B2: Working Together in a European Setting

Original description: What can cooperation with other European partners bring you as practitioner or researcher? What is the added value of exchanging experiences and knowledge internationally? And what are the do’s and the don’ts? Three European projects on cultural education and participation present their work and discuss their experiences with you.    

1. Laura Mattick and Rolf Witte (German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning – BKJ) and Ronald Kox (National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts – LKCA) present the project ‘Europe in Perspective: International Co-operation in Cultural Learning’. The project is to promote diversity and more creative intercultural experiences in cultural learning across Europe. (

2. 'DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON' is a large-scale cooperation project developed by nine dance institutions from eight countries to address ageism in the dance sector and in society. Jaco van den Dool (lecturer Blended Learning at Codarts University of the Arts Rotterdam) presents one of the projects, a video learning tool developed by Codarts together with Motionbank Frankfurt. (Listen to Codarts Learning Hub - Podcast #2)

3. Five master courses in arts education from Iceland, Norway, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands develop a summer school on ‘The Paradox of Democratisation in Arts Education’, as an international learning community. This model of education uses the imaginative forms and strategies that are available in the field of art to stage a peaceful and productive clash between contrasting cultural values.

Results / lessons learned

1st Lesson learned: Multilayered partner structure works, but reaching out (to partners) takes a lot of time (‘It is a language thing’).  Flexibility in planning, management and funding is most important.
Q: Why work in such a complex way? 
A: If we want to make a change in Europe, we have to refer to or to reflect the complexity of Europe. Who if not us? You have to live this complexity, it is an enrichment.

2nd Lesson learned: A central organization and strong coordination (without dominating the project) is the key to the success. It keeps the project together. One meeting a year is the minimum.

3rd Lesson learned: Different perspectives give richer outcomes. 
Q: What is the value of multinational cooperation?
A: European countries might seem similar, but they are in fact quite different. Bringing the different perspectives together, gives richer outcomes.

4th Lesson learned: Video feedback enriches education and activates the students. Activating the body improves the process of learning.


+ Inclusion of all perspectives makes it harder to envision a single, shared perspective.
+ Unforeseeable dynamics and impulses give the project speed and have impact on the quality of your work.
+ Start with the tensions between incomparable cultural values. Not in a conflictual model but in the mode of an imaginative dialogue.