Small size, the European Network for the diffusion of performing arts aimed at early childhood

The project

Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years is a large scale cooperation project financed for 2014-2018 by Creative Europe, the European Commission framework programme that supports culture. The project has a special focus: the diffusion of performing arts for children between 0 and 6 years old – a real current non-audience, especially as far as children under 36 months are concerned.
The project promotes audience development, in particular the development of children-spectators, making children approach performing arts both in Europe and worldwide, because children, even the youngest ones, have the right to be viewed as spectators of today and not only of tomorrow, and that they are human beings and not just “human becomings”.
Small size, performing arts for early years involves 17 theatres and cultural centres from 15 different European countries. During the 4 years, the project is presenting: Wide Eyes co-production project, Small size Final Event in 2018, 56 between festivals and showcases, 66 productions, 4 Small size Days editions, 13 mentoring projects with European and extra-European theatres and companies, 4 Artistic Director Meetings, the support to Small size Network, besides all the coordination, exchange, communication and documentation activities.

The network

Small size Network was founded as an Artistic International Association in 2007 within the framework of the project Small size, the net, financed by the Culture Program of the European Union. Today it is supported by Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years.
The primary objective is the diffusion of performing arts for early years (0-6 years), in order to make an increasing number of young children, in an increasing number of countries, access artists and their artistic acts, and to give its own contribution to the idea that young children are citizens and, as such, subjects of rights
Today the associates are 55 from 26 different countries and 4 continents. The Network is a member of ASSITEJ.
Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years supports the Network in developing the different services (from the website to the Secretariat).

Small size story


Small Size was founded in 2005 with the support of the European Commission and the Culture 2000 programme. It was established by 4 professional theatre and educational arts organisations: La Baracca (Italy), Théâtre de la Guimbarde (Belgium), Acción Educativa (Spain) and GOML (Slovenia).

Further funding from the EU programme Culture 2000 was subsequently awarded in 2006 for a three-year project: “Small size, the net” (2006-2009). Three new partners joined the four founding co-organisers to support the development of Small size: Helios Theater (Germany), Polka Theater (UK) and Teatrul Ion Creanga (Romania).

The aim of this project was to extend the network across Europe and beyond, developing a large programme of activities, including: festivals, productions and coproductions, showcases, conferences, training events, dissemination of research documentation for children age 0-3 and 3-6.

In 2007 the Artistic International Association Small size was founded, as a vision of the future of the Network. Its activities were supported by the project (from the website to the Secretariat), but year by year the Association became more independent.

The new professional relationships entwined during this period brought to a new expansion of the partnership. Five more partners, Annantalo Arts Centre (Finland), Baboró Festival (Ireland), Toihaus Theater (Austria), Kolibri Theatre (Hungary) and Ville de Limoges (France), were involved in the creation of the following step, the five-year project Small size, big citizens (2009-2014). Supported by the EU through the Culture Programme, the new project followed and expanded the path undertaken, and brought to significative results in the diffusion of performing arts for early years in Europe and in the rest of the word. With a strong focus on the rights of young children, such as the right to enjoy the Arts, to be part of the artistic processes that nourish their emotional intelligence and help them develop harmoniously their sensibilities and competences, Small size, big citizens succeeded in making the network stronger and stronger.

In 2014, the new 4 years project “Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years” was selected again between the Large scale cooperation projects supported by the new EU programme Creative Europe. An unexpected result, since Small size is the only project that has been funded for three times in the category “Large/multiannual” during the last 10 years, besides the first annual fund received for the “Small” category.

The project (2014-2018) involves 6 new partners: Association O’Navio Theatre (France), Centrum Sztuki Dziecka W Poznaniu (Poland), Kuukulkurit Ry – Auraco dance (Finland), Teater Tre (Sweden), Teaterværkstedet Madam Bach (Denmark), Teatro Paraíso (Spain).