As one of the key initiatives of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, this year’s edition of the #EHDs celebrates “The Art of Sharing.” As part of this we launched two new pilot initiatives open to local communities, children and young people: European Heritage Makers Week and the Call for European Heritage Stories. We are delighted to announce that our jury has selected the successful young European Heritage Makers who will be welcomed to Strasbourg in the autumn.
On 18 April, to mark the occasion of World Heritage Day and International Day for Monuments and Sites, European Heritage Makers Week, a storytelling experience created to celebrate Europe’s shared heritage seen through children and young people’s eyes, was launched. The official week took place between 5 and 9 May, to coincide with the Europe Day celebrations of the Council of Europe and European Union. During this period, children and young people from 8 participating European countries were encouraged to explore their surroundings, get to know the cultural heritage around them and come up with a story of Europe in the selected site.
The stories were then uploaded to the EHD Portal so they can be shared with other EHDs communities. Following a national pre-selection of 26 stories, a European jury has selected the ten most inspiring stories and has invited the #HeritageMakers to visit Strasbourg for a special event in November. The announcement of the selected #HeritageMakers can be seen here.
For the first time in the history of the European Heritage Days, the Call for European Heritage Stories was launched as a pilot initiative intending to give a voice to the passionate individuals, organisations and associations to tell their story of Europe in the heritage they cherish.In addition to encouraging people to engage with Europe’s cultural heritage and sharing testimonies on how communities understand the European dimension of local heritage, the Call has offered the opportunity for selected stories to apply for access to a grant to allow they to develop their projects.
Officially launched in April, the Call for European Heritage Stories invited storytellers from EHD communities, EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award winners and the European Heritage Label to share their interpretation of a European heritage story and to explore the ways they perceive their heritage project to correspond with common European values. We received 98 stories in total via the European Heritage Stories web page. Of these, 25 stories have been chosen for the final selection stage, where Storytellers will provide the European Panel with more detailed project proposals. A minimum of 10 European Heritage Stories to a grant to further develop their initiatives. The successful applicants will present their Stories and will be awarded their grant at the European Heritage Days Assembly in Strasbourg on 17 October.
About European Heritage Days
The European Heritage Days (EHDs), a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, are the most widely celebrated participatory cultural events shared by the citizens of Europe. The pan-European nature of the events contributes to bringing citizens together and highlighting the European dimension and the value of cultural heritage in the 50 signatory States of the European Cultural Convention. Over 70 000 events are organised every year in order to help raise awareness of Europe's common heritage and the continuous need for its protection, as well as to create shared cultural heritage experiences, promote inclusiveness and foster creativity and imagination.
Celebrated in 50 signatory States to the European Cultural Convention, European Heritage Days highlight the diversity of local skills, traditions, architectural styles and works of art that constitute shared European Heritage. Launched in 1985 in France, the Days are been organised as a joint initiative of the European Union and the Council of Europe since 1999. Enabling citizens to explore a wide range of cultural assets through a number of themed events organised for free, European Heritage Days help uncover hidden histories of people and places that have helped shape the culture and heritage of Europe.
The events take place from late August to October, when local skills, crafts and traditions are put into focus at cultural events all over Europe. The aim is to increase understanding of a shared European past, encourage appreciation of traditional values and inspire new heritage conservation and education initiatives. Cultural heritage is a priority under Creative Europe, the EU's programme for the cultural and creative sectors.