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Keynote Speech

Creative cooperation for Europe: arts education and trans-cultural learning in our rapidly changing Europe

What can we all do in the actual lamentable situation of Europe?  Young people need more possibilities to meet and to learn more about young people in other European countries, their living conditions and opinions, their values and forms of cultural expression. Exchange programs are one of the most effective ways for young people to become aware of Europe's cultural diversity and to be able to deal with it, without fearing their own neighbours.  Teachers, artists, arts educators or cultural pedagogues need to learn more about and to experience more trans-cultural working forms in all arts disciplines during their basic and further training, to be able to work with young people in their arts lessons, cultural programs and projects on the very complex topics of diversity and European citizenship.  Schools, arts institutions, cultural education organisations, community arts and socio-cultural centers need to develop creative forms of cooperation in their neighbourhood, city or region. The cooperation of the formal education sector and the non-formal arts and education sectors on the local level is raising the quality of class-room lessons, school programs and other project forms and gives all local partners the possibility to reach more young people.  Creative forms of cooperation from the local to the cross-border level are key to improve the reach and quality of creative and cultural education in Europe, and to contribute to the necessary trans-cultural learning and understanding of each other in all European countries.

Rolf Witte

Rolf Witte (1959) studied Social Work at the Freiburg University for Applied Sciences. From 1990 to 1995 he was the director of the Bayreuth International Cultural Youth Centre and the French-German Forum of Young Artists. Since 1996 he has been the International Relations Officer of BKJ, the German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning. From 2008 until 2012 he was a member of the Executive Committee of Culture Action Europe. Rolf is a member of the German Council for the European Youth in Action Programme, the Council for European Cultural Politics of the German Cultural Council, the Council for the implementation of the European Youth Strategy in Germany, the Council of the German-French Office for Youth Exchange and the National Coalition for the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.