The Self-managed Editorial Staff E.R.B.A. was set up on the 15th March 2005 when Punto Giovani Europa decided to start a new project for young people who wanted to improve their writing skills.
The group started meeting every week at the Multimedia Atelier of Punto Giovani Europa.
After uploading the first articles in a specific sector of the website of Punto Giovani Europa, the staff decided to start a real online magazine. You can click to the address: www.erbamagazine.it.
2006-2007 was a period of collaborations. Thanks to Teresa Bettarini, who was then the person in charge of the areas of Officina Giovani, the staff started the collaboration with Cantieri Culturali to help the young writers to improve their journalistic skills.
Punto Giovani Europa and Officina Giovani decided to support E.R.B.A. young writers with some tutors, experts of different sectors who would help them in cultural criticism. This was a new way not only in "making the art" but also in "reading the art" especially in criticism and writing.
The tutors who were in charge of helping the young writers of the Self-managed Editorial Staff E.R.B.A. were professionals who had experience with young people and a deep knowledge concerning different subjects, especially writing.
PierLuigi Tazzi, an internationally-known art critic. He gave some lessons about the contemporary art and the individual relationship with the work of art.
Luca Scarlini, theatre critic fond of literary and multimedia expressions of art. He led the group in numerous educational meetings about the development of critical thinking towards theatrical artistic expressions.
Ernesto de Pascale, a music critic. He led young people in a course on music criticism.
Federico Berti and Elisangelica Ceccarelli, film critics, known for the TV program "Grande Cinema", broadcast on TVR TeleItalia.
In the meantime, the ERBA staff started to collaborate with the main local newspapers (Il Tirreno e La Nazione), which reserved to ERBA a weekly area in the newspaper to give more visibility to the articles written by young people.
In October 2007, the staff was invited to participate in the Creativity Festival that took place at Fortezza da Basso in Florence. The Self-managed Editorial Staff E.R.B.A., with the staff of Intoscana and Maremma Marea followed the festival, publishing its articles from a workspace prepared in the Spadolini pavillon in the Fortezza. On the ERBA website 13 articles were published relating to the four days of the festival and visited by lots of people.
In October 2007 two computer courses started to improve computer skills of the staff.
The first one was about the Dreamweaver program: especially the word files conversion in html files and the upload of articles on the website of E.R.B.A. The one-month course took place at Punto Giovani Europa and was taught by Ilaria Mignanti.
The other one was a two-month course taught by Ilaria Federici about Adobe Photoshop program. The course was conceived to improve the staff skills on graphic art and photo-retouch. At the end of the course the group made some leaflets, brochures and bookmarks to promote the E.R.B.A. project.
Thanks to the staff, the N.I.C.E. Film Festival - New Italian Cinema Events * came to Italy. For almost 20 years the festival has supported and promoted the new Italian cinema abroad.
On November 29th 2007 the Self-managed Editorial Staff E.R.B.A was awarded with the prize Prato e i suoi talenti during the "Feast of Tuscany". The theme of the 2007 feast was "Young talents, great excellence".
On that occasion, the president of the Provincial Council, Juri Nannetti, awarded the prize to a representative of the staff.
In March 2008 a course on journalism took place, named Journalism and Press Agency.
The journalist Romeo Perrotta led our young writers in discovering the job of the journalist. They learned how to interview and organize, manage and promote events.
At the end of the course they organized the event "Corti in ERBA", a festival of shorts made by young directors.
The staff held a competition for video amateurs which had a great success.
In July 2008 the new website was created (www.erbamagazine.it) * in Portale Giovani del Comune di Prato * - and The Self-managed Editorial Staff E.R.B.A became ERBA magazine.
In September 2009 the staff welcomed new writers and started collaborating with "Il Giornale delle Associazioni" *, edited by the association Teatro delle Muse. It is a monthly magazine which reports the activities and the events promoted by the local cultural associations. This was a way to support the spread of culture and to work with organizations and associations that promote cultural events.
We are planning an automatic system for our writers to request a credit to the staff.
In November 2009 ERBA magazine staff met the new mayor of Prato Roberto Cenni.
The mayor allowed us a long interview about the main topics related to young people and answered all our questions. We talked about integration and the opportunities the town offers to use public areas in order to support cultural events. On the ERBA website we published the entire interview and we uploaded the video we recorded in the mayor's office as well.
In January 2010 ERBA magazine changed its look. The new number came out (three-month January-March 2010) with a new graphics. We also decided to shift the attention about the different topics we treated. We started giving more importance to the most significant events for our town in the last few months. We also added a section with interviews you can listen to on our website.
After the renewal of the newspaper ERBA magazine, the website changed its look too. In March 2010 the index was enlarged and updated. Our "traditional" sections about theatre (In Scena), exhibitions (Atti d'Arte), reading and literature (Bookmania), dancing (Corpi in movimento) and the funny ERBA horoscope still exist. We changed the cinema section (Grande Schermo) with three subsections: going to the cinema and recent movies; old movies; shorts, videos and film festivals. The music section (Ritmi e Note) has three new subsections: live performances; bands; new albums. We also added new sections: Piccolo Schermo (related to TV world), Curiosità sulla città (related to events in town) and Pillole per smemorati (to read and re-read the best reviews).
ERBA magazine keeps publishing reviews on cultural events but has also started providing information and news about the town. Therefore the magazine now treats all the topics that can be interesting for young people, listed in our new index.
* link only in italian