Roots&Routes International Association
On November 27th 2008, ROOTS&ROUTES International Association has been officially established. This is a landmark for the organisations involved in the ROOTS & ROUTES network, that have been collaborating over the past four years on the organisation of national and transnational projects. The association seeks to create a platform for the promotion of cultural and social diversity in arts and media. It provides information, exchange of best practices and services to associations, organisations and individuals throughout Europe and beyond. Organisations and individuals will be able to become member of ROOTS&ROUTES International Association. The initial members will be organisations from over ten European countries.
The first project of the ROOTS&ROUTES Netherlands foundation was organised in 2001 when Rotterdam was Cultural Capital of Europe. A group of young talented musicians, dancers and mediamakers followed workshops and masterclasses given by experienced professionals and prepared a performance to be staged at a renowned festival. In the following years, the concept was applied in different cities in the Netherlands. In 2004, the initial ambition to lift the activities to an international scale was realised when the Netherlands held the chair of the European Union.
Workshops that were organised in several European countries lead to an international performance in the Netherlands on the opening festival of the cultural programme linked to the presidency. Michael Franti, George Clinton, De La Soul and Afrob are but a few of the internationally renowned artists that have given masterclasses for ROOTS&ROUTES. Participating talents have performed at festivals all around Europe like Sziget Festival (HU), Summerjam (DE), Dunya and Uitmarkt (NL), Fabbrica Europa (IT).
Community based network
In the past year three years ten European countries (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Germany, UK, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands) joined the community based network and organised workshops, masterclasses and performances, based on the Dutch concept and coordinated by R&R Netherlands in association with Mira Media. Several international expertmeetings were organised to familiarise the partners with the R&R philosophy and to exchange ideas and best practices.
Some of the hightlights of this pan-European collaboration were the 2007 project R&R International @ Meet The Streets in Rotterdam the Netherlands, the project A-Maze that was held in May 2008 in Florence and the ROOTS&ROUTES Experience in Remscheid Germany in the summer of 2008. In these projects, delegations of young talented artists, coaches and managers from all over Europe gathered, to jointly work on cross-discipline international performances and exchange ideas and working methods.
As an answer to the demand for follow-up activities that participants expressed in their evaluations, the ROOTS&ROUTES Summerschool was developed. During these intensive training sessions, the participants learn more in-depth knowledge they need when aspiring a career as a professional in the creative industry. Summerschools have been organised in Germany, France, Finland, UK and the Netherlands and international talents from these and other countries were invited to participate.
In the coming years, the partners of ROOTS&ROUTES International Association will jointly work on further developing the vision, concept, network and community of ROOTS&ROUTES and expand the network to other countries in Europe and beyond.
For more information, please see www.rootsnroutes.eu
Europe, December 1st 2008