: Articles

MUS-E is on the European School Education Platform

Congratulations to the MUS-E® Network!

We are thrilled to announce that the MUS-E® Programme has been recognized by the European Commission and selected for publication on the European School Education Platform! This prestigious recognition highlights our commitment to inclusive education and addressing early school leaving.

It’s an honour to be included in this prestigious Toolkit for School Success, showcasing exemplary resources and initiatives that promote inclusive education and address early school leaving, selected by an independent Editorial Board of experts.

The European School Education Platform is the meeting point for all stakeholders in the school education sector – school staff, researchers, policymakers, and other professionals – spanning every level from early childhood education and care to primary and secondary school, including initial vocational education and training.

We are confident that school leaders, teachers, parents, and others in the education community will find our resources inspiring and valuable.
We hope that this recognition will bring attention to the crucial role of arts in education.

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Symposium on Art and Education – 21 June


About the event:

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) and MUS-E Belgium proudly present the Symposium on Art and Education. The event will take place on 21 June 2024, from 09:30 to 16:30 at the Centre Culturel Bruegel. This symposium explores the dynamic intersections of language, art, and education. The programme features a keynote on multilingualism in the arts, showcases of successful initiatives by IYMF and MUS-E Belgium, and an introduction to the innovative practice of Intercreation. The event will be closed by networking drinks, providing a platform for attendees to connect and share ideas.
Registration is required, so be sure to secure your spot here https://forms.gle/UoA14aDraamMmpy58
Follow us to not miss any details of the event!

Morning Session: Language, Art & Education

The morning session begins with a welcome and an introduction to our theme through the Film Ars Musica Project. Dr. Hari Prasad Sacré will deliver the keynote speech on “Travelling Fractured Multilingualism in the Arts,” examining the complexities and narratives of multilingual experiences in artistic contexts. This will be followed by a Q&A session.

Marianne Poncelet and Patries Wichers will then introduce the legacy of Yehudi Menuhin. Together with Meredith Borodine, they will present IYMF’s good practices, including the documentary “A Choir for Ukraine.” This segment will highlight various projects and methodologies employed by IYMF to foster social inclusion through the arts.

The session will conclude with an exploration of the KUNST-TAAL Project by MUS-E Belgium, which integrates art and language to enhance educational experiences. This session sets the stage for a thought-provoking and enriching symposium.


Afternoon Session: Intercreation, an artistic practice of Art and Participation 

MUS-E Belgium presents INTERCREATION as a specific participatory art practice, stemming from MUS-E’s long-term co-creative art projects in the fields of education, leisure and well-being.

Intercreation focuses on the creation of art in the context of a group, where an artist works with participants (primary audience). The professional artist is given carte blanche to translate his or her own artistic practice into an artistic process enabling a shared artistic experience. The participants are, in a way, active audiences who interact with each other on the basis of their own dynamism (context, knowledge, talents and sensibilities). As part of this collective artistic process, meaning is given to everyday, spiritual and socially relevant issues. Collective or shared authorship is central to intercreation.

Intercreation is the art of bringing people together. Interpersonal links are at the heart of the process. Intercreation is about linking ideas, intentions, norms and values. It’s about bringing cultures, environments and communities together to create something new. Plurality plays a key role when the language of art transcends existing cultures. Intercreation is a practice that thinks collectively, brings together amateurs and professionals, links different (artistic) disciplines and involves divergent artists.


Find the programme of the event here:

The Centre Européen de Musique in charge of developing the MUS-E® Programme in France

The IYMF is thrilled to announce that the Centre Européen de la Musique (CEM) will be in charge of the development of the MUS-E® programme in France!

Strengthening the existing partnership with the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF), the CEM is set to bring the transformative power of art into schools in France, starting with a pilot project.

More updates will be communicated in the upcoming months as IYMF and CEM embark on this inspiring journey together to enrich education through the power of art!

For more information, contact:

Centre Européen de la Musique – Grégory Szeps: +33 670 15 27 86 – communication@cemusique.com
International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation – Meredith Borodine: +32 474 86 36 91 – meredith.borodine@menuhin-foundation.com

Read the press release here in ENGLISH or FRENCH

Roundtable: “Transforming education through the arts”

On the occasion of the International MUS-E® Council (IMC) in Oeiras, Portugal, and following the success of the events in Évora and at the European Parliament in Brussels, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) and the Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal (AYMP) in collaboration with the Oeiras City Council (CMO) organise on May 28 2024, the Roundtable “Transforming Education through the Arts” at the Temple of Poetry Auditorium in Oeiras.

Drawing from three decades of MUS-E® Programme promoting the arts, well-being and social inclusion, the conference reflects on Yehudi Menuhin’s visionary efforts to integrate the arts into education, making them accessible to all.

The MUS-E® Programme, created by IYMF, is developed in 12 countries worldwide and aims to develop areas of artistic expression in public primary schools and pre-school education, sensitising children to art and enabling them to access diverse forms of expression and communication.

While witnessing situations of violence, racism and educational and social exclusion, with serious consequences in early school leaving, absenteeism and learning failure, the MUS-E® Programme proposes to prevent and solve these problems, empowering children, artists and teachers.

The event will gather stakeholders from the Portuguese political, social and academic panorama and from the International Council of the MUS-E® Programme

  • Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, AYMP President, IYMF Member
  • Pedro Patacho, Câmara Municipal de Oeiras, Education Councilor
  • Werner Schmitt, IYMF Vice-President
  • Alexandra Paatsch, MUS-E Deutschland General Manager
  • Jorge Chaminé, Centre Européen de Musique President, IYMF Member
  • José Bagulho, Agrupamento Aquilino Ribeiro School (MUS-E Oeiras schools), Early childhood Educator
  • Elisabete Monteiro, Lecturer and Deputy Coordinator of Dance BA and Coordinator of PhD in Dance – FMH – ULisboa

Stay tunned!

INSIDE Création – Final Show “Place de la duchesse”

From February 5th to April 19th, the IYMF has collaborated with the Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles (TNWB) and three artists to implement the “Inside creation” project in a class of 14 to 17 year olds in Molenbeek, Brussels. The artists involved in this project were comedian and podcaster Caroline Berliner,  choreographer Milton Paulo, and percussionist Tom Malmendier.

Together with the students and their very enthusiastic teacher, they explored the concept of belonging to a neighbourhood through different artistic practices: music, dance, sound recording. During the workshop sessions, the students discovered a variety of ways to express themselves and to discover each other under a different light. They explored their neighbourhood in small groups, microphone in hand, to collect stories and anecdotes from the inhabitants and workers of the “Place de la duchesse” neighbourhood and they had the opportunity to visit the recording studio of the Théâtre National to record their own stories about the Place de la duchesse and their own homes.

During other sessions, they played games focused on the sound of percussions and how their bodies move throughout the space, learning how to appropriate a stage to themselves through movement and synchronization.

The achievement of those workshops consisted on a 40 minute presentation on stage of the Theatre National Wallonie-Bruxelles on April 19th, during the “A la scene comme à la ville” festival. Approximately 300 people attended the presentation, including cultural sector stakeholders, families and friends, which was a unique opportunity for the students, who were very proud of themselves.

Green Tales Project: Kick-off Meeting

On 16 and 17 April, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) team welcomed to its Brussels offices representatives of all the partners involved in the Green Tales project, an innovative European project funded by the Erasmus+ programme and for which the IYMF is responsible for overall coordination. Green Tales is aimed at primary school children at the four cardinal points of Europe, who will create tales centred on the four elements of nature, with the help of storytelling artists, musicians and visual artists, to highlight the importance of respecting and preserving the environment. During the project, the children and their teachers will also be introduced to digital techniques that can be used in art. At the kick-off meeting, Bianca Rubino, Project Manager of the Green Tales project and head of European projects at the IYMF, presented the philosophy and challenges of the project as well as the responsibilities of everyone involved, assisted by Lucía del Pico Carmona for the graphic and organisational aspects.

The first day was devoted to the project’s administrative and financial tasks, supervised by Bernard Carmon, who was more specifically responsible for the consortium’s financial aspects.The second day focused on the artistic and educational content of the project, with an explanation of the digital aspects to be put in place under the guidance of Yann Bonin, an expert in animated film, and Thierry Van Roy, the music producer in charge of the music and sound design for the films to be produced. Dina Sensi was also involved in the ongoing evaluation of the project.

This first meeting brought together all the partners from very different backgrounds: Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Turkey and Belgium. It created a group spirit and an enthusiastic motivation to work together that will give rise to some fine artistic achievements, including several slide shows and an animated film intended to be screened in various contexts related to the environment.

Stay tuned, because you’ll soon be able to find out more about the project’s website and initial activities, including training for the project’s artists in Normandy and the various stages of creation through storytelling.

IYMF annual concert: Spain in concert, December 14th 2023

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Belgium, highlighted Spain’s unique musical richness in the framework of the closing event of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which ran from 1st July to 31 December 2023.

Great soloists of different nationalities from the Brussels Chamber Orchestra came together in a performance of universal music and accompanied the prestigious Spanish cellist, Asier Polo, considered one of the most important cellists of his generation.

The programme was centred on Tomás Bretón (la Gran Jota de la Dolores), Manuel de Falla (Suite popular española), Isaac Albéniz (Cádiz), Arturo Márquez (Danzón N°2) and culminated with a brilliant interpretation of Variations on a Rococo Theme composed by Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovsky, interpreted by Asier Polo in a masterful and very moving way.

The concert took place in the prestigious Protestant Church of Brussels Museum and gather proeminent guests from both the Spanish Embassy and the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. This very special event was supported by private sponsors such as Iberdrola, Unesda, Banque Delen, Finnova and Spanish Chamber of Commerce, as well as by Belgian public authorities.

After the concert, a reception took place in the Palace of Charles de Lorraine, a spectacular place nearby the Chapel, property of the National Library.

The audience was really moved by this outstanding musical performance which ended the year in a spectacular way and which we will remember with deep admiration. Indeed “Music is a therapy, a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient” as would have said our dear Maestro Menuhin.

 

Marianne Poncelet, IYMF Executive Vice-President

 

©Boris Jancen

“Transforming education through the arts” roundtable at the European Parliament.

The 30th-anniversary roundtable of the MUS-E® Programme, hosted by MEP Javier Moreno Sánchez, on 6 December 2023 marked three decades of impactful artistic education fostering well-being and social inclusion.  

Organised by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) in collaboration with Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España (FYME), this event, co-funded by the European Union, celebrated the visionary efforts of Yehudi Menuhin to integrate arts into education, promoting accessibility for all.  

The MUS-E® Programme, created by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and developed by 12 organisations across Europe and beyond, has evolved into an international initiative empowering artists, teachers, and children, particularly in disadvantaged areas, nurturing creativity and well-being. 

 The event, hosted by MEP Javier Moreno Sánchez and moderated Marianne Poncelet, Executive Vice-President of IYMF, featured esteemed speakers from European Institutions, the Permanent Representation of Spain, IYMF, and MUS-E: 

  • Enrique Barón Crespo, President, Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España (FYME) and Honorary President, International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF),  
  • Ibán García del Blanco, MEP, CULT Committee,  
  • Marcos Ros Sempere, MEP, CULT Committee,  
  • José Ángel Piña Sánchez, Education Attaché, Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union,  
  • Anna-Maria Giannopoulou, Deputy Head of Unit – Schools and Multilingualism, DG EAC, European Commission,  
  • Leonor Cambournac, International MUS-E Council Chair and MUS-E Portugal National Coordinator, Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal (AYMP)  

Read more in the pdf version of the report here.

MUS-E Network expansion in Greece

From October 17th to October 20th 2023, Marianne Poncelet, Executive Vice-President of the IYMF, initiated new contacts in Greece, with the aim of exploring the possibility of introducing the MUS-E® programme there in 2024. The IYMF has a long tradition of working with Greece, as in the past we collaborated with the MELINA Project in Greece, promoted by Melina Mercouri, the Greek Minister of Culture at the time, and whose objectives were quite similar to our MUS-E® programme. We have since signed a memorandum of understanding with the Technological University of Crete, a privileged partner of the IYMF for the digital training of our artists, and we have also developed an interesting collaboration with the World Human Forum as part of an innovative European project entitled Green Tales. Over the years, we have made friends with a number of people in Greece, including Louisa Anastopoulos, whose work in the field of education at the European Commission has always supported the IYMF’s activities since its creation.

Louisa offered to establish initial contacts to introduce MUS-E in Greece, and together we visited the school that could be the first pilot school for our programme in Greece. The school was the pre-primary school “To perivoli tis Yayas”, located in Kalamata and linked to a primary school next door. This school, which is of a very high educational standard, was built after the earthquake in Kalamata by Banque Alpha to help disadvantaged families in this part of the city, and has since been supported by the Kostoupoulos Foundation.

We had the pleasure of meeting the school’s director, Adriani Russopoulou, as well as the enthusiastic and dynamic teaching staff, who are already open to artistic practice through visual arts, and who are delighted to be able to extend their knowledge by welcoming a musician, singer, or dancer as part of the MUS-E® programme.

We’ve also had some excellent discussions with a rising Greek pianist from Kalamata, Manos Kitsikopoulos, who is interested in supporting our work.

The next stage will be to look into the possibility of creating the statutes of MUS-E Greece and establishing collaborative links in Kalamata and Athens in the world of culture and education, so that we can rely on a network of associations wishing to participate in our development in this country. We already have good prospects with several people who have all offered to support us in our development. We also have a Greek presence on our Board of Directors, in the person of George Metakidès, who has always encouraged us to expand in this part of Europe, and we have also attracted the support of Spyros Pappas, former Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Culture and President of the Argo association (Hellenic Network in Belgium), who is interested in supporting our presence in Greece.

Furthermore, given that Yehudi Menuhin was an honorary citizen of the island of Mykonos, where he resided every summer, what could be more natural than to envisage a musical celebration of our beloved Maestro in the Cyclades, where we made our first contacts with the island’s mayor? A musical dimension to be developed in the future too.

So there’s plenty to look forward to, through music and all the arts, to help children’s creative voices emerge from an early age.

Marianne Poncelet

IYMF Executive Vice-President

Advocacy roundtable in Evora, Portugal: Art in education to empower society, May 26th 2023

 

On Friday 26 May 2023, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) in partnership with Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal, Évora University and Évora City Council organised the Roundtable “Art in Education to Empower Society”.

The event, taking place at Évora University, brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss and advocate for the power of art education for social inclusion with the participation of distinguished speakers from the Portuguese political, social and academic panorama and from the International Council of the MUS-E® programme created by the IYMF. Around 50 people attended the event, the audience included international and Portuguese artists, and local teachers, school directors, and NGOs.

The Roundtable

Marianne Poncelet, IYMF Executive Vice-President, and moderator of the event, opened the roundtable by presenting the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the ARTEFORA 2023 project, and introducing the speakers:

-Ana Telles, Director of the School of Arts at the University of Évora,

-Werner Schmitt, IYMF Vice-President,

-Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, President of AYMP Board and Member of IYMF Board,

-Paula Mota Garcia, Team Coordinator Évora 2027 European Capital of Culture,

-Tom Goris, MUS-E Belgium National Coordinator,

-Andor Timar, MUS-E Hungary President.

The importance of Music in Human Development - from STEM to STEAM – the involvement of policymakers

Ana Telles, Director of the School of Arts at the University of Évora, focused her introductory speech on the importance of music in the development of the human being. She highlighted three different spheres in which music shows its impact: individual, social, and general wellbeing. Ana Telles emphasised that music can help to foster several competencies, among which cultural awareness, creativity, and critical thinking, and that nowadays the arts’ positive impact on the human being and his body is corroborated by many scientific researches[1]


T Dahlberg, S. (2007). Think and Be Heard: Creativity, Aging, and Community Engagement. The National Arts Forum Series. https://www.academia.edu/11086899/Think_and_Be_Heard_Creativity_Aging_and_Community_Engagement.

Participating in the arts creates paths to healthy aging. National Institute on Aging. (2019).

https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/participating-arts-creates-paths-healthy-aging#:~:text=Research%20on%20music%2C%20theater%2C%20dance,stress%20and%20increased%20social%20interaction.

Haider, S; Patrício, L.; Freitas, A. et al. (2022). Co-creation on Active Aging Challenges in Portugal. White Paper. Innovation Think Tank, Siemens Healthineers.

https://dspace.uevora.pt/rdpc/bitstream/10174/32749/1/Siemens-Healthineers_ITT_White_paper_co-creation-on-Active-Aging-Challenges-in-Portugal.pdf.

Lewandowska, K. & Węziak-Białowolska, D. (2022). The impact of theatre on social competencies: a meta-analytic evaluation, Arts & Health, DOI: 10.1080/17533015.2022.2130947.

McMahon, K.; Clark, I.; Stensæth, K.; Wosch, T.; Miller, H.; Bukowska, A. & Baker, F. (2022). A qualitative systematic review of the experiences of sharing music for people living with dementia and their family care partners: the thread of connection, Arts & Health, DOI: 10.1080/17533015.2022.2128381.

“Research has shown that art has a positive impact on the human being and his body"

The originality of the MUS-E® concept

Werner Schmitt, IYMF Vice-President, illustrated the origin of the MUS-E® programme stemming out of a discussion between Yehudi Menuhin and Director-General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor, in Paris in 1992. He highlighted the originality of Yehudi Menuhin’s philosophy, resulting from broadening the concept of music education developed by the Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist and teacher Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) to include all creative arts spanning all cultures. Today MUS-E associations of 12 countries have built up a wealth of experience in implementing on a regular basis the activities of artists mostly in primary school curriculums, working particularly with children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the MUS-E® programme: everyone is welcome to attend the celebrations in Gstaad on 26th August.

Towards an Innovative and Humanist Model of Education

Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, President of AYMP Board and Member of IYMF Board, former Minister of Education of Portugal, discussed the recommendations on policies towards an innovative and humanist model of education, following the path of Helena Vaz da Silva, who was President of the Centro Nacional de Cultura (National Culture Centre – CNC) in Lisbon and Member of the European Parliament and established MUS-E in Portugal. He emphasised, on one hand, the importance of education for all, as a means of societal empowerment, and on the other hand, the difficulty of mobilising decision makers on this matter. He continued by stating that education should go hand in hand with the understating of art and concluding that the role of artists and of citizens is of extreme importance, as art in education is a significant element for freedom, equality, solidarity, partnership, cooperation, democracy, and responsibility.  

“Art in education is a significant element for freedom, equality, solidarity, partnership, cooperation, democracy, and responsibility”

Évora 2027: empowering local communities through the Arts

Paula Mota Garcia, Team Coordinator of Évora 2027 European Capital of Culture, presented the project of Évora 2027, based on the poetic and philosophical concept of “Vagar”. Here, the word from the Alentejo region, means awareness and full understanding of the right tempo and space, respecting the new position of the human being which is always in connection with the universe. Paula Mota Garcia highlighted the transformative power of art in connecting people with nature and the universe, promoting human rights and the right to the city and therefore the power of collectivity in Évora and Alentejo region, where inclusion and democracy are two important principles. She presented the work of Évora 2027 as an investigation, raising new questions and answers, emphasising the need to engage local communities in this process. Local communities, and local stakeholders, are invited to be co-creators here and “Vagar” becomes a principle for a more peaceful coexistence with all that is around us, including the other.

“Local communities are co-creators here”

The example of MUS-E Belgium

Tom Goris, MUS-E Belgium National Coordinator shared examples from MUS-E Belgium activities developed in Wallonia and Flanders since 2000. He highlighted the diverse projects carried out, ranging from social inclusion to language and creativity, emphasising the importance of a bottom-up approach, and the humanist nature of the project, working on the participants’ emotional intelligence. As an independent art organisation of artists with critical views and creative souls, MUS-E Belgium brought the reality of Belgium. The MUS-E programme is currently being implemented in 12 countries and in each of them there are different layers (social, educational,…).

 

“The importance of working with a bottom-up approach”

Following the speakers’ speeches, also the audience, mainly composed of artists, teachers, school directors, and NGOs, took part in the discussion. Participants in the room intervened on the personal interpretation of the concept of “Vagar”, perceiving also as a moment of joy and pleasure of being together, on the role of art and artist in education and critical thinking, sharing experiences and practical examples on the power of the art in society. 

In her follow-up, Ana Telles emphasised the potential and power of art, on societal topics such as inclusion and climate change as art can change mentality. She underlined the importance of a change of paradigm, from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and the importance of creative process and interlearning. She recommended to involve the policymakers in the creative process and seize the actions!

“Let’s involve the policymakers in the creative process and seize the actions!”

Conclusions

Andor Timar, MUS-E Hungary President, wrapped up the discussion based on the examples explored during the roundtable: the MUS-E programme and its international experience of 30 years and Évora 2027 European Capital of Culture. According to Andor Timar, the speeches mark the transition period for a big change, a new chapter starting. The purpose of this era could be the connection with the universe and peaceful coexistence. He emphasised that art is a proper tool to enhance and foster democracy, solidarity, freedom, responsibility, and consciousness and that art and artist can be very helpful to see and reflect on what we are living within the society, being creative, critical, and culturally aware. Policymakers should be involved in the creative process and today we should seize the moment to build tomorrow.

To conclude the event, IYMF Executive Vice-President, Marianne Poncelet, thanked the panellists and the audience for the enriching exchange and discussion and invited all to the networking drinks.

 

Recommendations

The recommendations can be summarised as following:

-Encourage policies towards an innovative and humanist model of education and emphasise the importance of the role of art and of artists in societal development: art and artists can contribute to a more inclusive, democratic and free society;

-Increase funding and support for arts and arts education programmes in order to allocate more resources for all;

-Recognise the role of art in fostering competencies such as creativity, critical thinking, cultural awareness, and emotional intelligence;

-Integrate arts in the curricula: education system should prioritise the integration of arts in the curriculum, changing the paradigm from STEM to STEAM;

-Support continual research on the impact of arts and arts in education on human well-being: research on the impact is essential to provide evidence-based support of its inclusion in policies;

-Ensure lifelong practices in arts: promoting lifelong learning in the arts can ensure that individuals continue to benefit from arts education beyond their formal schooling years;

-Support grassroot co-creation initiatives and bottom-up approaches for local communities,

-Encourage interaction, dialogue and collaborations among stakeholders in the field of art in education and involve the policymakers in the creative processes.

From left to right, the roundtable participants: Paula Mota Garcia, Ana Telles, Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, Werner Schmitt, Marianne Poncelet, Andor Timar, Tom Goris.

 

Sharing reflection moments after the roundtable with a networking drink.

Programmes

Media Press Review

The event was featured in local newspapers and local authorities web pages:

Diario do sul, 21/07/2023: https://diariodosul.pt/2023/07/21/escola-da-cruz-da-picada-acolheu-parceiros-internacionais-do-programa-mus-e-2/?fbclid=IwAR23fvMcLAKGqTEkmLWyb44VxjW04eQibtjRmUCt887ruDtPGtZqn5kImhk

Radio campanario, 31/05/2023: https://www.radiocampanario.com/ultimas/regional/evora-acolheu-encontro-transnacional-do-projeto-erasmus-educarte

City Council, 31/05/2023: https://www.cm-evora.pt/evora-acolheu-encontro-transnacional-do-projeto-erasmus-educarte/

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

 

 

 

Contacts

Marianne Poncelet, Executive Vice-President

marianne.poncelet@menuhin-foundation.com

Bianca Rubino, Project Manager

meredith.borodine@menuhin-foundation.com

International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation

Boulevard du Souverain, 36

B-1170 Brussels

www.menuhin-foundation.com

2022 International MUS-E Festival

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation presents the second International MUS-E Festival ! The festival will once again happen online and  broadcasted on www.concertwithyou.com.

From December 5 to December 20,  MUS-E organisations from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Liechtenstein and Belgium will present what MUS-E children and artists have been up to. 

This festival is a way to promote all social initiatives and artistic creations that happen within the MUS-E network, support MUS-E artists in sharing their work and raise awareness about all MUS-E network activities and missions. 

MUS-E IN A NUTSHELL

Through practicing arts, MUS-E helps children, artists and teachers thrive together in school, so they can become ambassadors and active members of a more balanced, equitable and inclusive society. 

MUS-E is aimed at primary schools, mainly in Europe, which are faced with the challenge of educating a growing multicultural group of children, many of whom come from migrant or disadvantaged families and are at risk of social exclusion or other societal problems. In the presence of teachers, professional artists actively involved in MUS-E introduce and share various art forms (singing, dancing, music, movement, theatre, visual arts and multimedia, etc.). Through this collective work, the MUS-E programme encourages dialogue and conviviality, while awakening children’s sense of creativity, empathy and resilience. MUS-E is active in 12 countries around the world including: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Israël, Cyprus, Kosovo and Lichtenstein. Spain (250) & Italy (157) have the largest number of school and institutions while Cyprus (2) and Kosovo (5) concentrate the smallest number.  

PROGRAMME

December 5: Switzerland
December 7: Germany
December 9: Spain
December 12: Portugal
December 14: Liechtenstein
December 16: Belgium
December 20: Italy

Princess of Asturias Awards

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation has nominated flamenco dancer Maria Pagés for the Fundacion Princesa de Asturias 2022 Prize in Spain. This nomination was accepted together with that of the singer Carmen Linares.

The Princess of Asturias Foundation convenes the Princess of Asturias Awards, which are presented annually in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality, in a solemn academic ceremony attended by the King and Queen of Spain, Reina Sofía and Princesses Leonor and Sofía. Princess Leonor presented the prizes of her Foundation to the winners who have distinguished themselves in the fields of the arts, social sciences, communication and humanity, concord, international cooperation, scientific and technical research, sport and literature.

Each laureate was then announced and seated on either side of the royal dais. This year’s winners of the Princess of Asturias Award 2022 were Carmen Linares and Maria Pagés, who won the Arts Award for “modernising and adapting the essence of flamenco in the contemporary world, elevating it even further to the category of universal art”. The two artists then performed a magnificent duet combining song and dance in the most traditional flamenco interpretation on the stage of the Campoamor Theatre. See a video from the performance here.  

In 1997, Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich won the Concord Prize in the same prestigious setting and collected it together on stage. 

 

Paper: Culture, the arts and well-being

While we are all confined and trying to cope under extreme circumstances the global population being more isolated than at any other time, it is also a time for reflection on our societies; on how we relate to our environments and economies. It is a challenging time that questions our sectors of activity and how we can contribute to societal development in new contexts; what lessons can we take from the challenges and what will emerge? In times of crisis, there is a tendency to look for means of resilience from the technological, scientific and economic sectors. The role of arts and culture, however, has become a source of inquiry. Culture is a connective tissue and the collective crisis we are facing proves the fundamental role that culture plays in building resilient, fair and healthy societies.

 

Today we see on social media increasing trending hashtags such as #CultureTogether, #cultureathome and #culturekeepsmesane revealing that of all the necessities we now feel so keenly aware of, the arts and their contribution to our wellbeing is evident and, in some ways, central to coronavirus confinement for those of us locked in at home. For some of course, there are more pressing needs. But momentary joys, even in dire circumstances, often come through the arts and collective expression. We find comfort in images of people singing and playing music on their balconies, virtual gallery and museum tours, free concerts and live sessions of our favourite musicians, etc. We also witness an increased availability and access to digital culture and artistic contents in this challenging time. Art can set you free, but not only.

 

IYMF has worked in the field of culture, the arts and resilience while implementing its activities in the field of intercultural dialogue and social inclusion through the arts. The value of arts engagement on a number of aspects is underpinning all its projects and should become a central part in the development of its strategy. The META project (Minorities Education Through the Arts) that IYMF coordinated also focused on the development of a framework and research dealing with arts and resilience (https://www.meta-project.eu/images/Competences-framework.pdf). As defined by Merriam-Webster, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from stress. In today’s world turmoil, being able to withstand the related shocks and stresses for both individuals and societies is more important than ever. The arts can help build resilience.

 

Moreover, over the past two decades, there has been a major increase in research into the effects of arts on well-being and health. The World Health Organization has published a report on the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well being (2019) gathering 3000 studies that identified a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, the promotion of health and management of illness across the lifespan. The increasing number of research comes along with developments in practice and policy activities in different countries around Europe. For example, in the United Kingdom joint publications between Arts Council England and the National Health Service have been produced since 2007, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has included health within the new Culture White Paper; and All-Party Parliamentary Group report Creative Health has made a series of political recommendations to the UK Government and other bodies. In Finland, the Government adopted a policy programme for health promotion in 2007 that focused on enhancing the contribution of art and culture to health and well-being. In Ireland, Arts Council Ireland and the Health Service Executive have been collaborating since the late 1990s, producing policy and strategy documents on the potential collaboration between the arts and health sectors. In Norway, the Government has instituted a public health law and a cultural law, with both emphasizing the importance of arts in health promotion and care. In Sweden, the Swedish Parliament has started a Society for Culture and Health and a Cultural Politics Commission, etc.

 

Nevertheless, those developments have been focusing on individual countries and aiming to change and influence policy at national levels. Today more than ever, we need a stronger Europe, long-lasting and long-term developments, more exchange of good practice, cross-country programmes and European interdisciplinary structures and mechanisms.

 

Policy recommendations

 

  • Share knowledge and good practices and promote collaboration and dissemination of arts interventions in their context to promote health and inform policy
  • Acknowledge the growing evidence base for the role of the arts in improving health and well-being
  • Support research in the arts and health
  • Ensure that cultural diverse forms of arts are availbale and accessible to a range of different groups across the life-course
  • Encourage cultural organizations to make wellbeing an integral part of their strategy
  • Promote the value of arts engagement
  • Develop interventions that encourage arts engagement to support healthy lifestyles
  • Strengthen structures and provide cross-funding initiatives in the area of participatory arts, health and well-being

Women singing for peace

Today is the International Women’s Day and we would like to pay tribute to those women, whoever and wherever they are, who stand against the terror and fight for their rights.

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation has a long tradition of organizing concerts and stage productions delivering strong messages. Utopia or not, we still believe that music remains an extraordinary and essential vector for harmony and tolerance between populations and people. We leverage our strenghts to bring together musicians and artists from very different cultures, backgrounds and horizons. That’s when unexpected and magical outcomes often appear.

The productions of concerts allow for an extraordinary experience of the arts but stir reflection about one’s own perspective and wider meanings. 

Hence the concert “Voices for Peace” at the Cirque Royal in Brussels in 1997 featuring seven women from areas of the world in which poverty or oppression were facts of life. Seven women who sang for peace and gave a beautiful lesson of humanity and dignity, accompanied by the traditional instruments of their culture.

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation invited seven singers from all over the world to come and sing peace at the Cirque Royal. The choice of performers and their originis was no coincidence since the omnipresent message of this evening was to pay tribute to these women, whoever they are, who oppose terror.

It might seem a little utopian – voices as beautiful as they are were never able to silence weapons – but when the moving Algerian Houria Aïchi began to sing the sound of the flute and bendir, you did not have to be an expert in international politics to feel the pain of an entire peaple.

The bubbling gypsy Esperanza Fernandez, the Tibetan Mantras of Yang Du Tso, the Israeli-Yemeni singer and crusader for cultural harmony Noa, the spokesperson for millions of Amerindians Luzmila Carpio, the legendary Iranian singer Marzieh, and Miriam Makeba, a symbol of the struggle against the apartheid irradiated the Cirque Royal.

For the final, the seven singers all united under Yehudi Menhin’s direction and delivered a powerful message for peace.

They are the first voices that we listen to, we, the newborn children. We have heard them before, when our live was under preparation, and maybe the reason we are trying so hard to meet them is because we want to hear them better

Yehudi Menuhin

Art brings people of all kinds together by MUS-E Hungary

Community building in Budapest

Since the MUS-E program was launched in 1994 by Yehudi Menuhin, the targeted groups of the transcultural social-artistic programme were defined according to the “CAT model”, as Children, Artists and Teachers, those individuals that actually take part and benefit directly from the artistic workshops. As time went by, and different national and international projects were born and implemented, we had to realise that the primary agent of socialization, namely the family cannot be excluded from our approach, if we do want to create long-lasting results in the improvement of well-being, and equal opportunities for vulnerable children.

The idea of thinking in the scope of communities is not revolutionary in social work, but to implement it with the help of the MUS-E programme is new and faces many challenges. First of all, we have to realise that parents many times show a lack of interest in the school-life of their children, and it is very hard to attract them and convince them to participate. We had to think and act together with school directors, teachers and artists, gaining inspirations from the best practices of other relevant programs, about what activities could gain their attention and willingness to participate. When we started to work in a school in the socialist type neighbourhood of Budapest in 2018, and our office also moved there, for the first time in our operation we could start dreaming about an own community place, where in the future we can organise family events, workshops and also summer camps for children. We spent one year to build closer, tight and trustful relation with the school, and this autumn we already organised our international meeting of WAC project in a way, that international participants left their creative footprint in the shape of a community painting for the children, that we further developed with parents and children in an open-afternoon joyful session in November. For our biggest surprise, all the targeted 25 kids could enjoy the presence of their parents and siblings. Our aim, for which we want to build a fundraising campaign in 2020, is to co-create the space itself – that is in ruins now – with families, including hand-painted walls using the community paintings, a workshop-room and a renovated child-friendly open-air courtyard. We want create opportunities where families can gain new ideas and real experiences about how to spend time together in a meaningful, free and creative way, and to increase the opportunity that a real and helping community can be formed also in our age and in city-settlements.

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