The online summer school “Engaging Communities in Cultural Heritage” is organized by HERITAGE with the Paros Festival. It is an educational program normally scheduled to take place annually on the island of Paros during the first two weeks of July. During the Covid-19 crisis, we redesigned the summer school to combine online teaching with real-time research, both digital and live from a distance.
The summer school had a hybrid character, as it was at the same time a teaching environment, and an engagement project with our collaborators, the Paros Festival. Members of the local community participated as collaborative creators of local knowledge, and Katerina Konstantinou, a member of the Paros Festival, taught part of the course. The twelve participants of the summer school were instructed in the latest theoretical and practical developments in community engagement in cultural heritage. At the same time, they participated in daily group exercises that led them to effectively design a research and engagement strategy and apply it to the case of Paros Festival.
We believe that this hybrid character of educational and community work is the way forward in the post-covid situation for heritage institutions. Creating online communities and working groups that have an impact on local places combines the local with the global in creating transnational communication and collaborations.
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