleagues from across Europe. Check out the programme and sign up before January 21st, 2011.

The new concept of !TAC! Take Away Culture-events makes it possible for people working in European Cultural Centres to organise or participate in study trips in different countries and cities in Europe. The concept, which is an initiative of ENCC (European Network of Cultural Centres) and Kulturhusene i Denmark, focuses on low administration for the organisers and low costs for the participants and aims to develop and support a living network between cultural workers in Europe.

The first two events are now open for registrations and information is avialable for any cultural centre who would like to host their own !TAC! event.

European Diploma in Cultural Project Management Reccommended!
This trainee programme, supported by the Council of Europe, is targeted at cultural managers from public and private organizations who are actively involved in the management of cultural and artistic projects in their region, with at least two years of experience. The programme takes one year and is held in three phases. There will be two residential sessions, a comparative study and an evaluation or seminar phase.

At the TEH Coordination Office we have heard many positive comments about the diploma and TEH Delegate René Penning from Kulturfabrik (Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg) has participated in the Programme and warmly recommends it to other cultural managers in and outside of TEH!

The application deadline is January 15th 2011.


Application times for 2011 from the Nordic Culture Point published


To Culture With Love: Culture Management Workshop, 13-16th of February 2011, Potsdam (Germany)

LabforCulture Research in Focus: Climate change: artists respond
LabforCulture Publication: Cultural Bloggers Interviewed
Report from the Nordic Lab at the Intercult conference Re:Imaginging Cultural Space
The Cloudberry Project brings Creative Commoners from the Nordic countries together

TEH supports we are more
we are more (2010-2013) is a Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign set up by Culture Action Europe.

51 members
in 26 countries

Trans Europe Halles (TEH) is a European network of independent cultural centres. It was founded in 1983 and has 51 members and 13 Friend organisations in 26 countries.

CHANGING ROOM – what is it?
CHANGING ROOM is a pilot project looking for new ways enhancing the cross-border mobility of cultural operators in Europe. It includes workshops, staff exchanges, an academic study and an online toolkit.

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