April is a month dedicated to artists; whether with a recognised and successful career or just creating from their cozy rooms, artists are all around us. In order to celebrate the eternal profession and calling of an artist, we gathered one more time in the Cultural Center of Kumanovo, with a conference titled ”Motiv8: The artist in us”, held on the 25th of April.

Since one of the aims of the conference was to encourage and motivate young people to discover the various faces of being an artist and to explore the possibility of becoming one, the invited speakers represented various fields related to art: from actors and dancers to musicians and visual artists (photography, painting, etc.).

Around 120 young people filled the main aula of the cultural center, curious to meet the speakers and to hear their stories. They learned about how becoming an actor can be a difficul path, but also a very rewarding one; they learned what it takes to be an artist and what values they have to cultivate for that; they heard about successful stories from Kumanovo and from abroad.

When talking about how a person can become an artist, Ivica Dimitrievikj  mentioned that it is absolutely unforgivable for a young person to be demotivated:

You can be depressed about the fact that your crush doesn´t pay attention to you, but you simply cannot be demotivated about the fact that it is impossible to become an artist. Nowadays people do not need an institution to back them; with so many applications that let you create (music, graphic design, dancing lessons, etc.) and so many online portals where art can be shared, sold, improved and recognised, your geographical position or financial status becomes irrelevant. In such a framework, success becomes a state of mind.

Bojana Dodevska, the founder of Dance Team Fusion Kumanovo, shared her story of expressing feelings and values through dancing. ”Dancing is not only entertaining us, it is also educating us. Dancing is an art and a science”, believes Bojana.

After the the speakers concluded with their presentations, the group that was attending the workshops in the weeks previous to the conference presented a performance based on the concept of Newspaper Theater. Through a segment of switching TV channels, they presented what kind of content is being ”fed” to people on a daily basis, and through the segment of reading out loud newspaper headlines and reacting to it, they wanted to deliver the message that what is presented in the news as culture is merely a blend of ”pseudo-cultural news” that focus on appearances and leave aside the real content related to culture.

Whether we convinced the participants that it is worth the effort to follow a calling and to take upon the difficult path of becoming an artist is something we can only hope. What we know for sure is that nobody left believing that they cannot by any chance be an artist. The range of opportunities is virtually unlimited, all they need is to believe that it is achievable and to channel their energy towards the ultimate goal. With enough motivation and confidence, they can also speak on a #motiv8 conference, one day, assured the speakers.

The conference was supported by UNDP Macedonia.