In the Art Testers activity that started in 2017, young people have visited two different art institutions. One of the visits has been made in the area nearby, the other to Helsinki or elsewhere in Finland.
Three years of eighth-graders have had the opportunity to go to theatre, a museum, a concert or an opera. They have learned about the background of the works and evaluated the artistic experiences they have had. Teachers included, the Art Testers activity reaches approximately 200,000 eighth-graders in total in Finland from 2017 to 2020.
The Art Testers is more than just a visit to an art institution. The pupils receive material about the visit, the artists and the types of art in advance. During the visit itself, the pupils learn for example about how a work of art is created, what being an artist is like, and what kind of things happen before a performance or an exhibition is ready. The pupils give feed back on their experiences in an application created for the purpose. In fact, one of the goals for the Art Testers is to find out how young people approach art and what kind of works resonate with them.
In the school year 2020–2021, the classes make one art visit in their own area. The funding model will change so that the state participates in the visits by paying half of the costs, while foundations (the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Svenska Kulturfonden) pay the other half. As in the previous years, the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers coordinates the activity. Annantalo Arts Centre is involved in the Art Testers as one of the children’s cultural centres coordinating the activity.
Art Testers offers an additional resource for art education as well as citizenship and democracy education at school. The aim is to overcome all obstacles for participation, so that young people can equally participate in art visits regardless of reduced mobility, mother tongue or place of residence.
The visits are compatible with the goals of the curriculum and enable schools to engage in art-based cooperation between several subjects, among other things, and offer new learning environments outside the school building.
The Art Testers will also continue for the school year 2021–2022!
Further information: Cultural Producer Mereca Victorzon, +358 (0)40 717 4687, email@example.com
Pictured: Hair, Jyväskylä City Theatre. Photo Iiro Palva-aho.
Pictured on page Projects: The exhibition Miltä näyttää aika, Jyväskylä Art Museum. Photo Hanna Brotkin.