ConnectUp – The Life of the Others | European Theatres for Young Audience in a Union of Diversity

Project area
Performing Arts (Theatre, Dance, Music) 
Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (partner) 
Project lead
Universitetet i Agder (NO) 
Creative Europe (2014 -2020) - Culture / European cooperation projects 2019
EU funding
2.000.000 EUR

Coordinator: Universitetet i Agder (NO)
Partners: Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (SI), ASSITEJ Norge (NO), Bialostocki Teatr Lalek (PL), Centar za kulturu Cakovec (Cultural Centre of Cakovec) (HR), Cooperativa de Producao Artistica Teatro Animacao o Bando CRL (PT), Divadlo Alfa prispevkova organizace (CZ), Dschungel Wien – Theaterhaus fur Junges Publikum GmbH (AT), Elsinor Societa CS (IT), FITEI (PT), “Ich bin O.K.” – Kultur- und Bildungsverein der Menschen mit und ohne Behinderung (AT), Landesbühnen Sachsen GmbH (DE), Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (UK), University of Derby Theatre Ltd (UK)

Project amount: 4.114.500 EUR (48,61 %)
EU support: 2.000.000 EUR
Project duration: 31. 12. 2019–30. 12. 2023

CONNECTUP sets in place an international cultural initiative for the target group 12+ in order to counteract the process of increasing social and cultural division across Europe.

Theatres with different artistic expertise, festivals and a university, all working in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences, plan a major investment in Audience Development (AD). They aim to reach the cross section of society at least within their audience by bringing together existing middle-class audiences with young people from the margin of the society. Under professional guidance, young people of all social classes, cultural backgrounds and abilities will share experiences in theatre processes under the theme “The lives of the others”.

The theatres combine their different skills in a European “union of diversity” and extend the traditional AD by a missionary approach. They aim for comprehensive social inclusion by working with the essentials of “mediation – involvement – outreach”.

29 cross-over productions are developed, enriching the repertoires. The use of an APP, supporting translation and evaluation, facilitates their presentation at 22 festivals.

To reach the new target groups and to harmonize relations with the existing audience, special skills of mediation are required. Therefore, CONNECTUP makes professionalization the keyword of the project and offers two runs of a 1,5-year certified Dual Education “Theatre Mediation”, combining formal (E-learning) with peer group learning and practical work. CONNECTUP Mediators accompany all processes with participation projects (workshops, 30 co-creations) and guarantee that the institutions will turn into welcoming places for young people of all social and cultural backgrounds.

All activities support the partners to pro-actively implement an irreversible change management process and a profound change in the mind-set of the organisations, the audience and the cultural environment.

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