The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with the Soros Foundation – Latvia has created the program “Brigade” to support creative, sustainable entrepreneurship, based in art and culture, which deals with social issues and contributes in raising the quality of life of local communities.
As part of the progam, various worshops lead by experts form Latvia and the United Kingdom took place to inspire the young and potential entrepreneurs, and a competition for a financial support of 7000 euros was organised in the spring of 2013. The total amount of 14 grants were distributed to 14 new initiatives. Program "Brigade" continues to spread its positivity virus in the regions of Latvia, organising similar workshops and competitions in cooperation with Rezekne, Cesis and other cities.
The programme “Brigāde” supports creative initiatives or Teams (in Latvian called “brigādes”) being able to improve Riga’s urban environment, develop the local communities, resolve social problems, and create financially independent solutions, using art/culture activities, thus encouraging economic growth.
Project applicants were eligible for funding, up to LVL 5,000. At the project preparation stage (August and September 2010), applicants had an opportunity to attend the inter-branch workshops, familiarise themselves with practice in different countries, hear expert opinions regarding development solutions, receive financial consultations as well as help in premises seeking.
With the help of the first program “Brigade” in 2010 such nowadays well known businesses as MAMMU, ZoFa, Majas Svetiba, Hopp, Buteljons and 6 more gained the “seed-money” for the start or development of their companies. From 11 “brigades” in 2010 9 of them are still active and developing, inspiring the urban environment and people around them.
The members of jury for the competition "Brigade" are:
Solvita Krese, the director of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art,
Aija Karlsberga, the director of the Judicial state program of the Soros Foundation – Latvia,
Ilze Saleniece, the Collaboration project manager of British Council Latvia,
Gundega Laivina, the director of the New Theatre institute of Latvia, the curator of “Riga 2014” project “Road map/Ceļu karte”,
Martins Krutainis, chairman of the board of the Mentor Club,
Arnis Sauka, the pro-rector of the university of Ventspils, the researcher of Stockholm School of Economics in Riga,
Andris Rubins, the director of “DDB Latvia”, “MAMMU” co-owner,
Elina Dobele, shoe designer and the owner of the brand “ZoFa”.