Adeste+: From Audience to People

The final Adeste+ conference took place in Turin from 10 to 12 November and brought together hundreds of participants from across Europe to discuss how to make culture more accessible for everyone.
©G. Berti | Compagnia di San Paolo

Under the title “From Audience to People: Unlocking the power of culture”, the conference marked the end of the Adeste+ project, which started in 2018. Over three days, in a hybrid format (online and in-person), representatives of the 15 project partners – including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – came together in Turin to openly discuss possible solutions to unlock the power of culture in Europe and make it more relevant and accessible to citizens and communities.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to the teachings, the impact and the legacy of the four years of the project, created with the purpose of developing new methodologies regarding the relationship of institutions with their publics, focusing on the acquisition of personal and organisational skills and capacities.

For Susana Gomes da Silva, responsible for the Educational Service of the Centro de Arte Moderna (CAM) and representative of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation at the conference, the participation in the project was essential to discover new ways to include youngsters in programming and to look at cultural participation with fresh eyes. To adapt the program according to audience interests, Susana observed, “we need to involve audiences, to engage them and to listen to them. Acting together, thinking together and making decisions together”.

On the remaining days, the focus was on methods of empowering cultural participation, both on a practical level, by looking at different European projects with innovative approaches to “audience engagement”, and in terms of public policymaking.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was one of the partners of the Adeste+ project, co-funded by the European program “Creative Europe”, and hosted the first Summer School in 2019. A total of 15 partners from 11 European cities took part in the project, creating a community of art professionals, policy makers, artists and audiences.

At the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the challenge posed by Adeste+ also gave rise to the 15-25 Imagina project, a cultural programming and curatorial initiative for young people that took place at the Foundation between January and July 2020 and that will continue in 2022.