Foto: Christian Brekke

On the main photo, pupils from Teigar Secondary School. From left William (14), Caja (14), Renita Agnete (14) and Jenny (14)

WOW, WHAT A PROJECT!

Art, culture, collaboration, and meaningful professional art experiences in school are some of the key words that describe the EU funded project The WOW Experience. Last week the partners met for the first time in Norway and were finally able to truly kick off the project.

Publisert: 25.05.2022

Oppdatert: 03.06.2022 kl.15.18

Av: Natasha Peevor-Johnsen, Frank Tindvik and Christian Brekke

On the main photo, pupils from Teigar Secondary School. From left William (14), Caja (14), Renita Agnete (14) and Jenny (14)

Vestfold and Telemark County Council are the project coordinators of The WOW Experience, an Erasmus+ project with nine partners. The project started in 2020, but it was on 24 May that all the participants from Finland, Iceland, North Macedonia and Norway finally met for the first time.

Mayor Jon Sannes Andersen from Færder municipality had the pleasure of welcoming the partners at Teigar Secondary School. Both the municipality and the school are partners and supporters of the project.

Meaningful professional art experiences

The mayor emphasized the possibilities that The WOW Experience allows for the exchange of experiences and best practices, and the contribution to giving pupils more meaningful art- and culture experiences in school.

Mayor Jon Sannes Andersen from Færder municipality

«Together we’ll take a step towards a closer relationship between the culture sector and our schools, and we think that the pupils here at Teigar and in Færder municipality – and in the partner countries – will feel the benefits.”»

- Jon Sanness Andersen (Ap), mayor of Færder municipality

The WOW Experience is a 3-year project that will be looking at external factors that influence pupils’ art experiences.

The aim is to produce a toolbox that can be used by countries all over Europe when facilitating professional art experiences in schools. In Norway the project is connected to The Cultural Schoolbag.

From left: Bojana, Sonja and Elizabeta from North Macedonia are pleased with the reception at Teigar Seondary School and with the project overall.

The Right time to strengthen collaborations

The Culture Strategy for Vestfold and Telemark County Council has six pillars, where one of them is international collaboration.

The political leader of the Culture Committee, Maja Foss Five, highlights that the timing for pushing the collaboration-across-borders button is extra relevant right now.

– International collaboration has long been very important to us. It breaks down barriers and is a great opportunity for us to evolve – both as human beings and as organizations. And maybe we have never needed more international collaboration than right now?, says Maja Foss Five, Leader of the Culture Committee.

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The county council's representatives in the project represented by (from left) Maja Foss Five, Else Blom, Natasha Peevor-Johnsen and Anna B. Jørgensen.

– I think that we can all agree on the positive effect meaningful art experiences can have on pupils. Art evolves us as human beings, and sharing good art experiences brings pupils together and can contribute to social inclusion, says Foss Five.

Culture Director in Vestfold and Telemark County Council Else Blom agrees and is clear on the positive effect good interaction between the arts and schools play.

Culture Crew

The pupils are the actual goal, and consequently have a central role in the project and the processes. Among the pupils taking part are William (14), Caja (14) and Jenny (14). All four pupils attend the 9th grade at Teigar Secondary School and take their role as Culture Crew seriously. 

«We have been working on this project for a long time, but the corona pandemic unfortunately led to some delays. The project is fun to work with, and it's great that we've finally got started»

- Caja (left), William (center) and Jenny (right)

Project manager Natasha Peevor-Johnson highlights the importance of the process itself in this type of project.

«To be able to work with The WOW Experience has been incredibly rewarding and inspiring. I work in a large organization and in the process I’ve been really fortunate to get to know and work with many talented colleagues, as well as partners in the region and in Norway in general. Not to mention smart and resourceful partners from other European countries. And the result is that we’re learning a great deal about ourselves and how we work as an organization. And this in turn allows us to further develop and improve!»

- Natasha Peevor-Johnsen, Project Manager

The Project team outside Teigar Secondary School

– What we are hoping to achieve with the meeting, in addition to getting to know each other better, is to get closer to our goal of identifying and sharing examples of good work practices that allow pupils to get more out of professional art experiences in school. Examples that will make a difference to the partners in the project, but also to schools and art providers outside of the project. The pupils are our final target, says Peevor-Johnson.

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Publisert: 25.05.2022

Oppdatert: 03.06.2022 kl.15.18


Av: Natasha Peevor-Johnsen, Frank Tindvik and Christian Brekke