On Saturday 3rd October, the day had arrived to host the Young Minds Matter LX pop up festival event as a collaboration between Elevate Young Minds, Hantu Collective and EKA Palace. The day began with final technical rehearsals and the set up of the art exhibitions from Portuguese based artists and graffiti work on the walls continued to be erected. As the day progressed we really began to get a feel for the space as it gathered atmosphere and character, the rooms were soon teaming with character and creativity. The team was hard at work throughout the day and artists and volunteers from the UK took part in a contemporary technique workshop lead by dance artist Kayleigh Price. The togetherness of movement helped to bring centering between everyone and we continued to be more focused throughout the day. The evening drew in and many other local Portuguese artists began to arrive to contribute in the creativity. A welcome talk was shared between the directors of EYM, Hantu and EKA including a short ice-breaker task where all participants called out everyone’s name in the room individually. The mix of culture in the space was phenomenal and people from all across the world were connecting over the passion for the arts.
6:30pm arrived and the show was opened with ‘Rise to Vertex’ by UK based Stitch Theatre, this lively piece set the scene
for the evening and soon the building was brimming with locals, tourists and holidaymakers who were passing through. The team had been hard at work with promotion and the posters that had been placed around the
city drew in a crowd who wanted to experience as much of the event as possible. The evening continued following a jam packed schedule of Contemporary Dance, Theatre, Live Music, Art and MC performances. As you wandered through the space there was always something around each corner to catch the eye, whether it be the delightful shop hosted by EKA or the work that was being sold by local artists,
the bar service was excellent and there was always a band playing that provided ambiance for the venue that only added greatness. The night ended with music and an MC performance that entertained the late night stopper who were able to dance and enjoy the experience until the early hours. The EKA Palace truly was a place of inspiration as the night time drew in and the lights on the iconic balcony glittered into the Lisbon skyline.
As a conclusion the EYM team combined with ongoing support from Hantu Collective, Lost Lisbon and EKA Palace was able to create an event that celebrated the work of artists from all across the world and they were able to join together in unity to share this passion. New connections and exchanges were made, many things were learnt and every person involved in this experience will be able to take away at least a shared experience of this artistic exchange. It was a pleasure as artists from the UK to be able to have the support to take part in this exchange and to share what we know with others, with this we were able to see how much more there is to creativity than what first meets the eye.
And with this, feeling very positive about the future the team moves forward on to the next venture and carrying the wonderful experience of artistic venture with them on too whatever the future holds next.