ROOTS & ROUTES was developed as a concept to involve young talents from multicultural neighbourhoods at the EU Cultural Capital activities in Rotterdam 2001. In the following years ROOTS & ROUTES NL developed a range of alternative programs, especially for young people who are less likely to enrol in the regular art education and/or professional creative industry because of their (multi)cultural and/or socio-economic background.
Following the success in Rotterdam, further projects were organised in major Dutch and European cities. The common principle: To use young artists’ diverse cultural backgrounds – “ROOTS” – and their creative expressions to show them “ROUTES” that lead to the established culture scene.
The established relations lead to a first transnational project in 2005, where enthusiastic partners started organising cultural exchanges, artistic residencies and performances at major festivals, such as Sziget (Budapest), Fabbrica Europa (Florence), Summerjam (Cologne) or Hipnotik (Barcelona).
ROOTS & ROUTES has been developing their own teaching methods, based on learning by doing, creating a safe and stimulating environment, a strong group feel, learning from each other and from peer coaches. Using art for self-empowerment and social awareness, has always been an underlying goal.
ROOTS & ROUTES NL helps emerging talent to find routes towards a living as a professional musician, dancer or media maker; no matter what their cultural or artistic roots are.