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Routes to Employment. Arts and culture as an enabler for growth
Start date: Sep 15, 2014, End date: Sep 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project is aimed at increasing the employability and life skills of young artists and creative workers, trained at formal and informal educational institutions, by accompanying them in the critical passage from education to profession. The project offers possible answers to the gaps in arts education and in the startup of artistic professions, by combining the open, flexible, holistic approach of the ROOTS & ROUTES creative education methodologies, with the training and advising system for the professionalisation of young artists and cultural workers developed by SMartBe. This will lead to developing and delivering on one hand: o a transnational unified curriculum containing self-entrepreneurial training materials and methods, that includes personalised guidance, counselling and follow-up; o easy to handle online guidance documents where raw legal and administrative information is processed to help artists and creative workers at the start of their professional path to face the complex nature of cultural work. On the other hand, sense of initiative and entrepreneurial skills are based on a high amount of transversal skills such as critical thinking, learning to learn, problem solving, and the ability to work collaboratively: those “21st century transferable skills” that the Communication of the European Commission “Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes” (November 2012) identifies as essential for preparing individuals for today’s varied and unpredictable career paths. This is even more true in the case of artists and more generally workers in the cultural and creative sector: they mostly work on a project basis, have irregular income and deal with complex regulatory frameworks, which impact their employability and mobility. Transversal skills can be developed only together with a deep sensitivity and capacity to read, understand and adapt to the specificities of the different social, economic, (inter)cultural contexts where the young creative professionals start developing their professional path. In the pilot training activities implemented nationally within the frame of the design and development of Intellectual Output O1, targeting groups of young artists at the end of their educational path and/or at the start of their professional career, the approach to the technical, specialised skills will thus be embedded in a flexible non-formal setting aimed at o enhancing the understanding of contemporary artistic culture as a field of organic and interconnected disciplines, skills, sensitivity o investigating the relationship between contemporary arts and public sphere, and the artists’ role within community based projects and socially engaged artistic practices o stimulating critical thinking and arousing awareness on personal responsibility towards oneself and the others when defining and pursuing one’s objectives. In the second project year, three short term transnational joint training events will be organised for staff (managers and trainers) of all partner organisations, to exchange and test methods and practices in different contexts and with the involvement of selected professionals of the creative work sector. The confrontation, exchange and harmonisation of the various national pilot training experiences, as well as the thematic focus of the three train the trainers sessions - e-skills (networking and social media), transnational mobility awareness, contemporary arts and public sphere - will help developing a final trans-national unified curriculum based on learning outcomes. Two sets of multiplier events will be organised in all partner countries. In the first project year they will be aimed at sharing and discussing the educational methodologies with local stakeholders and at collecting insights and recommendations for the trans-national unified curriculum (O1); at the end of the project period, they will be aimed at disseminating in a creative way to a broader public the project’s results and achievements: according to the spirit of the partnership, methodological work and artistic expression will come together in site-specific public restitutions in form of installations, scenic talks, performances, etc.

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