Art Coworking Space Unites a Community in Dnipro through Creativity 

Increasing Opportunities
02 April 2024

With support from the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (USAID ERA), the non-governmental organization (NGO) Youth Movement Shift (NGO Shift) has been implementing a social Art Coworking project in Dnipro for over a year, helping nearly 300 youth to acquire new skills through master classes and art therapy sessions and receive training in the creation of visual content and social media management (SMM).  

The creative space, Art Coworking, began operating in 2020 in Kramatorsk, Donetsk but was forced to related to Dnipro when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. USAID ERA helped NGO Shift equip their new space with a serger machine, two laptops, a 3D printer, a primer machine, and a coffee maker, which are helping Art Coworking expand their educational courses and workshops and host events. 

Within one year of working at the new location, NGO Shift conducted 22 master classes, 22 meetings for psychosocial support, and 22 art therapy sessions. Program participants took professional courses in sewing, fabric printing, and 3D modeling, which have helped them sustain and build their businesses in spite of the war. 

One local resident, Olha, embroiders clothing with traditional Ukrainian patterns. After participating in training and individual consultations on creating visual content and SMM, she revamped her Instagram page and began to receive more orders for her products.  

Irina, a local ceramicist, took a course in 3D modeling at the co-working space, which helped save money on mold-making. She also participated in training sessions on visual content and SMM, which helped her improve content and ultimately the performance of her social media page. As a result, Irina received new orders, gained confidence in her business, and later developed a business plan. She was awarded a grant from an international organization to purchase a kiln and continues to develop her business and participate in fairs in Dnipro City. 

Oleksandr, an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) from Kramatorsk City, lost his job during the war. In addition to gaining sewing skills at Shift, he attended psychosocial meetings and took an SMM course. With this support, he founded his own company and now oversees a team of professional seamstresses and is expanding his business. 

Both IDPs and local residents affected by the war have responded positively to the meetings dedicated to psychosocial support. These meetings, along with Art Coworking Space’s art therapy and book and conversation clubs have created a community where people can build professional and social connections.  Olena, an IDP from the Luhansk region, attended over 10 sessions of the psychosocial support group and said,

“For me, each visit to this space was very important and positive, with interesting activities and pleasant people. After these meetings, I felt like I was recovering – not just hiding or trying to escape from the war, but simply starting to live my life in a different place and a pleasant environment.” 

NGO Shift invites anyone interested in utilizing the equipment at the Art Coworking Space to contact them. Due to limited space, they strongly recommend to book a time in advance from Monday to Saturday and stay updated by subscribing to their Facebook page.

If you are interested  in launching your creative startup with the help of Art Coworking Space, please send a message through Instagram.