Partners Bridging social capital by participatory and co-creative culture

Eight organisations from seven countries with different experience and knowledge and different areas of interest make a strong partnership on the subject. Following organisations take part:
Denmark, Poland, Austria, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Letland and the Netherlands


Interfolk, Institute for Civil Society is a Danish non-profit association and private research institute, founded in 2008. Interfolk is member of DANFØ – the Baltic Sea NGO Network, Denmark; BNAL – the Baltic Network for Adult Learning ; AMATEO, the European network for Amateur Arts; and IPCP – the International Platform for Citizen Participation.

The overall aim is to promote humanistic and democratic learning capacities in a civil society context. The main objectives are

  • to promote liberal adult education and cultural learning that focus on personal autonomy, active citizenship, social inclusion, and cultural cohesion;
  • to create partnerships with Nordic and European associations within liberal adult education, NGO-activities and the spheres of amateur arts and voluntary culture;
  • to ensure that the objectives of lifelong learning adhered to by the European Commission and the Nordic Council of Ministers also continues the best of the intentions of the Nordic-European tradition of Enlightenment and Bildung.

The activities of Interfolk include research, surveys, development projects, courses, seminars, debate activities and other cultural activities – in a Danish, Nordic and European context.

The main project activities in 2009-2014 included

– 2008 – 2010: A survey of values and goals in voluntary cultural organisations in cooperation with the Cultural Councils in Denmark; supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture.

– 2011: Development of an e-learning tool for validation of the students’ learning profile for Esbjerg Folk High School; supported by the Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark.

– 2009 – 2011: Coordinator for a two year Nordplus Adult project about validation of non-formal and informal learning outcome; supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

– Coordinator for a two year Grundtvig multilateral project, 2009 – 2011, entitled “Learning outcome of amateur culture” (LOAC); supported by EU’s Executive Agency, EACEA.

– 2012: Development of a new learning assessment frame focussed on the existential learning dimension for folk high school students at Nordfyn Folk High School.

– 2011 – 2012: Lead partner for planning a NGO Portal for the Baltic Sea Region, with reference to the CBSS-NGO Forum (The Council of the Baltic Sea States’ NGO Forum).

– 2012 – 2014: Coordinator for a Grundtvig Learning partnership, entitled “Art based learning and active ageing” (ART-AGE), supported by the Danish Agency for International Education.

– 2013 – 2015: Coordinator for a Grundtvig Multilateral Project, entitled “Culture guides for marginalised social groups (GUIDE), supported by EU’s Executive Agency, EACEA.

– 2016: Coordinator of the 1-year pilot project “Arts and Culture on the Nordic Edge” (AMARE), supported by Nordic Culture Nordic Point’s Culture and Art Programme / Capacity development

– 2016 – 2019: Coordinator for the 3-year development project, 2016 – 2019, entitled “Voluntary culture as leverage of cross-cultural activities in sparsely populated areas “, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ NGO programme for the Baltic Sea Region.

– 2016 – 2018: partner in the Erasmus+ strategic partnership, entitled “Curricula for culture volunteers and managers in sparsely populated areas”, supported by the UK National Erasmus+ Office.

– 2016 – 2018: Partner in the two year Nordplus Adult project, entitled “Curricula and training for culture volunteers (SPARK)” supported by the Danish Agency of Higher Education.

– 2017 – 2018: Coordinator of the 18 months NGO project, entitled “Nordic and Russian NGOs building bridges (BRIDGES)” supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Open Call for co-operation with Northwest Russia.

– 2017 – 2019: Coordinator of the two year Erasmus+ strategic partnerships, entitled “Bridging social capital by participatory and co-creative culture (BRIDGING), supported by the Danish Erasmus+ programme.

– 2017 – 2021: Member of the documentation & research team at the 4-year Network project ‘ARTS TAKE PART’, applied by AMATEO, the European network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities, which has been supported by the Creative Europe Programme, the Cultural Networks strand.



Voluntary Arts works to promote and support active participation in creative cultural activities across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Across the UK and the Republic of Ireland there are at least 63,000 voluntary arts groups, regularly involving more than 10 million people participating voluntarily in creative cultural activities: this activity is, and will continue to be, a critical part of both the bedrock and the grass roots of the cultural life of our communities and nations.

Voluntary Arts was created in 1991, in response to a need identified by government and the voluntary arts sector, to provide a universal voice for the voluntary arts across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Today Voluntary Arts has about 20 staff and more than 60 volunteers working across five nations. It provides information and advice services, undertakes lobbying and advocacy work and delivers, and support the delivery of, projects to develop participation in creative cultural activities.

Voluntary Arts manages and hosts the annual Epic Awards – an opportunity to shine a light on groups and projects which exemplify excellence within the sector. It is a key partner in running the Get Creative Festival – a new merger of the former Voluntary Arts Festival and the Get Creative campaign. This new festival is delivered in collaboration with the BBC, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Wales, Crafts Council, Fun Palaces, 64 Million Artists, Creative People & Places and Family Arts Campaign.

It is a founding member of Amateo, the European Network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities, which is currently delivering a four-year project within the Networks strand of the Creative Europe programme.



Fundacja Alternatywnych Inicjatyw Edukacyjnych (FAIE)
Foundation of Alternative Educational Initiatives

FAIE is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 2011. The main goal is Life Long Learning promoting – developing one’s own abilities, predispositions, interests – both in personal and professional life. Another goal is to promote and support vocational and personal development through culture and art, also to protect and keep the cultural heritage as a part of national identity.

From the beginning FAIE supports development of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by designing, developing, conducting and testing training and advisory programmes aimed at preparing and realizing quality international projects. FAIE realizes advisory for NGOs on possibilities of their development and development of their members/ workers/ volunteers. On regular basis there are also on-line researches realized to design and test new support programmes for supporting international, partner cooperation of NGOs.

Another group strongly supported by FAIE the seniors, Third Age Universities and other organisations & informal groups gathering seniors and working for the benefit of seniors. FAIE cooperates with several Third Age Universities on regular basis.

FAIE also works in the field of democratic empowerment realizing research and proposing solutions.

In the field of arts & culture FAIE develops support for craftsmen at promoting their works and keeping the cultural heritage, also, in modern forms. There is a cooperation with several craftsmen associations established. Most of them are active in the rural areas. FAIE has also started to prepare a guide for alternative culture places in the region (private museums, art galleries run by NGOs etc.).

Since 2014 FAIE runs the EURODESK Regional Information Point. It’s role is to provide information regarding opportunities for education, training, traineeships, voluntary work and work in Europe for the youth and the youth workers. The Eurodesk network works in 33 European countries and is supported, among others, by the European Commission.

Locally – FAEI is involved in inter – sectoral partnership for employment and development of social entrepreneurship in the region building. The aim of this partnership is to develop some forms of support for persons dismissed from work, especially those endangered with social exclusion and discrimination. FAEI also is a founder – member of the Non-governmental Organizations of Bielsko-Biała Threaty.

FAIE’s staff has since 2002 established wide networks and recognisability in the NGO sector in Poland, working as trainers, project managers, advisors and volunteers. FAIE’s people have also been working in business & public sector. The FAIEs staff is constantly upgrading skills  and competences concerning working in the adult education sector.



EDUCULT is an independent, non-profit research institute with a long expertise in the analysis, evaluation and assessment of Austrian and European educational and cultural policy. Through research EDUCULT aspires to initiate discussion and raise new questions. Dialogue is essential – therefore we include discussion-based methods and involve relevant stakeholders into our work whenever applicable. Our interdisciplinary competences and our international network of experts allow us to design tailor-made concepts.

Therefore EDUCULT supports:

  • Cooperation between education, arts, culture and scientific institutions on the individual, institutional and political level
  • Knowledge-exchange in the field of cultural education, cultural participation and access to culture between different levels and institutions
  • Awareness-raising for the importance of cultural education and participation through public discussion and dissemination activities

These aims are reached by:

  • Methodological research, analysis and evaluation of projects, programmes and initiatives
  • Service and consultation activities for the implementation and development of programmes
  • Exchange and dissemination of research results

EDUCULT carries out national and international cultural policy research projects in the area of arts and cultural education, with the aim to provide reliable data for evidence based policy. Besides, we implement participative projects. Recent activities in these fields include:

European level:

  • „School INCLUSIVE Cultural Education“ (2015-2017): Funded by the Erasmus+ programme, investigates how a different kind of school culture supports respect and openness for cultural diversity and a sense and understanding for the meaning of aesthetic elements in everyday life, as well as the appreciation of creative practice.
  • „Brokering Migrants‘ Cultural Participation“ (2013-2015): Funded by the EC DG Home with the aim to enhance and stimulate the cultural participation of migrants by improving the capacity of their local cultural public institutions to interact with them.
  • “Access to Culture“ (2013-2015): Funded by the EC Culture Programme with the aim to compare the priority setting on European level and national implementations. Hereby the project establishes indicators for the further development of Access to Culture policies on European and national level.
  • “AEMS – Arts Education Monitoring System” (2011-2013): Funded by the EC Culture Programme. Through two years of research policy analysis of different EU member countries in the field of arts education monitoring was provided, with setting up a structure to make national European data on the resource input in arts education comparable.
  • “European Arts Education fact Finding Mission” (2010): Funded by the CULTURE EACEA Programme.
  • “Language Rich Europe” (2010-2013): Participation in European project on multilingualism policies, lead by the British Council.

National level:

  • Cultural Policy consultancy for the Ministry for Education, Culture and the Arts, especially on access to culture, cultural participation, cultural education programmes, fostering of creativity and innovation at schools.
  • „Learning in, with, and through culture“ (2013-2015): Supported by funds of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, participatory research project on the development, definition, reflection and assessment of cultural competence.
  • Development and analysis of the complementary national survey on “Cultural participation of pupils”.
  • Study “Culture and Democracy“ (2010): an in-depth cultural policy analysis of Austrian cultural policy by EDUCULT director Michael Wimmer.
  • “Mapping out of the research situation in cultural education” (2010): collection and data analysis of research publications in Austria
  • “Arts Count! – Kulturelle Bildung zählt!“ (2008-2010): quantitative data analysis on the implementation of arts and cultural education at Austrian schools.“Arts Count in Vocational Schools!“ (2009-2010): Qualitative and quantitative researh of creativity and culture in vocational schools.
  • Interim evaluation of the programme “macht|schule|theater“ (2009/10), funded by the Ministry for Education, Culture and the Arts.
  • The European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009): Consulting the Austrian ministry for education and culture, several research projects.
  • “Arts, Culture and Intercultural Dialogue “(2008): Qualitative study on the situation of intercultural education programmes in Austrian cultural institutions in the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Local level:

  • Public lectures/conferences on cultural policy and intercultural dialogue
  • Projects for cultural participation (multilingual rhetoric contest „SAG’S MULTI“; participative sound project for pupils „work:sounds“)

EDUCULT’s expertise covers certain areas which are relevant for this project like: arts education, cultural mediation and participation,  he role of civil society and cultural institutions, as well as studies, surveys, reports, evaluations and dissemination in these fields.

EDUCULT will involve dialogue partners in the project, which cover relevant fields of arts, education and administration, e.g. the Austrian folk school association, responsible division for adult education in the Austrian ministry for education, Austrian cultural institutions with special programmes for intergenerational participation. With all these partners EDUCULT is already in contact or working together since years.

EDUCULT staff includes one director, three researchers, one office manager, one project manager and one project assistant (total number of staff: 7). Additionally, we dispose of a strong national and international network of practitioners, policy-makers and experts in the field.

The following key persons, which will be involved in the project, can contribute to the project in different ways. First, they will contribute in developing participatory and co-creative learning approaches in cultural learning with their practical expertise in the field of arts education. Second, their experience in research, survey and evaluation methodology will help with mapping the state of the art, creating idea compendia and following reports as well as evaluating the project itself. Third, experience in organising conferences and contacts to stakeholders will be conducive for implementing a wider dialogue and disseminating the results.

Dr. Aron Weigl, managing director of EDUCULT, has expertise in the field of cultural participation and arts education in research and project management as well as in cultural policy research. Since 2009, he works on studies and reports about arts education and cultural participation topics, in cultural policy and cultural development. Between 2008 and 2015, he worked as project manager and lecturer in the field of cultural mediation and international cooperation of higher education institutions and for the Goethe Institute. In 2014/2015, he was scholarship holder of the research programme of the Institute for Foreign Relations Stuttgart/Germany.

Before becoming director of EDUCULT, PD Dr. Michael Wimmer was director of the Austrian Cultural Service. Besides, he is lecturer at the University of Applied Arts Vienna; a member of the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC) set up to give advice to the European Commission; a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Conference for Cultural Policy Research (iccpr); and advisor for the Austrian Ministry for Education, Culture and the Arts, the UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

Dr. Angela Wieser, EDUCULT research associatestudied Political Science in Vienna and graduated from the Europe Regional Master Programme in Human Rights and Democracy in South East Europe. She has worked on European integration and democratisation processes at the University of Vienna, the European Parliament as well as the OSCE Secretariat. Due to her interdisciplinary approach und interest in various forms of self-organisation and participation she gained working experience in the Austrian and European cultural sphere. At EDUCULT she is, since 2014, responsible for European cooperation and evaluation projects, specifically in the sphere of cultural participation and cultural democracy.

Mag. Tanja Nagel, EDUCULT research associate, is an expert for evaluation and social sciences research. Before being employed at EDUCULT (since 2008), she worked as school teacher and as researcher for social affairs. With her background she is as well a specialist for arts education and cultural mediation. In this field she conducted a big number of evaluations and surveys. Thus, she is experienced in all kind of qualitative and quantitative research methods.



JSKD (Javni sklad Republike Slovenije za kulturne dejavnosti / Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities) was established in 1998 as a national organization in the field of amateur culture. In Slovenia there are approximately 5000 cultural societies, associations and groups, which reunite over 100.000 adult members engaged in cultural activities. JSKD is a nationwide network (59 regional branch offices and the headquarters with an expert unit) and a professional service enabling multidirectional interaction between cultural societies, local communities and public institutions.

Regional offices are combined into 10 regional units (in all major cities), which coordinate and implement regional programs. The spatial dispersion and integration into the local environment are key to balanced development and crucial for networking on the regional, national and international level.

JSKD supervices the implementation of the national cultural program for various activities ranging from vocal and instrumental music, theater and puppets, folklore, dance and film to visual art and literary activity. Work in these areas also includes cultural education and introduction of new practices. In addition, JSKD carries out the procedures for co-financing of amateur cultural programs and projects, organizes events (festivals, competitions, concerts, exhibitions, etc.) and publishes professional literature (books, magazines, music collections, …) covering all topics of creativity in amateur art. The majority of the programs are carried out through a pyramid scheme (local, regional and state level) – systematic selection that promotes qualitative development.

JSKD provides advocacy for active participation in culture and is involved in the preparation of the legal bases and guidelines in all interest areas.

On the international level JSKD cooperates with other national organizations in various EU programs and projects. It is also a member of numerous international professional organizations and networks dealing with amateur culture. From 2011 onwards JSKD has headed the Secretariat of the Union for Choral competition Gran Prix of Europe. JSKD is a member of the European Network for active participation in cultural activities AMATEO. The network acts as a representative body and an information platform at the European level and linking socio-cultural organizations representing the interests of amateur cultural organizations across Europe and promotes their integration into the European cultural programs.

Projects on international level:

The Sower – Sejalec, 2007–2009 (Leonardo da Vinci)

Meeting of Minds – Stereotypes, 2010 (Youth in Action)

Learning outcome of amateur culture, LOAC, 2009–2011, Grundtvig

INTERREG OP SI-AT Grenzenlos (2009–2012)

Art-based learning and active ageing, Art Age, 2012–2014, Grundtvig

Theatre Integrates People, 2013 (Youth in Action)

Culture guides for marginalised social groups, Culture Guides, 2013–2015, Grundtvig

Bridging social capital by participatory and co-creative culture, Bridging, 2017–2019, (Erasmus+ strategic partnerships)

ARTS TAKE PART, applied by AMATEO, the European network for Active Participation in Cultural Activities, 2017–2021 (Creative Europe Programme, the Cultural Networks strand)

EUROPA CANTAT XXI, The European Choir Festival, Ljubljana 2021



The Latvian Association of Castles, Palaces and Manors (LACPM) was founded on June 6, 2000 and currently brings together 96 members. The main objectives of the Association are:

  • to preserve the Latvian cultural heritage and promote the unique cultural heritage value and environment of the estates by research, renewal, maintenance, and adaptation for use;
  • to promote the development of tourism, cultural and creative industries and the related infrastructure and services in the castles and estates;
  • to expand the availability of castles and manors to the public and to strengthen the awareness of the cultural heritage of society and to promote public participation in the protection of cultural heritage.

Members of the LACPM may be legal and natural persons whose work, property or interests are related to the preservation of the cultural heritage, the management of castles and manors in Latvia.

LACPM is an institutional member of the association “ICOMOS Latvia”.

Aira Andriksone, Managing Director played as Director of Tourism Department a leading professional role in the creation and development of tourism state policy, legislative basis and institutional system, integration to EU and international cooperation; represented state interests to EU institutions and international organizations, participated in formation of BSR and EU tourism policy, co-chaired intergovernmental joint tourism committees, managed and supervised international projects. Currently she is a member of the Tourism Committee of the Council of Economics of Latvia and President of Skål International Riga Club.



National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA)

Who do we work for?

LKCA is for everyone who is committed to education and participation in culture and the arts, both within the education system and beyond. Anyone working in or involved with these sectors can benefit from the expertise and opportunities for active knowledge exchange that LKCA offers.
We help a wide range of people, including art teachers, internal culture coordinators and coaches, education officers within cultural institutions, policy officers, politicians, researchers, school managers, and administrators in the education sector and in umbrella organisations for the amateur arts. Volunteers working in areas such as the amateur arts can also consult LKCA for information.

Our ambitions:

  • facilitating high-quality, active cultural education, both inside and outside school
  • encouraging active cultural participation that is available and accessible to all
  • increasing support for cultural education and participation
  • connecting cultural education and active cultural participation with society as a whole.

Our activities:

  • Meeting fellow professionals through LKCA. LKCA organises conferences and network meetings on specific topics and brings professionals, policy makers and administrators into contact with each other.
  • Knowledge development and exchange: website, publications, social media. The LKCA website provides independent information on cultural education and participation in the broadest sense of the term.
  • LKCA conducts independent research on developments in cultural education and participation. The institute can undertake this research on behalf of all decision-makers in this field. We help shape political and public opinion by providing stakeholders with information, both unsolicited and on request.

LKCA is located in Utrecht and employs 66 people (48 FTEs). It is organised as a foundation, with a board of directors and a board of supervisors. The director of LKCA is Sanne Scholten. LKCA is part of the Dutch Cultural System and receives funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for its nationwide support of the education and amateur arts sectors. LKCA adheres to the Cultural Governance Code.

For more information: