The National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr’Sarafov” (NATFA) is proud to conclude the successful seminar “Empathy, Environment and Sustainable Development: What’s the Role of Arts and Artists?”, held on 21-22-23 April 2023. It was a truly insightful, informative and engaging event that attracted over 50 students, artists, arts managers, cultural professionals and colleagues, interested in the connections between arts, nature and empathy towards human and “non-human” beings.
Our interactive morning sessions, held by lead professionals in the field, included topics such as: the concept of circular economy, green economy, creative economy, environmental impact; eco-innovations and eco-entrepreneurs; the role of arts managers and artists in addressing global environmental issues; risks and opportunities ahead. We discussed the meaning of empathy and how is it related to artistic professions; in what way the lack of empathy affects the actors’ behaviour, relationships and professional success.
Our afternoon creative workshops, held by talented artist, some of them former master students of NATFA, encouraged participants to work in smaller groups to generate diverse ideas and act in a collaborative environment around the topics of the seminar. Examples include: creating attractive ideas for a nature-orientated movie or theatre; unlocking the imagination through shadow puppet theatre work and sharing sustainable practices in the puppet theatre; group games for improving teamwork skills and building a sense of community and security; exercises for emotional intelligence and recognizing emotions of others; making artistic objects from plastic waste materials and sharing innovative examples of ecological design in diverse creative industry branches, and others.
The summary of the feedback questionnaire shows that 80.6% of the participants rate the seminar as “very good”, and 19.4% as “good”. Below are quotes of some of the many reflections and feedback provided by participants through the final evaluation form and via email (the anonymity is kept):
- “The event was very well organized, informative and interactive! The speakers were well-prepared and competent. Keep up the good work! I would like to attend more events like this one in the future.”
- “Very good organization of the event. Access to information and a lively exchange of views was The topics are interesting and thoroughly presented by the speakers.”
- “Thank you for the memorable workshops and conversations! We shared our love for the environment and the arts and I would love for us to meet again and work together in the future.”
- “This experience was indescribable and one of a kind. I had the opportunity to enrich my knowledge, have fun and meet interesting people. The topics covered by the project are useful for artists and professionals from almost all fields. I believe that what we learn can be used in everyday life and make us better people in a better sustainable world. Thanks for the opportunity!”
- “I never thought about that subject before, and this seminar opened my eyes to something new and important. I will definitely use what I learned during the seminar and I believe that we – the artists, can make a difference in the world by creating something sustainable and meaningful. Thank you for this event!”