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  • Erna van der Werff

The Results Are In ! #Oulu

Culture United presented results to Oulu region cultural teachers and organisations! The Erasmus+project Culture United presented its results to Oulu region cultural teachers and organisations on Thursday 22.9. at 13.45-15.45 at the Oulu Music Centre.

The Culture United project is built on cultural events and heritage festivals as a driver to embed multi-disciplinary ways of teaching in primary schools. Project wants to appeal to the interests and natural enthusiasm of children and to use this effectively in interactive and engaging ways of learning. Participating countries are Finland, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.

Oulu’s responsibility was to create a toolkit guiding teachers into cooperation with culture organisations. This IO2-material has been especially designed for schools and teachers of elementary grades. In a wider perspective, it provides help to municipalities in creating an equal and inclusive cultural education plan, with emphasis on starting and developing cooperation with culture and art festivals. We believe the material will also interest literature festivals, events and book fairs to increase the audience development with schools. The IO2 toolkit has been created in cooperation with cultural organisators, teachers and literature art teachers, and has the authentic voice and opinions of these participants.

Finland has been the leading country in creating local and municipalital cultural education plans, and they have been created in cooperation with local festivals since the beginning. Finnish children’s culture professionals have a solid network and have

founded the website, that includes a toolkit on creating said plans. As a result of Culture United, the toolkit has been further developed to meet the international needs. The specialist partner in the work has been the Finnish Association of Children’s Culture Centres.

In Thursday’s event there were culture teachers and culture and event organisations present from Oulu and its region. From the culture organisations, Oulu Culture Centre for Children and Youth, Oulu2026, Oulu Symphony, The Irish Festival of Oulu, Soiva Siili- childrens music group, Liikkuva Laulureppu- childrens music group, puppet theatre Akseli Klonk, The Film School of Culture Centre Valve, Oulu-opisto, Museum and Science Centre Luuppi, Culture department of the City of Oulu, the film workshops for children

and youth and the Osthrobothnian Contemporary Music Festival were present.

The culture organisations presented themselves and what they do. The culture teachers had the chance to ask questions about their activities. Culture United presented their project, after which the teachers and organisations formed small groups for discussions. The conversation was lively and provided great insight, and could have gone on for longer than our timetable allowed. For example the different locations of schools and challenges of locations rose to discussion - the schools located further away from the city centre cannot often participate in anything due to logistical or funding problems, as central schools can easily walk to events. The schools located further away also hoped for more possibilities of having cultural visitors at the schools. Also the subject of pre-work materials rose up: so that the schools could get most benefit of visiting cultural events, it would be good to have some materials pre-visit to get to know the theme and/or the event. Oulu2026 listened to all the suggestions with interest. Oulu Culture Centre for Children and Youth shared their future plans of having both pre- and post-materials for cultural visits.

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