news on social art/theatre activities from Grodzki Theatre, Poland

In parallel with RESTORE project, Grodzki Theatre has been involved in the international actions focused on strengthening the use of arts-based methods in youth at risk sector. The main aim of the “STORY MAKERS – MANY VOICES MANY LIVES” initiative is to develop materials that enable youth workers to use the power of story-making to engage and work with socially excluded young people, equipping them with resilience, confidence, self-esteem and life skills. It aims to foster the inclusion and employability of young people with fewer opportunities, through the promotion of quality youth work:

Since January 2021, the project partners from the UK, Poland, Cyprus and Portugal have been working on the elaboration of a story-making manual for youth workers, which covers different ways of making and telling stories, including theatre, creative movement and digital means of story-making. The next step after the development of educational materials is to trial them on youth workers and young people in all partnership countries. Grodzki Theatre has just completed pilot workshops (conducted online due to pandemic restrictions) for thirteen Polish youth workers who will now test the method of creative writing and art developed by the project coordinator – Hammersmith & Fulham Council from London. A variety of disadvantaged young people will be reached by the workshop participants in different educational settings. It is planned for instance to experiment with story making in a Youth Educational Centre (special school) and in a city library (elementary school students), in high school as part of extracurricular English language classes, in the Center for People with Mental Disorders or in a Foundation supporting people who experienced violence.

Another important project outcome will be the development of an E-learning portal based on the manual. The partners will incorporate best practices tested with their groups in online learning, so that while the learning objective remains the same (or similar) the user interface and experience can be radically different. In addition to the content developed for the manual, a new material will be also developed for the portal to ensure a high level of user interaction and learning consolidation. It will include interactive scenarios that will enable the users to carry out real-world simulations, as well as tests, selfstudy and quizzes to determine the knowledge retained.

The “STORY MAKERS” project has been funded with support from the European Commission, as part of ERASMUS + Program and will be continued till the end of 2022.