More details about our project
OK, because it is clear that my post did spark an interest, I will briefly present what we do and our arguments Including the connection with the Cultural Rucksack, that is only briefly mentioned in our website and that is not obvious enough yet from what we posted online. We make it clearer when we present the project at conferences and meetings, but the info on the site is very synthetic, I know.
I worked for the last 9 years in the cultural field and met along the way different cultural operators, some involved in activities for children and youth as part as their core mission, some through their audience development goals. With time, I teamed up with people that knew how schools and teachers view the arts and their importance and we both realised their is potential for more quality and more activities here, and others that thought that there is room for more awareness of practices, more knowledge sharing, more debate, more quality. I graduated in cultural policy and had an interest in audience development and enlarging the audience for the arts and heritage among young people, buth as number and socio-economic profile.
When in 2013 we got some funding to go to Norway from the EEA grants and find out about their programme, we were very happy and when we returned we presented to Romanian cultural operators and some educational specialists their approach with the Cultural Rucksack. We compared with other internationl approaches from Austria, Norway, France, the UK. They were all interested and eager to develop the professional community of arts in education in Romania as well, but adapted to our country’s situation, not an imported model. That is how we grew the project idea, we discussed with practitioners and continued the discussion voluntarily for about a year with no funding, just because we say that networking was needed and appreciated.
We realised soon that what we need to do is not so much add to the pile of existing activities of arts in schools with some of our own, but connect, research, train, bring forward expertise of well trained and experienced arts in education professionals and start from there. Not do a Cultural Rucksack programme, but build the knowledge, sharing of practices and expertise among practicioners in Romania and explore how such a programme could work in Romania in the future. I believe that is the proper way to do policy transfer from one country to another, by analysis, debate and adaptation to the local national context. More so, the Cultural Rucksack in a government and county public authorities led-programme with lots of funding from the National Lottery, so a replica of it in Romania cannot work in the present or immediate future I would say.
Our overall goal for the project is to promote quality cultural experiences in the lives of more children in youth in Romania in a shared partnership between the arts professionals and schools.
Our main activities are:
a training component for aprox 200 teachers, artistic and cultural professionals (10 trainings for 2 different target groups that learn to collaborate: cultural professional and educational professionals)
monthly meetings on relevant topics relates to arts in education practices and philosophy
an arts in education archive (work in progress) documenting the most important and inspiring projects from the last 10 years in Romania & a book of interviews with their founders
several analysis and reports, one being a comparative one about arts in education programmes in Europe (we have a Nrowegian expert, that has managed the Cultural Rucksack for 10 years as part of the team that works on this report)
a contact sheet ans presentation of organisations that can be considered resources in Romania for NGOs and schools that want to do arts in education activities
an advocacy component, that is now in preparation
an international workshop and conference in April 2016
communication via the Facebook group and hopefully more sharing of info and experiences soon via the website and the forum.
In short, this is our project, these are our activities, we are 5 organisations partnering up to do the work, with 12 trainers coming from the arts and educational world and other 4 key experts from the museum world, arts world, theatre university and research in educational sciences.
I guess that the type of network we aim to develop is a community of professionals (people and organisations) with practices in the field. I do not claim that what we do is perfect, we started from some activities, we lack others, we would love better communication, but we have to prioritize, and we decided to communicate online a bit less and meet directly, train, analyse and document a bit more, at least in this phase. We are building up the project. It is hard, I am sure you know that from your own experiences We are happy to have a grant from the NGO Fund (again, EEA grants). We worry what will happen when it ends, what will follow, what we will be able to do next. We do what we can for this purpose, any support is welcomed, do write to us at email@example.com for more information, suggestions, ideas, proposals for collaboration.