3.9 Good practices

Senior citizens

Activities of senior citizens gain cultural and social importance in an ageing society. Therefore, in 2007, the Austrian Association for Amateur Theatre [Österreichischer Bundesverband für außerberufliches Theater, ÖBV] has established a platform for senior theatre in Austria [SeniorInnentheater, Generationentheater]. Further education for actors and directors in this field is a main concern. Starting 2011, ÖBV organises a nationwide training course for directors in senior theatre. The training course has 7 training units, duration is one year. One course takes place in Oberösterreich and one in Vorarlberg.

Participants of the training either have a background in theatre or work with senior citizens. They get training in specific methods for theatre work with elderly people. Theatre with seniors is not just amateur theatre (selecting a play, finding actors and actresses and staging). It benefits from the rich experiences, memories and life stories of its participants, thus creating a particular theatre genre.

This training initiative of ÖBV is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection [BMASK].

There are a couple of senior theatre initiatives all over Austria. They cooperate and participate in senior theatre festivals (national and international). One of the biggest problems is sustainable funding in the time of economic crisis.
(Sources: Theaterjahr 2010, Graz; SeniorInnentheaterjahr 2008, Klagenfurt0

Cultural Diversity

"Brunnenpassage" is a vivid example of enrichment and social change by cultural diversity. The sociocultural space opened in 2007 in a local market area. The areaway is situated in a district of Wien with more than 40% migrants (mainly of Turkish or ex-Yugoslavian origin). The project was initiated and operated by Caritas (the aid organisation of the Catholic Church in Austria) and co-funded from federal and local budgets.
(Source: Migration & Integration. Statistik Austria)

With about 300 events per season it provides a rich artistic programme and opportunities for encounters with the diverse cultures represented by the residents living around the market.

Rather than silent spectators, visitors of "Brunnenpassage" are invited to involve actively in artistic processes. It is a principle to combine high artistic quality and participation. Professional artists act as workshop leaders, trainers and directors for artistic productions with members of the community who otherwise would hardly get in touch with the cultural offers of the city.

Cooperation with cultural institutions in Wien provide the chance to perform in public and thus to become visible (Wiener Konzerthaus, den Wiener Festwochen, dem Dschungel Wien, dem Schauspielhaus). The entrance is free for performances in the Brunnenpassage, however, the principle "pay as you can" is applied in compliance with redistribution.

The daily programme ranges from music workshops, choir singing and voice training to story telling, dance classes and cinema performances or the presentation of "living books" and various other artistic shows.

Youth and Media

The "blue cube" is a laboratory and exhibition space to convey knowledge in the areas of arts, culture and science. The blue cubical building in Klagenfurt (Kärnten) opened in 2008 and is funded by the provincial government and the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture [Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur]. In 2010, one focus was film and television. Children and young people from 6 to 19 years of age were invited to create their own short movies, animated film, sound recording or TV-show. Supported by media and film professionals they could even do bigger projects. Workshops can be booked by schools and as out-of-school activity (open days and workshops during school holidays). Participants are encouraged to handle the media actively. Following the principle of "learning by doing", the workshops in the blue cube intend to arouse curiosity and to encourage creativity and fantasy. Learning means employing all senses and having fun. On top of developing media competence with children and youth, the objectives of the blue cube are: - learning to act self dependently,

  • - to experience the own competences and thus gain self-esteem;
  • - to acquire a creative and conscious approach to technology and science,
  • - to open the perspectives towards new job opportunities,
  • - to interact respectfully, increase the ability for reflection and social competences.

The blue cube had more than 2000 visitors in 2010 and carried out 62 workshops with 577 participants. The blue cube has 7 employees. Besides the workshop activities, there is "kidsmobil" the first driving children museum. It offers a variety of topics in a van for primary schools in the province Kärnten.