This research project is an evaluation of the Reccord Project, which is partly financed by Aarhus 2017 (http://reccord2017.eu). Reccord is a ‘research and action project’ based on a close collaboration between researchers from Aarhus University, the Danish (KHID) and European (ENCC) associations of cultural centers, and employees from cultural centers. The project concerns cultural participation and involves an exchange program in which 20 employees (‘reccorders’) from different European cultural centers have visited 20 other European cultural centers.
The ‘reccorders’ have attended a seminar on methodologies and while they were on exchange they collected empirical data about the participatory processes at the cultural centers that they visited. The analysis of the data is the backdrop for a number of academic publications and presentations at conferences for both researchers and cultural practitioners (presentations in Bury and Valencia in 2016, Norrköping and Aarhus in 2017).
The project will deliver a thorough and well-described evaluation that will be of interest to cultural practitioners and researchers, who wish to engage in similar projects. In relation to the overall evaluation of Aarhus 2017 the evaluation of Reccord will deliver knowledge about challenges, benefits and potentials of close collaborations between researchers, citizens and practitioners.
The development of participatory methodologies is also contributing to the goal that rethinkImpacts 2017 must rethink evaluation by focusing on the affiliated participants’ learning process. Finally, the evaluation project is a case study in some of Aarhus 2017’s central themes. In Reccord the European aspect is characterized by an extensive European exchange project and democracy, a fundamental value for Aarhus 2017, is explored and practiced through the extensive focus on citizen involvement and cultural participation.
The film “The RECcORD Project”, made by GotFat Productions, presents some of the findings and provides new knowledge about cultural centers and citizen participation.