More than 30 craftsmen who create real works of art live in Shumska territorial community of Ternopil Oblast. However, they currently sell their works only on social media or at occasional fairs. But soon, thanks to the assistance of the USAID DOBRE Program, the artists will have their own creative space, which can become the basis for the future touristic and information center for Shumsk region.
The city of Shumsk has launched a project to equip the area for entrepreneurial activity and actualize the creative potential of handwork masters. For this purpose, an alley near the town's cultural center was chosen, which the residents, despite its good location on the main street, have not yet used. After the future creative zone is prepared, the four pavilions are to be installed there. The city administration will lease three of them to local entrepreneurs to bring additional revenue to the budget and create new opportunities for business development. The one remaining pavilion will be for promoting the work of local crafts masters and selling their products.
- The local artisans initiated the project. "It was from them that we received a request to create a single area for all the community's craftsmen," says Vadym Boyarskyi, Head of Shumsk, "We supported this idea, because Shumsk is famous not only for its handicrafts but also for various locally produced products. Thus, we decided to unite pavilions for artists and businesses within a single space.
Paintings, embroidery, products made of soap, soft toys, furniture, literary works, and much more - the land of Shumsk really has something to surprise craft connoisseurs. Projects like the one in Shumsk are designed to address several challenges that Ukrainian communities have been facing, to date: rising unemployment rates, business closures, and declining budget revenues. Artists, in particular, need incentives and demand for their work to create a piece of art. The arrangement of a permanent pavilion will encourage artisans to be constantly involved in the project and help reduce emotional burnout.
- "The creative space project is important not only for artists, but also for the community as a whole," says Tetyana Yashchuk, an artist and clothing painter, who lives in the village of Brykiv. "Creative people will be able to work and support their activities here, and our products will become more accessible to the community's residents and guests. The project opens new doors to the cultural life of Shumsk region and will also be useful for our children during master classes, which we will regularly hold for them.
The USAID’s Program, “Decentralization Offering Better Results and Efficiency (DOBRE),” which has been providing support and assistance for community development in Ukraine, will help purchase the most expensive component of the project, the trade pavilions that will be installed in the creative zone.
- "We are proud of the effective and fruitful cooperation with our partners from Shumska territorial community, which began in August 2017," says Vitaliy Yurkiv, USAID DOBRE Local Economic Development Expert. - "We supported the initiatives of local leaders and have jointly implemented 14 development and integration projects here. The renovation of the meeting room for the City Council’s sessions and various other events, the ultrasound check room in the local hospital, the playground for a kindergarten, and other projects are among them. We are happy to continue to develop and recover the local economy in our new 15th project: we will help equip the area with improved infrastructure for local artists, entrepreneurs, and residents.
The total cost of the project is UAH 1.66 million. Shumska community took over the planning of the territory and its arrangement with paving slabs, landscaping, installation of lights, benches, trash bins, and additional elements for a comfortable stay. According to Vadym Boyarsky, the project will improve and beautify a large area in the city center, as the owner of the adjacent territory will also join the reconstruction and arrange it in the same style as the creative space. In general, these works can give rise to another important project for the community: improvement of the entire city park, whose territory begins at this point. At a recent public hearing, the youth of Shumska territorial community identified this area as a priority and proposed it to the DOBRE Program.
The future creative space will perform another important function - the support of displaced persons who temporarily or permanently live in the community. It will host creative workshops, exhibitions, and other artistic events for affected Ukrainians to help them relieve psychological stress and regain their strength through creativity.