For creative industry coaches and trainers – Cultural Creative Industry Cluster, Pécs, Hungary,  24 to 28 January 2022   

Image above: Creative Apprenticeship Coaches outside the KOHO Co-Working House in Pécs, Hungary

In January 2022, 18 creative apprenticeship coaches and trainers from the 6 countries participating in P4CA came together for a five day transnational bar camp in Pécs, Hungary. After two years of having to work through virtual meetings online, partners were finally able to meet in person for an intensive week of co-creation, skills and learning exchange, and networking.  The Teaching Learning and Training week was hosted by the Cultural Creative Industries Cluster in Pécs at their KOHO Co-Working House.

Participants were drawn from the Peer Development and Review Groups supporting the development of the project outputs in each country. The aim of these groups is to ensure that the project results are tested by practitioners and sector experts, and reflect real-life work experience of coaches who train and support creative apprenticeships. Participants came from a wide range of creative industry backgrounds, including dance and performing arts, photography, design, visual arts, music, digital media, and working with young creatives with special educational needs.

The week included a series of networking and learning exchange events arranged by CiCC with creative employers in the Pécs Creative Industries Cluster who have experience of training apprentices. These included TSB ArtLab photography studios, and a very special opportunity to visit the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra, who reside and perform in the spectacular architectural setting of the Kodaly Centre which opened as a concert hall in 2010 when Pécs was European Capital of Culture. A further learning exchange event took place at the Pécs Chamber of Commerce, through which the potential for piloting the project learning toolkit with local employers was discussed.

A key purpose of the week was to review, develop and generate additional content for the project Intellectual Outputs. The week began with a baseline review of the project so far, ensuring that all participants shared a common framework of understanding of the project and its objectives and also to agree the agenda and schedule for the week. During the week Press to Exit led workshops that enabled the IO3 Learning Toolkit resources to be finalised, CiCC were able to liaise with participants to agree a structure and timescale for completing a beta-site for the Open Educational Resource. Materahub led a workshop to inform and develop the structure and content of the IO5 Good Practice Guide, and through-out the week gathered a range of video and audio documentation and interviews as content for the  Guide. We were joined via Zoom by Dr. Denise Stanley Chard, Chief Executive of Tulip Peer2Peer, who gave a presentation about the CLOCK accreditation process, and David Garcia of Rinova also participated by Zoom from the Polo Digital Hub in Malaga to support the technical process of developing the IO4  Open Educational Resource.  Creative Business CoachTomorr Kokona also gave a short presentation of his new book, “Creative Artists mean Business”.

Inevitably, due to the challenges of the pandemic over the last two years, there were areas where the project has not been able to develop as was originally planned. These five days together were an invaluable opportunity for partners to take stock and review what has been achieved and revise and adapt plans for the final stage of the project. This included planning a piloting process in March, April and May 2022, through which 36 Apprenticeship Coaches across the six partner countries will test the learning tools in practice and feedback into the completion of the final results. At the end of the week, a schedule and evaluation plan for this, led by RDA Senec-Pozinok, were agreed and a timetable and action plan for the final stages of the project was put in place.

The busy agenda for the week included opportunities to explore the rich cultural history of Pécs, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, including guided tours of the city and opportunities to visit the Szolnay Ceramics Museum and Victor Vasarely Museum, historic churches and other landmarks. And everybody enjoyed social time together with old friends and new after a long two years when we have not been able to meet. All in all, it was an immensely productive and stimulating week, and huge thanks go to Janos, Judit and the team at CiCC for putting it together, and for their wonderful, generous hospitality through-out the week.

Yane Calovski, Press to Exit, leads a workshop on the P4CA learning toolkit at TSB ArtLab, Pécs