On Wednesday the 18th of May, Learning Trajectories held its second Multiplier Event in Brussels, Belgium, for the purpose of disseminating our project results and gather input from peers in our target groups. The event was in partnership with CIFAS, Producers’ Academy and On the Move (part of the Learning Trajectories’ ERASMUS + project), in collaboration with openoffice Brussels.
During the event some key points of discussion about professional development programmes in the performing arts were raised:
- A shift in vocabulary: we went from calling these programmes ‘opportunities for training’ to ‘opportunities for learning’, reflecting the need to rethink hierarchical relationships between mentors and mentees (recognising, for instance, that age is not the determining factor of one’s role).
- A need to revamp formats: ideas shared included thinking of strategies for sharing different levels and forms of expertise within a collaborative project, and embedding specific forms of training (such as anti-discrimination training, or training for working in rural areas) within international cooperation programmes in order to prevent misunderstandings and mishaps.
The speakers shared some of their experiences, including a brief presentation of the experimental European project Perform Europe, coordinated by IETM with the support of the European Union. This programme aims to rethink cross-border performing arts’ presentation in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way while proposing an innovative form of funding support that embeds capacity building activities in its process, so that cultural operators can develop their skills and internationalise their careers.
When it comes to capacity building internationally, the key recommendation was to consider and understand the context of work. In order to make programmes more inclusive, it was also underlined that the responsibility of change needs to be seen through the scope of the specific context. Positive discrimination and affirmative action can be effective tools towards more inclusion, but one must be wary of tokenism.
Professional development programmes are an effective way to break out of the loneliness of individual work and to find a safe space with likeminded professionals.
They are also an opportunity for sharing, exchanging and generating knowledge – and it is this reciprocity that generates sustainable knowledge. Learning and mentoring can take place in a variety of relationships and settings: within formal and informal networks, from colleagues or former colleagues. To conclude, the key takeaway was that mentoring is, and should always be seen as, an inherently reciprocal process.
A total of 58 participatns took part in the event. Learning Trajectories would like to thank its partners, participants, contributors and collaborators for their excellent work and efforts.
See our results page for access to the finished handbooks and additional resources: https://www.trajectories.eu/results/