- Erna van der Werff
Enchanted Words Festival: Oulu
The Enchanted Words Festival was originally planned for 2020 but was unfortunately canceled due to the pandemic. Even our 2021 events required a lot of changes - adding virtual content and videos alongside the original content.
The annual exhibition runs for 6 weeks during May and is visited by thousands of children and youth who participate in workshops and guided tours relating to literature and word art education. The festival works together with schools and finds this cooperation very important and interesting. The Culture United project gives important effort to artistic programming and production and provides the opportunity to evaluate what has been created during the festival’s 15-year history.
Cooperation between the festival and schools is a new concept and it is worthwhile to find ways to make the partnership efficient. Schools that took part in the Enchanted Words Festival reaped many benefits:
Students learned from each other while cooperating between different age groups
Cooperation with the Culture Center Valve developed into a more meaningful long-term relationship
Students’ reading and literature skills improved with students reading a wide variety of books
The staff experience was utilized effectively
A community feeling was invoked amidst the pandemic, which was a very important impact
In the Culture United project, we are writing down the methods and concepts so others can use the process in any kind of art festival or culture service to help build connections between schools and cultural programs.