1. Can non-ASPnet schools join the Arts & Culture for Peace Initiative?
Yes. If non-ASPnet schools wish to join they may do so by contacting the UK National Coordinator in the first instance. These schools will then be encouraged to register their interest.
2. How long will the initiative last?
Schools can join at anytime, and are encouraged to register their interest from June 2022 when the initiative will be officially launched at the ‘Connecting for Peace’ UNESCO ASPnet U.K. free International Virtual Conference in June 2022.
We have not yet put an end date on the initiative so that we can evaluate the participation each year, but it could run for up to 3 years. However, each year we will review progress.
3. Can schools from other countries join the initiative?
Yes. Other countries wishing to join may do so by contacting the UK National Coordinator in the first instance to discuss their participation. The UK Coordinator will also work with the National Coordinators of the countries concerned. These schools will then be encouraged to register their interest as others.
4. Will there be any webinars during the initiative?
Yes. There will be support webinars or meeting, either introductory or intermediary for those who wish to discuss their ideas or where they are in their project(s).
5. If the pandemic continues will the initiative continue?
Yes. If the global pandemic continues, we will continue with the initiative and will encourage schools to make appropriate adjustments to the way outcomes are shared locally. The sharing of global outcomes was always planned to be mostly digital.
6. Do we have to undertake all three activities separately?
No. Schools can undertake one, two or all three activities separately or in any combination. Their choice will depend on how they plan their activities and whether these are embedded into the curriculum, or are undertaken as part of an extra-curricular activity.
Many activities will also be more effective if linked to local events, or are integrated into existing projects that relate to the ASPnet Action Areas of ‘peace’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘intercultural learning and heritage’. This gives schools ample scope to consider which approaches are likely to be most impactful.
7. Who is the primary audience for the initiative?
The primary audience for the initiative are local communities. Ultimately, we hope that by sharing internationally what has been learned, this will demonstrate our global interconnectivity and share benefits with other communities, humanity and our planet.
8. Does a Peace Garden have to be created from new?
No. There may be many ways to create a Peace Garden for the local community without constructing a new garden from scratch. We are encouraging students to be think about the ASPnet Action Areas in relation to local needs. For example, it might be possible to:
a) join an existing local development project by recreating an area for a planned garden or parkland; or
b) transform an existing garden or park area to inject new life and meaning; or
c) regenerate wasteland to create a space(s) for the well-being of the public; or
d) if you are combining this with the Peace Tree activity, perhaps you can link with other community development initiatives, such as local and national tree-planting schemes.
9. What does ‘less is more’ mean in the context of this initiative?
This is a term used to express the view that a minimalist approach to artistic or aesthetic matters can be more effective.
Using this concept for the Arts & Culture for Peace Initiative one can see that the concept relates well to questions about the sustainability challenges facing the world such as: Can the initiative help us to use less of the world’s resources and achieve greater benefits for the future of the planet?
It is also an approach which gives a more equal opportunity to schools.
10. The Coventry children benefitted from having early interaction with Japanese and other artists, will this kind of input be possible in the new project?
Yes, partially. Japanese and other international artists’ contributions will be made available online, while local/national artists might be able to visit schools if their work relates well to the UNESCO Action Areas.
As in Coventry, the artists’ primary role will be to introduce children to new art forms and how these can be used to communicate ideas related to the initiative’s purpose. Children, working with their teachers, are then encouraged to use this experience to create their own work.
If there is an occasion to create a special event which relates to the UNESCO Action Areas, these should be recorded so that they can also be shared internationally.
11. Is this initiative open to all cultural art forms?
The Coventry children worked with Japanese art forms because their work was also part of the Japan-UK Festival of Japanese Arts. Japanese culture was also very new to the children and therefore became an ideal vehicle for intercultural learning. Even if you do wish to learn from a UNESCO recognised art form such as noh theatre, or other Japanese art forms, your final output could represent a different, or blended, style as you develop your own ideas and learn the generic strengths of different art forms.
12. How can we share our work internationally?
Participating schools should produce:
- a narrative description of the project of between 400-600 words
- a maximum number of artistically good quality project photos 10
- any videos should be uploaded to a local site (school or community project for example) and the link only shared with the national coordinators.
Try to convey that:
- this Initiative is children-led. It is an opportunity to give voice to our children – the future belongs to them – their ideas about how we can strengthen the ASPnet Action Areas do matter and can support the international community effectively by creating opportunities from the challenges which lay ahead…
- your activities are illustrating that ’from acorns mighty oak trees do grow’. Individual creative elements from each student can be enjoyed, shared, discussed and combined to produce creative group outcomes which can be shared to benefit communities locally and internationally – by working together as global citizens…
- your activities support the ASPnet Action Areas and in particular demonstrates that peace can prove to be stronger than conflict & division.