In the Czech Republic, there are several initiatives and independent organizations that focus on improving the quality of education through artistic methods and practices. Their aim is to enhance creativity in schools.
Therefore, they bring together artists and educators to increase students’ motivation to learn, but also to improve the atmosphere in the classrooms. Emphasis is placed on imagination, collaboration, and ethical behavior because creativity is one of the key competences for the labor market. The impact of the projects is felt not only by pupils but also by their teachers – the new approaches help renew their inner dedication and prevent burnout.
In recent years, isolated projects and different types of institutions focused on educational reforms have started to network and share their know-how. The Festival of Arts and Creativity became a common platform and a kind of highlight of the year-long work. During the 20 festival days this February, 140 programs for the public, teachers and schools and 6 debates on creative education were held. The total number of participants exceeded 4,000. Thirty-five organizations from across the country participated in the festival, which brought learning through art and artistic thinking to the forefront. The festival was organized by the uMĚNÍM platform, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, and the Society for Creativity in Education.
The aim of this second edition of the Festival of Arts and Creativity was to show what
and how (to) learn in dynamic times. The involvement of art in the learning process, the so-called creative education, opens a space for dialogue, questioning unsustainable habits and norms, and co-creating values and alternatives for the future. Creative learning creates a safe, non-competitive and stimulating environment that fosters the joy of learning and exploration, setting equal opportunities and wellbeing for every learner.
The festival also saw the launch of a new educational project inspired by the Narrative 4 methodology. Built on sharing stories, developing empathy and connecting diverse social groups, Narrative will expand the DOX Centre’s existing range of programs for schools, families and the general public.
The discussion on creative education in the Czech Republic with the participation of the Minister of Culture, Martin Baxa, the workshop on harnessing the potential of arts and education projects for community development and the Comenius workshop/laboratory, which demonstrated the power of work in progress in the collaboration of artists, teachers, teachers, scientists and children and connected the Czech historic town of Písek and the capital city of Prague, were well received.
“During the busy festival days we focused on an active approach to the world and the possibilities to develop mutual understanding, cohesion and critical thinking through art in education. We will continue to do so through our educational programs and programs for parents and children,” says Jiří Raiterman, head of the educational and family programs at the DOX Centre.
“Our goal has always been to teach children to understand values, solidarity, and empathy. These are the qualities that the contemporary world needs most,” said Katarína Kalivodová, director of the Society for Creativity in Education.
The second edition of the Festival of Art and Creativity in Education took place in a hybrid format on 2–22 February 2022.
The next edition will take place in February 2023.