Arts for Social Development: Art of Social Development

Arts for Social Development project aims to bring together artists, creative professionals and arts organisations with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community leaders and social entrepreneurs to share skills and knowledge, learn from each other and work collaboratively to create pilot activities for city development.

The project is a collaboration between the British Council, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hellenic Institute of Culture, the Swedish Institute, the House of Cyprus, the Instituto Cervantes, the Austrian Embassy in Athens and the Embassy of Norway.


The arts are a powerful vehicle for social-emotional learning because they have universal appeal and allow for group participation by people of all abilities, cultures and backgrounds. Shared creative experiences can facilitate insight and empathy, which enable changing perceptions of self and others, social connection, along with individual and collective empowerment. In addition, group-based arts activities can be implemented in schools, local communities and recreational settings, where most youth can be found.

The arts no longer exist only in concert halls, theatres and exhibition galleries – they have become a powerful agent of social change. Governments and people around the world are increasingly recognising the importance of arts and culture as a dynamic and innovative sector with clear linkages to employment, education and the wider socio-economic arena.

The project will involve:

  • workshops
  • pilot activities
  • a round table discussion and conference.



The aims of the project are to:
raise awareness of the value of interactions and cross-sector collaboration between artists, creative and social entrepreneurs and civil society organisations
create a lab environment where this collaborative spirit can flourish and lead to action
build skills, increase cross-sector exchange and knowledge transfer, and improve cultural sector capacity and opportunities for collaboration/employment
share results and ideas at a round-table discussion for policy makers and key stakeholders at local and international level.

Conference – The Art of Social Development: The Arts for Social Development


The Arts for Social Development Conference will take a look into how the arts and artistic creativity can be used as a force for human, social and economic progress, and it will share results and ideas based on a series of workshops/events that took place between April and November 2014.

Art professionals, policy makers, educators, academics and stakeholders will discuss the value of interactions and cross-sector collaboration between artists, creative and social entrepreneurs and civil society organisations, explore how social enterprise can help local communities drive change, tackle local challenges and raise awareness of major social issues while fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of arts.


  • Christos Carras, Executive Director at the Onassis Cultural Centre
  • Pavlos Kavouras, Head of the Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology Department at Athens University
  • Amalia Zepou, Vice Mayor for Civil Society and Municipality Decentralisation at the Municipality of Athens
  • Marzia Macedonio, International Relations, Alto Festival, Napoli
  • Vassilis Charalambidis, Artistic Director of Bios and Romantso
  • Konstantina Zoehrer, Social Entrepreneurship Researcher and Managing Director of 180 Moires
  • Antigoni Gyra, Artistic Director Kinitiras
  • Avgoustos Veinoglou, Artist, Snehta Residency Founder
  • Ilias Marmaras, Media Artist, Personal Cinema Co-Founder
  • Vicky Vasilopoulou, Dancevacuum Founder/Choreographer
  • Alexandros Stanas, General Director of FOUGARO

Αna Sanchez – Colberg, Head of Theatre Arts & Dance Department at DEREE-American College of Greece, Professor of Choreography and Composition at the University Dance and Circus Stockholm, Greece will coordinate the discussion


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