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ARTE – The Art of Employability

11/01/2019 - 06/30/2022

ARTE combines theater pedagogy with social work and entrepreneurship training and allows the improvement of the social situation and the labour market opportunities of young adults in Mediterranean Europe.

Flag of the EU. Next to it blue lettering: "Financed by the European Union".

European Union - Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships in Adult Education

Based on results of the JobAct Europe project, ARTE further develops the approach of social art as a new form of education and social work. Social art combines classical areas of social work with creative techniques developed in theater and drama. In social arts, the artists' materials are not canvases, marble or stages, but social issues. The underlying belief is that the art of the future will be social and that we must develop an artistic approach to address contemporary social issues. The social artist will use an artistic approach and methodology to address these issues. Creativity, imagination and inspiration are the most important skills of the social artist to overcome obstacles.

In ARTE, the approach will be specified to the target group of young unemployed people in the Mediterranean, improved, continuously evaluated, further developed and disseminated with the help of materials produced in the project and stakeholder-based analysis. By building an "entrepreneurial mindset", participants should not only be given access to regular jobs, but also to self-employment. In our understanding, the "Entrepreneurial Mindset" promotes the ability to put ideas into action, to solve problems creatively, to think innovatively, to take risks as well as the ability to plan and act in a structured way.

At the heart of the project are the pilot projects with the young adults, in which acting training and entrepreneurship-oriented job coaching are used to develop the participants' key skills and strengthen their self-esteem. After the play rehearsed during the drama training has been presented to a broad public, the participants start the second phase of the project with the strengthened self-esteem resulting from the premiere. In this phase, the participants gain practical work experience in an internship.

The dissemination of the experience and knowledge gained in the project takes place on the one hand via the concept of the Entrepreneurial Mindset, and on the other hand via the participants of the pilot projects themselves. This follows the conviction that the impact of the educational approach can best be developed through the participants themselves. In a blog and vlog accompanying the project, the participants can record their experiences, make them accessible to others and be accompanied on their path of personal development.

  • Project Factory gGmbH Germany
  • Dortmund University of Technology Germany
  • Vivaio per l'Intraprendenza Associazione Promozione Sociale Italy
  • Patchanka Società Cooperativa Sociale Italy
  • Social Innovation for Communities, UpSocial SL Spain
  • Stone Soup Consulting Lda Portugal

The aim of the project is to combat youth unemployment in southern Europe with the help of the socially innovative approach of social art. The project combines classical fields of social work and entrepreneurship training with artistic methods of acting and theater. ARTE is based on the JobAct approach, which was developed by the partner organization Projektfabrik Witten about 13 years ago and has since been successfully established throughout Germany. The approach combines theater pedagogy with job application coaching and a target group-specific approach. Spread throughout Europe in the JobAct Europe project over the past three years, the method is now to be adapted for the Mediterranean region and further developed with regard to an entrepreneurship approach. The aim is to improve work opportunities for unemployed young adults by strengthening their employability.

Employability is one of the five core objectives integrated in the Europe 2020 strategy. The project promotes social inclusion and employability of individual participants with a holistic approach: the theater method significantly improves participants' Lisbon key competencies, namely communication in the local language, learning to learn, interpersonal, intercultural and social skills, initiative and entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression. Self-esteem is significantly enhanced by the successful public premiere of the jointly produced play. Key competencies are developed through a combination of personal development and social interaction. Especially in the Mediterranean region, where economic problems have led to high youth unemployment, there is a growing gap between privileged and disadvantaged groups, who are often left behind. By focusing on disadvantaged people, ARTE contributes to reducing inequality and social exclusion. The aim is to disseminate and develop social art as a fundamental principle of education in Europe, creating an innovative way of knowledge transfer and empowerment.

The basic idea of the project is to combine the experiences of all partners to fight youth unemployment in the Mediterranean region with the innovative approach of social art. Art and culture as a vehicle for education and social integration is a well-known and even centuries-old approach. ARTE is innovatively unleashing the power of art in outreach programs for unemployed youth in the Mediterranean region. The approach is based on the experience that youth unemployment can lead to permanent disadvantages and social exclusion. People who lack opportunities or face economic obstacles have fewer chances to develop their personalities and reach their full potential. The solution is to combine classic social work pathways with theater education, supplemented by an internship or entrepreneurship program. We want to enrich the existing training formats for these people with the concept of "The Art of Education." Playing theater and developing key competencies offers a chance to leave the circles of dependency and frustration in a difficult economic environment and develop individual paths to employment.

The artistic process in the theater projects is based on a 2-step transformation model: from problem orientation to self-awareness, from self-awareness to orientation in work and life. Theater activates the creative abilities of inspiration, imagination and intuition; abilities that can develop in every person and are necessary to get out of the circles of dependency and frustration and to get out of social exclusion. The development of the Entrepreneurial Mindset is based on a process of empowerment in which all participants are accompanied in an intensive training similar to a physical work out. The approach combines the specific knowledge about the process of business development with a strong motivation building.

Location & approach

Exit 13 (Kreuz Dortmund Nord-Ost), direction Derne/Schwerte (B236), 1st exit direction Dortmund-Eving, next traffic lights turn right (Kemminghauser Str.), after 2.7km turn left (Evinger Str./B 54), after 1.1km traffic lights turn left (Deutsche Straße), after 500m on the left is the Evinger Platz.

From the Bundesstraße 1 (extension A40 or A44) to the intersection B1/B236 direction Lünen, 3rd exit direction Dortmund-Eving.

Exit Dortmund Hafen, turn left until the intersection Münsterstraße (B54), direction Eving, after about three kilometers turn into Deutsche Straße.

You can download an enlarged general map here

From Dortmund Airport, it takes just about 20 minutes to get to Dortmund Central Station by AirportExpress and from there to the university by subway (U-Bahn) 41. The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station. From there, you can get directly to Dortmund Central Station.

From Dortmund Central Station, take the U 41 light rail (direction Brambauer / Brechten). The stop is "Zeche Minister Stein". The Minister Stein Center is located on the right in the direction of travel of the streetcar.

You can find an overview map here.