Monumenti Aperti – EXMA: from slaughterhouse to museum

The background of the pilot is Monumenti Aperti. Since 1997 the Imago Mundi Association, a small non-profit organisation, has coordinated Monumenti Aperti, an annual event which promotes inclusivity and the red iscovery of cultural heritage.

The event promotes smaller, lesser-known, heritage sites which may be in need of care, along with those larger, better known sites. Open Monuments likewise raises awareness of the value of heritage in the social and economic development of communities. The Association achieves this by including institutions, schools, associations and enterprises in their activities.

The initiative has had impressive results. While Open Monuments was initiated 23 years ago primarily in the city of Cagliari in Sardinia, 160 municipalities now take part in the project. The number of volunteers and sites collaborating with the Association is equally impressive – starting with 500 volunteers and 40 participating cultural sites, Open Monuments now counts on the support of 23,000 volunteers and more than 800 cultural sites which are opened to the public for free. 200 schools now officially participate in the event, ensuring the next generation of enthusiasts are involved in the appreciation of heritage.

The EXMA pilot project was created to test a new approach to the training of the guided tours of Monumenti Aperti.

We choose the Exma, the old slaughterhouse of Cagliari, because the monument has changed its function over time, thanks to an intervention of restoration and valorisation to convert it into a contemporary art museum.

Today the ancient slaughterhouse is an important cultural center for the city. No longer a place of death, but a place of life! It is also one of the most visited monuments of the Monumenti Aperti weekend, often interested by special projects, performances, concerts and workshops.

The Pilot Project was created to test a new approach of training the school volunteers for the guided tours of the old slaughter house of Cagliari.

200 Years of Bremen Town Musicians

A BADGES-App was created for the exhibition “200 Years of Bremen Town Musicians” in the Kreishaus Kassel to enrich the visit of the exhibition. The exhibition was organised by the Brüder Grimm Association Kassel.  It was free to visit and offered a variety of pictures, caricatures and other exhibits inspired by the Town Musicians.

Topics covered within the app included the history of the Town Musicians, the story’s success in the entire world, the Grimm brothers and also themes in the fairytale that are still relevant to this day like poverty and teamwork.

The Challenge Abroad – Malta

A BADGES-app was created for young adults aged between 18 and 35, seeking work or training, who go on mobility to Malta to gain professional experience abroad, learn and use a foreign language, get to know a foreign environment and culture independently and actively, and gain orientation for the future and their future career path in the scope of the “The Challenge Abroad – Continued” project.

The stay in Malta lasted nine weeks, eight of which were spent doing an internship. Before the stay in Malta, there was also a preparation period during which the participants completed a language course among other things. After their return there was also a follow-up period.

The app was created for use during the stay abroad and during follow-up sessions back in Germany.

In the app different topics are covered, such as culture, food and drink, and everyday life in Malta, each with a few small tasks. During the time in Malta the participants were encouraged to complete these tasks in the different subject areas and document their answers with photos and text. As a small incentive, the participants could also earn a badge if they submitted their answers to all the tasks.

During the follow-up, these results were then used for further reflection, to create memory books or create documents or folders that could be added to their job application to showcase the experience abroad.

Tatra Mountains (Poland)

The Tatra National Park is one of the most visited national parks in Poland with many educational paths, museums, educational centres and a wide activity focused on cooperation with tourists and the local community. For this reason this pilot project, together with the park educators, has designed an educational programme in the planned new visitor centre in the heritage context.  The purpose of this space will be to build a community involved in park protection and the development of key competences based on a walk through the national park.

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Sjarabang arts festival (Belgium)

Sjarabang annually organizes an inclusive arts festival for people with disabilities. A large number of volunteers guide and support disabled people during their participation in various art workshops. This pilot project in Belgium is a great example of learning in a non-formal way in a cultural setting. The volunteers who were interested did a retrospective test to evaluate the competence ‘supporting cultural participation of people with disabilities’. This way they could earn an electronic badge.

More on this Badges project on the my-VITA platfrom.

Learning Islands – Berlengas (Portugal)

The pilot project in the protected marine area of the Berlengas Islands in Portugal is an excellent example of the BADGES methodology applied to a sustainable tourist activity. By involving the participants of the pilot project through activities that are experienced as fun and natural, such as interactive discussions and mobile phone games, the awareness of the impact of tourist activities on the island has increased.

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Walking Tour Windmill Heritage (Holland)

The Dutch pilot project aims to increase the interest and awareness in sustaining the windmill heritage in the Netherlands. The project tries to achieve this by providing worksheets to visitors who participate in unguided tours in the city of Schiedam in order to encourage their engagement and learning process. In a later stage these worksheets might be replaced by a mobile app to make them more interactive.

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A badge for the Loon expert

The castle of Alden Biesen in Belgium is a pioneer in terms of the BADGES project. The pilot project, which ends in March 2019, is a great example of a project where it is not (only) about learning about heritage, but also about learning through heritage. To guide participants through the exhibition about the historic Flemish region ‘graafschap Loon’, an (optional) badging system was developed. People who are interested are challenged with extra assignments and intrigued by information, visuals or sounds on different spots throughout the exhibition. With these incentives, visitors are inspired to think about and look at things in an alternative way. Next to a paper version, the BADGES project provides an app for mobile The results of every participant are saved online and an electronic Loon Badge is sent to every participating visitor. The BADGES project is being extensively developed. Therefore, feedback from visitors about the content, ease of use and more about the app is indispensable. Logically, this innovative and daring project is accompanied by various challenges. However, this doesn’t stop the partners of the BADGES project to chase their final goal: to create an app that is ready to use for museums, nature reserves and other cultural heritage sites. The aim is to provide a complete manual and toolkit for cultural heritage sites in Europe. Hence, a rich network will arise, in which people can enlarge their collection of acquired skills and competences.

More on this Badges project on the my-VITA platform.