Lithuanian community artist Vita Gelūnienė is Alumni of the international program ViabilityNet 3.0. Vita used to work as a studio artist and teacher at the Vilnius Art Academy. She was one of the founders of the ‘Kaunas Biennial’ international art festival. Ten years ago, when Vita met Irish artist Ed Carroll, the focus of her artistic practice changed. In 2009, Vita and Ed initiated a series of projects in public spaces called ‘Friendly Zone’ and eventually their art became grounded in their own neighborhood of Šančiai (in Kaunas).Read More
The CEE partner organization network is a new regional grouping of seven civil society support organizations from six CEE countries. The main objective of the CEE partner organization network is to strengthen and develop local communities in the Central and Eastern Europe region. The member organizations seek to improve their support of local communities by learning from each other and with each other. Member organizations agreed that it is very valuable for them to exchange their community practice and as one of the ways how to do it is exchange site visit. This time we would like to share with you impressions of Kitty Boda from Hungarian HACD.Read More
We have the honor of presenting another five projects supported through our Living Communities program. Community leaders are working to enliven Czech communities in notable and diverse ways: making a printing press a community gathering place, restoring a former ruin in the Sudetenland and creating a community garden on the site of a former dumpsite, for instance. These projects just go to show that anything is possible!
The last ViabilityNet meeting took place in a bio-village called Mariahalom in a space designed for personal transition. All of the participants brought along a team member, so we had a big group to enjoy the vegetarian food provided by the host. The idea behind bringing a team member was to strengthen the flow of knowledge, skills and methods into the communities themselves. Often, people participating in international training sessions return home and feel like aliens inspired by all the ideas they encountered, so it is good to have an ally who understands what you are talking about at least a bit.Read More
Cecilia Lohasz is Alumni of the international program ViabilityNet 3.0. Since graduating in geography, Cecilia has worked for an environmental NGO addressing energy policy in Hungary. “Energy policy can often be very abstract. I felt I wanted to do something in my free time that reflects issues that are important for me like climate change, sustainable living and community life and I wanted to see concrete changes in the city,” says Cecilia. Seven years ago, she and a group of friends founded an association called Valyo, the city and the river, which aims to transform the Danube embankment in Budapest into a livelier public space.Read More
ViabilityNet 3.0 is a program supporting community leaders in Central and Eastern Europe. The year-long program includes four meetings, four study visits. We also provide participants with community project grants and mentoring to strengthen their efforts and make their projects sustainable.
What is happening in our participants’ communities in different parts of Europe?
Last month three members of the Via team had the good fortune to take part in the Pittsburgh Agreement Centennial, which commemorated a memorandum of understanding between the Czech and Slovak immigrant communities in the US 100 years ago. The Agreement was an important step towards the founding of an independent Czechoslovakia some months later, in October 1918 (watch video here). The Centennial was a wonderful opportunity to meet Czech- and Slovak-Americans and we would like to thank everyone who shared their time with us. We were particularly pleased to have Jan Školník and Marcela Školníková, longstanding Via donors and community patrons in Broumov, as part of our group. Our special thanks go to Carol Hochman and the Friends of Via Board of Directors, who did so much to make our time in Pittsburgh memorable. Dekujeme!