In 2012, UNESCO launched the inaugural International Arts Education Week in Paris. World leaders in arts education advocacy have since, through high profile celebrations, drawn attention to the role that arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding. UNESCO has set three goals to guide the development of arts education: a) ensure that arts education is an accessible and sustainable component of high quality education, in conception and delivery, b) assure that arts education activities and programs are of a high quality and c) apply arts education principles and practices to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world.
The International Arts for Peace Festival (IAPF) builds on the “Peace for All” vision to foster peace awareness and education through the powerful principles and practices of the arts laid out in the UNESCO document, the ‘Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education (2010). The main festival, held in Hong Kong from May-June, 2014, promoted five kinds of peace; individual; cultural; social; political; and ecological. The event was part of a series of activities celebrating the International Arts for Peace Festival.
The Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s UNESCO Arts Education Observatory also contributed to the UNESCO International Arts Education Week and the International Arts for Peace Festival with a range of activities and events throughout May and June, 2014, four of which are featured below.
In collaboration with the Australian Society of Music Education in Australia (ASME) and the Australian Music Centre (AMC), esteemed music educator Lorraine Milne has developed a resource for secondary school teachers revolving around the music of Peter Sculthorpe and his 16th String Quartet. The work, entitled ‘Peter Sculthorpe: String Quartet No. 16’ was inspired by letters from refugees in Australian detention centres, resonates with the plight of people displaced by war and turmoil around the world. The guide is available through the Australian Music Centre: http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/product/peter-sculthorpe-string-quartet-no-16
Students studying ‘Devising Drama in Communities’ developed a performance piece , facilitated by Dr Dave Kelman, the Artistic Director of the Education Program of Western Edge Youth Arts. The exciting piece of experimental and interactive theatre, called The Autopsy, was performed for the public on May 20.
The ‘Child+Adult Art Response Project’ was a collaborative undertaking between Melbourne University students and children from a local Melbourne Primary School. The project encouraged participants to generate intercommunity conversations across time and space through the visual arts. One artwork from each child was given to a partner artist at the University who responded using print and/or collage. The project culminated in a curated exhibition at the children’s school with the Child+Adult art framed and displayed side by side.
The Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s UNESCO Arts Education Observatory held a Colloquium on June 2 at which each of the projects described above were shared. Presentations were given by Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret (Music), Dr Dave Kelman (Drama) and Suzanna Zapper (Visual Arts). View footage of Colloquium.