The European AWAKE program aims to bring to light emerging collaborative practices that connect the fields of art and well-being. Given our focus on the influence of culture on health and well-being, exemplified by the Inner Space program, collaborating with other European stakeholders interested in these topics is a natural step. Thus, we are partners in the innovative AWAKE project, led by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture: Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture: „AWAKE:  Arts & Wellbeing As a Creative Business and Future Livelihood”.

The AWAKE project recognizes the transformative potential of combining art and wellbeing, not just for individuals, but for the community and society as a whole. The aim of the project is to open new ways for entrepreneurial initiatives and business prospects within this dynamic and constantly evolving sector.

Funded by Creative Europe, the AWAKE project runs between November 2023 and October 2025, and aims to explore the dynamic connection between art and wellbeing by building entrepreneurial skills for artists/cultural workers interested in working in this direction. The approach is a complex one, aiming to achieve several key objectives:

  • Creation of educational materials: AWAKE will compile a comprehensive catalog of business models that offer creative activities to enhance well-being.
  • Training opportunities: Workshops and a specialized bootcamp will be offered to those interested in acquiring practical skills and knowledge at the intersection of art, wellbeing and entrepreneurship.
  • Round Table Debates: The project will facilitate comprehensive and diverse debates, promoting dialogue and collaboration between professionals and stakeholders in the field.

 

The first physical meeting of the project took place between January 16 and 18 at the Pôle Culture et Santé en Nouvelle Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France. During this meeting, the project partners came together to lay the foundations for collaboration. Under the guidance of NDPC colleagues Kate Zilgalve-Masjukeviča and Krista Petäjäjärvi, the meeting included detailed discussions on the progress and content of the project. More importantly, it provided a platform for sharing experiences for partners, contributing to a collective learning environment.

Our colleague, Claudia Cacovean, Inner Space project manager, was present at the meeting and tells us in the lines below how the experience of the two days was for her:

“The AWAKE project is a special opportunity for artists and cultural workers who want to develop their skills in creative activities for health and wellbeing. The partners in the project are oriented and involved in developing materials and activities that best serve the needs of artists, which is why I have full confidence that this project will be extremely useful for both Romanian and international artists.”

AWAKE is poised to make a lasting mark on the intersection of art, wellbeing and creative entrepreneurship, and over the next two years, when the implementation phase takes place, artists are invited to stay close to this initiative, as it may pave the way to an interconnected future.