The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Soros Foundation-Latvia presents program „BRIGADE”

As part of the program, several educational and admission free events such as discussions and lectures by known experts will take place in November and December, 2012. Next year in January anyone may submit an application and participate in the competition; thus, in the spring of 2013 up to 15 creative entrepreneurs-winners of the competition will receive up to 5000 LVL to start and develop their businesses.

“This year we are encouraging the development of new “brigades” which, similar to the first competition two years ago, should be creative initiatives, based in art and culture, being socially responsible and economically sustainable, and with a positive influence on our urban environment. At the moment the center of our capital city is filled with a variety of interesting and original places. Thus, in this competition the first hand goes to “brigades” located in the suburbs, so as to extend the borders of the cultural map of Riga,” says Solvita Krese, the director of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, the manager of the program “Brigade” and a member of the jury.

The first of many educational and informational events transpiring as part of program “Brigade” will be the lecture by the U.K. expert Michael Pyner on November 7th. The lecture will concentrate on the basic principles of social entrepreneurship; moreover, the speaker will share his experience on introducing community initiatives that try to solve social problems and rebuild the urban environment with the help of culture. The discussions, lectures and work-shops will also be led by the advertising and digital marketing specialists Voldemars Dudums and Viktors Zakis, the popular practitioner and lecturer on creativity and innovation – Vita Brakovska, and more.

After the educational events, from January 2nd to 11th anyone may participate in the competition, by handing in an application online or sending it by post. The regulation of the competition and the application documents are available online in the program’s homepage In February and March, 2013, the members of jury will evaluate the applications, and in April the results of the competition will be announced. After receiving the grant the entrepreneurs may also consult the experts of Mentor Club on the development of new businesses.

The members of jury for the competition 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, Diana Civle, the director of “Riga 2014”, 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 and Elina Dobele, shoe designer and the owner of the brand “ZoFa”.  

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 winners of this competition will also get the chance to meet and exchange ideas and experience with the previous grant receivers.