News, Creative missions

“Artscape” has launched the 4th regular season of the Creative Missions program

“Artscape” has launched the 4th regular season of the Creative Missions program

In February, we launched a new season of the “Creative Missions” program and the 4th year of regular missions.

“We are very pleased with the beautiful cooperation with the teams of all the centers where asylum seekers and Ukrainians fleeing the war are accommodated. “Artscape” and our missions are extremely welcome and accepted here,” says Raimonda Lebelionytė-Alseikienė, Artscape’s Integration Projects Manager. The first missions of this year took place at the Refugee Reception Center in Rukla. It was good to see that not only children came to the meeting, but also their mothers, and they also wanted to invite husbands. The girls participate in all the meetings we organize. It is the result of long, regular, transparent and inclusive work.”

For those and where it is most needed

In 2024 Artscape’s Creative Missions team will carry out activities in various locations. “We will be at the Refugee Reception Center in Naujininkai, we plan to visit the children in Vilkija as well, we have plans for a separate space in the Foreigner Registration Center for young asylum seekers, and our educator Markas will start in Kaunas Shelter with young people from Ukraine. We will offer women to meet at the National Art Gallery, and on March 5 new educator Marius will start a creative workshop at the center of the International Organization for Migration, trying to invite young teenagers to dance street dances” says Raimonda.

According to the Head of Integration Projects, this year’s missions are particularly focused on those children and young people who are not yet brave enough to get involved elsewhere or are very brave, but there are no opportunities due to their remote place of residence. The program will continue to aim to create a safe space and a sense of community, help implement creative ideas, and promote creativity, both for participants and artist-educators. “We will spread joy in order to improve emotional health. We share our creative missions with everyone who needs them the most,” says Raimonda.

In 2023 a total of 385 creative missions were implemented with the “Artscape” team of educators in 9 locations. 400 children from Ukraine, Iraq, Tajikistan, Belarus, Syria, Russia visited here. Among these children, those whose right to move is restricted, are separated from their parents. A total of over 1,000 missions have been completed since the start of the program.

Creative Missions program

In 2015 The art agency “Artscape”, which started working with migrants and refugees, carries out a mission – increasing the accessibility of culture and the cohesion of communities through professional art productions and educational programs. Working together with artists, local communities and vulnerable groups of society, the agency fosters self-expression, and active participation in public life and seeks socially responsible solutions, creating significant social change.

“Creative missions are intended for the beginning of person integration. As soon as a refugee arrives, he feels very insecure. When we encounter personal stories and find commonalities in them, work becomes easier. What these people need the most is a simple conversation, and here it is important that the artist intervenes. The ability of artists to communicate with a socially vulnerable group of people is very important. They do not ask unnecessary questions, focus on people’s abilities, and desires, and nurture their uniqueness. When you focus more on what a person can do, and not on what he can’t do, he blooms like a flower”, says Raimonda Lebelionytė-Alseikienė, Head of Integration Projects at Artscape.

The cross-cultural team of creative mission educators consists of 18 artists, art therapists, and people conducting education. Educators provide choreography, theater directing, art therapy, performing arts, design, and other activities to children, teenagers, unaccompanied minors, young people, and women. “Artscape” has completed over 1,000 missions since the program began.

Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) 2022 evaluated Artscape, selected from 64 candidates, for its Creative Missions activities. The CEB Awards for Social Cohesion is an annual competition to recognize a project that addresses a pressing social issue in one of CEB’s 42 member countries. The award reflects CEB’s position that the right investment in the social sector can have a significant positive economic and social impact on society as a whole.

The program is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Pic. Zurab Basheleishvili, Alda Eikevičiūtė

February 28, 2024