Successful launch of a new social media initiative: a breath of fresh air for heritage
Europa Nostra teamed up with European Heritage Volunteers (based in Weimar, Germany) to launch a new social media initiative for heritage during a kick-off seminar that took place on 28 August – 2 September 2016. This new participatory programme, organised in the framework of Europa Nostra’s network project ‘Mainstreaming Heritage’ supported by the EU Creative Europe programme, aims to further the cause and the message of the European heritage world through committed eyes and ears in all countries of the European Union and beyond. Social Media Volunteers for Heritage publish online stories, photos and videos on cultural heritage issues in their own country, share them on a variety of social media platforms, and follow the activities of their colleagues in other countries as well as of Europa Nostra and European Heritage Volunteers. Following the call for applications sent out in April 2016, 12 young heritage professionals and students from 12 different countries in Europe attended the kick-off seminar at the seminar venue “Wielandgut” in Oßmannstedt near Weimar.
Albania, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey: a diverse and widespread sample of countries within Europe were represented at the kick-off seminar, which was composed of several significant and practical events. The official opening was kindly hosted by Hellmut Seemann, President of Klassik Stiftung Weimar, who addressed the participants in a historic room of the Weimar Castle. Special guided tours of the cities of Weimar and Apolda, displaying a rich yet distinct heritage, were organised to stimulate inspiration for the first online stories. Working in groups, the volunteers were given a free day to explore their favourite heritage site(s) deeper, in order to gather material for their future stories. Taking advantage of the hands-on approach of the meeting, the volunteers were provided with extensive information on heritage surrounding Weimar, as well as a personalised training on ways to write a story and make use of multimedia. They also had the opportunity to introduce themselves, their specific interest in heritage, and their expectations related to the project.
Enthusiastic and creative, all volunteers have been assigned a specific task to work towards the official launch of a common online platform on 10 November 2016 during a special event on the occasion of the Denkmal Fair (Trade Fair for Conservation, Restoration and Historic Building Renovation) and the annual internal meetings of Europa Nostra in Leipzig, Germany. The first heritage stories will then be available to read and share among social media platforms and other already existing heritage networks.