What? The Art-Connection project is an Erasmus+ project (Key Action 2), which aims to value the 8th European key competence (cultural sensitivity and expression) as key for the development of individual and collective competences, at the service of social cohesion. It aims to produce a European Memorandum and an educational toolkit to help make visible the common thread between individual creativity and social innovation, helping promote a sustainable job sector and economic growth.
Who? Four European partners are involved in this project: APapp (France, Paris), Istituto Luigi Sturzo (Italy, Roma), CAI – Conversas Associação Internacional (Portugal, Lisbon) and Loughborough University (United Kingdom, Loughborough).
Why? The challenge of the Art-Connection project is to offer to any type of organisation, public or private, profit or no-profit, recommendations and pedagogical materials to support access for all to paths for strengthening the European key competences, drawing on the common informal cultural field heritage to humanity.
How? To achieve this creative potential sometimes hidden in cultural situations, the partners of the Art-Connection project will combine their latest research approaches and their pedagogical practices, and they will conduct a participatory action research, which will act as a socio-anthropological tool to support change in educational and training practices.
When? From September 2019 to August 2022. It foresees three major events for the dissemination of the results: in Rome, Lisbon and Paris.
A logo-symbol. Inspired by a creation by the Dutch artist M.C. Escher, known for his woodcuts, black manners and lithographs often inspired by mathematics, the Art-Connection logo represents two hands that draw themselves. It symbolizes the development of individual and collective skills from cultural situations. The logo also evokes how cultures are inextricably intertwined and influence each other to act on the transformation of individuals and more generally on the evolution of the world.
Although identified and defined by the European Commission as a ‘European key competence’, culture too often proves to be the great forgotten from education and training policies.
However, culture is a powerful vehicle for strengthening all European key competences.
Artistic and cultural heritage, in the broadest sense, are universal pillars that enable the individual to connect with himself, others and his environment, and in this sense stimulate a creative process of self-training and development of his ability to learn and open to differences.
If culture is a fundamental dimension of human beings, its translation in terms of key competence is difficult. However, this issue is essential when it comes to setting up competences’ recognition and validation mechanisms. This difficulty is accentuated by utilitarist considerations, often putting economic and sensitive and creative in opposition.
Being culturally competent, what does it mean? what does it request? how does it allow everyone to reappropriate some humanist values and develop an eco-responsibility?
The project partners aim to bring out and enhance the cultural dimension as a human, ethical, aesthetic and solidarity experience, enabling the creativity of each person to be mobilized, in the service of social cohesion and the development of learner territories.
They will seek to formulate a number of proposals so that any organization can grasp the theme of the “cultural sensitivity and expression” competences.
« Competences in cultural and sensitivity and expression involve having an understanding of and respect for how ideas and meaning are creatively expressed and communicated in different cultures and through a range of arts and other cultural forms. It involves being engaged in understanding, developing and expressing one’s own ideas and sense of place or role in society in a variety of ways and contexts ».
The 8th European Key Competence defined by the European Commission (May 2018)
The partners of the Art-Connection project will define and conduct a participatory action research, within their respective territories.
Professionals engaged in participatory action research will thus experience together with a wide variety of young and adult audiences, a combination of unconventional, a playful and participatory approaches, practices and educational activities, in a process of self-training, with the entry by cultural situations, related to artistic sensitivity and cultural heritage.
The common thread for the research axis of the Art-Connection project will be to take, as a point of support, the innovative educational practices that constitute the core business of the four partners; these practices are based on the accompaniment of adults in a research-training approach based on the personal dynamics of the person in his interaction with his socio-cultural environment.
Micro level – Learners engaged in participatory action research (target population)
The purpose will be to formalize with the experimental learners, the individual and collective skills they have identified, mobilized and developed, but also what skills they think their accompanists should have to accompany them in this process of self-training, and how they themselves could accompany their peers to develop individual and collective skills in their social and cultural environment.
Meso level – Professionals engaged in participatory action research
The aim will be to identify, together with the experimental professionals, the skills and pedagogical tools to be developed to accompany people in a process of self-training: what principles to respect, what appropriate educational tools, what knowledge-capabilities and competences to be acquired or developed by the accompanying professionals, for the implementation of educational practices in the field with target populations.
Macro level – Local stakeholders
We will try to find out how organizations, whatever they may be, are seizing the educational tools of the project, to build within their territories an educational system capable of encouraging each person to participate in the common life by recognizing their talents and creative abilities.
Three days of dissemination will be organized in partner countries at the pace of intellectual productions.
These events will bring institutions, researchers and actors in the field of education of young people and adults together to reflect on the implementation of inclusive educational devices.