Art-Connection’ Synopsis

Exploring the links between cultural heritage and the development of competences

Art-Connection project in a nutshell

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.

Le logo du projet Art-Connection

A humanist problematic

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 roadmap (2019-2022)

The Art-Connection project has four objectives

  1. Provide elements to understand the impact of the cultural dimension on the development of individual and collective skills (1st deliverable).
  2. Define a theoretical and methodological framing of Art-Connection action research (2nd deliverable).
  3. Develop educational tools with the entry by the cultural situations (3rd and 4th deliverables).
  4. Offer and promote educational materials for all professionals and organisations in charge of education and accompaniment of young people and adults (5th deliverable)

A focus on project deliverables

  • 1st deliverable: Baseline study.
  • 2nd deliverable: Design of the theoretical and methodological framework for the implementation and evaluation of participatory action research to be conducted within the four partner countries.
  • 3rd and 4th deliverables: Co-construction of a repository of the cultural accompanist and of its associated pedagogical briefcase.
  • 5th deliverable: European Memorandum allowing a synthesis and conclusion of the project by formulating a number of proposals so that any organisation can grasp the theme of cultural competences.

Three stages to achieving these goals

  • A first stage of research, study, analyze the data and provide a theoretical and methodological framing allowing the implementation of the Art-Connection action research (1st and 2nd deliverables).
  • A second stage for implementing the Art-Connection action-research to develop educational and pedagogical materials for the professionalisation of actors for the education and the accompaniment of young people and adults (3rd and 4th deliverables).
  • A third stage of consolidation of the project’s results (5th deliverable).

A project built on an approach of a participatory action research

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.

Three levels of research

Micro level – Learners engaged in participatory action research (target population)

  • How does the entry by cultural situations can allow for the emergence of individual creative skills that foster a positive attitude conducive to openness to others, to the world, and personal, social, professional and economic development?

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

  • How does the entry by cultural situations allow the transition to a new paradigm of adult education and training to encourage participation in cultural life in all its forms?

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

  • How does the entry by cultural situations enable the construction of political and educational strategies to develop cultural territories and to enhance and make visible the economic and social impacts resulting from this diversity of creative expression, appreciation, participation and realization of works of art?

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.

What broadcast for Art-Connection?

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.