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    REPORTS - LITHUANIA - 3rd report

    Cultural Vehicles in Education - assisting the needs of vulnerable social groups

    Youth centre "Babilonas"

    15 July 2008

    For the 3rd report. Period of April 16 - June 18

    The group

    There were some changes in the group. Today we have 23 people on the list. 12 of them are following since the beginning of the course. During this period 3 new persons entered the group and finished the course.

    Age of participants 24-62. There are:

    - 5 unemployed (2 persons from 7 got job during the course period)
    - 2 retired women.

    During the whole process there was woman which missed only 2 workshops of 40. During this period 2 women joined the group after long-lasting depression. They mentioned that they were eager to attend the workshops, which provided them with opportunity to stay apart of their problems and see things in a different way.

    We still faced the natural changes in the group list, but haven't had to make any efforts to find new participants, because they were coming themselves knowing about our project through their friends.

    System of running workshops

    As before, since February 7, the workshops took place 2 times a week every Monday and Wednesday.
    Usually 8-15 persons participated in one workshop, which start at 18.30 and finishes at 22.00-23.00 h.
    We prolonged the duration of workshops, because of the longer daylight period. So, participants could stay comfortably without rushing home.

    We still used the premises of Social Centre in the district once a week Several workshops took place in an open air. On May 17 we organized the educational trip to Kapciamiestis, to get acquainted with the story of Emilija Pliater - Lithuanian hero of the rising of 1831.

    The pilot workshops finished at the end of June 2008. We had 210 hours of workshops. The rest 46 hours we plan for the workshops in the autumn - one week before Vilnius conference having special artistic musical workshop run by artists from London Guildhall School of Music & Drama, for the same beneficiaries.


    Preparation and meeting in Berlin (12-13 June 2008)
    Sending materials for project's website - ( report, photos, descriptions, conference material)
    Working on the programme and organizational issues of the CVE conference together with partners.
    Looking for the support for CVE conference in Vilnius. Meeting officials in Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science


    We are following the main structure of the course programme. Though we made some changes: instead of the workshop Reflections of European architecture in Vilnius, we have implemented a course of 3 workshops Book as a source for spiritual and technical expression.

    During the period of April 16 - June 18 we implemented following courses:

    Culture as an Iceberg. Art as a Chance in the Perspective of Intercultural Misunderstanding

    - Social profit of social diversity in intercultural cooperation and collaboration
    - Telling stories in intercultural dialogue
    - Exploration of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding by the means of philosophical, critical and creative thinking and so called method of Moral Imagination.
    - Intercultural learning. Learning about and discussing differences.
    - Getting acquainted with youth subcultures. Trying graffiti techniques, "robot" dancing.

    Woman in European history

    - Learning and discussing Jean d'Arc, Bobolina, Emilia Plater figures and historical background.
    - Educational trip to Kapciamiestis, to get acquainted with the story of Emilia Plater - Lithuanian hero of the rising of 1830-31.
    - Acting out etudes/scenes based on books, poems and plays on Emilia Plater.
    - Discussing femininity and heroism in different cultures and époques.

    The concept of HOME in different cultures. Reflection of personality in creating the own interior

    - Get acquainted with traditional interiors of different continents.
    - Reflecting upon the interaction of rational and creative aspects in setting up the living environment
    - Practicing decoration of youth centre Babilonas interior, creating several patches on the walls of studio.

    Nature and Ecology

    - Learning about bird watching in British tradition and in other countries as a hobby and recreation possibility.
    - Exploring and discussing birds' image in art (visual art, choreography), its symbolic meaning. Watching and discussing film "Migrating Birds".
    - Creating the picture of invented bird as a reflection of own personality.
    - Individual creativity increasing exercises creating works of art using wastes.
    - Verbal expression of ecology perception in the West European culture

    Book as a source for spiritual and technical expression. Ex-libris as a small miniature. Meanings and importance of handwriting.

    - Learning about the book history. Making the booklets in Japanese style.
    - Writing hieroglyphs. Creating hand writing compositions.
    - Learning about the meaning of ex-libris. Creating ex-libris.

    During this period we have also covered different subjects, being aware of rhythm of activities and theme centred interaction. All activities where based on educational and artistic activities with an intercultural aspect.

    Please describe any problems or difficulties at this stage of the project and the actions taken to overcome them

    This period was the easiest one. In spite of warm period of the year and the vacation started, we had more participants in each workshop than before. New participants came without our direct efforts. They were invited by beneficiaries, who had already experienced the quality of the course and stayed till the end.Beneficiaries became more and more interested and workshops ended gradually late. They had questions, were engaged and sometimes we missed the time for final reflection of the day.Time by time, we had to return to the same topics later, losing some spontaneity, freshness and emotion of impression.

    In what way did the educational and artistic activities interact?

    As an example interaction we present one of the course:
    Nature and Ecology
    - Learning about bird watching in British tradition and in other countries as a hobby and recreation possibility. Watching and discussing film "Migrating Birds"

    Beneficiaries were introduced to the world of birds, bird watching tradition, scarcely known in Lithuania. The film "Migrating Birds" was shown and discussed. The astonishing variety of birds was emphasised by the participants. During the next workshop they shared that since now they see much more birds in their daily life, hear much more bird's sounds. Laima said that she managed to record the owl's sound in her garden and she is eager to record more and more birds.Workshops were leaded by ornithologist dr.Algirdas Knystautas.

    - Exploring and discussing birds' image in art (visual art, choreography), its symbolic meaning.. Creating the picture of invented bird as a reflection of own personality.

    During the session of Visual Thinking Strategies the art items with bird images were discussed.After that beneficiaries were asked to draw invented bird. Each picture was described by every participant except the author. It was very interesting to everyone to find out that the remarks on drawing often fitted well to the author. It helped to see oneself from apart. It was also a nice way of saying compliments, which is sometimes not very easy for a shy person both to tell and to accept

    After that beneficiaries were invited to improvise tree and bird in choreography session by one. In the group they were creating a bird dance, trying to feel each other and move synchronically during the improvisation.

    Beneficiaries were asked to tell the group their wish to their own inner bird:

    Not to feel like a white crow among others
    To fly free
    Big wings
    To drop the old feathers, to get stronger
    Support other's flight
    To find my own way

    During the reflection one of participants told :It was nice to feel free like a bird. Up to 20 years old I was uneasy even to address the stranger, even to ask what time is it. I told to myself: "It's enough. I have to be more open and flexible".

    - Individual creativity increasing exercises creating works of art using wastes.

    After discussing ecological issues participants were divided into 3 groups and asked to create the compositions, using different items of waste. Groups were asked to act in three ways of communication within the group: autocratic, democratic and anarchistic. They experienced both the different ways of communication and the creative process. The group of autocracy created "The Flying Boat", working successfully under the leadership of one person.The group of democracy created "Auto Recycling Robot" and experienced the pleasure of harmoniously working together.The group of anarchy created separate compositions of each member: "Wedding Bouquet", "Swing for a Baby", "Tulip", "Robot - the Future Human". Every group member have been one by himself .

    - Verbal expression of ecology perception in the West European culture.

    Participants were divided in 2 groups as representatives of Green Party and Consumer's Party. They were asked to improvise the election debates on TV. For preparing they were provided with printed material on topic. During the "debate" participants learned to motivate their arguments and to share their knowledge in front of the group.

    How did the arts-based educational activities help the participants to?

    - acquire certain competences and skills;
    - facilitate knowledge assimilation (learning specific information);

    During this reporting period the beneficiaries developed Competences 1, 5, 6, 8.

    Competence 1. During the workshops participants often have to make oral presentations on different topics, as well as they talk during the theatre improvisation. We always have verbal reflections during so called last circle after every workshop, when participants talk about their knowledge, skills and attitudes, acquired during the session. We observe gradually developing speaking skills of participants in front of the group, their ability to openly express their thoughts and feelings. At this stage all beneficiaries name this newly acquired competence as a very important step in their personal development.

    Competence 6.1 Interpersonal, intercultural and social. Competence 8. Cultural expression

    Beneficiaries got awareness and understanding of national cultural identity in interaction with the cultural identity of Europe and the rest of the world. This competence was developed during the workshops on the understanding of different cultures and subcultures. The workshop "Getting acquainted with youth subcultures. Trying graffiti techniques, "robot" dancing" was very unexpected and new to the group. The workshop, led by young break dancer and journalist, made them change their attitude towards the youth subcultures existing near them. Some reflections after the workshop:" It broke the stereotype, that the subculture is something wrong and representatives of subcultures are dangerous" ; "I became a young person for a while and it made me understand youth subcultures from inside"

    Participants also became more aware of ecology and personal engagement as the conscious citizen, in solving ecological problems. They reflected the feeling of being the World citizen

    Awareness of the evolution of popular taste and of the importance of aesthetic factors in daily life, ability to relate ones own creative and expressive points of view and manifestations to those of others, a strong sense of identity, combined with respect for diversity were developed during the workshops:

    - Culture as an Iceberg. Art as a Chance in the Perspective of Intercultural Misunderstanding
    - Woman in European history.
    - The concept of HOME in different cultures. Reflection of personality in creating the own interior.
    - Nature and Ecology
    - Book as a source for spiritual and technical expression. Ex-libris as a small miniature. Meanings and importance of handwriting.

    Competence 5. Learning to learn
    After already having had experienced the process, the group was asked to review the advantages of the project. Answers were:

    - Self perception, deliberation of personality, widening the diapason of inner possibilities...
    - The possibility to change my life into the positive side.
    - I will come here even in the bad mood and I am sure I will rejoice. I will be able to act in not standard, way. I know that it will be good for me here.- The sense of community...
    - It is provoking us to do something more than we were used to...
    - It gives us the skill to receive the information, to look for the information, to enter new earlier unknown things without fear.

    Please reflect on progress made by individual persons (for example, increased motivation of a reluctant learner or better social skills of a shy participant).

    We are glad about the final reflection of this stage of the course, which shows the progress evaluated by beneficiaries themselves:

    - I realized, what can I improve in myself.
    - It is very important that different age groups participate in the course.
    - I am not anymore afraid of being different....
    - I feel the greatest own progress even in my daily situations. Step by step something important is happening. I am changing....
    - I have never dared to do anything like this....I have never expected to discover so much...
    - I have regarded a peace of art in terms of "Beautiful or not". Now I got a different understanding
    - I enjoyed my own feeling. I have experienced my authentic own......
    - I came here more for getting, but it happened that I have given my own openness....
    - I realized the importance of discussions for understanding certain peace of art...
    - I liked communication best of all; I learned a lot about the birds - now I look to them with another understanding; I'd like to observe people now; I became stronger with your tasks and dance therapy; always the mood is much better than before after your workshops; I liked Nomeda very much; everything I met here opened for me new point of view; I could feel myself as a child sometimes; such a wonderful learning through pleasure; now I will be tolerant to subcultures - hip hop is so interesting now - I even took part in a discussion with my students about subcultures and very successfully; philosopher was just great.
    - I have released myself; I learned how to talk in a circle; I overcame my fear; once when I had to play a teacher during our workshop I felt myself in such a hopeless was horrible; all the time here was very purposeful; philosopher was the best; I came through all my life in mind; I liked Nomeda so much; I liked everything...
    - So much useful; have no words; I liked actors best of all; I learned how to express myself, I learned about my own life; last year has been so hard for me, but this communication and discoveries have helped a lot;
    - New people, so pleasant ones; I haven't met any warring people here; time was so full and joyful; I liked all the teachers; I liked our workshop about the birds; I haven‘t missed any workshop...when you come here, you trust, you relax totally; people were forgetting their problems;
    - I feel happy, that I started this; very close people; it looks for me that I'm in this group all my life; I really lack confidence in myself, but today I feel much stronger; you forget all the "daily prose" here, only the time was too fast; your otherness is so nice....
    - This project - as a gift for me this year; the place where I could return to myself and to recover my own balance; because of people at first; we became friends - just by chance; so pleasant; everything - like from heaven; I learned some technique for my interior - I'll use this; every lesson repeats in myself as an echo, even if its hard to name it;
    - When I started attend this project, I didn't know why, but today I like the project and myself; the group is wonderful; I learned to talk in the circle - it was so terrible for me before; now I feel well; after every workshop - so many good emotions, I'm studying experienced things before falling asleep; I liked theatre, Nomeda, I know what will I make at home myself; I liked ornamentals, games, I have never thought about life as a game before....that house is as a castle....
    - New close people; like miracle everything; the only thing I didn't like was dance....I liked calligraphy, Nomeda, I learned about birds so much; now I go to my garden to record the sounds of birds....
    - My experience is very similar; so many things were so useful, I have learned a lot which I have nothing with in my daily life; philosopher was special for me; our group is so nice - special feelings as you are coming to meet your friends;
    - We all are as a friends - it's a pity that I missed so many workshops. I liked philosopher best of all; I have been disappointed about professionalism of the painter who worked with us; I have expected that all teachers be as philosopher Liutauras, who made big push in my life; I liked subcultures very much, learned a lot...
    - As oasis...for "water", for warmth and power, for so much...Now I‘m alive and not always so strict with my own opinion; it was so nice to meet people of different ages, so pleasant to share...interesting to face different reactions....

    Workshops 06.06 and 18.06.2008 >>>

    Photos/Videos from pilot workshops >>>

    Administrating team

    Rolanda Sliaziene
    Arune Taunyte
    Domas Staniulis

    Jurgita Gailiute - actor
    Dainius Vengelis - actor
    Vida Lipskyte- actor
    Agne Lasinskiene- graphic designer
    Jonas Gvildys- photographer
    Arune Tornau- painter
    Saule Lemantauskiene- calligraphist
    Nomeda Marèenaite- ceramist
    Nijole Vilutiene - graphic artist


    Rolanda Sliaziene
    Leda Turai - psychologist, coacher
    Liutauras Degesys- philosopher
    Arune Taunyte
    Algirdas Knistatutas - ornithologist


    The Bielskie Artistic Association Grodzki Theatre
    Premises - contact address: ul. Sempo³owskiej 13, 43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
    Office:ul.Sempo³owskiej 13, 43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland ,
    Phone: +48 33 497 56 55, 496 52 19Fax: +48 33 497 56 55, mailto: