ArtNexus is an international development and cultural programme, promoting artistic freedom and working to strengthen the rights of artists in partner countries. ArtNexus is part of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee (SAGC) and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
About ArtNexus Armenia
ArtNexus is a needs-based programme, meaning that activities are organized with consideration to direct feedback from art- and cultural practitioners and national stakeholders. The SAGC is implementing important segments of the programme in collaboration with Sida, Swedish embassies, and local partners.
The ArtNexus programme is built on the idea that art- and culture practitioners can serve as agents of change to help generate more open and just democratic societies.
Our goal is to empower artists as agents of change and support them in equipped exerts to further influence State actors and decision-makers to strengthen their rights and conditions as artists or cultural practitioners. For example, ArtNexus aims to support the creation of well-functioning institutional frameworks that enable art- and culture practitioners the possibility to access living-wage income and social security.
The ArtNexus vision:
The ArtNexus project will result in art and culture practitioners having improved security, visibility, and voice, and state actors enabling and providing sustained support for the development of the art sector, thereby strengthening freedom of expression, citizenry, and processes of mutual dialogue in a democratic manner.
The programme is funded by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and implemented by The Swedish Art Grants Committee.
Supporting local partners with funding and expertise according to the wishes of the Armenian Art- and Culture sector, the sustainability of the programme is important to us. This is why we focus on activities designed by the beneficiaries, handing over the ownership to the members of the local art and cultural sector. This also means that the programme is adaptable and aims to fit the reality in which it is put into practice, which in turn ensures the continued relevance of the programme and its activities. In this way, the ArtNexus programme aims to strengthen the rights and conditions of the artists in Armenia.
ArtNexus provides capacity-building activities targeting art- and cultural practitioners as well as state and private actors in the partner countries.
Art- and cultural practitioners constitute a marginalized group that tends to be underpaid and face difficulties to influence policy- and lawmakers. The ArtNexus programme aims to improve art- and culture practitioners’ conditions and abilities to expand their networks both nationally and internationally. Therefore, ArtNexus facilitates channels of communication between art- and cultural practitioners and the state, which can generate adjustments in policy and practice.
In Armenia, ArtNexus work in close collaboration with the Katapult Creative Accelerator Programme in order to enhance the local connection to the artistic and cultural field in Armenia. Together with Katapult, our team continuously hosts workshops with different approaches and target groups, but always with the aim to strengthen the rights and freedoms of artists and cultural practitioners.
ArtNexus is currently working on two fronts to achieve its vision:
– Direct capacity building for artists and cultural practitioners to improve knowledge on subjects such as immaterial rights, unionizing or sector-specific organizing, taxation and social support systems for artists, and socio-economic security for emerging artists.
– Communication with state actors and policymakersregarding the needs of art- and cultural practitioners, to facilitate a transition towards regulatory frameworks more beneficial for artists and cultural practitioners. This measure is particularly important to improve the conditions for artists long-term.
February 21st: Dialogue meeting
The programme was first launched with the dialogue meeting. This activity was designed as an opportunity for representatives from different parts of the Armenian cultural sector, artists, cultural practitioners, civil society organizations and policymakers to get together and discuss relevant issues for the Armenian creative industries. The meeting also aimed to inspire the design of the upcoming ArtNexus activities.
March 4th – 6th: Workshop, “Intellectual Property Rights”
Between March 4th – 6th 2023, ArtNexus and Katapult Creative Retreat held a workshop on intellectual property (IP) rights for 15 lawyers, lecturers, and judicial stakeholders within the field of law.
The agenda covered various aspects of the field, focusing on the development of copyrights internationally, and providing participants with tools to analyze and discuss 30 different intellectual property law cases from the United States of America.
Based on these dictions, several shortcomings in the Armenian intellectual property legislation emerged. During the last days of the workshop, the participants meet with art and cultural practitioners one by one to discuss the artists’ experiences of intellectual property rights violations, including the artists.
A total of around 30 people participated in the workshop. As a result, the workshop concluded that the number of IP experts in Armenia is inadequate in relation to the number of intellectual property crimes committed against artists and creators. During the workshop, participants also discussed how to address future efforts. Plans for the next steps have laid the foundation for an upcoming joint effort by ArtNexus and Katapult.
July – December 2023: Workshop series, “How to survive as an emerging artist”, arranged by the Institute of Contemporary Art.
ArtNexus is working with the Institute of Contemporary Art in Yerevan, arranging the course “How to survive as an emerging artist”, targeting young and newly graduated artists in Armenia. The course aims to raise awareness of the rights of the artists and strengthen their practical knowledge, to support artists’ establishing themselves on the national and international art scene.
Bild: Karine Aroyan, Institute of Contemporary Art