Engaging Communities through Cultural Heritage


    28 June-12 July 2020

    Paros Island, Greece

    Application Deadline:
    1 May 2020


    Vacancies for this Summer Field School Program are limited, so please apply early.

    Project Director:

    Dr Aris Anagnostopoulos, Manager, HERITΛGE Public



    Dr Aris Anagnostopoulos,
    Manager, HERITΛGE Public
    E: [email protected]

    Dr Lena Stefanou,
    HERITΛGE Public
    E: [email protected]

    Community engagement gradually becomes a mainstay in the public programs of heritage institutions worldwide. A variety of methods and good practices have been developed to successfully engage the bewildering variety of communities and publics that such institutions address. Still, the uncritical application of “toolkits” for effective engagement is perhaps not the ethically appropriate way to incorporate cultural difference in the field. In this summer school, we aim to develop a different approach to community engagement, that is based on social and artistic research with community-led initiatives.

    Research-led practice can lead to exhibition design and collaborative actions that are better suited to the cultural and social particularities of each milieu and each specific group or community and its relation to others. Instead of supplying a ready-made array of techniques, we believe in giving participants the skills and capabilities of developing tools and methods of their own, attuned to the needs and capacities of each particular group they are working with.

    Paros is a place rich in archaeological and historical heritage, as well as a popular tourist destination in the heart of the Cyclades island cluster. The intertwined histories of archaeological remains, local practices, industrial exploitation of mineral resources, out-migration and tourism, as well as its cosmopolitan outlook and romanticized landscape, make for an extremely complex background for any heritage initiative. The multiplicity of groups, communities and publics that live and work on the island further complicates this rich picture and poses challenges for researchers and heritage managers.

    In this summer school we collaborate with a citizen’s initiative, the Paros Festival, in the town of Paroikia. It is an art and heritage festival organized from below, with a remarkable volunteer base and significant impact on the town community. Participants in this summer school will receive intensive training in ethnographic, historical and artistic research, while at the same time contributing to, assisting and documenting the preparations for the festival. At the end of the two-week course, participants will be called to prepare an assessment of the festival and its impact and propose potential future developments.


    Field School Objectives

    The summer school aims:

    1. to familiarize students with the methods and concerns of ethnographic and artistic research, oral history, and exhibition design,
    2. to apply the training in the aforementioned fields for the purposes of managing cultural heritage, memories and oral narratives from below, and
    3. to achieve community engagement through the organisation of a cultural festival.


    Learning Outcomes

    • Participants will be instructed in a dynamic mode of research, tailored to community needs and community engagement initiatives.
    • They will receive training on applied ethnography, oral history and exhibition design.
    • They will experience how cultural heritage can become part of festival activities and temporary exhibitions.
    • They will follow closely the preparations of the Paros festival, organize and conduct meetings with its participants.
    • They will conduct interviews and focus groups with locals and tourists.
    • They will meet and discuss with involved artists and follow their work.
    • They will create documentation and evaluation of the community aspect of the festival.
    • They will have first-hand experience of the setting up of a small cultural festival in all its aspects.



    The language of instruction is English, and most interviews will be done through an interpreter. Command of the Greek language is an advantage, but not a prerequisite. Students should be aware that work will be done mostly outdoors; weather conditions, therefore, will have an impact on work and students should come prepared for extremely hot and sunny conditions.


    Program Fees and Course Credit

    We offer eight 90% fees-only benefactor scholarships. Only students with scholarships will be accepted on the program. For scholarship holders, the tuition fees will be 500€ (non refundable), and they can opt for the all-inclusive package (with accommodation in shared rooms, breakfast, snack and dinner). For more information about the all-inclusive package please contact us at the email address [email protected]

    If you want to choose the all-inclusive package, please inform us in your application as early as 15 April 2020.

    These prices do not include travel to and from Paros island.

    If  you would like to take this course for credit, the suggested credit amount for this program is equivalent to one five-credit semester / term module, based on contact hours, field work, and course content. We prefer to allow students’ home institutions to calculate credit hours and award credit accordingly. We will support your request for credit by supplying any relevant documentation and or supporting materials.



    Students who choose the all inclusive package will stay in adequate, clean and basic accommodation in Paros. Rooms are shared double rooms and meals are catered (including breakfast, sandwich lunch, and dinner – some special dietary needs may be accommodated, please contact us for details). Students who opt for the fees-only package should make their own arrangements for accommodation and subsistence.


    An indicative syllabus is available upon request.


    For details on fees, application procedures and available scholarships, please see the official announcement of the workshop here or contact us at the following email address [email protected]