Over the last two years, Rinova has been coordinating an innovative concept – Motivate to Create (M2C), that has been testing new models of informal and non-formal, arts-based adult education in an international Community of Practice.
M2C built its Community of Practice around six partners active in adult education, the creative and cultural industries and community development from five European countries (Rinova and Rosetta Arts, UK; Association CEPS, Spain; Urbane Separe, Croatia; Materahub, Italy and RDA, Slovakia). The concept of M2C is distinctive in combining the traditions and values of Europe’s community and participatory arts practice with Social Action Projects (SAPs). Its focus on arts-led non-formal adult education in local communities through SAPs was a means for fostering participatory and intercultural dialogue and inclusion that empowers communities to create and participate in arts-led creative solutions to the unprecedented risks, social challenges and opportunities that the Covid-19 crisis has brought about.
M2C was inspired in part by the challenges arising from the profound impact of the Covid crisis on cultural and creative practitioners. By working with a transnational group of artists and community facilitators, through the Erasmus+ framework, we have been working in place-based neighbourhood renewal, to reflect on and exchange ways of working in order to help overcome isolation and consider how to rebuild the creative and cultural sector for the better – in a way that benefits more people and places.
By the end of June 2023, M2C had built the capacity of 56 community facilitators and leaders from five countries, activists for change in their local neighbourhoods and regions, who pooled their experience and expertise in co-creating and testing a series of learning activities, tools, resources and courses. One of the key aims of the project was to develop a common approach to organising arts-based SAPs rooted in inclusive community development practice. It began by asking ”What is a Social Action Project?”, framing M2C’s approach to arts-led SAPs. Who do they involve? How are SAPs delivered? What’s the added value of SAPs? Why use this methodology?
This has resulted in four online modules, arising from direct and online consultations in the five countries and intensive workshops at a three day event attended by 16 community leaders in Barcelona, and finally a process of testing and validation involving the whole community of practice working with over 400 adult learners in extended networks in London, Rijeka, Matera, Barcelona and Bratislava. The four modules cover Engagement; Frameworks for arts-led Social Action; Leadership and Social Change; and Reflecting on Learning and include case studies of arts-led SAPs across the five countries.
Finally, Community Facilitators were invited to contribute practical tips, tools and methods for organising arts-led social action and managing group dynamics, which have been compiled in an accessible multilingual M2C Pocket Guide.
All the M2C results and resources are freely available online in five languages at www.motivatetocreate.eu
The M2C Community of Practice has shown how, using digital communications tools combined with real-time and place meetings, workshops and study visits, transnational exchange of learning among community facilitators and community leaders can strengthen the diversity and resilience of the sector post-pandemic. An important impact was the recognition amongst community facilitators of their role as adult educators and their improved capacity in supporting adult learning.
For Rinova Ltd, we take the learning from one of our final UK Erasmus+ experiences into our new 3-year Adult Education Budget, Jobs and Skills for Londoners provision with the Greater London Authority – and our new Turing Scheme international mobilities programme, as well as into our growing EU work programme from Rinova Málaga. Across the partners, and through a series of events and workshops with over 270 stakeholders the M2C community of practice also connected local communities with regional planning and European policies in a way that points to an ongoing legacy for what we have learnt together.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.