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Steps ahead - Professionalization of Junior Coaches in Performing Arts and Media

“Steps ahead” aimed to develop concepts for the initial and advanced non-formal vocational education of young artists to become coaches in performing art and media. The project transferred a curriculum developed in The Netherlands and Germany to Italy, Greece and Hungary; methods for connecting young artists to the labour market from Italy and Greece to the other partners ; and a concept for an employment guidance network from the Netherlands to all other partners.After having worked with young musicians, dancers and film makers in non-formal settings for some years, jfc (Cologne) and Stichting ROOTS & ROUTES (Rotterdam) found a growing demand for young coaches in performing arts and media work in all-day school and youth work contexts. Participants from our projects were increasingly hired for those jobs; quite some couldn’t cope with the requirements. So we started the project “The ROOTS & ROUTES Academy” developing and practically testing a curriculum for Junior Coaches; with a focus on the pedagogical aspects of being a coach. The project was successful, yet still the evaluation showed that the entrepreneurship aspects were underexposed in our original curriculum; and that the Junior Coaches needed follow-up training modules, chances to put their skills to the test in real-life settings and additional support to establish stronger links to the labour market. Thus, aims of “Steps ahead” included:• to create and transfer an updated curriculum for the professionalization of young music, dance and media coaches• to develop Advanced Training Seminars for Junior Coaches covering entrepreneurial, technical and cross-sectoral skills• to develop “Testing Zones” as monitored settings where young coaches can put their coaching skills and methods to the test• to foster connections of young urban artists and media makers to the labour market• to foster the mobility of the project participants
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