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2018 will be the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Mon, Sep 11th, 2017

Look around! At the buildings that surround us, our natural landscape and the feelings we have towards them. Cultural heritage is the fabric of our lives and our societies. It helps us understand how we came to be here and why we do the things we do. It is in the way we talk, read, express ourselves: through music, art, crafts, food…..EVERYTHING!

Cultural heritage brings communities together through shared understanding and common challenges, and it creates an inclusive culture in the places we live. The digital world is adding a new dimension to the way we access and experience our heritage. Next year, all across Europe there’ll be celebrations of our cultural heritage throughout the year.

What’s the link to Erasmus+?

Across Europe in 2018, Erasmus+ applicants will be encouraged to tie in with the European Year of Cultural Heritage. So… whether you’re applying this October or planning an application for the Spring deadlines next year, why not think about adding a cultural dimension to your project?

What’s the link to the European Solidarity Corps?

The European Solidarity Corps has the potential to provide support to the activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and cultural heritage activities in general. The types of projects with solidarity dimension that might involve young people include:

  • Guiding at heritage sites and museums
  • Guiding and/or welcoming visitors in towns and cities
  • Assisting (under appropriate supervision and direction) on archaeological excavations or on conservation projects
  • Carrying out maintenance works at heritage sites
  • Carrying out landscape enhancement and restoration works, creating trails, etc.
  • Assisting with post-disaster clean-up operations
  • Acting as researchers or research assistants
  • Assisting on film sets, at theatrical productions, concerts, lectures, dance performances, etc.
  • Undertaking digital and other survey work
  • Acting as social media assistants
  • Providing administrative support to cultural heritage projects

Aims of the year

The European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to:

  •  encourage people to explore Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage
  •  celebrate, understand and protect its unique value
  •  reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in all our lives

European cultural heritage allows us to understand the past and to look to our future. By highlighting cultural heritage in 2018, we will emphasise:

  • how it builds stronger societies
  • how it creates jobs and prosperity
  • its importance for our relations with the rest of the world
  • what can be done to protect it

Themes of the year

The Themes of the year are Engagement, Value, Protection and Innovation. Engagement includes:

  • Shared heritage: bringing Europe’s cultural heritage, history and shared values closer to people
  • Heritage at school: discovering Europe’s treasures at an early age
  • Youth for heritage: engaging the younger generation

Find out more

If you’re interested, check out the European Year of Cultural Heritage website or contact our own Heritage Council, who have been nominated to run the year here in Ireland.

Many thanks to the The Heritage Council/An Comhairle Oidhreachta for the images used in this article.