For almost twenty years, VITECO has been working in the education and e-learning sector with partners from all over Europe. In the course of its growth, it has broadened its horizons, providing educational solutions in different fields, including the creative and cultural sector. This sector includes the European project Heritage Hubs, in which VITECO was a partner and which, despite being concluded, continues to give satisfaction thanks to the victory announced on 25 May of the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2021, the most prestigious EU award for cultural heritage!
Selected among 24 initiatives from 18 European countries in the category “Education, Training and Awareness Raising”, according to the independent jury of European heritage experts, Heritage Hubs had the merit of bringing together young students aged 10-16 from Finland, Serbia and Spain in a programme aimed at exploring, presenting and sharing their own cultural heritage and interpreting that of other countries through exchange visits between schools and an e-learning platform for students and teachers developed by VITECO, which also produced the video trailers of the project’s training experiences.
Heritage Hubs before and after the award
Heritage Hubs was coordinated by the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland (AHEF) in cooperation with La Fundación San Millán de la Cogolla (FSMC) in Spain and the Urban Development Centre (UDC) in Serbia. The aim of the project was to improve intercultural interaction and cultural integration by encouraging young people to explore and share their own heritage and to learn about and practice the culture of others.
“We are proud, as a technological and creative partner, to have promoted this cognitive process in the new generations, thanks to our audio-visual solutions, online platform and video trailer, thus contributing to the success of the project” says Giuseppe Ursino, CEO of VITECO.
During the two years of the project, the Heritage Hubs approach made it possible to recognise and understand, through the sharing of historical analogies, how many national traditions come from the same European background. This enabled the young participants to deepen their understanding of the significance of cultural heritage on an individual and collective level, contributing to an increased respect for the heritage of others and a feeling of belonging to a common European cultural space.
At the end of the two-year project, Heritage Hubs applied for and won the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2021. Launched by the European Commission in 2002, it is arguably the most prestigious EU heritage award and is managed by Europa Nostra, an organisation that has always been active in safeguarding and promoting Europe’s cultural heritage. The Award highlights and disseminates heritage excellence and best practices, encourages cross-border exchange of knowledge, connects heritage stakeholders in wider networks and promotes a greater appreciation of our shared heritage among European citizens.
In its evaluation of Heritage Hubs, the jury particularly appreciated the methodology of the project: “Heritage Hubs provided a solid methodology on heritage education, which was implemented by many schools. Partners in the programme are given the opportunity to develop their skills. Many materials, also in digital format, were produced to help creative interaction with the wider community. This includes a combination of virtual and non-virtual heritage experiences through transmedia narratives and multisensory activities. The educational approach is based on the concept of learning from heritage: participants ‘exchange’ their heritage with others, learning through other cultures and experiences”.
Moreover, “the network they have built is solid and reaches several countries in Europe. It is built on synergies with other European projects such as European Heritage Days and Europeana, thus increasing the impact achieved. There are also ideas for the future of the project that demonstrate its sustainability,” said the jury.
During the online announcement of the winners, Europa Nostra’s Executive President Hermann Parzinger said of the winners: “we congratulate them on their outstanding achievements: may they serve as inspiration and encouragement for future action for many heritage professionals and enthusiasts across Europe and beyond. VITECO is one of them!
Discover, watch and get excited with the video trailers made during the two years of the project. You will find images of the cultural exchanges in the schools, artistic events, guided cultural visits and interviews with teachers and pupils who talked about the impressions and lessons learnt from their experiences during the project. You will get to know the faces of the European students and teachers who contributed to making Heritage Hubs such a special project!
Vote for the audience award and choose the best project in Europe
The announcement of the winners took place on 25 May in Brussels, during an online ceremony, allowing Heritage Hubs to also compete for the ‘Grand Prix’ in their category and the ‘Public Choice Award’, both of which will be revealed during the European Heritage Awards Ceremony in Venice this autumn.
If you are also interested in arts and cultural issues, you can vote until 5 September 2021 for the ‘Public Choice Award’, selecting your favourite initiatives and helping to choose the best cultural project in Europe. Go to the link and consider the following steps:
The “Public Choice Award” is clearly intended to bring cultural issues closer to the general public, and perhaps, who knows, VITECO could earn a further satisfaction from Heritage Hubs!