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Curricula for culture volunteers and managers in sparsely populated areas
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

BACKGROUNDDuring the last years, we have seen more political and public interest for reviving the rural and sparsely populated areas and to counter the current migration from rural to urban areas.One of more ways to counter this trend is to provide more available and involving arts and culture activities with added community values. To secure cultural sustainability in these areas, we need to strengthen the “citizen help citizen" or "peer to peer approach", where civil society associations from the cross-cultural sector of amateur arts, voluntary culture, and heritage are engaged. AIM AND OBJECTIVESThe overall aim is to improve the competences of the voluntary associations and their volunteers to provide enlivening arts and culture opportunities in the sparsely populated communities with an added value for civic and democratic participation, community bonding and local identity.The objectives are1) To develop innovative ways of outreach to citizens engaged in arts and culture to become resourceful culture volunteers.2) To develop high quality courses tailored to these groups on how to organise cultural activities with an added community value. 3) To develop the competences and skills of the voluntary associations to support volunteering and cooperation with stakeholders. 4) To develop appropriate methods to assess the involved knowledge, skills and attitudes to fulfil such demanding voluntary work.OUTLINE OF ACTIVITIESThe innovative dimension of this project is its integrated adult education approach, where we will: 1) Complete local field surveys of the current competence profiles of culture volunteering to get a baseline as well as state of the art examples for the succeeding development work;2) Develop an integrated curricula frame for culture volunteers as well as culture managers to provide enlivening cross-culture activities with added community values. 3) To design and test a series of national pilot courses for culture volunteers and managers in the varied contexts of the partner countries. 4) To design and test new Erasmus+ pilot courses for culture volunteers as well as culture managers with the aim to offer sustainable Erasmus+ training events as well as high quality national courses after the end of the project.5) To provide a Communication Portal with desk research and other supporting information about the issues of the project as well as presentations of the project’s pilot work and outputs to the virtual audiences.THE PARNERSHIP CIRCLEincludes • two national umbrellas for voluntary culture: Voluntary Arts Network in United Kingdom and Cultural Councils in Denmark; • one national association for liberal adult education: The Hungarian Folk High School Society; • two organisations from the liberal adult education and NGO work, with expertise in field research and curricula planning: Foundation of Alternative Educational Initiatives in Poland, and Interfolk, institute for Civil Society from Denmark; • one public body, the Municipality of Lousada, Portugal. • Furthermore, ActKnowledge from New York will be involved in the pilot work as external evaluator to incorporate the Theory of Change methodology in the impact evaluations. This multilateral partnership circle with a huge dissemination potential represent a transnational European totality of varied expertises and experiences in the field, which we cannot find in just one of the countries.IMPACTThe tangible impact will be sustained by:1) Embedding: The project partners will anchor the provision of regional /national courses in their future activities, and cooperate to offer Erasmus+ courses after the end of the project. 2) Multiplication: Other voluntary culture organisations from the participating countries will in co-operation with projects partners or alone replicate the courses; and some associations from other EU countries will incorporate it in their own practise.3) Mainstreaming: On-going dissemination during the project, involvement of multipliers and follow-up initiatives to the indirect target groups will promote continued interest and support after the funding period in the wider European community.The intangible impact includes changes of attitudes and values on: 1) Individual level / the course participants and their immediate environment: - New learning perspective on their prior learning and competences and skills as resourceful volunteers. - Enhanced awareness of the benefits of voluntary arts and culture for the local communities.2) Organizational level / the voluvoluntary arts and culture associations: - Insight in the need for upgrading the competences of their key staff.- Enhanced community engagement and insight in the societal benefits of the activities.3) Stakeholder level: - New insights that revival of rural areas are not only a question of economic conditions and infrastructure, but also of more available arts and culture and the involvement of civil society actors.
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