The ARTcoWORKers Methodology

The project name ARTcoWORKers means:
„Arts and People with disabilities – cooperative digital working for inclusion during the pandemic”.

This methodology provides a full theoretical background of how the ARTcoWORKers project facilitates inclusion and the equal involvement of people with disabilities and artists as experts in their own interests during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Five partners from 4 European countries, Germany, Hungary, North Macedonia and Netherlands, have worked together developing and implementing this methodology. Lead by the German partner, VSBI, the partners have identified training needs, opportunities and requirements for the development and implementation of a successful training course for artists / cultural workers for people with disabilities to promote their creativity and skills for awareness-raising and education about social inclusion, the rights of people with disabilities and against isolation and loneliness during the pandemic.

Many people with disabilities were stuck at home during the first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, or worse, in particular in facilities run for people with disabilities, sometimes practically isolated and imprisoned for months, in violation of their rights to self-determination. This led to fears, depression and a step backwards into the times of care and external control.

Artists were practically cut off from the exercise of their profession, and although they could enter their theatres, the audience could not. This in particular threatened independent artists and smaller theatres in their existence, so they too were threatened by fears and depression.

With this “ARTcoWORKers” Methodology a method and a learning program is developed in which artists and people with disabilities jointly cope with these fears in an inclusive and artistic way related to their situation, the violations of their rights, their desires and hopes, and to raise awareness after the Covid-19 pandemic.

People with disabilities show the artists what inclusion and self-determination mean. Artists show people with disabilities to use the performing arts to make themselves felt and to exert influence. In order to be able to work and represent on an equal level, we selected the art form of puppet and shadow theatre for the project.

In six chapters, this methodology guides the project partners and their network stakeholder through the project.

  • Chapter One is an introduction: it contains a text about the general description of inclusion as well as arts.
  • In Chapter Two, we introduce the principles of our learning approach; the adult learning concept of ARTcoWORKers; how to involve peer groups, how peer counseling works, and the objective of the training and E-Learning.
  • Chapter Three revolves around Art Businesses. It’s about the FairShares principles, about the requirements for implementation, how to involve segregated groups and the learning diaries.
  • Chapter Four discusses the Marketing Plan, with the creation of marketing products, the marketing strategy and the acquisition of participants and collaboration partners.
  • Chapter Five provides an overview over the implementation procedures, like organizational structures, the evaluation, lessons learnt from training and the blended mobility.
  • And finally in Chapter Six we take a look at Exploitation and Mainstreaming processes, with the transnational exchange and approach, the blended transnational learning and the gender and accessibility strategy.

The authors hope that you will find this methodology useful and will enjoy the process of implementing it.