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The glimpses of the Seminar at Europos Parkas, Lithuania
BSR MUSEUMS CO-OPERATION: TOURISM AND EDUCATION
This project has been co-financed by the EU PHARE 2001 Co-operation Programme in the Baltic Sea Region
Seminar presentations, evaluations and recommendations
On May 9, 2004 museum educators, art teachers and students gathered together at Europos Parkas for a four day international seminar on museum education in modern and contemporary art museums within the Baltic region. Lecturers participated from such museums as Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Great Britain), Louisiana Modern Art Museum (Denmark), Open-air Art Museum at Pedvale (Latvia), Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum (Finland), M.K.Ciurlionis National Art Museum (Lithuania), National Lithuanian Art Museum (Lithuania), Wanås Foundation (Sweden) and Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum (Lithuania). Representatives from various associations and non-profit organizations such as a public institution Vilnius Children and Youth Art School, Mazoji Guboja and Lithuanian Association of Art Therapy Application, The Third Age University, Lithuanian Technical Library, and Vilnius Pedagogical University joined the lecturers to share their experience and observations as well. Since the seminar had a practical orientation, a lot of students from these institutions and local schools participated in workshops that were implemented by the lecturers. These four days were dedicated to education of such target groups as children, adolescents, people with disabilities and the elderly.
During the first day, which was dedicated to children education, educators unanimously stressed the importance of educational programmes and their development, active children involvement and the importance of involvement of artists into educational programming and implementation. Moreover, education specialists from Louisiana Modern Art Museum and Wanås Foundation strongly emphasized dialogue based education that embraces capability to listen to each other, to share multiple opinions and to open the doors of the museum to what we call minorities or other alternatively deprived students.
A day dedicated to the disabled people presented three very important aspects related to the education of the disabled: theory on their development and the place of art in this respect, museum attempts to incorporate them into their educational activities and work that is done in specialized institutions dedicated to the disabled. Lecturers presented several successful projects implemented with the disabled. The main key words here were orientation to the process, individual himself/herself, their self expression, communication and integration to the society. Representatives from Mazoji Guboja and Lithuanian Art Therapy Association demonstrated what kinds of outcomes can be achieved while working with physically and mentally disabled and how it is possible to include these people into the process of cognition of art, themselves and others. Also, the lecturers revealed the kind of influence that art, creative self expression and communication has on a person with physical or mental abilities.
During the day dedicated to adolescent education, lecturers defined certain methodology patterns that could be applied in educational programming. Lecturer Aldona Dapkute mentioned certain features of adolescents that influence the choice of work methods. In the meantime, Kaija Kaitavuori and Minna Turtiainen from Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum fostered to look at educational activities for adolescents in a broader context that would extend the boundaries of the museum’s building. They presented a multidisciplinary project that encompasses art and other secondary school curriculum subjects such as biology, mathematics, health education, etc. Both these educators and the expert of the seminar Violeta Jaseviciute emphasized involvement of students into activities that embrace their creativity and self expression. The same key words were used in workshops after which one of the students said: “This was the first time when I could paint what I wanted”.
The seminar revealed that education for the elderly and adults as a specific target group in Lithuanian museums is quite a recent phenomenon. In the meantime, lecturers from the Third Age University that has about 5000 elderly students defined possible goals for educators: promote the concept of continuing education, through art foster integration and communication. The rector of the Third Age University emphasized that it is so important to be together in a place where the young and the elderly have an opportunity to interact. The same idea was expressed at the end of the seminar by Anna Bowman from Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She fostered everyone to look for integration of these groups into common projects and programmes so that both the old and the young could have an opportunity to communicate and learn together.
The project has been implemented by the Public Institution EUROPOS PARKAS
Address: Europos Parkas, Joneikiskiu k., 15148 Vilnius r., LITHUANIA
Tel.: + 370 5 2377 077, 2377 070. Fax: +370 5 2377 077
The views expressed herein are those of Europos Parkas and other museums participating in the project and can therefore in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Commission.