Reports from Open Space Workshop

1. What do you do to avoid burning out as an arttrainer and social-/ youthworker?

It was impossible to do a normal report or a conclusion, so here follows a list of points, which were presented through the discussion:

With love & à bientôt

Gitte Kampp, Kofoeds Skole, DK

Why not?

It creates energy.

ll the time you must encourage and motivate, that will drain you for energy.

One's colleagues do not understand why ­ and this is hard too. We must not forget, that it is legal to work in order to make your living (earn money)

You do not have to spend your energy all the time ­ the students is able to think (etc.) themselves.

Why do we do like we do?

People who are working with the arts are burning after (are eager for) ­ doing this and may burn out.

To explain "a dead" how to live!

Very often we are working alone and this is not good.

It is the process that are important.

If you are about burning out ­ then find another job.

It is not good to be a martyr.

It is about "doing things" ­ instead of using energy to show the surroundings what we are doing.

It is full of stress ­ and so always difficult "to be yourself as a complete human being".

Politics and / or money destroys much.

It may take your whole life to learn taking care of yourself!

Personal development is (perhaps) the most important for us.

You are not indispensable.

We must have long periods of holiday, leave, journeys and inspiration.We are often confronted with the opinion that our job is like feeling a call.

Feed back is important

We are vulnerable to critics ­ it is important not to make the critic personal.

It is alright to arrive and say "today I am not at my best".

I am worth my weight in gold.

To be able to incorporate critics ­ at to make a change in direction.

It is import to reflect on yourself all the time.

To give/deliver/spend to/on others ­ then you will get more than that back again ­ this is not a job, but more an attitude towards life itself?

2. How important artwork can be in each one's life (personal cases we know from our work)(report by Mariana Brandâo, Ginasiano, Portugal)

Mariana has met a lot of very problematic situated people. She has very poor conditions to work with these people.

In a class with 23 kids (pupils) there was one kid that could not talk at the age of 6.

Her mother had kept her locked up in a room so she never learned to talk.

There is no established alternatives for this girl provided by the community.

It seems impossible to solve the problems for this girl ­ and still be a teacher for the "normal" kids.

Lone says that you have to concentrate about the artwork and then hope it will help these kids ­ through the work.

Do not underestimate the power of the artwork!

Small kids can not always benefit from artwork, they have not chosen to participate in.

3. Violent Crime & Consequences of using the arts.

The importance of provocative projects e.g. MJC before it gets too late

Theatre in prisons with offenders ­ e.g. Forum Theatre to help them to reflect on their lives.

Spot the problems early and save money and distress later. Community arts.

Introduce a rich tradition of performing arts early ­ so that young people have creative outlets available.

Local projects that understand the community commits development through performing arts.

Prison Directors should be educated to understand how valuable Theatre / music projects would be for prisoners.

Funding to support these initiatives.

Research to investigate different art projects happening in Europe specifically with young offenders / violent young people.

The art form must encourage personal reflection.

The policy makers must be educated to appreciate the power of the arts to change peoples lives.

4. Why does Performing Arts act as a catalyst in social- / youthwork?

Some learn better through using arts ­ people with attention disorders (ADHD)

You have an identity, when you do something like music, art, theatre & it is also attracting.

Some may not be able to express through words, but can through music, theatre etc.

Theatre, music and other arts act as a release from social problems.

It is important to have a healthy balance between Practical & Theory

Practical also aids of learning the theory

It is important to have other activities, especially when you are no good at Math, English etc.

Emma Jane Jones, Theatre Fforwm Wales.

5. Music & drugs. How do we handle the combination?

In France it is forbidden to sell alcohol to young persons under age 16 and all kind of narcotics/drugs are forbidden.

At MJC, Montluçon you may only drink alcohol in the café, in all other places it is forbidden.

At concerts MJC, Montluçon allows hashsmoking, because they otherwise would have a great problem with the neighbours around, if the young persons had to go outside to smoke and make noise. Hashsmoking is as mentioned forbidden according to French laws, so the police have closed the house a couple of times, but Guy Garcia (Director of MJC) have convinced the people who are supporting the house, that is OK in connection with concerts.

After this we did talk about the laws in different countries and found that Portugal and Denmark are very much alike with a rather liberal attitude towards hash.

In Wales people find it alright to drink, but anyone who takes drugs has put himself outside society and there is no talking about the problem. People who are smoking hash will stay in a third group.

There are no information about drugs in Wales and there is very little discussion about the problems around this.

Guy Garcia told about a band that are rehearsing in MJC and at a concert should play just before a big reggaeband. They thought they were quite as good when they did smoke hash ­ as without. But it had shown up that they were really bad when they were doped and now they had started recording the concerts to show the difference.

After this the group talk about drug information and especially the importance of this information to young people.

Bente explained that in Denmark several projects have developed with a starting point in abuse / misuse of hash among young people and Kofoeds Skole have good experiences from such a project, and further information will be distributed later on.

We did have a really good discussion and everybody had the possibility to explain their experiences.

Bente Morén

6. Is there any reason to choose those activities (those of Arttrain)?

(Suggested by Didier Pajot - report by Bo Otterstrøm, Kofoeds Skole, DK.

To avoid burning out

They may deliver new energy and inspiration for us to use in the daily work "more than inspired"

We will have a little concrete knowledge that can be used

We will be more open-minded to other artforms

You must remember the importance of what you are doing

We must work not only with the head, with the fingers or with the body ­ but with the whole human being.


Suggestions for future projects:

European Key-Culture Project. Why do we only work with music from outside Europe in a EU-funded project. Why not Welsh songs and Danish folk-dance?

Seminar focussing on immigrants roots e.g. the culture of The Middle East.

 7. What's the role of institutions, projects, schools etc?

(Report by Jeanne Mikkelsen, Youth Club "Huset" Denmark)

Projects for housing the people in Portugal 25 years ago was selforganised ­ the commune (local government) took over, put money in it and people stopped coming there because the dynamics disappeared.

The Portuguese wants to know what the other countries are doing to keep dynamics up.

In France they have artprojects in school and the government support them with money. For having e.g. a theatreproject you must have a theatre-partner and they make the lessons: light ­ acting ­ costumes.

The students (15-17 years old) take part in the project 2-3 years and will then be examined and have a diploma.


In Denmark kids start in school at age 6 as in Portugal, but before that they have been in day nursery and kindergarten because both parents are having a job.

Kids are in school 4-8 hours a day and afterwards in their spare time they can join the Youth-club, where it is possible to do all kind of things: computerwork, play music, play games, printing and sports.

The school is free, but you have to pay for the Youth-club.

Youth-clubs in the evening is meant as ways of preventing crime (an alternative to hanging around on the street).

In the Youth-Clubs we do make a lot of "culture" and are arranging different kinds of festivals (Theatre & music), to which young people will come from all over Denmark but also from England, Scandinavia, Russia etc.

Today we have many young immigrants in the Youth-Clubs and it is hard to make work together with them and get them integrated in the Youth-Clubs. Danish youth will stay away if they find too many immigrants.


Portugal have a lot of immigrants from their former colonies and they have no problems with the language as e.g. immigrants in Denmark. Some of the immigrants in Portugal is from Brazil and they are a very positive experience because of their attitude towards life, which is very different from the European one.

In Portugal they can have money for projects but when this is done the work won't be continued and again the young people have nothing.

Graca is working in a private school, where the rules are very strict. This school is financed by the Portuguese government and by EU.


In France they have also many immigrants from former colonies and they have big problems with ghettos and unemployment. Crime rises in the suburbs and the French don't want to stay there.


Organising network of socialworkers who are dedicated to their work. As e.g. the Danish "Musikforum" which is a part of "Ungdomsringen" (Federation of Youth-Clubs)

Don't focus on average routine. Look at the positive things at persons who are interested in creative social work /community education ­ and let the circles be unbroken!