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WORLD ART DAY: IYMF MISSION

The freedom to culture, which is not included as such in the Constitution but which represents a fundamental pillar in our society, must be asserted.

Quentin Dujardin

 

 

The World Health Organisation published a report in the end of 2019 which affirmed the beneficial impact of art on our physical and mental health. Based on 900 scientific papers, it stated that artistic activities are crucial to our development from conception to old age, and should be mainstreamed alongside therapeutic protocols in hospitals, education and everyday life to improve our well-being.

Barely a year and a half later, the whole world has faced the Covid-19 epidemic. A crisis which is causing unprecedented health, economic and social damage and which is having a lasting effect on our mental and psychological health. Psycho-social risks are becoming an emergency for specialists, especially in young populations.

However, for the past year, almost all cultural venues have come to a standstill and streaming on the Internet has become the main vehicle for the arts but also for the teaching of artistic disciplines. The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and the MUS-E Network were no exceptions and had to take a turn and adapt their activities. All our projects were impacted deeply and we come back on some of them :

THE MUS-E NETWORK

The MUS-E Network and all the MUS-E Organizations active in Europe, Brazil and Israel and implementing artistic sessions in primary schools and other institutions for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners have shown all their creativity and innovative spirit. The artists of the programme have been able to create online courses, artistic initiatives to keep the children engaged in the school (not only in the MUS-E sessions but for all the more classic disciplines taught in schools). The apparition of the digital technologies in the MUS-E Programme may have produced a deep reflection on the future of the programme and its need for transformation and innovation as much as it has shed a light on the necessity of such a programme in Europe to build resilient school systems. Further surveys and evaluation of the MUS-E transformation of activities will be analyzed this year by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.

HOMELANDS, places of belonging

  • Homelands, places of belonging is one of the big project led by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. Through this project, we implement co-creative trainings for refugee and newcomer artists and co-creative workshops involving the local communities. We act really on the ground in local cultural and artistic centers. Those centers being closed, it was very hard to maintain the activities. We have experienced great difficulties in keeping the spirit up of the public we are working with. Being an artist in this period is very difficult. Coming from another country and trying to establish oneself as an artist in a new homecountry is even more difficult. Some of the refugee and newcomer artists could not proceed and had to stop their artistic profesional activity to find another professional direction. The crisis revealed once more the great necessity to maintain and continue to create opportunities of exchanges between newcomer and local communities, to continue to provide trainings for artists and have cultural events and activities that provide a sense of belonging, a sense of empowerement and bonds in our societies. Homelands, places of belonging also had to rethink and adapt its activities and of course confront the digital technologies and distant training or learning activities on the arts. We are very proud to have had the strenght and resources to produce a special Homelands digital talk show, and to launch this month online trainings on co-creation. Homelands adventure continues, stay in touch !

OUR CONCERTS

  • Our concerts, of course, were deeply impacted as well as our network of artists ambassadors for whom we are constantly trying to provide with new artistic opportunitites. Our great multicultural concerts are part of our the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation DNA. Bringing together musicians from different cultures, filling great venues with audience in awe while discovering a Syrian dancer, make people vibrate with the sound of the violin of Alessandro Quarta, etc. This is something we do since our creation. Our annual concert is not only a milestone of the year in the way we keep the bond with people and promote strong messages of peace, tolerance and intercultural dialogue, it is also a very important event for the Foundation financial stability. Again, this was a challenge. But very early in the crisis we tried to create musical content, to keep on providing opoortunities (even if not on a real stage) for musicians and to offer high-quality online concerts. We started with a short video of the Italian song « cade l’oliva » with some of our artists amabssadors and young European musicians, then a concert from home with Matthieu Sagli live from his studio, then a magnificent 1 hour concert filmed at the Brussels City Hall with the Matthieu Saglio Quartet to finish the year with music.

 

CONCERT WITH YOU

  • We did not stop there. In view of the situation, we also have launched an online concert hall ! Probably one of the first one : concertwithyou.com The aim of this platform is to first give visibility to young musicians impacted by the crisis and eager to break through but also create new opportunities for them. Indeed, the donations collected with this platform will be entirely dedicated to support young musicians to have the resources to create high quality musical content, high quality materials showing their work and produce them live when possible. With the money collected, we provide musicians with the necessary materials for recording, rehearsal and diffusion. As soon as i twill be possible, the money collected will also serve to the organisation of live representations of these artists.

STANDING WITH QUENTIN DUJARDIN

  • We also want to come back on an initiative of one of our artists ambassadors, Quentin Dujardin. Did you hear about the 5 minutes of his song ‘Ave Maria’ that he played in the church of Crupet (Belgium) before being interrupted by the police who put an end to his performance. Quentin really opened a breach, drew attention to the status of the artist but also to the power of music. Quentin has been a powerful and meaningful advocate for one of the Foundation’s missions since its creation: giving a voice to the voiceless. IYMF is standing with him and we are preparing a special event with him, in a majestic place that he will fill with his music.

 

Of course, all of this cannot replace our deep need for direct access to beauty. Contact with art, far from being a “non-essential” activity, is on the contrary indispensable for our well-being, especially in times of crisis and we hope to come back soon with more !

MUS-E ON STAGE virtual choir

MUS-E ON STAGE improves the accessibility to music education and learning for primary school-aged children who come from underpriviledged and migrant backgrounds in Europe. The project involves 150+ children from Portugal, Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy and Spain interacting with 15 professional musicians in face-to-face music workshops.

Creation of a virtual choir of children

MUS-E Belgium, Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España, MUS-E Italy, MUS-E Cyprus and MUS-E Hungary – have committed to implement music sessions for 15 hours in one school per participating country. The music sessions will be aimed at piloting the on-line musical resources and to the co-creation of a choir of children in each country on the same musical piece. Each contribution of the MUS-E organizations will be gathered and assembled to create a virtual choir involving 50 children from different European countries and reflecting European diversity and beauty through music.  IYMF, with the support of the Embassy of Portugal in Belgium, will present the virtual choir with live musicians on the occasion of its annual concert in Brussels after the end of the project.

The song : Menina Estas a Janela, by Vitorino

MUS-E Belgium, Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España, MUS-E Italy, MUS-E Cyprus and MUS-E Hungary – have committed to implement music sessions for 15 hours in one school per participating country. The music sessions will be aimed at piloting the on-line musical resources and to the co-creation of a choir of children in each country on the same musical piece. Each contribution of the MUS-E organizations will be gathered and assembled to create a virtual choir involving 50 children from different European countries and reflecting European diversity and beauty through music.  IYMF, with the support of the Embassy of Portugal in Belgium, will present the virtual choir with live musicians on the occasion of its annual concert in Brussels after the end of the project.

Vitorino: Ambassador of Alentejo Popular Music

Vitorino Salomé Vieira, or just Vitorino as he is known, is a Portuguese singer, born in Redondo, Alentejo, in 1942 in a family of musicians.

His music combines the traditional folklore of Alentejo and the urban and popular style of his voice.

In 1968 he entered the Fine Arts Course and migrated to France where he studied painting.

Present in some key moments of Portuguese Popular Music (for example the famous March 1974 concert at the Coliseum), Vitorino was a stage companion and songs by José Afonso, Adriano Correia de Oliveira, Fausto, Sérgio Godinho and other fundamental names of Portuguese music of the last thirty

WE CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE THE PERFORMANCES FROM ALL THE CHILDREN !

IYMF still standing for culture!

Since March 2020, we have been forced to live without one of the most essential actors of the social bond: Culture.

In most countries, governments have chosen to shut down cultural places, restrain every cultural manifestation without considering the opinions and demands from representatives of the cultural sector.

Some political decisions taken since the beginning of the pandemic did not make any sense and might seem unfair for those who have been too often qualified as “non-essential” workers. As an example, Zoo and churches can welcome public whereas musicians cannot perform live in front of a limited audience. As an act of protest, our ambassador artist Quentin Dujardin has organised a live concert in a church (Crupet) in front of 15 people last February. The police cut short the event and assigned fines to every participant.

In Belgium, lots of cultural actors got unified behind the movement “Still Standing for Culture” for claiming their right to exist.  

The movement has already implemented three calls for action so far: Still Standing#1 (June 25 2020) that gathered cultural actors in 11 cities in Belgium, Still Standing#2 (January 16 2021) where 500 persons protested on stage on the “Place de la Monnaie” in Brussels, Still Standing#3 with more than 500 cultural actions implemented across Belgium.

Throughout these calls for action, the movement encourages everyone across the country to make culture without waiting any authorization. Everyone is invited to post his/her action on www.stillstandingforculture.be.

On March 13, for the one-year without culture anniversary, the movement is calling everyone to make culture in public areas.

The pandemic highlighted an important fact: Culture is nowadays considered as less essential than other sectors. Perhaps because we cannot quantize all its value on society.

As Yehudi Menuhin said: “The musician is someone who can be trusted to dispense peace to his neighbour, but he is also a reminder of what human excellence is.”

We strongly believe, it is time for our societies to consider culture and the arts as essential as every other sector.

It seems we have already proven, such as all cultural workers, that we were able to respect all sanitary measures while keeping running our activities. All negative outcomes and challenges drawing from the pandemic must be a serious topic of debate and we expect politicians will soon invite representatives from the cultural sector to debate about our future.

At the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, we had to rely on creativity and flexibility for implementing cultural events that respect all sanitary measures in force. Therefore, in order to support artists highly impacted by the pandemic, we have launched last December an online virtual stage that promotes live performances from musicians that could not perform anymore: www.concertwithyou.com. Everyone can support this initiative and help us produce new promotional videos for musicians by making a charitable donation.

In addition, we start organising high standard quality live stream concerts by choosing creative partners, extraordinary musicians, and iconic venues.

Last Christmas, Matthieu Saglio Quartet performed from the “Salle Gothique” of the Brussels City Hall. You can (re)-watch the show by clicking here.

Recently, the Brussels Chamber Orchestra together with Gwen Cresens delivered a beautiful concert. Two renowned Tango Dancers joined the musicians for a moment out of time. You can also (re)- watch this show by clicking here.

We are now working on a brand new live streaming concert with our ambassador artist Quentin Dujardin in a magical venue. More information coming soon.

MUSILIB: towards inclusive, creative and digital education

The Project

MUSILIB is the project that develops the MultiLib E-Library with new languages and e-books, and with music soundtracks for each children’s story, played with traditional instruments of each culture featured in them.

Local musicians along with musicians of ethnic minority cultures play together and create original music pieces inspired to the stories.

 

MUSILIB develops also the Children’s Multicultural Music Instruments Library’ with images and stories of each traditional instrument used by the musicians.

 

Furthermore, MUSILIB designs the Teacher Video Kit to empower teachers in the use of creative writing, storytelling, making music and dancing a story.

 

To complete this innovative set of resources, the project develops the ‘MUSILIB by Children – Children’s multimedia stories inspired by music instruments’, with stories, sound-tracks and illustrations created by children and inspired to the Multicultural Music Instrument Library.

 

All are Open Educational Resources, freely accessible on this platform and on the Coursevo.

2020 activities & outputs

Teacher Kit

The Teacher Video Kit empowers the teachers in the use of creative writing, storytelling, making music and dancing a story. It is strictly connected to the Output 5 in which children create their own MUSILIB stories. .

Through this output, teachers will be helped in the task of scaffolding their children in the activities.

The Output is created for an autonomous use by teachers across Europe.  

It comprises 9 How-to videos and has three sessions:

– Writing and telling a story

– Soundtracking a story

– Dancing a story

The teacher Video kit is an an Open Educational Resource, freely available online on the project online platform and on the Coursevo platform, under Creative Commons license, and therefore downloadable and usable by the global education community.

MUSILIB by children : Children’s multimedia stories inspired by music instruments

MUSILIB by Children is an extension of the existing library where the partners have added a section of Stories created by primary school children of the partner countries/.

The children have created their stories during some workshops and have added the music to the stories . Videos of their performances are part of this MUSILIB section. The partners have worked with the teachers and artists in scaffolding the children during the production of their stories, by following the didactic approach of Output 4. The stories have one or more music instruments of the Library (Output 3) as characters or just as elements of the stories.

The children stories have been uploaded on the project website and are available on line.

 

Upscaling of MultiLib Library into ‘MUSILIB Library for Children in Europe’

The materials produced into the MUSILIB project has been adapted to the existing MultiLib platform with professional graphic layout and search engine so that the new online platform is the ‘MUSILIB Library for Children in Europe’.

 

SUSTAINABILITY & MUS-E NETWORK

IYMF organized two multiplier events to share MUSILIB outcomes and valuable resources among the MUS-E Network that we are coordinating.

In May 2020 and in November 2020, IYMF has organized two multiplier events presenting the outputs above mentioned to the members of the MUS-E Network. The resources created in the context of the MUSILIB project can and should be used among the network and national organizations. These resources will in the long-term equip teachers and artists with new skills and pedagogical tools to be used in schools, they will also reinforce and support them to adapt to digital education as well as music education and learning.

Discover the MUS-E CAHIER Series by MUS-E Belgium

MUS-E Belgium celebrates its 21 anniversary! As an organisation which always finds its inspiration in action and experience, on this special they are launching the MUS-E CAHIER series. What is it? A collection of the experiences of their artists, it’s about art, about participation. Why? Because what’s happening there, in classrooms with the citizens of the future, is fundamentally interesting for those who want to continue thinking about the world of tomorrow. Because MUS-E experience has much to give to ecucation centers and staff.
 
CAHIER #1: FREEDOM AND FAILURE

 

ENCATC NETWORK – Exploring new opportunities on immersive technologies for culture

Since June 2020, IYMF has decided to join the ENCATC Network to boost its influence on the international, European, national and regional culture and education policy. Last Friday, we took part to the Member Talk on « immersive technologies at the service of European culture and heritage ». The aim of this talk was to understand how to strenghten European collaborations between actors of the cultural world, immersive technologies professionals and education.

This is therefore fully in line with the priorities set by the IYMF for 2021. The pandemic has made us think a lot about our activities and rethink them. We are studying new possibilities, new projects for pedagogical and educational purposes, always with the aim of inclusion. We believe that art and technology, that the artists we work with, have a lot to contribute to the transformations and priorities of the European Commission as well. This is one of the reasons why we participated in the consultation for the new action plan on digital education which ran from June to September 2020. Our MUS-E network and the artists of this network who work in schools in many countries in Europe have proven that they have the resources, ideas and creativity to deal with the crisis and closed schools. We have published a summary of the different initiatives which has been relayed in our network and in the ENCATC network.

In this Member Talk, we got insight into what has been done by the European Commission for digital culture, especially with the intervention and presentation of Maciej Hofman, Policy Officer at the European Commission responsible for managing initiatives related to the role of culture in cities and regions, access to culture via digital means as well as support to cultural and creative sectors.

Insight: The ENCATC Network

ENCATC represents, advocates, and promotes cultural management and cultural policy education, professionalizes the cultural sector to make it sustainable, and creates a platform for discussion and exchange at European and international level. The strength of ENCATC comes from its members and from their understanding of the importance of the multiple aspects and impacts of education and training for the sustainability and competitiveness of the cultural sector. Members make the network grow to be more powerful and lively. All our members feel a sense of identity and ownership with ENCATC, and at the same time they share their knowledge and expertise with the ENCATC family. All members support the mission and aims of the association.

Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal Anniversary

21 years ago, the Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal (AYMP) was legally constituted. Since then, AYMP has succesfully pursued its artistic, education, training, cultural and social inclusion mission. They promote the arts to prevent violence and the development of a sense of citizenship, according to the ideas of Yehudi Menuhin and the principles of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. They develop several programs, among which the MUS-E Programme.

Yehudi Menuhin’s speech at the European Parliament – 1995 

The MUS-E project stands for ‘Music and Arts in Europe’: It has been my experience that through music, and particularly through singing and dance, we can give a child, these particular children are between five and eight, a fulfilment of the sense of existence, of being, of breathing, of saying something, which is irreplaceable, which brings together the rhythm of the heart, the sound of the lungs. The lungs provide melody and speech but the heart brings rhythm and balance. These are the basic elements which no child should be without. In fact, if you wish to sum up the whole of my life in thought, you could do it in one word, which is the desire to communicate. To have something to say, something to listen to, something to pray to, something to hope for, in the way of closer understanding, and as one cannot practically communicate without voice, I cultivated mine and I am now working on giving voice to the voiceless.

(…)

We have one school in Brussels, one in London, in Paris, in Budapest and in another five countries; in Germany we will soon have one, probably Dusseldorf. – We come into a school that is full of suspicion, of racial antagonism, of bigotry, of prejudice, of fear, of children who are full of energy and have no focal point, nothing that binds them together. In Brussels they are mainly Moroccan, in London they come from every imaginable background. We train teachers, as we did last year, summer 1994; for about two weeks; we brought the school some very simple singing and dancing, mostly folk and chorales, and within a very short while the children began looking at each other directly in the eyes, trusting each other, singing together, dancing together, to music of the different folklores in their class. And the result was that they began to understand each other.

When I travel to different countries, I come to know the musicians. The truest expression of any civilisation is through their music, not through their words. You may understand their language, their literature, their poetry, but their music is what reveals their character. The same with composers; when I met Bartok for the first time, he realised that I knew him, I knew his integrity, his passion, his capacity for anger, his serenity, and I understood the man from his music. We were closer to each other after the first movement of the sonata that I played for him; we were as close as people can be, deeply understanding each other’s music – his master – work, my interpretation.

In Brussels we have also mime, which I think is very important as the reflection of the children to each other and as a bodily expression of imagination, of beauty, of meaning. These children grow perfectly naturally, without prejudice and fulfilling their potential. Because I have a simple axiom by which I can judge the human temperature, and that is when any child or any person has not fulfilled their potential, that potential goes sour and becomes destructive. In other words, if a child has a talent that must be satisfied, if a child wants to sing (every child wants to sing and dance), then we are fulfilling a basic potential. We have met people who have not known that and that is something which leaves a gap, a void, which is automatically filled with the resentment at being denied a birthright.

Now this is to tell you that we have embarked on a three-year pilot project. I am sorry that we have to call it a pilot project, because this statement that I am making to you has been proven in the Kodaly Method in Hungary; they have published a big book about it, wherein they prove, with statistics, that children who sing every morning are better in their mathematics and better in their studies and quicker to learn than children who have not. Therefore, it is not a loss of time, it is a positive advantage. But now we have to go through three years of pilot projects to prove something that has already been proven, in the hope that the education authorities, the ministries and the whole attitude of people will understand how important it is to give children this opportunity of self-expression, of motion – motion and emotion which awakens also their thoughts and their curiosities and satisfies them, making them into healthier and balanced human beings.

Unfortunately, with many parents the first thing they want to do is to inculcate their own prejudices, their fears, their phobias into their children, and we have to educate the adults as much as the children. That is for the project MUS-E which has already your provisional support, your approval; I am speaking of the Council of Europe, the Parliament of Europe, and of UNESCO, of course. MUS-E needs support, but that I will leave; I will not speak about finances now; because my main purpose now is to communicate the sense of what we are living for and what we may reasonably expect.

FROM US TO YOU on Musiq3 – RTBF

On December 27 IYMF broadcasted a live concert from the Brussels City Hall with Matthieu Saglio Quartet. The concert “From Us to You” was a special event to mark the end of the year 2020 and bring magic through music.The concert is still available freely on our website!

Musiq3 – RTBF came back on our concert in their cultural news on January 14. You can listen to the podcast and listen to the interview of Matthieu Saglio as well as hear the voice and beautiful words of Yehudi Menuhin on music.

Our tribute to Celina Pereira

Celina Pereira was a magnificent artist, heiress of the mornas and tales of Cape Verde, ambassador of the culture of her country which she promoted with happiness.

In Portugal, she was known for her involvement in the MUS-E program of the Associaçao Yehudi Menuhin Portugal. In Europe, she had participated in various concerts of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, including the “Dancing Violins” in Luxembourg, where she had taken with her a couple of dancers from Portugal who had accompanied her on stage in an admirable manner. She had also shared a duet with Marlène Dorcena, performing together the famous melody for peace created by Yehudi Menuhin.


Celina had also participated in the emblematic European project that the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation had developed in 2008, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. And we found her on stage during the final concert at the Cirque Royal in Brussels, to our great delight, alongside other moving artists such as Dani Klein, Natasha Atlas, Marlène Dorcena, Iva Bittova and all the storytellers involved in the seven countries participating in this project entitled I YOU WE SHARE THE WORLD.


Celina was the memory of her people. Her heart was immense. Her voice touched with tenderness and gentleness. We will never forget her beautiful clear eyes and her laughter that still resonates within us, reminding us that a world full of music, understanding and joy is possible.

IYMF among the 10 projects selected under the call “Music Education and Learning”

IYMF is among the 10 projects selected under the Creative Europe call “Music Education and Learning” (EAC/S53/2019). Let’s come back on this call and give an small teaser about our symbolic project for our MUS-E network! 

MUSIC MOVES EUROPE: Preparatory Action testing suitable actions for more targeted EU funding for music post-2020.

Music Moves Europe (MME) is the overarching framework for the European Commission‘s initiatives and actions in support of Europe’s music sector. Developed from a series of meetings with representatives of the music sector starting in 2015, Music Moves Europe was launched as a strategic initiative by the Commission. It has since developed further and today stands for the EU support for music.

With MME, the European Commission wants to build on and strengthen further the sector’s strong assets: creativity, diversity and competitiveness. The ultimate goal is to develop a truly European music policy.

Music Moves Europe’s specific objectives are:

  • promote creativity and innovation;
  • safeguard and expand the diversity of European music;
  • help the sector adapt to and benefit from digitisation.

EU actions in support of Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) are cross-sectoral, covering also the music sector. While this cross-sectoral approach to EU collaboration on culture remains a feature of the New European Agenda for Culture adopted by the Commission in May 2018, the Commission acknowledged the impossibility of having a one-size-fits-all approach for all CCI and announced sector-specific initiatives in the most mature cultural sectors, especially music.

Member States in the Council of the European Union decided that Music Moves Europe should become part of their cooperation on culture at EU level; and therefore an action on music has been included in the new Council Work Plan for Culture 2019-22. Work has already started with a conference under the Romanian Presidency of the Council in June 2019. Further Commission-led expert workshops will take place in 2020, while another Presidency conference is planned for 2021 under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council.

 
 

MUSIC EDUCATION AND LEARNING

Studies have shown that music education is beneficial in many ways for the development of social competences, fostering social inclusion, enhancing creativity and promoting critical thinking. On this topic, IYMF has published an article on this blog. In addition, it can well lay the groundwork for professional orientation towards a career in the music sector.

Music education can have a formal but also non-formal and informal dimension. Even if this call focuses on informal/non-formal music education, it has to be seen as part of a broader concept of art education.

In its resolution on the New European Agenda for Culture, the European Parliament highlighted in the same spirit the role of music and arts education in schools and stressed its added value. Education and training systems, together with non-formal and informal learning , have a fundamental role to play in developing creative and innovative capacities from an early age as key factors in enhancing future economic competitiveness and employability and equally important in promoting personal fulfilment and development, social inclusion and active citizenship.

The Council Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning should be taken into account alongside the recently updated European reference framework on key competences for lifelong learning (2018) which defines “Cultural awareness and expression” as one of the eight key competences necessary for employability, personal fulfilment and health, active and responsible citizenship and social inclusion.

OUR PROJECT: MUS-E ON STAGE

MUS-E ON STAGE improves the accessibility to music education and learning for primary school-aged children coming from underpriviledged and migrant backgrounds in Europe. The project stems from a close collaboration with the Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal (AYMP)

More info about our new project coming soon…

And after? Creativity & Flexibility: non-profits’ assets to overcome challenges drawing from the pandemic.

2020 has been a very special year for the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation as well as for many other non-profit associations.

The pandemic is challenging our ability to transform our activities to be able to cope with the current regulations and develop and maintain socio-artistic projects.

Le Baromètre des Associations 2020 initiated by the King Baudouin Foundation probes the financial health and the situation of the non-profit sector in Belgium.

The study conducted by Ipsos reveals the financial and organisational difficulties non-profits operating in different sectors (i.e., social, health, cultural & leisure, cooperation & development, environment and animal healthcare) are facing today. With no surprise, most of the difficulties are the direct consequences of the pandemic.

 

Financial difficulties

As the Baromètre des Associations 2020 indicates, 49% of non-profits have experienced a financial decrease over the past 12 months and 95% affirm this decrease is due to the pandemic.

All of the sectors mentioned above have been financially impacted by the health crisis even if the cultural and leisure, and the cooperation and development sectors have experienced the most significant decline of their financial situation.

 

Although the public subsides remained stables and represent the most important part of non-profits’ total revenues (63%), donations from private foundations and individuals have reduced. The economic context drawing from the pandemic is without doubt the main responsible of those circumstances.

 

Despite all those negatives outcomes, 90% of non-profits managed to meet their payment obligations which can be explained by the reduction of activities and projects, partial unemployment and the use of financial reserves.

 

Organisational difficulties

 

Many non-profits have seen the number of their volunteers decrease over the past few months. Actually, 33% have seen this number diminish by half. Overall, the biggest non-profits are the most impacted by the decrease of the number of volunteers.

Nevertheless, no significant increase in terms of lay offs has been observed. As indicated by the survey only 15% of non-profits had to lay off staff in 2020 against 12% in 2018. The issue is more about the hiring rate since 3 out of 10 associations have declared having postponed their recruitment process.

Finally, collaborating with the board of directors has appeared to be a great source of support for many non-profits. Half of them affirmed to have increased their communication with the board of directors in 2020 benefiting from their financial expertise, management advices as well as a psychological support.

 

Creativity & Flexibility

Le Baromètre des Associations 2020 highlights some consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the non-profit associations sector in Belgium.

Despite all difficulties drawing from the crisis, the study shows that non-profits associations are being flexible and creative to overcome challenges. Since march, 42% declared having changed their activities and implemented new objectives.

As an operator in the cultural sector, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation still aims to maintain and create projects that promote its values and facilitate social inclusion and artistic creation. To better handle this exceptional situation and deal with current challenges, we are diversifying the type of projects we use to implement by mainly relying on the digitalisation of our activities.

Non-profit associations play a central role in our society in creating social bonds and ensuring social cohesion. The pandemic has threatened the financial stability for many of us. The number of donations has significantly reduced and smaller associations do not have access to public subsides. Also, it might be difficult for some of us to lead crowdfunding campaigns by lack of resources. However, every non-profit association deserve to be supported.

We believe it is important to remind that tax deduction on donations has been increased since the beginning of the pandemic in Belgium. This means that for every 40€ donation, donors would only pay 16€. The rest (24€) is tax deductible.

Solidarity towards non-profits is more than ever necessary to keep as much projects as possible on tracks because we, as a society, benefit from all activities implemented by non-profits associations.

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation stands together with all non-profit organisations in Belgium and across the world. Together we will continue to shape and improve our society during and after the crisis.

What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being?

#artenquarantaine, #musicforhealth, #artforhealth, #artisgood, #shareculture, #lockdownart,…

Have you ever crossed such hashtags on social networks? In view of the situation, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation wishes to highlight the evidence – for there is – that art is good and necessary for our health and well-being all the more so at the present time. We therefore wish to encourage awareness that these sectors are essential and not secondary, promote arts engagement at the individual, local, national and international levels as well as insist on the need to further acknowledge and act on the growing evidence base.

Then, what is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? This article presents the scoping review by the World Health Organization. The main findings of the report are based on the results from over 3000 studies and identified a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, in the promotion of health and in the management and treatment of illness across the lifespan.

This report has mapped the evidence on the potential value of the arts in the promotion of good health, the amelioration or prevention of a range of mental and physical health conditions, and the treatment or management of acute and chronic conditions arising across the lifespan.

Studies have covered a diverse range of arts activities and explored programmes delivered in a range of different locations from hospitals to primary care to the community to the home.

A number of themes can be drawn from this research. First, there is a substantial body of evidence on the health benefits of the arts. Research designs included a spectrum from uncontrolled pilot studies to randomized controlled trials, from small-scale cross-sectional surveys to analyses of nationally representative longitudinal cohort studies, and from individual case studies to community-wide ethnographies.  Overall, the findings from this review lend credibility to the assertion that the overall evidence base shows a robust impact of the arts on both mental and physical health.

A second theme in the identified research was a focus on conditions for which no complete solutions are available. Here, the arts hold promise in tackling difficult or complex problems for which there are not currently adequate solutions such as cancer, diabetes or respiratory diseases.

Additionally, this review identified how the arts can provide a holistic lens to view conditions that are often treated primarily as physical; this approach fits with current trends in health towards giving parity of esteem to mental health and also towards situating health problems within their social and community context.

A third theme was that the evidence base did not just show efficacy of arts interventions but also showed economic benefits, with some arts interventions showing equivalent or greater cost–effectiveness to possible health interventions. The theoretical framework used for this report focused on the multimodal aspect of arts activities as this is likely to underlie the benefits. Arts interventions can provide multiple health-promoting factors within an activity (e.g. supporting physical activity and with components that support mental health); consequently, they may be more efficient for certain health conditions than the co-prescription of a physical activity intervention and a mental health intervention.

Further, the aesthetic component of the arts and the ability to tailor them to have relevance to individuals from different cultural backgrounds means that they can be a route to engaging minority or hard-to-reach groups, who can have higher risks of poor health and concomitantly generate higher health-care costs. Arts enhance social cohesion and bonding and prevent inequities and inequalities by leaving no one behind.  There is wide literature on the impact of the arts on child development, from language and expression to education attainment.

However, there is a clear need for more economic evaluations of arts interventions within health to quantify the benefits and support the business cases for funding and commissioning.

Policy recommendations

A number of considerations can be derived from the evidence mapped in this report; these target both the cultural and the health and social care sectors.

 

Acknowledge the growing evidence base for the role of the arts in improving health and well-being by:

Supporting the implementation of arts interventions where a substantial evidence base exists, such as the use of recorded music for patients prior to surgery, arts for patients with dementia and community arts programmes for mental health;

Sharing knowledge and practice of arts interventions that countries have found effective in their context to promote health, improve health behaviours or address health inequalities and inequities;

Supporting research in the arts and health, particularly focusing on policyrelevant areas such as studies that examine interventions scaled up to larger populations, or studies that explore the feasibility, acceptability and suitability of new arts interventions.

 

Recognize the added health value of engagement with the arts by:

Ensuring that culturally diverse forms of art are available and accessible to a range of different groups across the life-course, especially those from disadvantaged minorities;

Encouraging arts and cultural organizations to make health and well-being an integral and strategic part of their work;

Actively promoting public awareness of the potential benefits of arts engagement for health;

Developing interventions that encourage arts engagement to support healthy lifestyles. Note the cross-sectoral nature of the arts and health field through:

Strengthening structures and mechanisms for collaboration between the culture, social care and health sectors, such as introducing programmes that are cofinanced by different budgets

Considering the introduction, or strengthening, of lines of referral from health and social care to arts programmes, for example through the use of social prescribing schemes

Supporting the inclusion of arts and humanities education within the training of health-care professionals to improve their clinical, personal and communication skills.

 

Where is creativity in the new digital Europe?

On September 30th, the European Commission unveiled its plans for three long-awaited strategic proposals: on the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), the European Research Area, and the European Education Area (to be achieved by 2025). The press conference was led by the interventions of Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. These three strategies will shape the future of education in Europe for the years to come. At the end of the day, it’s education stakeholders and practitioners that will implement the measures promoted by the Commission.

 

Inclusion, our priority

The International Yehudi Menuhin took part in the public consultation based on the contributions from the MUS-E organizations in Europe and their experiences on the field during the pandemic and confinement. We underlined the fact that digital tools remain tools and it is education which needs investment. In every country where MUS-E is active, it has been highlighted by our coordinators. In addition, we would like to focus that if digitalization is a necessity, we have to make sure that social gaps are not widened and that it does not show more inequalities. MUS-E is working particularly with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and this is a big challenge. Our priority and main mission remains inclusion and we have to make sure that promises of inclusion are kept in this new digital Europe and leave no one behind.

 

Last but not least, where is creativity?

The second point is linked to this final one: there is almost no mention to art and creativity in the 3 strategies communicated by the Commission. And yet, if art also influences social aspects of students’ lives, it has a broader scope in education. It extends beyond the boundaries of academic learning and into community-based values. Art should be considered an integral part of the education system because of its long history in human culture and for its many benefits in building resilient and inclusive societies. The issue of art’s value becomes far more pressing when policymakers and administrators decide how to allocate time and funding for art education in schools.

Teachers and artists working in schools must be ready to advocate for committing the necessary resources to prioritize the value of creativity in the classroom. Digitalization cannot replace everything. We would like to express our concerns for art education while we strongly believe that digitalization and the arts can be complementary, support each other. While new technologies have been largely absent in arts education curriculum, they offer opportunities to address arts integration, equity, and the technological prerequisites of an increasingly digital age. IYMF is going to leverage its strengths and propose new project going in this direction without loosing the spirit and essence of our artistic programmes but we would like to address EU policy makers on the need to include creativity in education and in our societies in general.

CAPACITARTE: good practices from Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Germany

CAPACITARTE is a training project in which IYMF is partner for professionals in the artistic-pedagogical world that allows them to extend and develop their skills in non-formal methodologies active from art, creativity and culture. These professionals of the artistic-pedagogical world in non-formal methodologies through Art will revert their learning in directive teams, teachers and AMPAS of education centers located in priority attention areas.

We would like to share good practices from our partner countries! 

PORTUGAL: TRAINING FOR VIDEO CONTENT CREATION

As part of the CapacitArte project, on September 5th, a Formation Action “Video in time of confinement” was promoted at the National Center of Culture. The purpose of this training was to train participants to produce video content for educational purposes and in the context of confinement or similar. The training took into account the equipment that we can have in our homes, the free digital tools and the basic languages of editing.
The trainer was the Local Coordinator of MUS-E Leiria, Rui Amado, an expert in this field, besides being a professional musician, song writer and producer with edited works in the market; member of the Banda da Catraia group; musical animator at Jardim do Fraldinhas, kindergarten/school and first private cycle in Leiria; mentor and teacher in the Tradiscola project, whose objective is to teach traditional Portuguese instruments and music.
Artists and local coordinators involved in the CapacitArte Project and MUS-E Portugal were present at the training.

HUNGARY: THEATRE & MUSIC

Different Theatre and Music activities sent to us by our partners in Hungary, within the Erasmus + ‘CapacitArte’ Project. Works by Andor Timar, Krisztina Filep, and Sándor Bányai.

GERMANY, WORKSHOP ON THEATRE, MOVEMENT AND COOPERATION

Within the Erasmus + ‘CapacitArte’ project, we would like to share a work of the German team. A work carried out by T. Fromelt, R. Karlocai and O. Dayan.

This is a workshop on Theatre, Movement and Cooperation: it is almost an hour with the complete workshop, different dynamics and activities, introduction and outcome of the workshop.

SPAIN: WORKSOP ON ACTIVE ARTISTIC METHODOLOGIES FOR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION STUDENTS

Workshop, directed by Rosa Maria Oria, which has taken place within the framework of the Erasmus + ‘Capacit-Arte’ Project.

This workshop aims to bring a little more some proposals for non-formal education to future teachers.

Objective: more than 80 adult students from the Primary Education Teacher Training. All of them have reached the age of majority. They are in their first year, taking a first term subject called ‘Tutoring and Family Education’.

Most young people are not aware of non-formal methodologies of action, and what they can bring to the classrooms, since they are usually conditioned by the form of formal education that they have been given regularly, and they find it difficult to understand this proposal, which unites and mixes tasks for teachers and artists by joining dynamic methodology of intervention from art in the classroom.

University students participate in this workshop in groups, established by the university professor, in order to work more actively.

Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España commitment and work for solidarity

Monday 31 August was the International Solidarity Day. A date that has been commemorated for 40 years and on which FYME wishes to show its commitment and work to promote solidarity.

FYME shows that what matters is what you do not what you say and FYME, through its numerous projects including Enred-Arte and Solidariz-Arte, is always promoting solidary from the MUS-E Methology, a work done by FYME with 315 volunteers, in addition to more than 150 artists and all staff of the structure and delegations.

In a world in which the individual and the fast success prevail, it is necessary a work in values from the emotional part, feelings and values for a better world, that we have to construct contributing all. This is the key of the MUS-E Methodology implemented in 13 countries in Europe: work from the emotions and feelings through art, combining intellectual training with the emotional to evolve as people and society.

The proposed actions will work from the values and collective work of creation of active citizenship to promote social participation and volunteering, something fundamental for the construction of a more supportive and fairer world, strengthening a strong social fabric, because increased participation does not mean that we are facing a strong and well-structured civil society. Therefore, to carry out this work within the educational field, as spaces of reference for young people where they already have an articulation of their relationships, is fundamental since in this sense all the actions that work with volunteer programs from the development of contents and experiences that favour solidarity and committed participation will allow the generation of the “social capital” that will guarantee the good functioning of our society.

There are no clear answers to many of the great dilemmas and problems of our society, but Solidarity Action – and together with-it favouring citizen action – can be a key factor. Therefore, it is essential to initiate this work of solidarity development in the educational field, something that FYME has been doing since its work for the voluntary transmission among adolescents, young people, and teachers, which undoubtedly contributes to the creation of a citizenry that acquires maturity and social awareness for the solidarity commitment with the most disadvantaged and serves to promote certain civic behaviours and attitudes of coexistence, participation and commitment. A whole set that makes it necessary to transmit values among young people and to develop programs and educational content and show experiences that promote the transmission of these values of solidarity, coexistence and participation, working in the dual direction with young people and their teachers.

They wanted to illustrate this news with a video made by two young collaborators who have sent us a video they made this summer on the environment. They are Africa and Carmen, who have made it on their own initiative. They are in 5th and 6th grade of Primary School and, without a doubt, they are a lesson in solidarity work thinking about others, and how we can contribute to improve the world.

This video was recorded with their cell phone during their vacations in Cantabria last July. It is a video where they ask for help not to contaminate with plastic. An exemplary video from which we can learn a lot.