There are not enough people in Greenland who know about NAPA and the possibilities in Nordic co-operation. That is why we have chosen to use our travel budget internally in Greenland this autumn, to get to know cultural actors, both young and old, throughout Greenland. We have traveled with the coastal ship to 16 settlements in South Greenland, in the autumn we were in Tasiilaq and now we have also visited Sisimiut. The aim was to meet children, young people and the city’s cultural actors and, among other things, inform about NAPA’s Culture Support Programme.
In Sisimiut we met a multitude of committed people. Children, young people, artists and people from the city’s cultural institutions. We had planned a number of activities and meetings, to exchange across partners as well as engage in creating cultural activities and seeking Nordic funding.
The school at the bathing lake
First we visited the school Nalunnguarfiup Atuarfia which means “the school at the bathing lake”. The upper class levels had turned up for a presentation of NAPA, our Culture Support Programme and inspiration for cultural activities for which you can apply for funding. It could be music, visual arts, festivals, photography, crafts, workshops and so on. We talked about the many possibilities and came up with examples from Sisimiut’s own cultural life – including the local musician Andachan and of course the city’s own Nordic music festival Arctic Sounds. The young people asked questions and heard about Nordic support opportunities and the possibilities for getting help to apply.
Kimmernaq K. Heilmann joined our presentation. She is a board member of the festival Arctic Sounds and one of the city’s entrepreneurs. Based on her own work, including as an Arctic Adventure Guide, she inspired the young people to create events and cultural activities themselves.
In the evening we went to the “Open Stage” in the city’s culture house, Taseralik, where the stage was made ready for everyone with music in their hearts to get an audience to perform for. During the evening, NAPA also had the opportunity to present the workshop we were to have on Sunday and tell a little about NAPA from the stage.
NAPA’s director Anne Mette Gangsøy says:
“We were very impressed with how they had managed to create a safe arena with Open Stage where young people and adults interested in music entertained on a Friday night together. Young people stepped on to the stage and played with other young people, on the way down they agreed to play another song – or an adult came up and joined. Or professional musicians played a song and then left the stage to amateurs. It had clearly become a meeting place for everyone in the city on a Friday night.”
The man behind “Open Stage” is Jacob Froberg. He is also the leader of the city’s music school, Serravik, as well as the festival Arctic Sounds, which since 2014 has collected Nordic music in the West Greenlandic city. He spoke passionately about the local community’s involvement in the festival and other communities. About volunteering, donated working hours and not least a strong collaboration between local institutions, schools and the culture house.
What are your dreams?
On Sunday, the visual artist Gudrun Hasle held a workshop. Before the workshop, Arnajaraq Støvlbæk talked about her cultural projects. Among other things, she is in the process of establishing a cultural residence in Sisimiut. Again, the call was clear: the possibilities are endless and there is help to be found.
Afterwards, Gudrun Hasle took over. She presented her art, where textiles, embroidery and words meet. She talked about being dyslexic in a wordy world and about her way to making a living from what she does the best: expressing herself through art. Then there was blue paint in many shades and blank paper for everyone. When we packed up a few hours later, those present – children, youths and adults – had painted and put words to their dreams:
I dream of finding my dream
I dream of a snowmobile
I dream of being myself
I dream that I am floating with the current
A travelogue from when NAPA participated with workshops, networks and Nordic notes at Greenland’s largest music festival Arctic Sounds in Sisimiut. Arctic Sounds 2021 took place over two weekends in April. Greenlandic and Arctic artists gathered in Sisimiut to celebrate music, interaction and the artistic
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