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Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Jan 1, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Culture and arts are essential components of young people's personal development, fostering values which contribute to their intellectual, emotional and social development. All people have creative potential, but they need to be given the opportunity and the encouragement to explore and unleash it. In many areas young people with fewer opportunities don't have access to use their creativity and innovation due to lack of resources, staff and infrastructure. In today's world, where young people use digital technology and media widely, visual arts are an attractive medium to encourage young people express their ideas, concerns and beliefs. Young people need innovative tools to reveal their creativity and skills and visual arts can stimulate their interest to participate actively in such forms of non-formal learning activities. Moreover, EU values such as free expression, cultural diversity and cultural awareness get promoted as visual arts are both the manifestation of culture as well as the means of communication of cultural knowledge. Each culture has unique artistic expressions and cultural practices. The diversity of cultures and their creative, artistic products represent contemporary and traditional forms of human creativity which uniquely contribute to safeguarding and promoting cultural diversity, tolerance and understanding which are some of the most important EU values. ArtExpress aims to use visual arts as a tool of non-formal education in order to provide an environment and practice where young people are actively engaged in creative experiences, processes, and development. This will be achieved by gathering 38 youth workers, trainers, art educators, social workers and facilitators from Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom from 30 June to 7 July 2015 in Dresden in order to provide them theoretical and practical knowledge, expertise and methods on using photography, graphic design and film making in youth work and their projects so that they disseminate the results of ArtExpress project in their local communities. The participants will be the multipliers of the project's learning outcomes and methods by promoting them in their organisations and the local community. The methodology used to attain this goal is the following: team building activities and collective work methods, presentations, plenary sessions, intercultural evenings, workshops, round-table discussions, reflection and evaluation meetings and a cultural event where video projections and a photo exhibition prepared by the participants will take place in an abandoned building of Dresden with the aim to disseminate the results of the project at local, regional, national and international level by inviting the local community of Dresden, youth centres and NGOs from Dresden, Saxony and other cities of Germany and by including as participants youth workers from Dresden and from other cities of Germany and from different countries of Europe. Therefore, the learning outcomes and the learning methods and tools will get disseminated so that more youth NGOs and youth centres apply them in their local communities and subsequently young people and young people with fewer opportunities are given a platform to express their creativity, unleash their artistic skills and grow socially, emotionally and intellectually. Finally, ArtExpress project aims at the exchange of best practices, the development of participants' facilitation and training skills and the establishment of a strong international network. By building and developing this international network, more youth workers, trainers and organisations will be multipliers of innovative learning methods in youth work and non-formal education which will encourage and motivate young people to become active members of the society.
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