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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

U-CREATE: Social inclusion through the arts

1.The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation

Since its setting-up in 1992 in Brussels, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) has used the creative arts (music, singing, dance, visual arts, etc.) as a tool for meetings among world cultures and has produced high-level multicultural concerts presenting stage concepts merging classical and world music in an innovative way.  

 

The IYMF has also established an informal artistic education network in Europe since 1993 entitled the MUS-E programme (900 artists from all disciplines and all cultures working in over 540 primary schools and reaching over 55,000 children a year through their art, in collaboration with 4500 teachers). The aim of this programme is to foster social inclusion of all children through the practice of the arts at school. In 2022, the programme exists in 10 countries of Europe: Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland as well as in Israel and Brazil.  

 

The Foundation’s artistic, educational and cultural actions are unique in their development and are mutually enriched by daily practice from artists in schools, their multicultural experiences, the on-stage celebrations of the richness of cultures and reflections on cultural diversity together with reflections on the protection of these cultures and the enhancement of their value, especially at a time when the principle of diversity and the acceptance of multiple identities seem to create a new, favourable environment for the cultures that make up the European mosaic.  

 

These actions make it possible to manage an ever increasing multiculturalism on a daily basis in Europe and contribute to integrating young people and developing their multiple identities. 

 

The IYMF brings together artists, children, teachers, project leaders, partners and cultural experts who share the vision and ethics of the great humanist violinist Yehudi Menuhin (“we live in a period of time when change is required for survival. Growing controversy and confrontation must be abandoned in favour of complementarity, solidarity and reciprocity”). 

 

Since several years now, the Foundation is also active in the field of social inclusion of refugees and migrants through inclusive projects such the HOMELANDS project or the INSIDE project which take place in the several regions of Belgium. The latest EU project we launched with enormous success is entitled “UCREATE.”  What is all about? 

2. The U-Create project

UCREATE is a Creative Europe funded project, in which four European artistic organisations based in four countries, namely International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in Belgium, Big Sur in Italy, HANGAR in Portugal and MUS-E Hungary have joined their forces to launch a training programme based on co-creation and dedicated to the inclusion of young artists from cultural minorities and migrant backgrounds.  

Through this project, creation is shared! Co-creation is at the centre of this project, and the arts are used as a powerful lever for creating social bonds between individuals. In each country, one artistic discipline has been in the spotlight: music in Belgium, cinema, photography and performing arts in Italy, art education in Hungary and visual arts in Portugal. Our main objective has been to involve local European communities with young newcomers around a common artistic project. Sharing experiences, creating and achieving something together are the solutions UCREATE is implementing for the social integration of newcomers in Europe, setting the premises of a feeling of belonging.  

In addition to proposing solutions for the inclusion of audiences, UCREATE is indeed a training programme for young artists, a research around co-creation, and an artistic research of the multiple facets of what Europe is today and how we foresee its future in four European countries.  

The highest priority of UCREATE is capacity building, developing skills through training and education transnationally. The second priority, intrinsically linked to the first, is facilitating intercultural dialogue and social integration training through co-creation, increasing newcomers’ participation in European cultural and societal life. 

While in the last decades many efforts have been done on how to engage new audiences in the passive “consumption” of art, today we see a strong focus on involving audiences in a more active and participatory way. This is not only because of the desire to find new approaches to attract new audiences but also because of the understanding of the importance of active participation in the art for our own personal development and, therefore, its beneficial impact on society as a whole.  

 

Artistic co-creation is a new, innovative model that goes even further. Within co-creation, participants do not just participate in what already exists, but they become decision-makers within the artistic process, design and implementation. Principles of artistic co-creation can also effectively be applied to many other sectors of our lives, thus contributing to innovation and creativity not just in the field of culture, but also promoting innovative spill over on other sectors. 

Through the last two years of activities of UCreate, we have learned a lot and gathered many positive experiences that we would like to share and multiply in future in order to create a meeting place, a place for dialogue and a laboratory for critical reflection on the role and meaning of art and the growing need to have more innovative approaches to participation in culture, regardless of background and artistic experience.  

The synthesis of these best practices has been gathered in an interesting document entitled « U-CREATE GUIDELINES » available in English, which aims to inspire practitioners in the field of social inclusion through the arts, in the specific context of migration.  

3. U-Create final event

The U-Create project culminated with a final event of two days in December 2022. The first day the event took place in Brussels at the Instituto di Cultura italiana in partnership with ENCATC and gathered all partners involved in the project as well as members of ENCATC at the occasion of their “Happy Hours”. A presentation of the project was done by the partners and culminated with the solo interpretation of cellist Matthieu Saglio, Ambassador artist of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.  

The second day the event took place in Yvoir, within the asylum Centre for migrants and started with a participative workshop on percussions for children led by the artist ambassador of the IYMF, Antonino Talamo. In the afternoon, a concert took place within the Centre and gather a large audience of residents and social workers. The musicians who participated in the concert were cellist Matthieu Saglio, percussionist Antonino Talamo and five young classical musicians from String for Talent, an association with whom we work for this special occasion.  

4. For further information

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

5th European Education Summit

On December 1st, the 5th European Education Summit took place in Brussels, organised by the European Commission, with the participation of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for innovation, research, culture and youth. 

Discussed topics were the following:  

-Closer together through innovation 

-Every child matters: pathways to school success 

-Empowered in the digital era 

-Education for climate 

-Shaping the future 

-Future-proofing education. 

IYMF Executive Vice-President Marianne Poncelet was present during this very interesting event and came back from it with much insight on those diverse topics.
For more information about the summit, visit the website.

CapacitArte transnational meeting in Belgium

On February 3rd and 4th, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation hosted the 4th CapacitArte transnational training meeting in Brussels. 

During this 2-day meeting, artists from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain gave workshops in order to exchange good practices. 

CapacitArte is a training project 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.

The first day started with an introduction word from IYMF Executive Vice-President, Marianne Poncelet who emphasized the importance for the Foundation to be part of and organise such projects where we give the possibility to artists from different countries to participate to trainings and share good practices. During these kind of events, the artists provide each other with innovative and creative new ideas that they can adapt to their own art language. 

As IYMF’s input in the CapacitArte project are artists from Homelands, places of belonging, Sergio Roberto Gratteri, Homelands artistic director also gave an introduction word. The Homelands project promotes social inclusion by creating a sustainable dialogue between Belgian citizens and newcomers through one of the most powerful tools of each culture: ART

To follow his words, the first workshop was given by Leandro Ramirez, Homelands artist of 2020. During his workshop, the participants had to reflect on what meant “home” to them. One of the main objectives of his workshop is to create an environment where everyone can express themselves freely through drawing.

Afterwards, Angela Peris Alcantud (Spain) gave her theatre workshop on zoom. Through different exercices she wanted to work on our point of view on diversity and how we sometimes have prejudices. 

Next were two presentations from Italy. Silvia Iossa shared the good practices of META Participatory lab and the role of MoCa Future Designers as evaluators of the project. Barbara Marcaccio gave a presentation concerning Montepacini which is a social cooperative that aims to give job opportunities and guarantee an autonomous and independent life to fragile people through work in the countryside.

Later that day, Judit Hochrein from Hungary gave a music workshop. The goal of her workshop is to strengthen the participants desire to experiment, to encourage individuality, their manifestations, the free expression of their ideas. We discovered the joy of creating together and “in-the-moment” music using percussion, body and voice. 

The first day finished with a cartoon workshop given by Evamaria Deisen from Germany. Through small subject ideas, we had to share in small groups stories related to it and then put it in a cartoon. This is a great way to show how art can be an impulse to create a dialogue but also to learn the participants to use their imagination and promote their creativity and artistic expression.

The second day was a little bit less intense but still very interesting.

Two artists coming from Portugal started the day with their workshop. Claire Honigsbaum was first with a music workshop. Using their voice and the tools at hand, the participants created a unique sound. Efthimios Angelakis followed with a dance and drama workshop. He proposed several exercices that promoted listening, cooperation and sharing of a common space.

And last but not least: Patries Wichers, artist from MUS-E Belgium gave a workshop called “Sharing moments” which also a good way to call the 2 day meeting.

It's wonderful the connection between participants. We all give ourselves to the practical exercises, which give us a sense of integration and harmony and free our body and soul. It's amazing how creative workshops have a real effect on human being.
Anonymous
CapacitArte participant

The meeting concluded with a roundtable. What mostly came out from everyone is the appreciation to participate to this project and how connected everyone felt to each other after just 2 days.

All the workshops had a common tool: art. All the workshops had a common goal: create a connection between people.

Capacit’Arte Transnational training in Lisboa

This September 2021, CAPACITARTE held its second transnational training meeting, this time in Lisboa, Portugal.

Artists and national coordinators from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Germany and Belgium joined together to share and exchange good practices for training adults. 

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation shared the good practices of the project “Homelands, places of belonging“.

Leandro Ramirez, Homelands artist in 2020, introduced a workshop about co-creation. At the hand of drawing and music, he invited the participants to think about their home and what “home” means to them.

 

The objectives of his workshop were:

  • To develop a workshop that allows us to appreciate the influence of music on our activities and moods.
    To generate an environment in which we can express ourselves freely by drawing.
"I am glad to have participated in the CapacitArte workshop in Portugal. It's always a great experience to meet people who desires to create art for others as a way to integrate and involve. As well, in the Homelands Project I have learned that doing Co-creation is a good way to create art in a more participative way. I think out there are a lot of people who needs to be touched by the art"
Leandro Ramirez
Homelands Artist

During these two days of training, Leandro participated in workshops about co-creative writing, dance and movement, music, forest bathing, etc. He realized, that even if he isn’t a big dancer, it is a good way to start an activity as it makes people move, and be aware of each other. He realized that you can have fun with words, that there is a writer in all of us. He realized that you can use dance to teach math. 

This training opportunity is a good way to exchange ideas and inspire each other on other ways to give a workshop while sending the same message. Some artist realized that they could use other disciplines to start their activity, and that they are able to do it themselves even. 

Kick Off “Homelands, places of belonging”

Homelands, places of belonging started strong with a 5-day residency in Mohiville with 3 IYMF artists ambassadors as trainers: Andor Timar (HU), Ilse Wijnen (BE) and Raul Iaiza (IT).

“Homelands, places of belonging” is a community co-creation project for and by newcomer artists. Paired up with a socio-cultural partner, they will have to lead a co-creation workshop with a local community.

This year we have 7 artists and 6 socio-cultural partners in Brussels, Leuven and Namur.

In Brussels:

  • Ali Sabri, a multidisciplinary artist from Iraq who participated in Homelands 2019, will give workshops at GC Ten Weyngaert. 
  • Kamand Razavi, Iranian photographer/videographer has been matched with someone Frome Résidences Art and will work at Kanal Centre-Pompidou. 
  • Frederico Araujo, a Brazilian actor currently studying at RITS as a director will work with Wolubilis.   
  • Ahmad Al Saadi, a young Syrian photographer who has already participated in Homelands 2019, is back in the municipality of Ixelles.

In Namur: 

  • Babacar Diop, a Senegalese musician, will give djembe workshops at the Abattoirs de Bommel (Cultural center of Namur).

In Leuven:

  • Hanane El Farissi, a multidisciplinary artist from Morocco, and Poya Sadeqi, an actor from Afghanistan, will form a trio with KNEPH and will work with the students of UCLL.

 

Find out more about them on www.thehomelandsproject.com 

How to start a co-creative process? How to turn creative ideas into action? How to involve everyone in the group? How to work in an interdisciplinary way ? These are some of the issues that have been addressed during this first training in order to start in an enthusiastic and dynamic way their project.

 

During the first day they learned how to create a group feeling and build trust between each other. 

On Tuesday, we had two teachers from the intercultural courses from UCLL, Liesbeth Spanjers and Katrien Mertens, give a workshop on how to make people from a different background, comfortable enough to share their story.

Wednesday was focused on how to give feedback to someone in a constructive way and as of Thursday, the different pairs really dove in the co-creative process by giving themselves mini-workshops.

From October 2021 until March 2022, they will have to apply these learnings during the co-creative workshops that they will have to lead. 

Follow Homelands, places of belonging to accompany them on their journey.

“Homelands, place of belonging” held 5 online workshops in May 2021

During the month of May 2021, three Artists ambassadors of the IYMF, Ilse Wijnen (BE), Raul Iaza (IT) and Andor Timar (HU) held 5 online co-creation workshops for people from all around Europe and from different artistic profession.

The theme of this workshop: “Digital co-creation in pandemic situation”.

Through these online workshops, it was intended to extend the methodology of co-creation and its benefits to a wider audience. It was also a way for Homelands to adapt to the sanitary crisis and to find and share new ways to co-create with local communities, even when it is challenging. They wanted to inspire cultural and social centers in Belgium and abroad to discover the Homelands experience and to initiate co-creation processes for social inclusion themselves.

At the end of these workshops, participants would be able to understand:

  • what co-creation really is
  • the potentials and challenges of creating online
  • how to make a bridge between old analog art practice and new digital tools
  • how to address and “manage” your audience
  • how to design a co-creative process online
“You feed me, I feed you, and that’s what it is all about. It’s about feeding and give and receive from the others all the time.”
Graziella – online workshop participant explaining her view on co-creation

“The trajectory of the workshops made this possible, the compilation of all of you. It was only possible because we did this intense evolution and we have seen each other in a way we would never have done when we meet someone on the streets. It was a very personal connection. And the fact that you build up, you reflect, you go back, and you take it with you; that is what makes it possible.”
Ilse Wijnen - trainer explaining her view on the online co-creation experience.

At the end of the 5 sessions, the participants showed their interest in having one last session in July to have the opportunity to continue their co-creative work. 

MUS-E Festival

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation is proud to present the very first International MUS-E Festival ! The festival will entirely happen online and will be broadcasted on www.concertwithyou.com, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation’s online platform that helps emerging musicians getting development opportunities.  

Everyday from July 19 until August 08th MUS-E organisations from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and Israël will present the work of artists that lead activities locally aiming at promoting equal access to culture and the arts. 

Visitors will have the chance to discover a wide eclectic selection of art works made all around Europe ! This festival is a way to promote all social initiatives and artisitic 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.  

Program

19 – 20 July : MUS-E GERMANY 

Artists: Constanze Betzl, Cris Gavazonni, Erwin Ditzner, Evamaria Deisden 

21 – 22 July : MUS-E ITALY 

Antonino Talamo, Massimiliano Caretta, Davide Bonetti, The Ring Around Quartet 

23 – 24 July : MUS-E SWITZERLAND  

An Chen, Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson, Ueli VON ALLMEN 

25 – 26 July : MUS-E BELGIUM 

Nicolas Ankoudinoff 

27 – 28 July : MUS-E HUNGARY 

Guessous Mesi, Gulyás Anna, Tóth Szabolcs 

29 – 30 July : MUS-E Portugal  

Catraia, Ines Maria Silva, Marta Countinho & Ruca Rebordao 

31 July – 01 August : MUS-E SPAIN 

Daniela Ventero, Pablo Ventero, Nora Usterman 

02 – 03 August : MUS-E BRAZIL  

Educardo Dos Santos, Louruz Sena, Paulo Ricardo 

04 – 05 August : MUS-E ISRAËL  

Avshalom Sarid, Uri Bracha, Dafna Peled 

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.