Cultural heritage as a commons, a new call by MIUR

Cultural heritage as a commons, a new call by MIUR

A new call for projects connecting cultural heritage and society has been launched by MIUR, the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research, within the European Structural Funds framework, more precisely within the  National Operational Programme “Education” 2014-2020: “Avviso pubblico per il potenziamento dell’educazione al patrimonio culturale, artistico e paesaggistico”.

80 millions € are being made available by the Ministry in order to enhance and foster the education in cultural heritage among students of both primary and secondary schools, in order to raise awareness about its value as a common good and its potential in developing democracy. Education and dissemination activities turn out to be crucial to promote a better understanding of the relationship between cultural heritage and local communities.

To highlight the importance of this purpose, also in the view of the European Year of Cultural Heritage of 2018, the Ministry refers to the UN Human Rights Declaration of 1948, and namely to its article 27:  “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. And, of course, to the Faro Convention of 2005,  Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society., that defined cultural heritage as “a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time”. Italy has signed up the Faro Convention in 2013, and a draft law has been approved few days ago (June 16) by the Council of Ministries to continue its ratification procedure.

The call, whose deadline is July 10, is divided into two strands:

  • projects proposed by single schools;
  • projects proposed by a network made up of different members: at least 3 schools, at least 1 local authority, at least 1 among public bodies/ institutions/no profit associations that are experienced on the topic.

The involvement of the local ecosystem turns out to be an important feature of the call, that encourages the development of partnerships and collaborations with many different institutions: central and local public administrations, associations, foundations, third sector actors, universities, research centres, superintendences, museums, cultural professionals as well as already existing networks.

Each project, that can be financed up to the amount € 30.000,00 if submitted by single schools and of € 120.000,00 if submitted by a network, should be developed through interdisciplinary and innovative approaches, focusing on the experiential dimension and ensuring a dissemination activity and an impact in the local community. The projects should include the following actions:

  • knowledge and access to cultural heritage, also by digital means;
  • adoption of cultural heritage (sites, buildings, monuments, etc.);
  • supply of a cultural, social, sustainable and environment tourism service;
  • knowledge and communication of the local cultural heritage, also in foreign languages;
  • production of curricular digital contents related to cultural heritage (Open Educational Resources);
  • artistic and cultural production;
  • urban regeneration and rehabilitation interventions, especially in deprived areas.

The evaluation criteria are mainly the social context in which the project will be carried out, its quality and, of course, its value for the local community.


80 milioni di € per il potenziamento dell’educazione al patrimonio culturale, artistico e paesaggistico nelle scuole di primo e secondo grado. Il nuovo bando del MIUR nell’ambito del PON 2014-2020, rivolto a singole scuole o a reti composte da scuole e istituzioni del territorio, sostiene progetti che promuovano la conoscenza del patrimonio culturale, del suo valore per la società e della sua dimensione di bene comune.

Culture&Society – Updates from Europe

Culture&Society – Updates from Europe


On April 19th-20th Bruxelles hosted the European Culture Forum, the biennal flagship event organised by the European Commission, this year focused on “Talent and creativity for a stronger and more inclusive Europe”. Different sessions highlighted the role of culture and creativity in society. Three plenary sessions were devoted to these topics:

Plenary Session 1: Can culture help to overcome the fragmentation of society?

Plenary Session 2: Can culture help re-launching economic growth?

Plenary Session 3: Can culture improve Europe’s standing in the world?

In addition to these, other 15 sessions, among which the n.5 concerning “Our Future European Cultural Heritage: Engage, Share, Co-create”. The importance of the participatory issue is stressed also because the sustainability of cultural heritage “depends on our ability to adopt new cross-cutting approaches to unlock its economic and social potential, turning heritage sites into drivers of economic activity, centres of knowledge, focal points of creativity, culture and social innovation”. An important edition that of 2016, also thanks to the announcement of a European Year of cultural heritage by Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport: “I’m delighted to announce that the Commission is proposing to make 2018 the European year of cultural heritage. It will be an opportunity to promote knowledge and understanding about cultural heritage”. The final decision will be taken by the European Parliament and the Council.

Concerning the impacts of culture, in October 2015 an important report was published on the topic of “Cultural and creative spillovers in Europe: Report on a preliminary evidence review”, authored by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy (TFCC) and commissioned by an international research partnership made up of Arts Council England (ACE), Arts Council of Ireland, European centre for creative economy (ECCE), European Cultural Foundation, European Creative Business Network e Creative England. The project aims at elaborating an international evidence library, through the analysis of 100 case studies and their spillover effects, in order to identify conditions to enable spillovers and to list related indicators. In this report, cultural and creative spillovers are defined “as the process by which activity in the arts, culture and creative industries has a subsequent broader impact on places, society or the economy through the overflow of concepts, ideas, skills, knowledge and different types of capital”. They are classified into 3 categories: knowledge, industry and network spillovers, according to the different impacts, that can be of course interrelated.

On April 5th, the European Commission launched the creation of a European Network of Creative Hubs, in order to reinforce networks of creative hubs at European level, since “by facilitating co-creation, creative hubs can help to cope with the sharing economy”.

In December 2015, the Working Group of EU Member States’ Experts on the development of the Key Competence Cultural Awareness and Expression published an important document aimed at providing policy-makers with recommendations and inspiring practices: “Cultural awareness and expression handbook”. As a matter of fact, it is one of the eight key competence identified by the European Union in 2006[1], defined as the “appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media, including music, performing arts, literature, and the visual arts”. It acquires a great importance not only with regards to appreciation and expression skills, but above all because “a solid understanding of one’s own culture and a sense of identity can provide the basis for an open attitude towards and respect for diversity of cultural expression”.

On April 2016, Europa Nostra, a European network of 250 member organizations,150 associated organizations and around 1500 individual members, delivered its annual cultural heritage Awards, in partnership with the European Commission. Besides celebrating excellence, Europa Nostra constitutes an important lobby at the European level and it is active also in the field of endangered cultural heritage and landscape. The Awards are given from 2002 in different categories: 1.Conservation, 2.Research, 3. Dedicated service by individuals or organizations, 4. Education, Training and Awareness-Raising. The fourth one rewards “outstanding initiatives related to education, training and awareness-raising in the field of tangible and/or intangible cultural heritage, to promote and/or to contribute to the sustainable development of the environment”. In 2016, the winners in this last category are:

  • “The Great War through the eyes of a child”, Roeselare, Belgium
  • “Star in School”, Karlovac, Croatia
  • “Adopt a Monument”, Tampere, Finland
  • Preserving and promoting dance heritage, Berlin, Germany
  • “The Little Museum of Dublin”, Dublin, Ireland
  • Cultural Heritage Education Programme: “Apprendisti Ciceroni”, Milan, Italy
  • Sustainable Development of Mourela Plateau, Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal
  • “Heritage Schools”, Bristol, United Kingdom

At the European level, there is evidence of an increasing awareness of the role of culture in overall society, of how pervasive cultural spillovers are. We just need effective policies giving priority to these long-term objectives both at the national and at the local level.

[1]   The other 7 key competences are: 1.Communication in the mother tongue, 2. Communication in foreign languages, 3. Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology, 4. Digital competence, 5. Learning to learn, 6. Social and civic competences and 7.Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.


Cultura&Società, tema ormai al centro del dibattito a livello europeo. Aggiornamenti su progetti e studi recenti, dallo European Culture Forum ai premi di Europa Nostra, dagli studi sui cultural spillovers a quelli sull’ottava competenza chiave “consapevolezza ed espressione culturale”.



What is Hortus Urbis?

Hortus Urbis is an experimental project on public space and biodiversity managed by the Zappata Romana ; it was born in 2012 in Rome , in a green area unused in the setting of the Appia Antica Park , to shared space and is educational vegetable garden with plants that were used in ancient Rome.

Which are the goals of the project?

The purpose of the project are related on the natural aspects and the cultural ones. The objective is to increase the sensitivity of children, youth and adults on the issues of biodiversity; acquire information and think about the cultural and cultural differences between past and present; lead in children, young people and adults respect for nature by understanding and knowledge.

How Hortus Urbis wants to find funding ?

The Hortus Urbis has decided to participate in the announcement of the Aviva Community Fund, becouse it is actually  maintained through citizens voluntary activities and with the support of local associations, without government grants.

From 4 years of project starting the number of adult guests and children requires the adaptation of the spaces with the construction of furniture and equipment to improve the reception and the performance of activities.

The Aviva  Community Fund provides to a phase of web voting for the projects selected and then a screening of the most voted by a jury. They have accepted the project and it i began  the phase of open votation that will end on the next  8 March . It ’s important to reach many votes as possible.

Lab Gov helps Hortus Urbis by voting but everyone can give an help just by easly steps :  a registration with password and email and then by voting on the link

How Hortus Urbis would like to use the founding  ?

The funding will be used for the construction:

• a protected area to allow the activities during the days of bad weather;

• a table of  work , to ensure the performance of workshops for children in the most appropriate way;

• furnishings for the hospitality of the companions of the children participating in the workshops;

• a shelter of garden tools;

• educational games for children.


Hortus Urbis è un progetto sperimentale sullo spazio pubblico nel parco dell’Appia Antica gestito dall’associazione Zappata Romana nato nel 2012 a Roma. 

L’Hortus Urbis ha deciso di partecipare al bando di Aviva Community Found , essendo mantenuto attraverso le attività di volontariato di cittadini e con il supporto di associazioni locali, senza contributi pubblici.

A 4 anni dall’avvio del progetto il numero di ospiti adulti e bambini richiede l’adeguamento degli spazi con la realizzazione di arredi e attrezzature per migliorare l’accoglienza e lo svolgimento delle attività.

Per sostenere il progetto, come Lab Gov ha fatto ; è in atto una votazione su internet  al link attraverso il quale chiunque può votare attraverso poche semplici mosse.