In September 2020 a consortium of five universities that offer MA programs in arts education have started a so-called Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership with the aims of developing and sharing innovative practices by cooperation, peer learning, and exchanges of experiences. The partnership was initiated by the Master’s program at Hanze University in Groningen (NL) where dialogue and multi-voicedness are important core values. Together with partners from Finland, Norway and Iceland, teachers and students from Groningen wanted to explore “the paradox of democratization” by asking what role art education might play in a society that becomes more and more diverse and at the same time increasingly polarized.

A part of the consortium in front of Knuden Kulturskole in Kristiansand, January 2011.

Presentation of the partners

The four PIMDI-partners are:

  • The Master of Dance Pedagogy and the Master of Theatre Pedagogy at Uniarts in Helsinki, Finland.
  • The Master of Fine Arts at the University of Agder (UiA) in Kristiansand, Norway.
  • The interdisciplinary Master of Arts Education at the Iceland University of the Arts in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • The joint Master of Education in Arts from the Hanze University of Groningen and the NHL Stenden University of Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

Each partner has 3-4 researchers/teachers who work in the project, one of whom is also a member in the steering group:

  • From Finland: Eeva Anttila, director of the MA programme in dance pedagogy. Eeva holds a doctorate in dialogical dance pedagogy and embodied learning. In PIMDI, Eeva works together with Liisa Jaakonaho, Taneli Tuovinen and Riikka Theresa Innanen.  Taneli is a lecturer in interdisciplinary arts, and holds a doctorate in visual thinking. Liisa is a lecturer in dance pedagogy, and also works on her doctorate on the ethics of dance pedagogy in disability services. Riikka Theresa is an interdisciplinary artist, social choreography specialist and activist. In recent years Liisa and Eeva have also been involved in a large-scale research project ArtsEqual, which examined the arts as a public service, with equality as a starting point.
  • From Norway: Helene Illeris, Professor of Art Education at the University of Agder, who works on the PIMDI project together with the associate professors Lisbet Skregelid and Tormod Wallem Anundsen. Helene, Lisbet and Tormod work in a number of research projects where arts education is related to societal issues, such as social and ecological sustainability. Together with Professor Tony Valberg Helene leads the research group ‚Art and social relations‘ at UiA.
  • From Iceland: Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir, assistant professor and program director for visual arts education. She works closely with Ingimar Ólafsson Waage, assistant professor and program director for general pedagogy, and Hye Joung Park adjunct lecturer. Ingimar is currently working on a PhD. thesis on the moral value of visual arts education. Hye Joung Park is a visual artist and specializes in sculpture, ceramics, and arts pedagogy.
  • From the Netherlands: Gudrun Beckmann, former head of the masterprogramme and lecturer, is the leader of the PIMDI project. She works closely with Nathalie Beekman, researcher and lecturer at the master programm and the Minerva Art Academy (Hanze University). Nathalie has recently finished her PhD research ‘Room for Polyphony‘ during which an art & philosophy lab for children was developed.

Initially, the University of Groningen also participated. Unfortunately, they had to withdraw after a year.