In order to encourage citizens to come up with a project that would enhance the city with social-cultural and art campaigns, for which they would receive financial support, an Info Day was held at RiHub as part of the Participate! campaign. At this day, Civil Initiative projects that received funding and are slated for implementation by the end of 2019 were rolled out. Selected Green Wave projects were rolled out at RiHub on Tuesday, 5 June at 5 pm!

A call for proposals for Civil Initiative and Green wave projects will be open until 19 June. Also, 10 June is the deadline for applying to participate in the Citizens’ Council, which evaluates and recommends submitted projects for funding.

The new Participate! campaign once again clearly shows the intention of Rijeka 2020 to actively engage its citizens in the implementation of the European Capital of Culture project and demonstrates how a successful project, which would improve the cultural landscape and quality of life in Rijeka, can be implemented only by close cooperation between all involved partners and the citizens themselves.

Eleven projects were earmarked for funding in the first round of the Participate! campaign, which was implemented last year.

1. Let’s Read Together Under the Trees – Mlaka Citizens’ Group
The aim of this project is to connect the pupils and employees of Podmurvica Primary School with the neighbouring Gelsi Primary School, Podmurvice Nursery School, Mlaka Neighbourhood Council and all interested citizens. With that in mind, a gazebo will be placed in the upcoming days in the newly-opened school garden as a reading corner and an outdoor classroom of sorts. A book-shaped bench and a wooden booth for depositing books will also be installed. This will stimulate bookcrossing, which is the practice of leaving books in public spaces for others to take, read and pass on.

2. Green Film Revue – Rijeka Transitional Initiative
The Green Film Revue shows documentaries on the topics of ecology and transition that encompasses worldwide self-organised civil initiatives that devise community endeavours for leading healthier and better lives without degrading the environment. After each screening, a workshop will be held led by experts, transitional and ecological activists, professors, entrepreneurs etc.

The screenings and workshops at RiHUb are already underway, while other screenings are also planned at the Gornja Vežica Primary School Permaculture Garden, Waldorf Primary School Garden, Astronomical Centre and other venues.

3. Revive Rijeka – CPR 30:2
Revive Rijeka is a project aimed at teaching how to perform CPR. Approximately 9.000 people in Croatia go into cardiac arrest every year, with only 10% surviving. In most cases, bystanders witness cardiac arrest and by performing CPR they can quadruple the chances of survival. The project would include 200 employees from cultural institutions in Rijeka working in small groups, with an educational video also being made. The people attending CPR classes are public figures who are often present at large gatherings, thus increasing the possibility of witnessing cardiac arrest.

4. St. Barbara Square to the Children – Portić Association
The project of redeveloping St. Barbara Square is aimed at reviving and making the square in the city centre greener. The members and volunteers of the Portić association for the promotion of children’s well-being plan to install benches and bookcases, with an emphasis on children’s picture books and books. The selected works of children’s literature would serve as a promotional vehicle for Croatian writers and illustrators, especially those from Rijeka. The goal is to transform St. Barbara Square into a cosy gathering place for people of all ages, particularly families with children, as well as a venue for children’s workshops and open-air events.

5. Make the Dream Real, Prepare Your Own Meal! – Pensioners Association of the City of Rijeka
The aim of the project is to enable elderly people who live alone and don’t know how to cook to prepare diverse healthy meals on their own. The cooking lessons for pensioners will also serve as a platform for promoting and learning more about the culinary and gastronomic culture of preparing traditional and modest folk dishes. They would be attending cooking lessons adapted to single-persons, in addition to a programme enhanced with meetings dealing with nutrition and planning affordable shopping, as well as exploring the farmers’ markets in Rijeka. These informal lessons would be conducted under the guidance of volunteers, retired cooks and caterers from the Pensioners Association of Rijeka.

6. Promenade Concert at Tito’s Bridge – Sušak Residents’ Club
Promenade concert performances by brass bands from the city and the surrounding area (Trsat, Spinčići, Marinići) will take place once a month (on Saturdays) at noon in order to increase the use of Tito’s Bridge at the Rječina River as a concert venue. The Sušak Residents’ Club wants the promenade concerts to become a tradition and to be recognised as a local social and cultural event, as is the case in most European cities. Two concerts have already been held, while the rest are scheduled for 6 July, 14 September, 12 October and 9 November.

7. Underground Rhythm – Underground rhythm
The aim of the project is to teach citizens about the basics of instruments and music production in Rijeka. Through a series of musical workshops, the Shelter team will showcase a part of the Rijeka underground scene that gathers at the repurposed shelter of the skyscraper in Kozala to their neighbours and fellow townspeople. In addition to stressing the importance of alternative music genres in the everyday hustle and bustle, they also hope to raise the level of community cohesion by bringing the neighbourhood and the public together through artistic practices.

8. Ri Urban Inclusive Walking 2020! Inclusive and Sustainable Rijeka” – Society for Research and Support
This project seeks to organise Nordic walking classes for young people with developmental disabilities and introduce a simple and healthy physical activity to citizens through social inclusion. Over a two-month period, society members will train and acquire proper Nordic walking skills, while all interested citizens will be able to join in the next, expanded project phase.

9. Concrete Memories – Kuraž Urban Regeneration Association
As part of the Civil Initiatives, the Kuraž Association is implementing the Concrete Memories project to celebrate the memory of the construction of the Škurinje neighbourhood, which sprang from the concrete in the 1970s. An artwork in the form of a concrete monument, created in cooperation with Dražen Vitolović from the Rijeka Academy of Applied Arts, will be erected as part of the project on Negri Street, which offers a clear view of the former Adria Monti factory that built Škurinje from concrete blocks.

10. Dance Evenings in Rijeka for Pensioners and the Elderly 2019 – eponymous Civil Initiative
Dance evenings in Rijeka for pensioners and the elderly include regular socialising with musical entertainment provided by the Aledory Duo, whose repertoire is suited to the elderly. Pensioners have shown great interest in these dance evenings throughout 2019, so in order for the project to continue, ticket sales have been introduced as a means of self-funding. The purpose of the initiative is to actively engage pensioners in the social life of the city and improve their quality of life. Music and dancing are forms of therapy for pensioners and since many of their life partners have passed away, dance evenings help them keep their mind off solitude, abandonment and small pensions.

11. RIspect – workshop for the strengthening and reintegration of marginalised senior citizens
The project deals with the integration of senior citizens who have often been marginalised in the society of their healthier peers due to a speech, psychological, physical or medical disability. The idea is to reintegrate these persons and strengthen them for an independent life through interactive and specially-adapted workshops that offer group exercises, psychological workshops for dealing with stress and strengthening emotional resilience as well as self-care training courses.