Newsletter two 2021
Dear friends and partners of EDUCULT,
Is it possible to develop the cultural sector in times of the pandemic? From the bottom of our hearts we say: Yes, it is possible! It is even necessary. In a two-day conference organised by EDUCULT in April, around 240 actors from the cultural heritage sector came together to discuss quality development through impact assessment in this field. This took place within the framework of the European research project SoPHIA – and of course online. Here it becomes clear that digital implementation also has advantages. On site in Vienna only about 60 people would have been able to participate, so four times as many could (and wanted to!) take part.
The question is whether the experiences we have online will push us as far as physical meetings would. Even with virtual networking tools, private meeting rooms and extensive chat opportunities, only a fraction of the social space is created. Visiting partners in their working environment is just different than seeing people’s home office setup in a restricted screen view. In European cooperation projects, physical meetings will remain an important part of the exchange. The longing for in-person connection witheach other is growing.
This need is also deeply connected to participation in performing arts events. EDUCULT is currently implementing surveys in both Austria and Germany to find out what artists, audiences and organisers hope for and expect from the recently announced opening steps. What can and should theatre, dance, and performance be today, how should it take place, what should it achieve? It becomes clear that it is far less about content than about social exchange and the emergence of a social space.
These spaces need to be opened up even more than before the pandemic. This realisation – consistently taken further – leads to a fundamental rethinking of the role of art in our society. If the social is at the centre, this means that also education and “Vermittlung” must be given a much greater significance than it has been the case up to now. It means that we have to completely rethink not just participation but also who is actually an artist and who is an audience.
We want to get involved in these thought experiments – and develop activities that take this into account.
Your EDUCULT team
EDUCULT IN ACTION provides current information on our projects.
EDUCULT IN EXCHANGE informs about international exchange and co-operations.
EDUCULT INFORMS about international affairs, projects and meetings.
Written by Michael Wimmer. This blog reflects the personal opinion of the author.
Quality in the Cultural Sector – A Democratic-Political Provocation
A few days ago, the results of the Vienna Theater Jury were published. The public was astonished to learn that the panel did not even agree on a lowest common denominator, but rather tried to reinforce prestigious status with its decisions. It came to the conclusion that the Viennese dance and performance scene was much more likely to meet its quality standards than the field of musical theater, which it attested to have “low standards overall and a worrying tendency toward stagnation.” The point of the exercise: the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna should take this assessment into account when reallocating funding. [read more]
EDUCULT in Action
BOOST – Social Inclusion in Amateur Arts and Voluntary Culture
In January/February 2021, a Baseline Survey was conducted in all partner countries. In interviews and focus groups, education providers in amateur arts and culture were asked about their experiences and activities in relation to inclusive cultural work. The survey is now published and forms the base for the development of the benchmark tool. [read more]
SAG’S MULTI! – Multilingual Rhetoric Contest
In May, the final rounds of SAG’S MULTI! will take place in Innsbruck, Graz, St. Pölten and Vienna, where 133 finalists will take to the stage of each respective ORF regional studio and raise their voices. ORF has set up a live stream of the events – on May 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 11th through which you can experience the speakers live all day. You can also watch the final rounds online: just enter “SAG’S MULTI” in the search function of the ORF Mediathek. Take a look, it’s worth it! [read more]
We are very pleased to be working for the Goethe-Institute Cairo again, as part of the evaluation of the (cultural) development fund projects. The joint work was initiated with a virtual kick-off at the end of March. Our first task is to formulate a Theory of based on this meeting and a first document analysis, which will serve as a basis for further analysis. [read more]
Structures, transformation and future of the independent performing arts
This survey for artists, audiences and organisers of the independent performing arts in Austria has been completed. They were asked what the future of the independent scene could look like, what it would take to be able to play, participate and organise again – and what changes would be sensible and necessary. The results will be published soon. [read more]
Opera Lab and Dance Lab
The committed team behind the two education projects opera lab and dance lab cannot be stopped by the measures against the coronavirus. How these projects work in times of the pandemic will be a focal point of the upcoming interviews with the cooperation partners of the Vienna State Opera, Superar and Tanz die Toleranz. We look forward to speaking to them. [read more]
EDUCULT in Exchange
SoPHIA – Virtual Stakeholder Conference
EDUCULT has been leading the current working package of the SoPHIA research project since September 2020. A central part of this work step was the virtual SoPHIA Stakeholder Conference, which brought together around 240 experts from 54 countries, researchers, practitioners and political decision-makers over two days. Representatives of the Austrian case studies – the MuseumsQuartier Wien and the Jewish Cemetery Währing – were also present at the conference and presented their examples to an international audience. The findings from the conference will be incorporated into the development of the SoPHIA impact assessment model. [read more]
Confrontation and Cooperation Instead of Representation – A New Agenda for Cultural Policy
The European symposium of the University of Applied Arts Vienna on May 20th 2021 is curated by Michael Wimmer in cooperation with Anke Schad-Spindler, Martin Fritz and Aron Weigl (EDUCULT) and takes place in cooperation with the project AGONART Institute for Political Science at the University of Vienna. The event will address the questions of which lines of conflict exist within and around the cultural sector after a year of pandemic, who is affected by them, how they can be made productive in terms of cultural policy, and which perspectives should be brought more into focus in decision making in the future. The discussion will be based on the problems of “public space and participation, justice, inclusions and exclusions, and surviving/living.” [read more]
3rd Federal Congress on Cultural School Development
At the 3rd Federal Congress on Cultural School Development on May 26-27 2021, Veronika Ehm from EDUCULT will lead two workshops on the topic of “Artists in Schools – What’s in it for us? On the tense relationship with the educational claim”. Based on research results on programme evaluations and study results, the topic of cultural education/cultural mediation in schools and the significance for school actors and artists will be discussed. Questions about current social situations, but also the challenges of proving impact and competence will be worked out together. Registration for this online congress is still possible. The language of presentation is German. [read more]
Online ENO meeting
The Zoom meeting from 9-12 on May 7th is a shared ENO/ACEnet meeting focusing on presentations from topic groups that are relevant for both networks. [read more]
Klangfolger Zine 2021 – Open Call
The Sound Festival Gallneukirchen “Klangfolger Zine 2021” is collecting a wide variety of contributions from the fields of literature, art, politics, cultural and social theory, among others. The festival wants to promote new connections between diverse contemporary approaches and genres. [read more]
Celebrating Our Diversity Forum
To celebrate the International Day of Cultural Diversity (May 21st), the Världskulturmuseerna (The National Museums of World Culture) Gothenburg/Sweden will organise an annual forum on May 20-21st online (via ZOOM). Celebrating Our Diversity is a networking and exchange platform for members of the Anna Lindh Foundation. This is an open call for civil society activists in the 42 Euro-Med countries. The forum highlights initiatives that contribute to building inclusive, sustainable and intercultural cities. [read more]
ACA Think Pieces: Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights
Following 2020’s successful run of ACA’s “Think Pieces” series on The World after COVID-19, exploring the consequences on the international higher education sector, ACA is launching a new series of reflections from thought leaders around Europe on the theme of inclusion in international higher education. [read more]