One of the things we feel most strongly about is supporting the Skopelos community. We feel honored to have been accepted by the locals and want to make sure we give back as much as we can. We are working towards offering additional courses with the local students and we ask that the resident artists, if at all possible, work with students one or two days to support the community in the arts. Unfortunately the students of Skopelos, especially during the Greek crisis, are offered very few classes in the arts so our goal is to try to supplement their education whenever it is possible.
We offer several printmaking workshops throughout the year for children as small as six through high school. We have done projects with the Scouts of Skopelos, the elementary, middle and high schools and hope to continue.
As part of the artist residency, we ask that the artists interact with the local community about their work. They may teach a small class to the students, talk about art or exhibit their art downtown.
In 2018, SkopArt collaborated on a project in conjunction with ceramic artist Claire Stoner where the 6th graders made tiles that were placed on the wall to leave their mark on the school. We are also getting ready to paint a mural at the entrance of the middle school with Argentinian artist, Silvia Elena Barbero.
Another project that was developed in 2009 was the Skopelos International Film Festival for Youth (SIFFY). Professor Wangtae Lim from Dong-Ah Institute of Media and the Arts visited the island in 2008 with a grant from the S. Korean Travel Channel to direct a documentary on the Sporades chain of island (Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos). The Foundation collaborated on the project and helped Professor Lim gain access to places such as the town and the schools. After seeing the state of the schools, he was moved by the island and the people and felt it would be the perfect place to give school children the opportunity to be a part of the filmmaking process. In 2009, Professor Lim and Ms. Somer teamed up and invited two additional filmmakers; Nikos Theodosiou from Camera Zizanio in Pyrgos, Greece and Kalman Czibolya, Director of Zoom to Europe and Asia, in Hungary. Three short films were with twenty Greek and two American students. Partial funding was given by the Municipality of Skopelos and the films were screened in the Orpheus Cinema in Skopelos.
After many years of working with the town and teams of international filmmakers, SIFFY has become a household name in Skopelos and abroad. In 2018 140 children, 17 filmmakers from America, Brazil, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Nepal and S. Korea and 30 volunteers created 13 films that are now circulating in film festivals worldwide. Here is one example of a film created during SIFFY 2018 titled, Me First created with the assistance of Italian filmmaker, Luca Acito: