Project-Educational Center

PROJECT-EDUCATIONAL CENTER

The project-educational center was established within Ethno Network to expand the organizational capacity to conduct training programs and projects contributing to preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.

The center includes qualified and licensed educators from all over Serbia with long-term experience in organizing groups of handicraft producers and conducting specialized training courses.

Comprehensive training programs provided by Ethno Network are complemented by technical assistance by professional consultants and select designers that help improve the quality of handicrafts and prepare them for the market, as well as to formalize groups into legal organizations, and provide useful advice related to marketing and sales.

TRAINING PROGRAMS

Ethno Network educational center includes fully equipped training workshops in ten municipalities and is able to offer standardized training programs for traditional techniques as follows:

  1. Weaving
  2. Pottery
  3. Embroidery
  4. Gold thread embroidery
  5. Net darning (filet lace)
  6. Felting
Specialized training is followed by hands-on consulting that includes the following topics:

  • producer organizations
  • packaging and certificates
  • promotion and marketing
  • product design and quality
  • collaboration with the local community
  • developing markets and sales
  • developing a successful sales outlet
  • presentation at trade fairs
Training participants that successfully complete the courses are awarded Ethno Network certificates upon completion.

TRAINING PROGRAM ON REQUEST

Since 2005, Ethno Network has organized training, provided technical assistance and promotion for more than 40 groups of handicraft producers throughout Serbia, also helping most of them procure production equipment, prepare certificates for authentic products and secure sales at the local market.

Ethno Network entertains customer requests and tailors training programs for children and youth. Ethno Network has been successful in providing specialized training and courses in select municipalities according to the needs of specific groups and market demand. There seems to be a growing need for these services as local governments recognize the opportunity to support self-employment programs for economic empowerment of women and handicraft producers that are simultaneously preserving tradition and enriching the tourism potential of the area.

On your request, we will prepare in-depth analysis of production potential in your municipality and propose an adequate training program that will result in tangible improvements as soon as six months of consulting work. A detailed training and consulting proposal will be carefully prepared and delivered on your request.

Recent references: municipalities of Indjija, Loznica, Subotica, Senta, Pecinci, Pancevo.

ETHNO NETWORK EDUCATORS

Let us introduce the Ethno Network licensed trainers and consultants:

SOFIJA ARSIC

Professional trainer and consultant specializing in pre-assessment, diagnostics and product improvement. Engaged by Ethno Network to work continuously on standardization and quality, promotion, packaging and training courses. Member of Ethno Network’s arts council, serves also as a trainer, coordinator and designer.

Worked as a legal advisor until 1989 when she started a private business in handicrafts and established a designer studio for hand painted silk, items of clothing, jewelry, lamps, ceramics and other hand-crafted items. This holder of supreme awards for quality and the national certificate of Open hand, initiated the foundation of Ethno Network. Owns a designer studio in Zemun that ties the Arsic brand together, a family of renowned artists and academic sculptors.

DUSANKA BOTUNJAC

Academic painter and applied artist, art director of the Cultural center in Negotin with significant experience as an arts teacher that developed into an outstanding educator and designer of Ethno Network, working in the area of Eastern Serbia.

A member of ULUPUDS (The Association of Applied Arts Artists and Designers of Serbia) and author of many independent exhibitions, who participated in select national exhibitions in country and abroad. Prolific artist and winner of prestigious awards for supreme quality of artistic expression.

A devoted keeper of authentic motifs of Negotin region abundant in Vlach tradition that she successfully preserves from oblivion as a founder of the Zanart cooperative in Negotin, but also member of the arts council, educator, regional coordinator and designer of Ethno Network since 2005.

SNEZANA JOVANOVIC

As an active representative of citizen initiatives in the municipality of Veliko Gradiste, primarily dealing with the community development, together with a group of creative, unemployed women, and with the incentive and support provided by the USAID, Ethno Network and the local self-government, she founded the Ethno Centre and the artisan cooperative ‘’Jefimija’’ which would soon become a centre for manufacture, education and preservation of old crafts (weaving, pottery, gold thread and felt-making), as well as a fount of new ideas, personnel, unique handicrafts, and souvenirs. Long experience in manufacture organization she acquired through the numerous years spent setting up knitwear plants in the towns of Veliko Gradiste and Velika Hoca, helping the civilian sector development, and USAID projects’ preparation and implementation, as well as her knowledge of archaic techniques such as pottery (she studied it at Manak’s House), knitting (she learnt it from her mother and while working in ‘’Moda’’ Company in Veliko Gradiste), felt-making (she completed an Ethno Network’s course in Senta), and other skills acquired through the Ethno Network’s activity presentations, are something she is eager to share with the young, women and other interested people all over Serbia, in order to help tradition find its way back into our modern lives. She works as the Ethno Network administrator, and within the Rural Development Support Network she promotes a more active participation of women in improving life conditions in their local communities by means of increasing employment rates, supporting tourism development, boosting cultural activities, and preserving tradition.

MILICA MISIC

Taking on the role of pioneer, she left her administrative job to become a co-founder of the knitwear plant within ‘’Moda’’, the leather goods manufacturing company from Veliko Gradiste, where she is currently in charge of manufacture organization, as well as of training and retraining of female workers. She is also one of the co-founders of knitwear plants in the towns of Kucevo and Velika Hoca at Kosovo district. Having lost her job due to the knitwear industry collapse, she selflessly undertook the task of finding a way to start handicraft and souvenir manufacturing so as to provide a source of income for unemployed women. She is an active member of the Ethno Network since its establishment and the artisan cooperative ‘’Jefimija’’, founded in 2006. She is an expert on numerous handicraft and souvenir making techniques, including knitting, crocheting, embroidery (she learnt it from her mother who was an excellent knitter, and then she honed her skills even further by working with fashion designer Mirjana Maric), weaving (she was taught by the Ethno Network educators), gold thread (she completed a course at Manak’s House), pottery, and felt-making (she was taught by the ‘’Jefimija’’ cooperative educators). Her handicrafts are characterised by outstanding design and quality, they have been exhibited and sold all over the world, and this highly skilled educator has taught many women how to use all those old techniques in making high-quality handicrafts.

EVICA DJURIC

A housewife, utterly committed to her family, she entered the world of weaving wishing to promote traditional Serbian family values. In January 2006, she completed a weaving course organized by the ADF and USAID/CRDA-E and realized by the Ethno Network. In the meantime, she perfected her knowledge of the traditional technique called ‘’klecanje’’ and specialized in making sashes and objects based on the sash motif. Due to her great effort and devotion she has become a distinguished promoter for the preservation of old handicraft making techniques and wanting to broaden her skills, by end of 2007 she had completed a gold thread course at Manak’s House. She selflessly shares her knowledge and invaluable experience with others in order to pass on traditional values to new generations and thus make those values an inseparable part of every Serbian family even in future.

IVANA MISIC

Coming from a family of artists which has for generations maintained the tradition of handicraft making, she has successfully completed a pottery course at Manak’s House in Belgrade. A geography student, she has travelled all over the world and studied different people and traditions, but she draws the inspiration for her work from her native soil. By combining traditional elements in pottery with those typical of her homeland, she has achieved a unique style enriched by original motifs, thus improving tourist and artistic offer of her district. She is very keen when it comes to sharing her knowledge with others, including the people of her own age, and she encourages them to use the tradition in order to find the right way to display their creativity in these modern times.

NELA PEJCIC

With the support of Ethno Network, this unemployed engineering technician and a mother of two children founded in 2009 the citizen association ‘’Lenka’’, whose main activities include the manufacture, promotion and sale of handicrafts. A creative and well organized person, she brought into the association a large number of unemployed women from the district of Odzaci, providing them with the necessary training and a source of income. She completed a weaving course in 2007, and two years later a felt-making course organized by the ‘’Rozeta’’ association from Senta. She started working as the Ethno Network’s educator in late 2009, and ever since she has been dedicated to the preservation of that ancient wool-pressing technique through education of children and young people.

JOVANKA SOVLJANSKI

An economist by profession, her love of traditional crafts has driven her to devote herself to embroidery quite a while ago. The outstanding quality of her handicrafts, exhibited both at home and abroad, has attracted much media attention and provided the support of local self-government and institutions, due to which she has managed to officially found a group dedicated to handicraft making in the town of Indjija. She is the founder of the ‘’Etnodom Gorocvet’’ association, whose activities include preserving the tradition and handicraft making. Since 2008, she has become a qualified Ethno Network educator, who, as an excellent motivator, selflessly passes her knowledge of embroidery techniques and her love towards this old technique to others. She is always successful at sharing her experience and at setting up a good example at the official events organised by Ethno Network.

BOZICA MILOSEVIC

A retired RTV Bor worker who has recognized the importance of preservation of traditional handicraft manufacture and has been more than willing to pass on her knowledge to children and young people, she developed her affection for handicrafts and became an excellent Ethno Network educator. Her courses on the techniques and peculiarities of embroidery and gold thread allow young people to get acquainted with and interested in the demanding technique of gold thread, thus saving that precious knowledge from oblivion. She has completed an embroidery course at the Belgrade Ethnographic Museum, as well as weaving and felt-making courses organized by the Ethno Network. A successful weaving, embroidery and gold thread instructor, she works both individually and within several different projects organized by the Ethno Network on promoting the cultural heritage of Eastern Serbia.

MILKA GAVRANCIC

Led a group of women, formerly employed by the Kikinda foundry, to organize handicraft production and establish the first handicrafts cooperative Unikat in Kikinda, that triggered and first earned the support of USAID to handicraft producers. A great example of entrepreneurship encouraging other organizations of female artisans that have the opportunity to get recognition by the local community for their creative work and skills.

Experienced leader and skilled manager of the Unikat cooperative, has been engaged by Ethno Network as an educator for weaving, and a single trainer for net darning (filet lace), an ancient technique being taught by this amazing woman trying to save it from oblivion.

MILICA JOVANOVIC-MARKOVIC

Graduate art historian and designer from Belgrade, engaged as an educator on needlework and gold thread field in the Ethno Network. With her decades-long, rich experience invaluably contributes to education and knowledge improvement and techniques of manufacturing handicrafts.

Engaged in makrame tapestries, a copy of medieval manuscripts, graphic design, painted silk, graphics, souvenir. Now deals with watercolors, bookplates, patchworks and embroidery which she is studying and popularizing. She has been a member of AAADS (Association of Applied Artists and Designers of Serbia) since 1977, in the section for textiles and contemporary fashion. Wrote a children's book "Vez" (along with her husband Jovan), published by the Creative Centre in 2002 in Belgrade. Stylized alphabet is worthy of attention, inspired by Jefimija’s embroidery, transferred through the initial into objects of different purposes: badges, decorative images and etc., which represents a significant contribution to the original souvenir of our country and kept it from oblivion.

Till now had 34 solo exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions in the country and abroad. Won numerous prestigious awards. For this outstanding artist art is not only an invitation, but life career.

RADMILA JOVANOVIC

Academic painter and costume designer from Belgrade, engaged as an excellent educator on techniques of knitting and embroidery in the Ethno Network. With her educational abilities, artistic skills and talent on daily basis in her work motivates dozens of women to produce handicrafts and contributes significantly to the products refinement and modernization. Since 1997 successfully transferred her knowledge to young artists throughout Serbia. Recognized artist and connoisseur of fashion, engaged as a jury member at many events dealing with fashion - art theme. In ethno weaving and folk handicrafts workshops works as a professor of Applied Arts. As educator on makrame, embroidery, tailoring and sewing contributes to retraining of women and helps socialization of vulnerable women in their struggle for a better social position. Won numerous awards on fashion fairs and cultural and art events. Author of numerous Haute Couture shows and exhibitions.




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