The programme “Brigāde” supports creative initiatives or Teams (in Latvian called “brigādes”) being able to improve Riga’s urban environment, develop the local communities, resolve social problems, and create financially independent solutions, using art/culture activities, thus encouraging economic growth.

Project applicants were eligible for funding, up to LVL 5,000. At the project preparation stage (August and September 2010), applicants had an opportunity to attend the inter-branch workshops, familiarise themselves with practice in different countries, hear expert opinions regarding development solutions, receive financial consultations as well as help in premises seeking.

The programme is implemented in cooperation with the Soros Foundation-Latvia, the Project DUKA, the Riga City Council, SEB banka, the British Council, and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.

The programme is funded by the Soros Foundation-Latvia from the Emergency Fund established by George Soros and aiming to reduce the consequences of crisis in 20 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

 

Within the framework of the programme:

  • Various “instruments” or measures helping in development and/or improvement of solutions are offered to the Teams;

  • Teams having the best solutions are supported financially for their implementation;

  • The best solutions are popularized in order to inspire others to start their own creative business.

The competition concluded in late 2010. The following initiatives were supported:


Majas svetiba

Mājas svētība/The Aspidistra Project


Address: Miera Str. 39, Riga

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-20

More information: HomepageFacebookTwitter


„Mājas svētība” (The Aspidistra) – the name of the project has a double meaning, since aspidistra in Latvian

is called “blessing to your home”. And that applies to all houseplants.

„Mājas svētība” is a plant exchange spot where you can bring a plant and take home another one.

It is also be a place for meeting like-minded people both on an everyday basis and at entertaining and educational events, finding answers to your questions about how to care for your plants and propagate them, leaving your green friends in our plant hotel in case you are going travelling, or committing a languishing plant to our plant spa for a treatment.

Other things to do at „Mājas svētība”: read and buy books on indoor gardening, have a hot drink in the winter or a cool one in the summer, purchase handsome pots for your plants made by local artists and manufacturers and also purchase organic fertilizers and potting soil mixtures of local make as well as other items you may need for indoor gardening. And last, but not least – get professional advice on green interior design. And a whole lot of inspiration.

Mammu

MAMMU/Social business Fashion Company


Address: Miesnieku Str. 11-33, Riga

More information: HomepageFacebookTwitter


“MAMMU” is the new design brand of high quality accessories. The product combines the wildness and delicate mildness as it is created from Latvian flax and thin knitted components. As MAMMU is a social business company, it creates jobs for mothers who have to combine the earning with bringing up of children.

In the new premises, MAMMU has established the open space office and creative workshop in order to further develop its operation as a social company. Mothers involved in the project are working from their homes. Therefore, at our new office we have created a home of MAMMU.

Buteljons

Buteljons/Spot of Transformation of Bottles


Address: Miera Str. 10, Riga

More information: Facebook


„Buteljons” produces artistically designed gifts and practical items from recycled glass – bottles and jars.

The motto of „Buteljons”: Live and let nature live!

„Buteljons” has created a socially active spot in the centre of Riga: a glass project with a unique and open interaction process – bring your glass waste and buy ready-made glass design items at the very same place. The „Buteljons” glass project reintroduces the long-forgotten glass collection spots in the urban environment of Riga in a new image and artistic quality, as well as provides Rigans with a new way of social involvement by becoming active participants in the „makeover” of glass.

P.S. The name „Buteljons” stems from the colloquialism for bottle – „butele”, also hinting to the related meaning of „batallion”, thus revealing the amount of bottles we would like to recycle.

Mezs

Skaņu mežs/Sound forest


Address: Miera Str. 12, Riga

Working hours: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays

More information: HomepageTwitter


Society “Skaņu mežs” (in English it means “sound forest”) offers the project for the room combining experimental music record shop, recording company, music agency, and café. “We have ten years of experience in the organisation of experimental music events. We are working in the field where yet non-commercialized music is cultivated and developed,” the project authors say. Now Riga and its guests will have the room called “Skaņu mežs” where the uncompromising musical products will be developed and presented.

Kartona telpa

Laba kartona telpa/The Room of the Good Cardboard


Address: Elizabetes Str. 55, Radisson Blu Shopping gallery

Working hours: Monday-Saturday, 11-19

More information: Mājas lapaTwitter


“Laba kartona telpa” (in English it means “the room of the good cardboard”) is considered as an approximation of brand “Foldlife” to the users. The cardboard constitutes 90% of the room interior arrangement. The room itself combines the functions of the shopping hall, meeting place and office, and regularly hosts activities, lectures and coterie meetings. The club of permanent members will be established. The opportunity will be given to organize non-commercial activities related to the environmental protection movement.

ZoFA/Atelier of Design Shoes


Address: Antonijas Str. 22, Riga

Working hours: Monday-Friday, 11-19, Saturday, 11-15

More information: HomepageFacebookTwitter


“ZoFA” is the design brand of the footwear. ZoFA footwear design is characterized by neat style and textile material interaction with leather details. The high quality is a result of hand work of the qualified craftsman. ZoFA has establish the footwear saloon and workshop where the production process and customer assistance will complement each other. Shoemaker and shoe sewer apprentices are taken on for training.

PUKA dizains/PUKA Design Company


Address: Miera Str. 50, Riga

Working hours: Monday-Saturday, 10-18

More information: FacebookDraugiem.lvMājas lapa


“PUKA dizains” is a new design brand of furniture and interior accessories including the shop and workshop. The artistic and ideological credo of the “PUKA dizains” is based on the upcycling* principle that we follow in the course of our operation and that will be applied promoting the formation of environment of specific communication and social responsibility in the society.

*Upcycling is the process of converting materials, industrial and domestic waste or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

HOPP/Bikes and Aids for Persons with Reduced Mobility


Address: Andrejostas Str. 4a (Riga creative incubator Creative Andrejsala)

More information: Homepagehopp@hopp.lv or by phone +371 29106015


A freakbike has always symbolized the freedom of thought and movement. But we have now taken one step further and also care for those for whom the free movement is not self-evident. That is why we are developing the tailored bikes and aids for persons with reduced mobility.

Kinoskola/The Film School


Address: 13. janvara Str. 33, Riga

More information: HomepageFacebookTwitter


“Kinoskola” (in English it means “the film school”) offers the open room where the opportunity is given to engage in the practical and theoretical training courses, acquire the basics of filmmaking, try hand at telling, filming and montage of visual and cinematographic stories as well as receive professional consultations. The workshop will become a base for those who see the audiovisual expression as opportunity for self-actualization and creative communication not entertainment. The Kinoskola’s workshop offers thematic lectures and activities for people irrespective of their age and interest groups they belong to. The library consisting of films and the literature of cinema will be established. That is a place where to reveal the favourite films and communicate in the language of cinema.

Karogu darbnīca/The Flag Workshop


Address: Torna Str. 4, I C, Riga

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 -19

More information: HomepageTwitterFacebook


“Karogu darbnīca” (in English it means “the flag workshop”) is a social business project developed by “Riga History Company”, Ltd. The representatives of “Riga History Company” as well as secondary school students have created together the souvenirs and flags. Tourists and inhabitants of Riga have the opportunity to purchase these items in the shop “Karogu darbnīca” situated in the Old Town of Riga. Karogu darbnīca also organizes the open workshops where each visitor can make his/her own flag using the medieval heraldic elements.

DiPaDu at cafe TAKA/Platform for Exchange of Ideas and Knowledge


Address: Miera Str. 10, Riga

Working hours: Monday – Thursday, 13-01, Friday – Saturday, 13-02

More information: HomepageTwitter


“TAKA” has introduced the new action line – the development of platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge. The basic philosophy of the platform is to create a place where enthusiastic people would be able to share and acquire knowledge. The participants will not be required to hold degree in pedagogy or represent the educational institution; they will be required to be experts in their field. It is planned to implement the platform of ideas and knowledge on a regular basis allowing the participation of each person who is able to give and to take. The platform is intended as a place not only for exchange of knowledge, but also for establishing the communication and cooperation.

Bufete Nestandarta mēbeles/Buffet Nonstandard furniture


Address: Gertrudes Str. 101 a, 2nd floor

More information: Homepagegertrudes101a@gmail.com


“Bufete Nestandarta mēbeles” (buffet “Nonstandard furniture”) dwells in Gertrudes street 101 a, where there is Gertrudes Street Theatre and it supports implementation of unusual projects and ideas within fields of art, education and entrepreneurship. The Buffet creates favourable environment and supports the projects there with the help of infrastructure, knowledge and contacts. Everyone is invited to attend performances, concerts and open rehearsals in Gertrude Street Theatre, lessons of contemporary tango, film screenings, lectures, and classes for local youth and many other activities.