This publication recognizes 20 years of innovative interdisciplinary education created by a network of Nordic and Baltic university arts programs located in a large geographical area: from Greenland in the north to Lithuania in the South. Supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ NORDPLUS for Higher Education, the Explorations and Collaborations in the Arts / The ECA Network, led by the Arts Academy, Turku University of Applied Sciences, has brought together students and teachers from dance, music, film, media, and visual arts in applied artistic practice.
The diversity of the ECA Network partners has only been a strength leading to both creative as well as vocational opportunities for the participating students. In this publication, one can read the reflective thoughts from a number of the partners who have been active members of the various workshops and teacher/student mobility activities that have occurred over these past 20 years. This is not so much a research publication, as it has been an opportunity for both teachers as well as students to articulate their experiences in the dance and music workshops, the choreography and film making (“Physical Cinema” or “Screen Dance”) workshops, and other areas of artistic collaboration.
To this date, over these past 20 years, the grants that have been written by the NORDPLUS ECA Network’s Coordinator David Yoken, focusing upon proposed workshops (called “Intensive Courses” in the NORDPLUS lexicon), student short and long term mobility, as well as teacher mobility have been funded every single year. The amount of funding received totals over one million Euros. The authors of the ten articles all have had a very important impact on the pedagogical and creative development of the ECA Network. They are all practicing artist-teachers and students who bring their creative background and technical skills in their various art forms to ECA Network in an open spirit of questioning, curiosity, and sharing. The articles document students’ feedback, teachers’ philosophical thoughts in relationship to collaborations between various artistic forms, and the participants growth through the various workshops’ exploratory structures.
It is hoped that this publication not only celebrates these two decades of trail blazing educational thinking/exchange and activities, but also is a resource for those interested in the risks, challenges, as well as rewards found when taking the necessary steps and leaps moving forward in arts pedagogy and artistic practices.
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