“Development and Management of Autonomous Creative Spaces in Europe” 2005

16-20 August 2005, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University in association with Artfactories, Paris and the Felix Meritis Foundation, Amsterdam


For over twenty years creative spaces of culture and art, stemming from citizen artistic projects and based on an interaction with local communities, have grown more numerous all over the world.
These spaces of creative experimentation and production, artistic cross-polarisation and development are important as places where cultural and social encounters with the community can take place. In that sense, creative spaces play an important role in the process of urban renewal.



  • Support creation and sustainability of creative spaces
  • Provide an international perspective on the development of creative spaces
  • Reinforce the content, meaning and impact of an artistic and civic autonomous space
  • Create support through alliances and partnerships
  • Enhance management and operation skills
  • Inform participants about cultural policy and urban development issues related to their projects
  • Give an overview of funding possibilities


  • to build up self-confidence among the participants in the value of their project
  • to define long term perspectives for participants’ projects (in opposition to short term engagement and work)
  • to enable the participants to elaborate an argument in favour of their project which can be presented in front to diverse audiences (public authorities, eventual funding bodies, communities, artists....)
  • to explore the diversity of possible developmental and operating models
  • to highlight the common points among these experiences
  • to better grasp the related experiences of others
  • to offer a European perspective on this phenomenon
  • to instigate an exchange of practices during the course
  • to help structure and evolve the projects
  • to approach contemporary cultural and artistic practices
  • to help existing centres reconsider their work in a critical manner
  • to understand the scale of issues, linked with a centre’s project (local development, economy, social matters, fostering art, emerging processes)


Each participant will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their own project or organisation, including the problems, advantages, and goals of the individual and organisation. This questionnaire will be mailed in before the course begins and will ensure that the course leaders have a chance to analyse the needs of the group. The participants will also each give a 5-minute presentation about their project or organisation on the first day. Full participation is expected in all of the sessions.


  • Leaders of centre’s project in need of peer input and additional expertise.
  • Cultural operators, working in an existing centre, wishing to broaden their vision and actions in content, skills and international perspective
  • Civil servants working in the cultural field, interested in artistic creativity in a micro-social context.

The course is limited to 25 participants.

Sessions and lectures will be held in English.

Most sessions will take place in Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam. There will also be one site visit to an autonomous creative space in Amsterdam.

SMARTproject is situated on a site, which will play a vital role in shaping the new cultural city map in Amsterdam. Old West of Amsterdam is a deprived urban area, which is about to undergo a program of regeneration. The new functionality of the building offers a sense of possibility of civic improvement. By creating a new cultural platform, SMARTProject Space will play a vital role within its urban setting. It will endow the city with a high quality municipal service and a new public space for both the local and the international community

NSDM represents a large collective of artists, craftsmen and non profit-organisations and is the working space of some 90.000 square metres. It aims to create an interdisciplinary wharf, a dynamic place where _1. Young international theatre makers, visual and performing artists can develop themselves as they wish
2. Diverse small businesses can exist alongside larger and more influential artistic, cultural and creative initiatives. Exchange, contact and co-operation can create a sparkling whole that is greater than the sum of parts.

€ 750,— includes registration, course reader, access to all the sessions, lunches and coffee.

Applicants from European Union countries may apply for a Grundtvig grant. Applicants wishing to receive this grant to participate in this course should notify us as soon as possible, because the application for the Grundtvig grant must be delivered at least 6 weeks before the start of the course. Once you have contacted us, we will help with the grant application process.


  • In addition, a limited number of scholarships are available for students from most Central and Eastern European Countries and Turkey and are financially supported by the Social Transformation Programme Cental and Eastern Europe (MATRA) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MATRA scholarships cover course fee and accommodation but do not cover any travel expenses to the Netherlands.
    Applicants are subject to a selection procedure. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please send directly to us: 1) a completed application form (available below or upon request); 2) a recent curriculum vitae 3) a letter of motivation and 4) a letter of recommendation before 1st of July. Applicants are subject to a selection procedure.
  • Two scholarships of 1000 euros each are available for participants from the South bank of Mediterranean sea and are financially supported by the René Seydoux Foundation. These scholarships should cover course fee and accommodation (if needed).

Please return the completed application form (and accommodation form if appropriate) by 1st of July 2005, to:
The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University,
P.O. Box 53066, 1007 RB Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
tel: +31 (0)20 6200225, fax: +31 (0)20 6249368.

Participants are requested to register on Tuesday, 16 August 2005 at 16:00 am in Felix Meritis, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam.

If you have further questions please contact the Office Manager tel. 0031 20 6200225

PDF - 39 kb
programme 2005
Modified on Friday 17 July 2009