Founded in 1985, the A.M.I, based in the La Friche Belle de Mai (Marseille/France), is dedicated to artistic innovation, cultural development, and decentralized cooperation. The A.M.I develops the DYNAMO platform (an incubator for cultural activities and businesses called CADO, reception facilities for artists collectives and campaigns called FUNDUK), organizes the MIMI festival (eclectic & experimental music) and HIP HOP VILLAGE, an event focusing on the artistic practices of the youth. The A.M.I supports musicians from the local scene through its rehearsal studios, and develops since more than 10 years, international cooperation and artistic programs (workshops, networks and cultural activities, festival, artistic residences) with the Middle East, West and Central Africa, Brazil, and with several European states. Very early indeed, it became clear that supporting local artists and creative people without consolidating/optimizing the local networks of professionals dedicated to their services was limiting this action to a sole social or strictly artistic approach, and would hardly bring to the local creative people more autonomy, and, therefore, more freedom of creation, more innovation, more inclusion in the local populations, and more recognition. Hence, a decision was made to set up a framework for the benefit of these cultural entrepreneurs and operators.
After several years of activities, Dynamo platform, the only one of its kind in France, presents a convincing track record and extremely interesting perspectives.
Today, the platform accompanies annually around 30 beneficiaries. They must pay a participation fee to the platform, following different rates according to the beneficiary’s profile and to the level of support provided.
In short, the platform includes the following modules:
- Incubator for cultural enterprises and activities (CADO)
This module is oriented towards projects carriers (mainly individuals) who wish to create a company or an activity, or want to consolidate a start-up. Most of the actions concern non-artistic projects. They can be physically hosted in the premises of the platform (offices, co-working spaces, etc.).
- “Hostel” for artistic companies (Funduk)
This module is dedicated to already-existing artists’ collectives, who wish to re-evaluate their orientations, their production mode, their financing scheme, and their competencies etc. In general, the manager and the artistic director follow the module.
- Complementary activities towards international community, such as collective prospecting trips, international fairs, or participation in other programs
- Thun’ing, an experimental program of micro-loans, in partnership with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (a French public bank) and Crédit Coopératif (private bank).
The experiments, realized by Dynamo, generate interest among a number of operators and institutions.
In France, a movement is arising around these initiatives, closely monitored by the General Directorate of Multimedia and Cultural Industries at the Ministry of Culture, as well as by some departments within the local authorities concerned.
Actively involved for a number of years in several partnerships in the South, A.M.I. has already understood how useful such framework, though not integrally duplicated, could be in some countries/some geographical zones.
This finding results in the Incubinc project idea: based on A.M.I.’s experiences and expertise, it is question of, in an initial phase, advising and assisting 3 partner operators (3 well-established or emerging operator: Racines in Casablanca – Morocco, Shams Theatre – Beyrouth/Lebanon, and SAMRO Foundation South-Africa) in launching operations of their own cultural activities and enterprise’s incubators in the city/countries.