HERITΛGE is thrilled to announce we are now accepting applications for our upcoming Summer Field Schools, offering exceptional opportunities for cultural heritage professionals. These intensive programs delve into crucial aspects of heritage management, providing participants with hands-on experience and cutting-edge knowledge in two key areas: Digital Tools for Cultural Heritage and Engaging Communities for Cultural Heritage.
In the ever-evolving landscape of heritage management, digital tools play a pivotal role. HERITΛGE, in collaboration with HOGENT, presents a unique summer school program focusing on the acquisition, processing, management, and analysis of spatial data. This program introduces participants to three specialized courses:
Theoretical aspects will be delivered online, allowing for flexibility, while on-site tasks will provide practical, hands-on experience. For those able to travel to Greece, an exciting opportunity awaits to practice Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning in the field with in-person support from instructors. The program, organized in collaboration with the municipality of Nafplio, Greece, aims to document historically significant structures, serving as the educational arm of the HERITΛGE research project.
Community engagement is at the forefront of heritage institutions worldwide. HERITΛGE’s hybrid program focuses on community-led initiatives, social and artistic research, and practical exercises. Collaborating with local festivals and initiatives on the Greek island of Paros, this program offers a dynamic approach to community engagement. Participants, whether online or in person, will explore ethnography, oral history, and multimedia content creation, contributing to research and the preservation of local heritage.
Tailored Learning: Programs cater to both beginners and professionals, providing a platform for skill development and research.
Expert Collaboration: Collaborate with experts from renowned partners.
Real-world Experience: Engage in practical exercises, fieldwork, and community-led initiatives to apply theoretical knowledge.
Global Impact: Contribute to larger research projects, shaping the future of heritage management worldwide.
For those eager to embark on this transformative journey, applications are now open. Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot in these exciting summer field schools.
Whether you’re interested in digital tools or community engagement, HERITΛGE invites you to explore, learn, and contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage.
Join us this summer and be part of an international community dedicated to shaping the future of heritage management!
By Dr. Paul Burtenshaw
Cultural heritage managers are facing a variety of pressures in managing the economic aspects of heritage resources. Sites are increasingly looked upon as assets for local and national sustainable development, including job creation. Development of tourism at sites can often come with expectations to boost local or national economies. Organizations and authorities are often asked to diversify funding streams. This could include adding commercial elements to their operations – shops, products, events – to enhance stretched public budgets. And the language of heritage value now includes economic and quantitative perspectives – from approaching heritage as resources or capital to providing evaluative evidence to justify funding.
These pressures come with opportunities and pitfalls. Heritage managers increasingly need the knowledge and skill to navigate ‘economic value’ and understand how to utilize it to achieve their own cultural, social and sustainability goals.
The idea of this brand new workshop which will take place on 14-16 February, is to equip heritage managers with the capacity to understand the language of economic value, how to communicate it, and how to manage it for the sustainability of sites and their values. This includes a firm understanding of the motivations for mobilizing cultural resources for economic benefit and the different strategies that could be employed to achieve different goals. Importantly this includes an appreciation of the feasibility of, and limits to, such strategies and approaches to data collection to understand the success, or not, of attempts.
The workshop will guide attendees through the development of a plan for the creation of economic benefits for their own case studies, applying strategies to their own individual needs. This could include raising money to put sites on a surer economic footing, mobilize heritage as a sustainable resource for local businesses, or collect data to better demonstrate the value of heritage to partners and communities. As a result of the course attendees will be able to implement economic development strategies in their own locations.
*Dr Paul Burtenshaw is an expert in heritage economics, heritage tourism and how cultural heritage supports sustainable and community development.
**Find out more and apply for the workshop here.
In December 2023, two landmark community engagement in cultural heritage workshops took place in Winneba and Accra, Ghana, bringing together dedicated heritage managers from various regions. These workshops, part of HERITΛGE’s HerMaP Africa program and supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place program, aimed to equip participants with the tools and insights to actively engage communities, navigate cultural complexities, and delve into the rich tapestry of oral history.
The Accra workshop began on Wednesday 6th December with interactive presentations to 22 attendees by Dr. Aris Anagnostopoulos, Dr. Lena Stefanou and HERITΛGE director, Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis. On day two (Thursday 7th) attendees had the chance to explore heritage projects close to their hearts and present in small groups on how they might stimulate local engagement. The projects presented included the Mystic Ayi Tree, traditional Ghanian fabrics, oral storytelling traditions and the history of the famous priest Okonfo Anokye. The final day (Friday 8th) was dedicated exclusively to exploring oral history in heritage contexts. The theories and techniques of preserving oral history were presented to the participants and they were later asked to conduct mock interviews about one group member’s childhood. Following on from this, each group produced an interview report which would help guide them in future oral history research.
The following week the same workshop was conducted in Winneba from Monday 11th-Wednesday 13th December. Although this workshop involved fewer participants (up to 18 on the final day a broad range of heritage ideas and projects were explored. The group exercise, this time conducted on day 1, produced ideas about promoting tourism through sculptural monuments in Efutu region, promoting widow’s rights in the Deogo communities and a “reclaiming our roots” festival. The discussions were lively and raised some crucial ethical questions about how a heritage practitioner should involve his or herself in cultural practices. On day two we introduced a new “Who are your Communities” exercise in which participants identified and presented their community and its values. The final day, as in Accra, confronted oral history in heritage contexts. Once again it was very encouraging to hear such a diversity of approaches, questions and opinions and each group produced a helpful report to take away.
All in all, we are very excited about how the workshop went and look forward to the potential for future expansion into other areas of Ghana.
Welcome to a new year of cultural exploration and professional growth with HERITΛGE! As we navigate the evolving landscape of heritage management, at HERITΛGE we are thrilled to be counting down to two compelling workshops in early 2024, each designed to empower cultural professionals and propel you forward in your journey. Don’t miss your chance to apply for:
Date: February 2-4, 2024
Location: Online Training Program
Application Deadline: January 25, 2024
Unlocking the Power of Temporary Exhibitions: Embark on a three-day journey into the world of temporary exhibitions, exploring their potential to enhance institutional missions, attract new audiences, and generate revenue. From building an institutional strategy to shaping compelling narratives, this workshop is your gateway to mastering the art of curating impactful exhibitions.
Strategies for National and International Touring: Discover the complexities of touring exhibitions beyond institutional walls. Gain practical insights into logistics, audience engagement, and navigating the global cultural landscape. The workshop encourages active participation, allowing you to bring your ideas and projects to the table for discussion and refinement.
Scholarship Opportunities: HERITΛGE believes in making cultural education accessible. Avail yourself of our scholarships, covering up to 90% of the attendance cost.
Date: February 16-18, 2024
Location: Online Training Program
Application Deadline: January 25, 2024
A New Frontier for Heritage Management: Step into uncharted territory with HERITΛGE’s inaugural workshop on Community and Economic Development. Cultural heritage managers play a pivotal role in demonstrating and creating economic benefits for local, regional, and national economies. In the aftermath of COVID-19, this workshop equips you with the knowledge and strategies to meet these challenges head-on.
Comprehensive Curriculum: Explore the motivations, limits, and various strategies for mobilizing cultural resources for economic benefits. Learn how to measure and communicate economic impacts effectively. The hands-on component guides you through developing a customized plan for creating economic benefits in your own case studies.
Pioneer Cultural Heritage for Economic Development: HERITΛGE invites cultural heritage managers and enthusiasts to be pioneers in the evolving field of cultural heritage economic development. Shape the future of heritage management and contribute to the well-being of your community. Apply now before the January 25, 2024, deadline, and embark on a transformative journey toward creating lasting economic benefits through cultural heritage.
Join us in these enriching workshops, where you’ll gain valuable insights, connect with industry experts, and contribute to the cultural landscape in meaningful ways. Apply now and become a catalyst for positive change in the world of heritage management and beyond.
HERITAGE’s Dr Paul Burtenshaw, an expert in heritage economics, heritage tourism and how cultural heritage supports sustainable and community development, conducted two workshops on Community and Economic Development in Rwanda last month, from the 13 th -15 th and the 16 th -18 th November. The workshops are part of our HerMaP Africa initiative, kindly supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place program. They were produced by HERITΛGE’s Rwanda programs Manager, Eirini Oikonomidi.
The first workshop (13 th – 15 th November) bought together 26 heritage and tourism practitioners in a venue provided by RCHA (Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy) in Kigali: the Kandt House Museum. Half the participants were from the RCHA and the other half from the RCTA (Rwanda Community Tourism Association). The building itself was an early 20 th century German colonial administrative centre but has since been renovated (2004) and houses a museum of Natural History as well as an exhibition (since 2017) detailing the history of Rwanda before and after German colonisation.
The second workshop (16 th -18 th November) was conducted at Red Rocks cultural centre in Musanze district in the Northern Provenances. It trained 13 members of the RCTA, most of whom aged under 30 years old.
This is the first year HERITΛGE is offering the Community and Economic development workshop in person and online. The workshop has three main objectives:
On one day of the Kigali workshop, the participants visited the NWC (the Nyamirambo Women Centre) which was a great insight into the work of a local community-focused NGO. The NWC works to promote and empower women through capacity development and employment. At the moment the NWC employs 50 women as seamstresses in a self-sustaining project in which profits are used to fund further initiatives. At the Musanze workshop our hosts, Red Rocks, also engage with promoting the heritage and economies of local communities. It was a valuable experience to see how they worked.
All in all, both workshops were extremely enjoyable, and we look forward to seeing how all 39 participants now come to incorporate their new skills and knowledge into local projects.
In a rapidly changing world, the role of community engagement has never been more critical for cultural heritage. HERITΛGE’s mission is to empower heritage managers with the skills and knowledge needed to make a difference through community engagement. Our recent three-day workshop equipped 16 heritage professionals from around the world with the tools to engage with their communities, bridge cultural differences, and preserve our shared heritage.
Community engagement is not just a buzzword; it’s the linchpin of heritage preservation. HERITΛGE recognizes that communities are not monolithic entities; they are diverse, dynamic, and rich with unique traditions, perspectives, and values. To truly honor these differences, a cookie-cutter approach won’t suffice. We believe in the power of community-led initiatives and social research to foster engagement that resonates with the specific cultural and social dynamics of each group.
Our recent workshop, held from 27 to 29 October 2023, brought together heritage managers from Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe. These dedicated professionals were not just participants; they were change-makers in the making. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises, they delved into the heart of community engagement, exploring methodologies grounded in ethnography and oral history.
Understanding Community Engagement as a Process
One of the key takeaways from the workshop was the profound understanding of community engagement as a dynamic process over time. Participants learned that this approach is not just a strategy but a fundamental aspect of heritage management.
Overcoming Key Challenges
Working with local communities can be challenging, and the workshop equipped our participants with essential knowledge about the primary obstacles they may encounter. With this understanding, they are better prepared to navigate these challenges effectively.
Creating Tailored Engagement Initiatives
The workshop’s focus on understanding the unique traits, requirements, and capacities of different communities was a game-changer. Participants left with the skills to develop engagement initiatives that are specific to each community’s distinct characteristics, needs, and capacities.
Distinguishing Between Communities and Audiences
One of the key lessons learned was the importance of distinguishing between communities and audiences. This insight is invaluable in designing engagement strategies that resonate with each group.
Introduction to Ethnographic Approaches
The workshop introduced participants to ethnographic methodologies, fostering the creation of collaborative research-driven community engagement initiatives. This hands-on experience allowed them to understand the communities they work with on a much deeper level.
Oral History Techniques
Oral history, a powerful tool for eliciting and documenting both tangible and intangible heritage, was another focal point of the workshop. Participants acquired knowledge about the methods and techniques used in oral history, making them proficient in preserving and sharing heritage through storytelling.
A Deeper Appreciation for Heritage
Throughout the workshop, participants gained a profound appreciation for the inherent values associated with heritage. They left with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to preserving our cultural and natural treasures.
The journey doesn’t end with the workshop. A follow-up tutorial session is scheduled for 6 November, offering participants the opportunity to seek guidance, ask questions, and receive expert advice on enhancing their final assignments.
Meet the Instructors
The HERITΛGE workshops were led by a team of expert instructors:
At HERITΛGE, as we look to the future, we are excited to see the impact these dedicated professionals will make in their respective regions and the global heritage community.
HERITΛGE also offers an annual summer school in community engagement. Find out more and apply here.