At HERITΛGE we are delighted to announce the launch of a new EU-funded project AHEAD (Accessible Heritage Experience for Audiennce Development). The project, that seeks to remodel the heritage experience and provide a blueprint to help cultural organizations develop and engage new and existing audiences, held its kick-off meeting in Rome on January 24-26 2024.
AHEAD, which is funded by the European Union’s European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), brings together a dynamic consortium of partners, including Melting Pro (MEP), an Italian cultural consultancy that is responsible for managing the project; the Italian Ministry of Culture (MIC), the University De Le Iglesia De Deusto, in Bilbao, Spain, and the Brussels-based innnovation agency Impact Valley. Participants include the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica in Italy and the Altamira National Museum and Research Centre in Spain.
Challenges in Cultural Heritage Sector and the AHEAD Impact Vision
Cultural Heritage (CH) stands as a vital economic and social resource for EU countries, yet many institutions face challenges in financial sustainability and audience engagement. AHEAD tackles these issues by addressing the low levels of entrepreneurial and audience-centered skills that are often found in cultural heritage institutions, introducing participatory audience development practices, and breaking down resistance to new marketing approaches among CH professionals all the while focusing on increasing accessibility for all and engaging local communities.
AHEAD’s vision is to innovate working practices in the CH sector by applying human-centered approaches, learning by doing, and data-driven methodologies. This transformative project aims to make the cultural heritage sector more relevant to communities, financially sustainable, and a catalyst for social, cultural, and economic growth.
The AHEAD Blueprint
AHEAD comprises three key components:
The AHEAD journey began with its kick-off meeting in Rome on January 24-26. Partners collaborated on shaping the AHEAD manifesto for audience engagement, taking into account all three key components of the project. Notably, the meeting saw the participation of end-users, including representatives from the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica and the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira who contribution vital insights for the development of the project’s components.
During the project, HERITΛGE introduced partners and participants to SHIFT, a major EU-funded research project to make cultural heritage more appealing and inclusive.
Importantly, the project wrapped up with a presentation of AHEAD and a networking session with representatives of Italian cultural institutions at Rome’s Europa Experience – David Sassoli building that showcases the institutions and contributions of the European Union.
Stay tuned for updates as AHEAD unfolds, unlocking the full potential of cultural heritage for current and future generations.
The Heritage Management Organization (HERITΛGE) is happy to announce the opening of its local office and training centre in Barra, in The Gambia’s North Bank Region. The new office, part of HERITΛGE’s HerMaP Gambia Program that is co-financed by the European Union, opened its doors officially on October 27th.
“The launching of this brand-new office will help to further achieve the objectives of the HerMaP Gambia program,” said Enrica Pellacani, Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation in The Gambia. Pellacani noted over the past two years, the EU and HERITΛGE have been collaborating and empowering civil society organizations as essential partners in promoting social development, inclusive growth, and sustainability within the cultural and creative industries.
“Over 250 people from the heritage and tourism sectors, from 6 districts have received training on Community Engagement, Oral History, Museum Redesign, Heritage Interpretation as well as Community and Economic Development,” the official added, noting that as part of the EU-funded program, over 30 heritage managers were also trained to serve as trainers and thus “help manifest a creative wave that will enable The Gambia to preserve its heritage and leverage it to create great quality jobs for its youth”.
“Opening up our office in The Gambia is a very important development for us…everything we do is always centered around working with local communities,” said HERITΛGE Director, Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis. “We hope that this office is more than a workplace or a training location. For us, this is a place that should be alive, engaged, and relevant to the whole community and ultimately to the whole country,” he added.
Mamat Sallah from The Gambia’s National Centre for the Arts and Culture, in partnership with which the HerMaP Gambia program is being realized, pointed out that “our heritage connects us with our roots. It is a treasure of knowledge waiting to be unlocked and shared with the generations still to come.”
“The Heritage Management Organization Office has been established with the simple ambition to train heritage managers to be the guardians of our collective memory and safeguard our historical treasures and to promote appreciation of the rich tapestry of our culture” he added.
A number of esteemed guests attended the opening and addressed participants, including the Alkalo of Barra, Dr. Adama Bah, Director of ITTOG (Institute of Travel and Tourism of Gambia), Amadou Danso from the Jufureh Albreda Youth Society (JAYS). Aba Hydara (Barra Community Committee Member), Ismaila Sambou, Director of GYCC (Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce), Ebrima Krubally form the Wassu Stone Circle Association, Fatoumatta Jatta representative of the Crafts Market Federation, HERITΛGE Focal Representatives Malick Kujabi, Khadijatou Badgie, and Ebrima Jammeh, Lumana Kamashi, Development Cooperation / International Aid Officer of the EU Delegation in The Gambia, and Representatives of Geniere, Janjanbureh, Basse, and the greater Banjul area.
To celebrate the opening of this brand new facility and showcase the region’s cultural heritage, the local community put together a dance and music performance and served local delicacies.
About HerMaP Gambia: The program is aimed at developing the business skills of heritage and cultural managers to enable them to establish and better support heritage and cultural enterprises. Supporting The Gambia’s heritage sector will promote community solidarity and provide high-quality employment opportunities for local talent.
The program is co-funded by the European Union
Representatives from HERITΛGE and 12 consortium partners met in Budapest on March 21st-22nd for the General Assembly of the SHIFT project, an innovative effort to make cultural heritage more accessible using technology, funded by the European Union.
SHIFT stands for MetamorphoSis of cultural Heritage Into augmented hypermedia assets For enhanced accessibiliTy and inclusion. The project aims to make cultural heritage more accessible and inclusive through the creation and use of new technology including haptics
During the General Assembly, hosted by the Semmelweis Museum, Library, and Archive of the History of Medicine, the consortium partners reviewed the progress made and mapped out the steps to be taken in the next year to achieve SHIFT’s aims. They also approved SHIFT’s new logo and the creation of the project’s social media channels to introduce stakeholders and the public to the project and allow them to contribute to its development.
“The General Assembly was a great opportunity to take stock of how the project has developed so far and plan our next steps,” says Rob Davies, HERITΛGE head of European Projects.
HERITΛGE is now inviting applications for the position of Head, European Projects.
The successful applicant will have experience and demonstrable success in writing and/or coordinating applications for grants under EU programmes such as Horizon Europe or earlier Research Framework Programmes (RFP), Creative Europe, Erasmus+, INTPA/EuropeAid, Interreg, and the structural funds. Experience in the cultural heritage, education, arts, and/or creative sectors will be considered an asset as will knowledge of capacity-building methods and digital approaches.
Applicants are expected to demonstrate effective partner communications and consortium development skills. An exceptionally high standard of written English and sound project budgeting abilities are essential.
The right applicant will be happy working mainly remotely and may be based in Greece or another EU country. The post is either full or part-time, by negotiation, and attracts a gross annual salary of €30,000-€40,000 pro rata (no more than 50K EUR cost), depending on experience.
To apply please email [email protected] no later than 1st March 2023.