Europe is facing great challenges presented by marginalized groups including: economic migrants, Gypsy Roma Travellers, diasporic populations, unemployed learners who have left school with only basic education, and financially and socially insecure professional groups such as artist and art educators. It is this last group, performing artists and artist educators that we see as being central in developing innovative practice with the other marginalized groups to meet the societal challenges they face.
To achieve change, deep understanding resulting from mobility, face-to-face cooperation is needed not only across national borders, but across institutional borders as well. Formal, non formal and informal institutions in diverse European countries need to work together to exchange, adapt and develop good practice. In order to support and embrace a multilingual Europe, this knowledge and practice needs to be divided in common language.
The adult education institutions engaged into this project (Moreno Centre, University of Chester, Bildungswerk Hamm, Meno Formos, DOT) work in several cultural and educational systems, have different theatrical discourses and drama pedagogical backgrounds, as well as different political background and languages.
The focus group of our Drama Connecting People Partnership is bidirectional, one direction focusing on adult educators working within marginal sectors (social welfare) and the other focusing on performing (free lance) artists and educators in applied arts (theatre) field. As a whole, the partnership will bear directly on the following groups:
1. Adult educators: professionals and volunteers, performing artists and drama educators
2. Adult learners: drama practitioners that the above two groups work with
3. The members of the target groups, with whom the participating drama practitioners work during the project activities
4. The localities in Europe and beyond who engage with booklet and website materials
The institutions involved have already started cooperation at the expert level (staff) in the last 3 years (for example we have visited each other’s seminars, conferences and given some workshops in each country). Professor Allan Owen’s books have already been translated into Finnish and Swedish, in Lithuanian and will soon be published in Estonian. We hope to build further on this shared knowledge and terminology by publishing written documentation and by using graphic recording and infographics. This visual medium furthers understanding across cultures and disciplines.
All the staff members are active at national levels, and are involved in providing education in drama methodology. Therefore the information created through this project will spread in all the cooperating countries and will be able to reach an even wider population.