Arts Lab Report: My 5th month in this “Beautiful City”
It was the 5th month of stay in this “Beautiful City” and I was feeling belonged more and more, everyday. It was a good coincidence that we started the month, planning the “20 beautiful things” project. It was a project about 20 things we found beautiful in Târgu Frumos. The definition of beauty changes from one person to another, so it was exciting to wait for the results from my colleagues. 20 works of photography, videos, music and ceramics. We started working on it.
Meanwhile, the open call for local volunteers to help us during the project resulted. On the very first week of July, we met those amazing eight girls, coming from Târgu Frumos and other cities. We organized a welcome meeting, with activities and plannings of our workshops. Each international member of Arts Lab made a team and we easily planned out our workshop program. With their help, we started having local kids and teenagers every week.
My workshops started happening in the ceramic studio we recently made. Everything was going great, and I started to plan an “Opening Party” for the studio. It is a tradition between my friends in Turkey. Whenever one of them opened a ceramic studio on their own, we all celebrated it with a party. I wanted to do the same thing for this very first studio which I have full responsibility for. With the help of the amazing team of local volunteers, we decorated the studio, made a playlist with music of our taste, and invited people from the organization, as well as my international team, of course. Under the new Covid rules, with masks and social distancing, we still managed to have fun. It was an evening I will not forget my whole life.
A new thing we have done in July was starting to work on a personal development plan. It became a plan which we built individually according to our own needs and learning goals during the second part of the project. In my plan, my goals were generally connected to the ceramic studio and the things I’ve been doing there, for example, “Learn how to manage a studio space.” Actually, the opening party was one of the results of this goal, and it will be followed by some open studio days, or exhibitions and so on.
Meanwhile, with the intention of improving my digital skills, I finished designing a logo for Act House, and did the retouches to the Recipe Book project which is a collaborative work we did with Eliana. I also designed Id cards for all the volunteers in the organization, which we will use for a long time. We were quite busy in July, as a result, some weekends we kept working.
On the third sunday of the month, we had a meeting with 2 coordinators from an organization from Iaşi. The meeting was about the Labyrinth Theatre method, and included some warming up activities about the subject. It was a pretty nice day, I felt like I discovered something new and amazing.
The 20 beautiful things project was going well, and with all the good results we had, we started preparing an exhibition which will happen during the Arts Lab conference. We designed an invitation poster, postcards and a brochure, about the works we did. Meanwhile, we were helping the others to plan out the conference, everybody worked hard for it. But when we came to an end, we saw that we all did a good job.
The conference was really successful, all the teachers we hosted finished the day with good comments. What we did was, basically presenting ourselves to them, having some activities with non formal education methods and having workshops. And of course, at the end of the day we had the opening of our exhibition: “The Beautiful Fair Town”. It was great to see their appreciation, even though we weren't speaking the same language with most of them.
In the last week of the month, we had the Mid-Term Training, on Zoom, like the On Arrival Training. From Monday to Friday, we were in front of the computer for four hours, but it wasn’t tiring at all, because we had the chance to meet the other volunteers all around Romania.
Some of the faces we knew from the On Arrival, also we met some new faces. It was a good five day training. Thanks to our nice trainers and good vibes of the group, we learned a lot, and had fun at the same time.
It was another busy, but beautiful month in this beautiful city. Each day is a chance for me to discover something new in it, and something new in myself.
Slowly coming to the end of this long-term project, I am more glad that I took the decision to come here and have this wonderful experience.
Written by Deniz Ataman
Deniz is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project, funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.