Mind the Gap
Garsington Opera is proud to have been a part of Mind the Gap, a European project that aims to explore digital participatory work with diverse communities.
Mind the Gap: Creating Digital Bridges to Community, was a two-year international research project bringing together six European arts organisations to explore digital arts education and how educators can work effectively with diverse communities. The project aimed to identify best practices for digital engagement, provide educators with tangible resources and offer guidelines for policymakers. The Mind the Gap consortium was composed of six partner organisations, of which we were one, from Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Norway. We worked together over a period of two years to explore methodologies for working digitally with disadvantaged communities, offering training, case studies, online tools, and a study of how arts workers, educators and teaching artists can support communities affected by the digital gap.
“I’m really pleased that Garsington Opera took part in our first European research project. We are passionate about reaching everyone within our communities and creating digital bridges. The pandemic forced all of us to find innovate new digital ways of working and I’m excited to have shared experiences with our European partners and enabled artists to develop skills further to deliver innovative digital projects.”
Karen Gillingham (Creative Director of Learning & Participation)
Why do we need Mind the Gap?
Throughout global lockdowns, arts educators used creativity and resourcefulness to work with their communities in the face of significant restrictions and limited resources. As the sector gradually reopens, what will the future of digital engagement look like and how can educators involve a diverse range of beneficiaries?
The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the creative and cultural industries has been significant to say the least. Across Europe and the world, social distancing measures led to the closure of venue-based culture spaces, the cancellation of events and the suspension or profound upheaval of community-based education projects. What will be the long term impact on the European arts education sector?
Mind the Gap explored methodologies for working digitally with disadvantaged communities, offering training, case studies, online tools, and a study of how arts workers, educators and teaching artists can support communities affected by the digital gap.
The Digital Divide
Restrictions led to the emergence of new forms of cultural engagement, in which audiences and communities interacted with cultural works and practitioners entirely or partially online. Recent research has found that post-pandemic, audiences may be interested in continuing to engage with artistic experiences online. However, the crisis has made the shortcomings of digital (lack of access for learners and practitioners, digital fatigue, and narrow audience reach) increasingly apparent. Communities such as migrants, senior citizens, people with disabilities and those from rural communities were not only disproportionately affected by the pandemic, they were also among the most affected by the digital divide, or gap between those with knowledge of and access to technology and those without.
For more information, visit mindthegap-project.org
Mind the Gap was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.
Les Clés de l’écoute (France)
Irish National Opera (Ireland)
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (Norway)