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ARTE – The Art of Employability

Logo ARTE_The Art of Employability

Key words: social inequality, social inclusion, labour market integration, social innovation, art, social entrepreneurship

Project duration: 01.11.2019 - 31.12.2021


Project funding:

European Union - ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships in the field of adult learning


Project description (short):

ARTE combines theater pedagogy with social work and entrepreneurship training and allows the improvement of the social situation and the labour market opportunities of young adults in Mediterranean Europe.


Co-operation partner:

  • Projektfabrik gGmbH Germany
  • Technische Universität Dortmund Germany
  • Vivaio per l´Intraprendenza Associazione Promozione Sociale Italy
  • Patchanka Società Cooperativa Sociale Italy
  • Social Innovation for Communities, UpSocial SL Spain
  • Stone Soup Consulting Lda. Portugal

Project goals:

ARTE - the Art of Employability wants to establish an innovative approach to tackle Mediterranean Europe’s youth unemployment crisis with social art. It combines classical fields of social work and entrepreneurship training with creative techniques from theatre and acting. ARTE is based on the JobAct approach, developed by the lead partner Projektfabrik gGmbH over the last 13 years. The approach combines theater pedagogy with application training and a target group-specific approach. After the JobAct approach was spread throughout Europe in the last three years in the project JobAct Europe, the method will now be adapted for the Mediterranean region and further developed with regard to an entrepreneurship approach. This is intended to improve the job opportunities for unemployed young adults by strengthening their employability.

Employability is one of the five core objectives integrated in the Europe 2020 strategy. The project promotes the social inclusion and employability of individual participants with a holistic approach: The theatre method significantly improves the Lisbon key competences of the participants, namely communication in the national language, learning to learn, interpersonal, intercultural and social skills, initiative and entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression. Self-esteem is greatly enhanced by the successful public premiere of the jointly developed play. Key competencies are developed through a combination of personal development and social interaction.

Especially in Mediterranean European countries with economic problems, high youth unemployment and a tight situation on the labor market there is a growing gap between privileged and disadvantaged groups that are often left behind. With its focus on unemployed younger people, ARTE contributes to the reduction of inequality and social exclusion and wants to develop a new way of learning with art to create new opportunities The aim is to develop and establish art as an education principle in Europe, thereby creating an innovative way of knowledge transfer and empowerment that can be adopted to different target groups in need.


Project description (long):

Based on the results of the project JobAct Europe ARTE establishes the Social Art approach as a new form of education and social work. Social Art combines classical fields of social work with creative techniques developed in theatre and acting. In Social Arts the materials of the artists are not canvas, marble or stages, but social issues. We believe that the art of the future will be social and that we need to develop an artistic approach to cope with the current social issues. The social artist will apply an artistic approach and methodology to solve these issues. Creativity, imagination and inspiration are the key skills of the social artist to overcome the obstacles.

In ARTE, the approach will be specified, improved, continuously evaluated, developed and disseminated further with the help of materials produced in the project and a stakeholder-based analysis. By setting up an "Entrepreneurial Mindset", participants should not only be given access to regular jobs, but also to self-employment. In our understanding, the "Entrepreneurial Mindset" promotes the ability to put ideas into practice, to solve problems creatively, to think innovatively, to take risks, and the ability to plan and act in a structured way.

At the heart of the project are the pilot projects with the young adults, in which key competencies of the participants are developed and their self-esteem is strengthened with the help of acting training and an entrepreneurship-oriented job coaching. After the play developed during the theatre training has been presented to an audience, the participants enter the second phase of the project with the strengthened self-esteem resulting from the premiere. In this phase the participants gain practical work experience in an internship.

The dissemination of the experiences and findings in the project is carried out on the one hand via the concept of the Entrepreneurial Mindset and on the other hand via the participants of the pilot projects themselves. This is based on the conviction that the impact of the educational approach can best be understood through the participants themselves. In a blog and vlog accompanying the project, the participants can record their experiences, make them accessible to others and be accompanied on their path of personal development.

Methodological approach:

The basic idea of the project is to combine the experiences of all partners to tackle youth unemployment in the Mediterranean region with the innovative approach Social Arts. Art and culture as a vehicle for education and social inclusion are a well-known and even century-old approach. This project unfolds in an innovative way the power of art in placement programs for the unemployed youth in the Mediterranean region. The approach is based on the experience that youth unemployment can lead to permanent disadvantages and social exclusion. People who lack opportunities or face economic obstacles have fewer chances to develop their personalities and unfold their true potential. The solution is to combine classical ways of social work with theatre education, complemented by a placement or entrepreneurship program. We want to enrich the existing training formats for these people with the concept we call The Art of Education. Playing theatre and developing key competences is an opportunity to leave the circles of dependence and frustration and to develop individual paths into occupation in difficult economic environments.

The artistic process rests on a 2-step transformation model: from a problem-based approach to self-awareness, from self-awareness to guidance on job and life. Theatre activates the creative abilities inspiration, imagination and intuition; skills that can be unfold in everybody and which are needed to leave the circles of dependence and frustration and develop out of social exclusion. Developing the entrepreneurial mindset is based on a process of empowerment in which all participants are accompanied in an intensive training like a physical workout. The approach combines the specific knowledge of the start-up procedure with a strong motivational drive.

Project leadership

Foto von Kerstin Guhlemann Kerstin Guhlemann,

Telephone: +49 231 755-90235


Foto von Christine Best Christine Best,

Telephone: +49 231 755-90204


Gudrun Brieden,

Telephone: +49 231 755-90210