About Us

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Six international partners


There are six partners in this partnership, who all use cultural and creative practices as a tool for self-development in non-formal learning. The partners are: 

One other organization helped set up this project but unfortunately had to withdraw during the first year, because of internal reorganization:

  • Dianova (social service provider, NGO) in Madrid, Spain

 

What we all have in common are cultural and creative practices as a tool for self-development in non-formal learning. During the whole project we will be exchanging good practices and sharing our experience with each other. Besides learning from each other, every partner will implement the achieved competences in their home town.



Adults in a disadvantaged situation


The target group we are focusing on are adults from the age of 24 onwards, living in a disadvantaged situation, who finished formal education and who are not participating in any kind of non-formal learning


We believe there is a gap between supply and demand in non-formal adult learning. This gap is even wider for adults living in a disadvantaged situation. We are convinced that we can overcome this gap if we:

  • continue to learn and improve our practices
  • start sharing our strengths and weaknesses on an organizational level, and express our need for growth and recognition
  • implement efficient communication for our local activities
  • improve access to non-formal learning, especially for those who nowadays need it the most: adults coping with obstacles and with fewer opportunities in their lives.


We focus on challenges pointed out by the European horizontal priorities (2017): ‘Achievement of relevant and high quality skills and competences’ and ‘social inclusion’.

OUR TEAM

BELGIUM: Theater van A tot Z

About us

Our mission of equal opportunities


The B.I.G. D.E.A.L. partnership contributes to the creation of equal opportunities in adult non–formal education. With this partnership we denounce injustice that is a direct consequence of social exclusion. Even though our partner organizations all have an open and tolerant policy of welcoming every adult, regardless their social situation, origin or health, we are still faced with barriers for participation for many adults (barriers: language, no legal stay so not allowed to participate, difficulties in inscription and processes, lack of information, no access to Internet or computer ...).


B.I.G. D.E.A.L. is based on cross-cultural, transnational needs and challenges. Our plan of action is based on common goals for every partner country. In general, we want to improve the quality of our educational activities by organizing lifelong learning activities for educators through exchange of best practices. We also want to activate people, especially those in a disadvantaged situation (often people who do not speak the local language), because we want to strengthen and empower them, regardless of their origin, religion or gender. We are convinced that everybody should get new learning opportunities.


To accomplish our mission the partner organizations of B.I.G. D.E.A.L. bring together their teams of educators, social workers, workshop leaders and staff in creative and artistic workshops. During the meetings we exchange our knowledge and expertise and we learn from each other how to reach marginalized adults (step one). Back home the educators implement the specific and effective methods that we have learned during the meetings (step two). This is followed by a process of internalization of the best practices and so we get what we learn from each other structurally embedded in all our organizations (step tree). The results (best practices, methods ...) of our two year and two months work are communicated and disseminated by the Internet so that the stakeholders and people that are interested from all over Europe can use our results.



Our results


The main results of the partnership will be:

  • a website and a network that share best practices, photos and videos to inspire educators all over Europe
  • a lexicon with useful terminology that others are free to use 

JEROEN BAEYENS - International projects - BIG DEAL coordinator - Dancer


°1974, Belgian. Graduated at the Ballet School Antwerp, joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders (1993, Robert Denvers). Began an international career as a contemporary dancer in 1995, with eight productions for Thierry Smits. Started working as a dance teacher and choreographer in 2006. Founded the inclusive project ZET6 in Brussels for people with disabilities and psychological problems in 2008. Has been developing European partnerships since 2011. Obtained his Bachelor Degree Social Work in 2017. International project coordinator for ‘Theater van A tot Z’.

PETER SCHOENAERTSGeneral manager - BIG DEAL coordinator - Actor and Director


°1972, Belgian. Master of Arts in Germanic languages + Academic Teacher Training (1996, Louvain, Erasmus student in Oxford), graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (2008, New York). Actor, director and cultural educator since 1996. Worked as a language teacher and educational expert in Belgium and abroad (France, Germany, The Netherlands, Indonesia, New York). Author of numerous educational publications. Also works as a journalist, copy editor and translator. General manager of ‘Theater van A tot Z’.

DENISE MACHIELS - Administration

°1947, Belgian. Started working as a stage hand at the Fakkel Theater in Antwerp when she was 15 years old. A couple of years later she became the secretary of the Fakkel theater. She also worked as a secretary for the Educatief Theater Antwerpen, a theatre-in-education company, for 40 years. Denise has always been fascinated by the combination of theater and education. She has been the beating heart of the administration department of ‘Theater van A tot Z’ since it was founded in 2015.

RUDY GOES - Artistic Director


°1958, Belgian. Studied to become a teacher, and took drama and scenography training. Actor and director since 1987. Founder of two theatre companies: ‘Le Mal Du Siècle’ and ‘Morrend Volk’. Appeared in numerous tv series, short films and commercials. Made 6 short films and a few video installations. Taught acting for 12 years at several institutions. Regularly leads drama workshops in Belgium and abroad. Artistic director of ‘Theater van A tot Z’ (in Dutch: artistieke ondersteuning).

LEILA HALOUI - Actress


°1985, Belgian. Started out as a hip-hop dancer at the age of 6 and began touring with Belgian and international artists when she was 16. Studied translation (English, Spanish) and obtained her Master in Multilingual Communication in 2011 (Brussels, Erasmus student in Toronto). She then enrolled in the actors training program at the Cours Florent in Brussels. She directed her first play and short film in 2017 and works as an actress, singer and drama coach for Theater van A tot Z.

GABRIELA LEGUIZAMO - Actress


°1984, Mexican. Studied computer technologies, contemporary dance and drama. Worked as an actress in Mexico and Belgium. In 2013 she studied ‘The Wisdom of the voice and the word (CEUVOZ)’ and went to work as a voice-over for GBS Radio (International Youth Fellowship). In 2015 Gabriela moved to Belgium, learned the Dutch language, and took the Master of Theater Pedagogy at Luca School of Arts (Leuven). The type of theater that she is most interested in is an intercultural theater based on human conflicts.

FLORINDA CAMILLERI - Pharmacist / Dancer


°1986, Maltese. She was a full-time member of Malta’s first national dance company, ŻfinMalta National Company, from 2014 to 2018. In 2017, Florinda set up The Amber Spark creative studio, a multidisciplinary team of multiskilled creative individuals. Her scientific background as a pharmacy graduate remains an intrinsic part of her work. She continues to work as a dance practitioner, creating, performing and coaching, locally and internationally, and is a guest lecturer at the Dance Studies Department of the University of Malta.

CROATIA: Cekate

LJILJANA PERIŠIĆ - Director of CeKaTe


°1954, Croatian. Holds an MA and has been the director of Zagreb's Trešnjevka Cultural Centre since 1992. She led numerous local and international projects and initiatives. She has more than 15 years of experience in enhancing social awareness for those who are socially excluded, and in developing and providing programmes for people with disabilities. She is a member of the European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC), the head of the South-East ENCC, and a member of Zagreb’s Social Programmes Committee and Trešnjevka Municipality Committee for Addicts.

ANA MARIJA MENISS - Project Manager


°1981, Croatian. Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism (management and marketing – Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb). Project manager with over 10 years of experience in managing adult education projects and inclusive art projects at the local, national and international level. Assistant manager involved in international workshops and in Erasmus + KA2 partnerships and projects. Took part in several courses and workshops about project and event management, youth and social policies.

FRANA MARIJA VRANKOVIĆ - Head of Theatre Department


°1986, Croatian. Studied theatre directing at the Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Zagreb. She works as a drama pedagogue and organizes theatre workshops and drama groups in English, French, German and Croatian. While working with adolescents in Zagreb (2013-2018) she used several forms of the theatre of the oppressed to explore how teenagers perceive the world and how the world perceives them. In September 2018 became the head of the theatre department at Trešnjevka Cultural Centre.

LOVORKA MIHANOVIĆ - Marketing and Promotions Associate


Lovorka Mihanović, °1985, Croatian. Specialist graduate of Managing Business Communications (2014). Worked as the Head of sales, promotions and public relations for Opera, Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, and as a marketing manager in a Croatian game development company. Has worked in culture for over 13 years. She studies Gestalt psychotherapy at Psihika Ltd (European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institute). She devotes her free time to performing classical music (cello and singing). Currently works as a Marketing and Promotions Associate at Trešnjevka Cultural Center.

VLATKA ROCIĆ PETAK - Project Manager and Coordinator


°1963, Croatian. Professor of Sociology, expert by experience, president of Ludruga (Madnessotiation). Was hospitalized several times at a psychiatric hospital and became acquainted with the health system as a user of the psychiatric services. Experienced various forms of stigmatization herself, which adversely affect the recovery of people with mental health problems. These experiences prompted her, together with seven other like-minded people, to establish Madnessociation in 2012. Since then she has led several psychic support and art therapy projects and workshops.

KSENIJA KAPELJ - Project Manager


°1961, Croatian. Vice-president of Ludruga (Madnessotiation), as well as project manager and coordinator, actively involved in promoting new approaches to mental health and activities for developing a new strategy of mental health care on a national level. Developed and conducted many workshops (drama, forum theater, active listening and effective communication ...) with marginalized groups, students and professionals. Initiated and moderated/facilitated a support group, 'From fellow sufferer to fellow traveler'.

 

MARIJA SAVIĆ - Project Manager


°1991, Croatian. MA in Sociology (University of Zagreb, Centre for Croatian Studies), BA in Journalism (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Sciences). Currently works at NGO Ludruga (Madnessociation) on several projects, promoting and implementing contemporary approaches to mental health care. Worked as a project manager on a project called ‘Mobile team for psychosocial support in the community’. Has experience as a radio journalist, which resulted in a radio show that is produced once a month in Ludruga (since 2017).

KARLO STIPIĆ - Teacher


°1995, Croatian. Attended high school for economics and management. While at school, he was a volunteer at an NGO for children with physical and mental disabilities and he was part of a drama group in Istrian National Theatre. In 2014, Karlo went to Zagreb to become a preschool teacher at the Faculty for teachers of the city of Zagreb. Here he volunteered for student club KSET, where he practised drama and organizational skills. He is now pursuing his Master’s Degree as a teacher.

ANA SOLŠ - Assistant Director


°1994, Croatian. Assistant director of ‘At the Other Side of the Mirror’ (a series of workshops connecting artists and people with psychosocial challenges in the creation of a theatrical performance, with the purpose of fighting the stigma). Writer of a series of short plays used as templates for forum theatre as a part of field schooling of students at Medical School 'Vrapče'. Volunteer on a regional project 'Blue Talk', connecting persons with psychosocial challenges and artists from three countries.

MARINA KOŠTEK - Student of Social Work


°1989, Croatian. Second year student of Social Work at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb. Finished two years of singing at the Rock Academy. Volunteered in the ‘Hope’ therapeutic riding association, for children with special needs. She is an advocate for tolerance and acceptance, and openly supports diversity in thinking, culture, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Believes that humour can be an extremely powerful tool; in difficult and stressful situations it can completely turn a perspective in a more positive direction.

LOVRO KRSNIK - Actor and Director


Lovro Krsnik obtained a Master’s degree in Theatre Directing and Radio Broadcasting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He participated in many directing, acting and psychodrama workshops in Croatia and abroad, particularly related to the techniques of Sanford Meisner, Arthur Lessac and Michael Chekhov. He works as a high school teacher in the Private High School for Arts in Zagreb and is a member of the Centre for Drama Education and the Croatian association of dramatic artists.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Teatralie

ŠTĚPÁN SMOLÍK - Drama Therapist and Psychologist


°1975, Czech. Theatre artist, drama therapist, psychologist, founding member and member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Dramatherapy of the Czech Republic. A founding member of Teatralie and theatre UJETO. He has been working as a director, actor and dramaturge of theatres Ujeto and Bluudteatre and as an actor of theatre Orfeus for more than 20 years. Apart from the theatre activities he has been working as a drama therapist and psychologist with many different groups of people.

ILONA LABUTOVÁ - Drama Therapist


°1975, Czech. Special education teacher, drama therapist, founding member of the Association of Dramatherapy of the Czech Republic (member of the Executive Committee). For the last few years she has been working with people with learning disabilities and children with special educational needs. Since 2013 has been working as a teacher for the Czech Alzheimer Society and as a lecturer for the Dramatherapy Course at Charles University. Co- founder of the theatre UJETO and non-profit organization Teatralie (Prague).

ERIK DEMKO - Pantomime Artist


°1974, Slovakian. In Prague he graduated from the Conservatory of J. Jezka, in the field of pantomime. For 30 years he has devoted himself to this discipline and to acting. He has been working at the Theatre of Image Praha and the Puppet Theatre Truhla, and since 2017 he has also been a member of the theatre Ujeto.

HANA CHMELENSKÁ - Movement and Dance Teacher


Czech. Graduated from Charles University in 2004 with a degree in Cultural Studies and Management and went on to earn a degree in Choreography at Dartington College of Arts in the UK. Hana has pursued a career as a movement teacher for people with learning disabilities. She is also a pilates teacher, a fitness trainer for the elderly, the director of the ImproEvents Prague festival, and an English language teacher for adults at the National Institute of Mental Health

HEDVIKA HRYCHOVÁ - Psychotherapist


°1975, Czech. Graduated in human geography (Charles University, Prague); completed psychotherapy training in integrative gestalt approach (Instep) and currently is studying applied ethics (Charles University) and Gestalt Plus psychotherapy training. She works in a psychotherapy centre for people with serious mental illness (Fokus Praha), she organizes and participates in psychotherapeutic and creative programs. Hedvika is a member of the Theatrálie organization and since 2019 a member of theater company Ujeto.

PETRA SEVCÚ - Drama Therapist and Journalist


°1981, Czech. Completed drama therapy training in the Developmental Transformations method with an overlap into art therapy. At the same time, she is studying distance learning Special Education - Andragogy at the Pedagogical Faculty of Palacký University in Olomouc. She is a journalist and works as a journalist in the Czech Radio Olomouc. In addition, she is a member of the Olomouc independent theater, where she plays and also leads a dramatic studio for adults.

NORTH MACEDONIA: For Happy Childhood

SANDRA KIMEVSKA - Manager


Macedonian. Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. Works at NCGE on Cross-Border Cooperation within the EU Project ‘Networking for Succes’. She has experience working as a manager in the business sector and also in the NGO sector working on different projects. She is active in the civil sector, works with different marginalized groups, mainly in the field of gender issues, gender equality and social justice. She is involved in the development of policies and programmes for social inclusion of rural women, and social entrepreneurship for the same target group.

IVAN TRAJKOV - Psychologist and Sociologist


°1970, Macedonian. Bachelor in Psychology, Master in Social Policy, PhD. in Social Work and Social Policy. Full Professor in the field of Mental health, Children and Adolescents at risk. Vice president of the Association ‘For Happy Childhood’. Project manager with over 16 years of experience in managing projects at the local, national and international level. Educator and trainer, developing and providing programmes for people with disabilities, social workers, psychologists, NGO’s, victims of violence and human trafficking.

NENAD TRAJKOV - Volunteer


Macedonian. Is a volunteer in the NGO ‘For Happy Childhood’. He took part in a few prevention projects that fight against human trafficking. He is part of a team that does social work with street children. Nenad is participating in the project ‘Taste your ability - Trainings for mentorship of people with disabilities for catering skills’. He also took part in numerous trainings in the field of human trafficking.

MARTINA STANKOVIKJ - Volunteer


Macedonian. Has been a volunteer in the Association ‘For Happy Childhood’ since 2017. She is a participant in the project ‘Prevention of child trafficking  for purpose of  labor exploitation’. Logistic support in organizing trainings for students working in the shelter for child victims of human trafficking. She also took part in numerous trainings in the field.

NORTH MACEDONIA: NCGE

SVETLANA JANEVA - Project Coordinator


°1953, Macedonian. Project coordinator at National Council for Gender equality (NCGE), active since the establishment of the organization in 1994. Coordinator of the programs for political empowerment of women. Also works for the SOS help line for female victims of violence. Educator in workshops for gender equality, project circle management, access to public information… Main responsibilities at NCGE: coordinating the programs and the activities, organization and implementation of activities, preparation of interim and final reports, organizing trainings, conferences and other events.

ALEKSANDAR TODOROVSKI - Volunteer


Macedonian. Does volunteer work for NCGE. For 7 years he worked as a field coordinator for a marketing agency on different projects, amongst others for T-Mobile (Telekom), VERO (the biggest supermarket brand in Macedonia), Skopje City Mall (the biggest mall in Macedonia) and Skopsko (the best beer in Macedonia, you have to try it!). Aleksandar participated in a TV Show called “Фчерашни новости”, and he did a few small acting jobs. He loves sports (watching and playing football, swimming and riding his bike) and playing video games.

TEA ZOGRAFSKA - Student of Sociology and Volunteer


Macedonian. A student majoring in Sociology at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje and a volunteer at the National Council for Gender Equality. She is involved in various activities and projects in the NGO sector, such as training and education in the field of social development. She takes part in various conferences and focus groups regarding domestic violence, poor female representation in Parliament, the gender pay gap, social inequality, etc.

ALEKSANDRA KAZANKOVA - Nurse


Macedonian. Medical nurse degree. Works as a volunteer for NCGE and also volunteered for the Red Cross Macedonia for 8 years. Has been working with HIV positive patients for 3 years, and also works with kids with special needs and foster kids. Is also experienced in treating people with mental disorders caused by drugs and opiates. She is passionate about helping people. Aleksandra loves reading books, red wine and relaxing music.

DALIBOR ILKOV - Artist


Macedonian. Works as a volunteer for NCGE and was active in the field of HIV prevention. He provided support for people living with HIV, and promoted the concept of sexual and reproductive health and sexual rights. He encourages social change to improve sexual and reproductive health education and services, especially for the marginalized communities. Dalibor was an actor in a few movies and took part in a European tour of the band Spewn.

KUZMAN KUZMANOVSKI - Yoga Teacher


Macedonian. Volunteer at NCGE. Certified Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher. He decided to start his path as a yoga teacher in 2005 and wants to transfer his knowledge to those who want to do something good for their mental, spiritual and physical health. Kuzman also organizes workshops for marginalized groups, e.g. Akro yoga workshops, yoga for disabled people (wheelchair yoga), inclusive yoga and yoga for people with MS.

POLAND: POS

MAGDALENA MILEWSKA - Curator


Polish. Exhibition Curator. In 2012 she finished her History of Art study at the University of Lodz and in 2015 she obtained her diploma of Museology at the University of Warsaw. She has worked at various galleries in Warsaw and Lodz. From January 2017 onwards, she has been a curator of the Punkt Odbioru Sztuki Gallery in Lodz (branch of Polesie Art Center), where she realizes her own exhibition program. In addition to organizing exhibitions, she also conducts workshops for children and youngsters in the field of art knowledge.

PATRYCJA ALENKUĆ - Dancer and Choreographer


Polish. Master of Dance Pedagogy, licensed choreographer and dancer. Was a laureate (second place) in the competition ‘Lodz catches talents’ in 2014. Choreographer for the Miss Teenager Competition 2018 and assistant at the Miss and Mister of Lodz 2018. Pedagogue of dance classes at dance schools and cultural institutions in Lodz. Choreographer of the dance group Fuks. Since 2018 she has been w

MARCIN FILIPOWICZ - Educator and Photographer


Polish. Works at the Poleski Ośrodek Sztuki, where he mainly organizes meetings with authors. He invited people like Julia Hartwig, Olga Tokarczuk, Sławomir Mrożek, Wiesław Myśliwski, Ryszard Kapuściński, and many others. He is interested in the relationship between literature, film and art. He collaborated with the Gazeta Wyborcza appendix in Łódź, and sometimes publishes in the Odra-monthly magazine. He is interested in photography - mainly nature – and he is a member of the Association of Polish Nature Photographers.

PAWEL ŁYJAK - Graphic Artist


°1983, Polish. Graduated from the Graphic Faculty at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (2008). Laureate of the Tadeusz Kulisiewicz Prize in 2009. Worked at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2010-2012). In 2012 became a therapy instructor and started conducting artistic classes with vulnerable target groups. From 2015 onwards Ph.D. student at the Pedagogical and Artistic Faculty of Fine Arts at The University of Jan Kochanowski in Kielce. Member of art group ‘Mlodzi Sztuka’ in Warsaw. His works have been exhibited in Poland and abroad.

JANUSZ ADAM BIEDRZYCKI - Theatre Artist


°1982, Polish. Studied Cultural Studies, Folklore and Ethnology, Theater and Films Studies (University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin). Studied Cultural Management at the Institute of Theory of Literature, Theatre and Audiovisual Arts of the University of Lodz. Co-founder of CHOREA Theatre Association. Graduate of 'Educator in the theater' course (Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw). Initiator and executor of dance workshops with blind and visually impaired people. Co-author of a handbook 'Actors physical training. From individual to group actions'. Leads theatre and dance workshops all over Poland and abroad.

PAWEL KORBUS - Visual Artist


°1983, Polish. Graduate of Art Education at the Institute of Fine Arts at Maria Skłodowska-Curie University in Lublin. Holder of scholarship of the Visegrad Artist Residency Program 2016 and scholarship of the Major of The City of Lublin 2017. Combines techniques of working with body, voice and various media from the field of visual arts. Interested in corporality and body under the influences and pressures of culture, experiences and emotions. He is a visual artist, a performer, an author of video works and installations, and an actor at Chorea Theater and Nettheatre.

AGNIESZKA KOWALSKA-OWCZAREK - Artist


Polish. Graduated from the Faculty of Textile Design at the Władysław Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts (Łódź), and from the Faculty of Culture Knowledge at the University of Łódź. Specializes in, amongst other things, the art of installations, art book and publishing graphics. Participated in workshops at the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław. Leader of the Voice Laboratory. Author of the project ‘Soil’, presented as an accompanying exhibition at the 12th International Tapestry Triennial in Łódź. A Graphic editor of Art and Literature Quarterly ARTERIE.

MARCIN ZABROCKI - Musician


°1979, Polish. Musician, composer, sound artist and producer. Holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from the Music Academy in Łódź. He currently plays baritone saxophone, piano and electronica. Marcin released over 30 albums, including solo works. He has founded and co-founded a number of successful musical projects and groups in the last 25 years in Poland. He has also produced original music for the theater. He started working as a music curator in Poleski Ośrodek Sztuki in 2019.

SPAIN: Dianova

Sara Mendogni - Counsellor and HR Trainer


°1976. Italian. Professional Counsellor and HR Trainer (Freelance); Erasmus+ trainer and developer (Dianova Espana); Accredited Labour Market Consultant and Trainer (Veneto Region Accredited Training Agencies): Outplacement, career counselling, Team building, aware communication, soft skills improving; Storytelling workshops, Creative Problem Solving; organizational health; Education: Degree in Philosophy, Counselling Master, License as Logo synthesis Operator, Masterclass in experiential group training.

MARCIN ZABROCKI - Musician


°1979, Polish. Musician, composer, sound artist and producer. Holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from the Music Academy in Łódź. He currently plays baritone saxophone, piano and electronica. Marcin released over 30 albums, including solo works. He has founded and co-founded a number of successful musical projects and groups in the last 25 years in Poland. He has also produced original music for the theater. He started working as a music curator in Poleski Ośrodek Sztuki in 2019.

CONTACT DETAILS

Coordinator: Theater van A tot Z, Zirkstraat 36, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

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