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Youth Programme Tartu 2024 Extended Begins With First Mission

The second class of Tartu 2024's youth programme Extended started this autumn. In the next nine months, 24 young people from Tartu and Southern Estonia will take their first steps into organising cultural events. The participants met for the first time on October 22th and 23th during their first "mission", where they had to come up with ideas for their events. Lotta Vaher, member of the second Extended class, shared her experience of those two days.

02. Nov Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu

Photos: Eeva Vitsut

I have organised events for multiple years now, but no one has ever taught me how to do it. I found out about Tartu 2024 Extended, which teaches these exact skills one day before the application deadline. I applied, was chosen and hoped fingers crossed that the programme would suit me. It turns out it does!

When I got to the event on Saturday, I only knew a few of the other participants, but during the day we got to know each other through games and even managed to more or less learn each others’ names. By the end of the mission we were feeling quite comfortable.

On the first day, we listened to three speakers. The first of them, Tartu 2024 CEO Kuldar Leis, told us about how to find good ideas for events. Another thought I marked down from his speech is that the most important thing is to find a good team – an idea that all the other speakers also mentioned. After that we heard from Rebeka Leiten, an alumni from the first Extended class, about how to go about organising our events from the very beginning. Saturday’s lecture portion ended with Tartu 2024 Creative Council member Berk Vaher’s speech – he told us more about the creative concept for Tartu 2024, the Arts of Survival.

We got to apply what we learned the same evening. We brainstormed events that are missing from Tartu and Southern Estonia. After that we split into teams and developed our ideas. The alumni from the first class walked around and gave us advice. Our team’s first idea was to create a living history festival, because one of us had gone to a similar event in the Netherlands. I am a roleplay and history enthusiast and our other groupmates were also enthralled by the idea. During the day the idea and group changed – the new plan is to create a roleplay festival, to include living history people, card players and other less known forms of role play.

Saturday ended with games organised by the alumni. We all slept on the Tartu 2024 office’s floor, but I’m not sure how many of us really slept. It was much more interesting to talk to each other and make friends.

On Sunday, Tartu 2024’s communications specialist Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu taught us to talk about Tartu 2024 Extended and Tartu as an European Culture Capital. I wrote down that in texts it’s good to first write European Culture Capital Tartu 2024, instead of just “culture capital” or “Tartu 2024”. Before lunch we discovered our strengths as teammates and discussed values with University of Tartu ethics centre’s project manager Triinu Laan.

After lunch we developed our events further, wrote down the rough concepts and presented them to each other. Before the end we discussed our impressions and got some tips to prepare for the next “mission”.

The mood during those two days was sublime. We had all gotten to know each other and everyone seemed to be content that they joined Extended, despite the bleak weather, that it was the weekend and that next week was holiday. I can’t wait to start organising!