River-oriented education in waterfront communities (Erasmus+)

  • Title of the project: Innovative, Informal Methodologies for Practical, River-Oriented and Versatile Education (I_Improve)

  • Goal: to learn, develop and disseminate methodologies in implementing innovative cultural interventions to engage the audience in the urban waterfronts. Encourage cultural professionals and community leaders to enhance their capacity to the local communities, who can, in time, benefit from cultural programs and take part in rediscovering the potential of the waterfronts.

  • Partners: Oostende de Stad Ann Zee / The City of Ostend and the Library of Ostend (Belgium), Venti Di Cultura, NGO (Italy), Laboratory for Urban games and research Laimikis.lt, NGO (Lithuania), Wiener SPÖ Bildung / Wiener Bildungsakademie (Austria), River // Cities association (Poland), project’s leader – Intercult, NGO (Sweden). Informal education expert – Avril Meehan.

  • Supported by: Erasmus+
    Duration: 2018-2021

  • What Laimikis.lt team learned during this project:
    a) A use of music in evoking and fostering memory processes. The Public Library of Ostend, which has a huge music records collection, started arranging music gatherings for people with dementia and their family members. We had a short training in using songs while activating detailed memories and emotions connected to the songs. It is truly an amazing experience – if you read this, please create playlists for yourself, your partner, and your family members that consist of the songs connected with the most vivid memories.
    b) We also started exploring visual storytelling‘s possibilities – turning stories into illustrations has a huge potential as a tool for cultural work and non-formal education. 

  • What Laimikis.lt team achieved during this project:
    – We developed a methodology for running visual storytelling workshops that explore the identity of the place; we started using illustrations for visual mapping of the elements that create a sense of place. We applied it for collecting stories connected to the rivers and the waterfront (private memories and insights about various activities by the rivers in the past, present, and future). We tested this methodology during the workshop with Kaunas community leaders in the framework of the Kaunas 2022 programme “Fluxus Labas”, – and the collected and shared ideas, brought together, turned into the annual river festival in Kaunas (“Švęskime upę” curated by Romena Puikytė)!

    – We turned the collected stories of waterfront communities into brainstorming and storytelling card game “UPĖ – STORIES FLOWS” that provides ideas on revitalising the waterfronts for community leaders and cultural professionals. We combined storytelling and illustrations to turn the private insights of the inhabitants of the riverfronts into a set of visualised ideas for the riverfront. This set  works as the pool for ideas.

    “Upė – stories flow” concept & art direction:
    Jekaterina Lavrinec + Julius Narkūnas;
    Design and illustrations: Inesa Jarkova;

    Check for some parts of the storytelling game at Behance.

    – We have presented the methodology and the created set to the cultural operators and community leaders who work in Lithuania in the practical workshop. And we continue disseminating collected knowledge of how to engage the communities with the riverfront through cultural activities. 

    – Shared our expertise in developing urban games for heritage sites and arranged a study visit to Kaunas and Vilnius for our partners from Venti di Cultura (Italy). Our partners from Italy participated in the annual Co-urbanism forum that brings together urban practitioners from the Baltic Sea Region. 

    – We created a methodological tool, Method Roulette, which is instrumental for cultural organisations that seek to engage the audiences through creative activities by finding and activating the resources that organisations already have. Every cultural organisation has precious resources. However, many are unaware of and do not use those resources. We seek to help small cultural organisations discover their potential for cultural innovations and help develop new creative approaches in their fields (in this case, focusing on the riverfront). 

    – Analysed the experience of the project’s partners and arranged a report on cultural innovations in organisations that seek innovative approaches to engage the audiences with the riverfront. 

    The project’s materials are at the river // cities site.

Method Roulette

• method game “Method Roulette” is a tool for cultural organisations to explore cultural innovations: to map their hidden resources and to find out new methods, matching the goals and needs of the groups of people.

It is easy to use: construct your own method by turning the roulette’s wheels. Try different combinations of wheel sections: a) Choose your target audience (whom you address); b) Pick a goal (what you want to achieve); c) Define the resources needed for this task; d) Lastly, think of an idea for a method. Or you can start by defining your resources. Then, pick a goal and the audience. And finally, finding out a method. Tip: use components of roulette as examples, and contribute with your own!

The file for printing can be downloaded from the Laimikis site and used, under Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) conditions. You may also find details about the Method Roulette here at the Laimikis.lt site. concept: Jekaterina Lavrinec + Julius Narkūnas; design: Vytis Vasiliūnas.

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