Art’n’Play is Cluj Cultural Center’s programme for cultural and artistic education addressed to the schools in Cluj-Napoca, which comes with a different learning experience, aimed to offer development opportunities to students through cultural participation. Since the fall of 2018 until now, with a break imposed by the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, ten schools in Cluj hosted resident artists who, with the support of teachers, participated in school activities, integrating artistic content into the students’ curriculum.

Since May 2021, the activities of Art’n’Play are part of the Learning QUB project funded by Fondation Botnar with the support of Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Cluj County School Inspectorate. The first meetings with the teachers have already taken place and, as of October 4, the workshops resumed, which are a natural continuation of the artistic residencies, in the current sanitary conditions. We want to enrich the children’s experience, giving them access to as many forms of culture and to as many artists as possible.

This year we have eight artists involved in this project: Maria Brudașcă și Mihaela Rusu, visual artists, Alex Moldovan, writer, Selma Dragoş, dramaturgist, Tamás Márkos, photographer/musician, Adrian Cimpoeșu, musician, Diana Buluga, actress, and Ana Leoca, contemporary circus artist.

Middle and high school students from the ten schools that are part of Cluj School Network will enroll in these free workshops. We want to expand this network, therefore, at the moment, “Gheorghe Şincai” National College and “Báthory István” Theoretical High School are in the process of joining it.

All the workshops will take place online, however, in order to offer the children a complex and complete experience, as of October 15, we will also organize workshops with physical presence, hosted by ClujHub, in health safety conditions. Each artist will hold one workshop per week, attended by a maximum of fifteen children, with prior registration. We will work with the same children (online and face to face) until December.

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The Learning QUB Resource Center aims to increase the schools’ capacity to prepare young people for the needs of a market in constant change, using the techniques of STEAM education, an approach that combines Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics to encourage critical thinking, curiosity and dialogue. Learning QUB will be a physical space that will function as a STEAM educational resource center for students and teachers, but it will also be open to creative young people in the city who are willing to work and develop their ideas. Solutions to some of the problems existing in the educational system will be identified and subsequently used in the network of schools that will be developed in the project.

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Fondation Botnar is a Swiss-based foundation which champions the use of AI and digital technology to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing urban environments.

More on Fondation Botnar: https://www.fondationbotnar.org/

 Information about Cluj Cultural Centre’s Art’n’Play programme: https://artainjoaca.ro/