Community-integrating cultural festival.
Imanta community festival was an event aimied to strengthening the local community and the neighbourhood image and identity, foster integration of different ethnic groups and challenge the existing stereotypes. People were invited to spend time in the neighbourhood, get to know the place better and meet the neighbours. Additional to concerts, performances and activities for children, many participative urban/community workshops such as street art, gardening, building urban furniture, repainting of worn-out sport equipment etc. took place. During the festival, data from local inhabitants were gathered and the community map of special places of the neighbourhood created.
Residents of Imanta represent bilingual community, two ethnic groups, all income groups and different perceptions of the neighborhood. Lack of shared identity was the reason to create an event uniting the local community and change the existing stereotypes of Imanta.
Festival was meant to build stronger ties and foster cooperation between local NGOs but also to strenghten the cooperation between decision makers and inhabitants. In addition, planned participatory activites were supposed to strenghten democracy in the community.
Organisers wanted also to have a long-term imprint in the environment as a reminder of the positive effects of collective activism.
Organisers engaged stronger cooperation between Imanta’s local NGOs and succeeded in working together with Municipal Pardaugava Executive Board that could be a starting point for deeper cooperation in Imanta in near future. The festival proved that cultural/community activities that usually take place in other neighbourhoods are also needed in Imanta. In the events 3-4 times more people participated than expected. The place became more attractive with its street art, gardening etc. Through participatory activities the community became more bound to the place.