Interview with Mr. Francisco Palomino. Dancing Histor(y)ies – Model Definition

Dialogue with Local Agents on Performing Arts and Heritage
Mr. Francisco Palomino shares his vision on community involvement in cultural projects.

Mr. Francisco Palomino, Secretary General of Culture at the Department of Culture, Tourism, Youth, and Sports of the Government of Extremadura, is an experienced professional with over 20 years of experience in the planning, management, coordination, and development of cultural, tourism, and educational projects. His career includes event organization, the creation of tourist products, the production of performing arts and large-scale shows, as well as the implementation of educational, rural development, audiovisual, and publishing projects, both in Spain and in Latin American countries.

Within the framework of the DANCING HISTOR(Y)IES – MODEL DEFINITION project, several interviews have been conducted with prominent local stakeholders. Among them is an exclusive interview with the Secretary General of Culture at the Department of Culture, Tourism, Youth, and Sports of the Government of Extremadura. During this interview, various key questions about community participation in cultural projects were addressed. Below, we present the responses provided by this expert, offering a comprehensive view of the link between performing arts, heritage sites, and community participation. Each response is accompanied by a corresponding video to provide a complete interview experience.

Questions

What does community participation mean to you in the planning and execution of performing arts activities at a heritage site? How can it be achieved?

Each community and each space presents different characteristics, but in general, there are many examples where communities themselves organize to create events/projects, such as the representation of “El Alcalde de Zalamea,” “Whisperers of Verses” from the Alcántara Classical Theater Festival, or the “Reenactment of the Investiture of the Master of Alcántara.”

It is necessary to involve and listen to the associations and groups that make up the territory, so that they feel reflected and are the protagonists of the events and activities that take place. Citizens’ proposals should have a place in the development of cultural activities. If the project aims to endure over time, it is necessary for the local community to participate so that the population feels identified with it.

Based on your experience, what recommendations would you give to improve the participation of the local community in enhancing an archaeological site through performing arts?

Humility is needed; there’s no need to reveal to anyone what they already have in their surroundings, as they are already aware of it. The needs of urban inhabitants are not the same as those of people living in rural areas. And it’s the residents themselves who know their situation better than anyone else.

When carrying out a project, it’s necessary to first listen to the opinions of the local community, and secondly, it’s necessary to explain very well what is intended, why it’s intended, and what is to be achieved with it. Additionally, there are many projects and events, but it’s necessary to focus on the objectives to be achieved.

In what ways can local authorities help attract audiences to heritage sites?

First and foremost, it’s essential to support the growth potential of the spaces. The combination of heritage, cultural events, and tourism is also very important; it’s a mix that generates a lot of value, both economically and in terms of projection to other territories. Models and pilot projects could also be preserved to be tested in the implementation of future cultural proposals.

For a project to move forward, it’s necessary to commit firmly to it, believing in the project and having a clear idea of the identity that is to be conveyed. It also cannot be a copy of something already being done elsewhere. If it’s only applied following a trend, it won’t be as successful, and its future prospects will be limited.

Can dance add significant value to archaeological sites?

Dance is one of the most powerful tools for showcasing heritage because it can adapt to spaces and communicate the feelings associated with those sites. Dance can convey a wealth of unique emotions and sentiments related to each space. The artist values both their creation and the site that accompanies it. In this sense, to understand dance, it’s important to let oneself be carried away, and even if the meaning isn’t fully understood, it’s capable of conveying emotions just the same. An example of this is the ‘Vera Creativa’ program.

What specific skills or knowledge would you like to gain from a training programme focused on combining performing arts, heritage site valorisation, and community engagement?

It’s crucial to empower the local community in theatre and heritage culture and raise awareness about performing arts and heritage conservation. There’s also a lack of cultural management from the administration. Cultural management extends beyond mere activities like workshops; it should be able to harness local resources to generate more culture, whether through administration or various associations. Additionally, there’s a need to promote training in cultural management to professionalise the sector, as there’s a shortage of professionals skilled in handling culture appropriately.

3rd Newsletter of Dancing Histor(y)ies

1 YEAR OF DANCING HISTOR(Y)IES

One year ago, our fantastic project began.

These have been intense months, full of activities, studies, researches and meetings that involved 13 partners from 11 different countries!

After a year of hard work, our project is taking shape through the involvement of local communities and the enhancement of cultural heritage through dance.

Relive our first year through our social channels.
WHERE ARE WE AT?
DH model is finally ready!

The “Model of Valorisation of archaeological sites through dance and performing arts” is founded on the principles of collaboration, community engagement, and an unwavering respect for historical sites.

By incorporating best practices, experience and collective knowledge, it seeks to ensure the protection, celebration, and continuity of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

It is a blueprint for creating festivals that resonate with their communities and enrich the legacy of our shared history.

Our technical partners worked very hard with other partners, stakeholders and communities and collected more than 200 questionnaires from 11 countries and 60 good practices on relationships between citizens and cultural activities, local needs, enhancement of cultural heritage, community engagement.

As a result, it was concluded that an efficient model for the valorisation of heritage sites through performing arts, community engagement and territorial development should consist of 10 components:

Main Activities:
  • Discover (and respect) the Site
  • (Find the) Facilitator
  • Artistic Production
  • Local Engagement
  • Territorial Development
  • Communication Channels
Transversal Activities:   
  • Gender Equality
  • Accessibility       
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Inclusion 
  • +  Continuity (Keep it alive)        

At the end of the project, the good practices detected, the methodology designed, and the results achieved, will become a shared and common knowledge available for further use and implementation at European level.

It’s time to test our implementation strategies!

Institutional Partners managing the heritage sites and stakeholders have been involved in a co-design process, adapting the model to the local needs.

They have worked together for over a month to introduce the model to the territories and involve local communities through 52 meetings amongst stakeholders which produced 22 framework agreements.

For each selected heritage site, Institutional and Technical Partners have worked to create an accurate plan regarding artistic production, community engagement, territorial marketing and development.

The implementation strategy will be tested during Workshops and the DH festivals.

Let’s dance!

Dance Companies have started their first workshops within the communities hosting the cultural sites.

They have been in Viminacium (SB), Ostia (IT), Merida (ES) and Volos (GR), and will be in Tharros (IT) in the next weeks (from 6th to 10th April).

In the next months they will do the second and third workshops and the final residency and finally… the first edition of DH Festivals!

Keep following all the steps of the project, we are ready to dance and create new bonds with local communities!

Don’t’ forget to subscribe to DH’s official newsletter by filling out the form on website.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

DATA MANAGEMENT

In compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 we hereby inform you that your personal data are part of a specific database for the collection and management of personal data within the project Dancing Histor(y)ies (from here onwards referred to as the “Project”) whose Joint Data Controller is Associazione Enti locali per le attività culturali e di spettacolo, with headquarters in Via Pasquale Paoli n.25 – 09128 Cagliari, VAT number: 01859050922 together with the other Joint Data Controllers defined by the GDPR agreement signed within the Dancing Histor(y)ies consortium.

The Joint Data Controllers may process the personal data collected for the period necessary to fulfil the obligations established in the Partnership agreement concluded between the Joint Data Controllers and other project partners and/or in the Grant agreement concluded between the Joint Data Controllers and other project partners and the European Commission.

Interested parties can contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO) by sending an email to: dancinghistoriesdpo@gmail.com to have a complete view of the GDPR or to exercise each of the following rights: access to their personal data; obtain a copy of the personal data; correct personal data; delete your data; limit processing; request data portability; exercise the right of objection; file a complaint.

2nd Newsletter of Dancing Histor(y)ies

DANCING HISTOR(Y)IES GOES ON: NEW STEPS AND ACTIVITIES

Dancing Histor(y)ies, the European project aimed at linking communities and cultural heritage through dance, continues with new activities and the definition of the Model for the enhancement of cultural heritage sites through performing arts, community engagement, and support for territorial development.

DON’T MISS DH’S LAST STEPS!

Last Study Visits

Dance companies have ended the round of study visits in the heritage sites that will host the DH Festival in Summer 2024, visiting Tharros and Ostia Antica in Italy and Volos in Greece.

Study visits have been key to start connecting the dance companies with the local territories, heritage sites and communities. Explorative walks in the heritage sites, storytelling experiences, performances attendance, meeting with local stakeholders and technicians and, most of all, in person meetings with the local communities have allowed participants to get together and start dialoguing about the artistic processes that will be at the core of the next year of activities.

Dance companies, local communities and the management of the heritage sites have started sharing stories, perspectives, challenges and opportunities to co-create the next DH Festival performances, with the unique approach of merging local heritage, communities’ stories and artistic interpretation and interventions. We can’t wait to start co-creating!

Partners’ meeting in Volos

Partners have met in Volos (Greece) on the occasion of the last study visit on 26-27 November.

They have assessed the first 6 months of the project, drawn conclusions on the research and site visits phase and planned next activities to transit to the second phase of the project, the practical implementation of the Model in the different Countries through the organisation of the DH Festival in the selected sites.

In particular, they have shared an overview of the DH Festival and started brainstorming about its features, deciding which Dance Companies will perform in which Sites and reflecting about the implementation of the co-creation workshops with the local communities.

As per the next steps, during December and January the heritage sites will work with their local stakeholders, communities and selected dance companies to define the main features of the DH Festival and to plan the concrete steps for its implementation. The new year will kick off the artistic co-creation workshops and the local activities with the communities; again, we can’t wait to see how these will become concrete!

The Model is almost ready!

The aim of the project is to create an efficient model for valorisation of heritage sites through performing arts, community engagement and territorial development to be disseminated and exploited at the European level, in which the material cultural heritage of the sites and the immaterial heritage of local communities involved are fused together through the creativity of dance.

The Dancing Histor(y)ies Model is the product of the collective work of an expanded network of 13 partners from 11 countries in the European Union.

For its implementation partners followed a two-way research process adopting both a bottom-up and an up-down approach in order to collect data from various sources of information, both from the research results and the experience of each partner.

The DH model is the final step of the following processes:

  • Local Needs Analysis: partners and stakeholders identified the various needs they face in the management and valorisation of archaeological sites through performing arts and community involvement activities.
  • Best practice research and selection at EU level: the collection of good practices has served as possible solutions and examples to follow in future initiatives.

The results and findings of these processes led to the conclusion that an efficient model for valorisation of heritage sites through performing arts, community engagement and territorial development should consist of the following components:

  • Discover (and respect) the Site
  • Find the Facilitator able to bridge the communication amongst the different stakeholders involved in the project, namely the heritage site management, the local communities and the dance companies.
  • Local Engagement
  • Artistic Production
  • Territorial Development
  • Communication Channels

And the following transversal activities: Gender Equality, Accessibility, Environmental Sustainability, Social Inclusion, Continuity.

The model will be soon available, we’ll be back soon with further updates!

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

1st Newsletter of Dancing Histor(y)ies

Dancing Histor(y)ies binding communities and heritage through dance is the European project aimed at linking communities and cultural heritage through dance. Co-financed under the “Creative Europe” program, the project focuses on promoting archaeological sites through performing arts and aims to identify an innovative, effective, and replicable model for the enhancement of cultural sites actively involving local communities in artistic production and conscious heritage enjoyment, also promoting the international circulation of European artists.

PARTNERS

Dancing Histor(y)ies, of which Associazione Enti Locali per le Attività Culturali e di Spettacolo is the project leader, involves 13 institutions of 11 different European Countries with long experience in heritage site management, performing arts and dance production, research and training, as well as in the design, running and evaluation of EU funded projects.

Institutional Partners

Partners managing the heritage sites and enhancement activities

Technical Partners

With specific competences in research, training, dramaturgy and territorial development

THE PROJECT

The project includes activities that will take place throughout 2023/2024 in preparation for the first edition of the Dancing Histor(y)ies Festival and will be replicated for the second edition in 2025.

Kick off

Research activities

Peer to peer learning

Study visits

Workshops and e residencies

Festival and Off Festival

WHERE WE ARE

Kick off

Dancing Histor(y)ies has been presented in Cyprus on April, 6 at the Cyprus University of Technology. It has been an opportunity to promote and support the project in its socio-economic dimension of local development.

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Presentation during NID

During NID Platform 2023, the event which brought together Italian dance companies and national and international stakeholders in Cagliari from 30 August to 2 September, the official presentation of Dancing Histor(y)ies was held. Partners illustrated the foundations and objectives of the project with a particular focus on Dancing Histor(y)ies Festival, which will be held in the 5 selected archaeological sites in summer 2024.

Study Visits

Study Visits have started in June, in which dance companies visit historical and cultural heritage sites and discover the spirit of the places. Companies started from Viminacium (SB), and then visited Merida (ES), Tharros and Ostia Antica (IT).

Research

The research aimed at defining the Dancing Histor(y)ies Model, carried out by the University of Cyprus with the support of partners, has just been completed. The Model will contain the guidelines for the management and enhancement of archaeological sites through artistic and participatory processes.

Once the model has been defined, each site will work individually on its adaptation to its territory, will decide on which thematic threads to work and communities to involve.

NEXT STEPS

The next steps of the project will be:

  • The definition of the Model for the involvement of communities in the valorisation of archaeological sites
  • The choice of companies for each archaeological site
  • The launch of workshops within the sites, in which companies will work together with local communities
  • The start of cooperation between the sites and local stakeholders, to identify strategies and actions to be implemented during 2024 for the involvement of communities in participatory activities, knowledge and fruition of the sites.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

First months of the implementation of the programme “Dancing Histor(y)ies, Binding Communities and Heritage Through Dance”

Dancing Histor(y)ies, Binding Communities and Heritage Through Dance, is a European project, co-funded by “Creative Europe” (project id: 101099222), aimed at binding local communities and cultural heritage through dance. 

Dancing Histor(y)ies aims to create a common and adaptable general model to be disseminated and exploited on a European scale, with the objective of combining the tangible cultural heritage of the sites involved with the intangible heritage of local communities and their histories, fused through the creativity of dance.

During the months of development, several meetings have been held by the partners, the first was in April in Cyprus, for the presentation of the project, and the second was held in August in Sardinia, taking advantage of the celebration of the NID Platform in Cagliari and making a study visit to the Peninsula of Tharros and its fabulous archaeological site. In addition, the partners have made several study visits to the archaeological sites that are part of the project in order to start planning the performances of the Dancing Histor(y)ies Festival that will take place in 2024. 

The programme involves thirteen institutions from eleven different European countries with extensive experience in cultural site management, performing arts, dance production, research and training, as well as in the design, management and evaluation of EU-funded projects. 

  • Institutional partners: Associazione Enti Locali per le Attività Culturali e Di Spettacolo (Italy), Consorcio Patronato del Festival de Merida (Spain), I Borghi Srl (Italy), Arheoloski Institutv (Serbia), EKPOL (Greece).
  • Artistic partners: 420 people (Czech Republic), Polski Teatr Tanca (Poland), Fondasiya Art Link (Bulgaria), Aloni & Brummer Productions (Sweden).
  • Technical partners: Technologiko panepistimio kyprou (Cyprus), Asociación AEI Cluster del Turismo de Extremadura (Spain), Kulturális Örökség Menedzserek Egyesülete (Hungary), Mapa das Ideias (Portugal).

Approval of Heritart II project, renamed Dancing Histor(y)ies

Under the slogan “linking communities and heritage through dance” it will be about combining heritage sites, local community groups and visiting dance companies from abroad, and developing and testing how these groups can come together, with local variants, through two editions of a multi-location festival.

It is a continuation of the Heritart I project, the logo of which is shown in the image.

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