How did Exchanges for All begin?
In October 2013 the final conference for the EU-Intereg South-Baltic project “CreatLearn” tookplace in Nykøbing F, Guldborgsund, DK, where the local work, on using artistic workshops for improving learning in schools, was coordinated by culture-house-organisation “CultHus”. As a part of the conference a pilot-project took place at Fjordschool (today known as Sophieschool), where groups of young people age 14, from 4 countries, worked together according to a model developed by youth-centres involved with the European network Drums for Peace.This was an art-based youth-exchange, where the young participants chose between one of the art-workshops, and where the results from these, by the end of the week, was merged into a presentation and shown a.o. at the conference
Mr. Bo, who was at that time international coordinator for the culture-houses, here presented the plan of continuing the cooperation on:
- International art-based mobilities / youth-exchanges for students inschool-time
- Workshops in schools with artists from another country
And Culthus offered to be leading organization for this work, which in 2014, when EU started a new budget-time and new funding-possibilities, managed to have approved an Erasmus+ strategic-partnership named “Exchanges for All”
This project aimed at exporting non-formal learning-tools from the youth-sector to the schools and was especially focusing on art-based youth-exchanges / mobility-camp sand the outcome fromtaking part in such activities.
The Danish association Arttrain, with Mr. Bo as president, had got approved a project including 2 exchanges and a third was including in the strategic partnership, and in May 2015 they were implemented parallel and observed by researchers University College Zealand, today known as UC Absalon.
But, in order to prepare for this, Mr. Bo had already visited schools in Liepaja (LV) and in Klaipeda (LT) several times, and in November 2014 schools here hosted the first transnational partner-meeting for Exchanges for All.
Here the original partners of youth- & cultural centres in a way handed over the project to schools from DK, PL, LV, LT and SE, and together the participants visited local partner-schools and planned the coming May-exchanges (read about the research here ).
Since then Exchanges for All has implemented free of cost, art-based mobility-camps for 8th graders in May and in September, and later on the network has also started implementing both school-workshops and study-visits for teachers.