What is RAAK!?
The mission of RAAK! is to expose and counteract socio-cultural contradictions and prejudices in (Eindhoven) society through the use of culture. Education through culture is an excellent means of entering into dialogue with various groups in society, seeking to connect and minimize or eliminate mutual prejudices. RAAK! focuses on a group of vulnerable young people and appeals to their creativities, thus giving them the opportunity to discover and develop their own talents.
- Reduce barriers to (actively participating in) culture
- Remove existing prejudices
- Offer a different perspective
- Strengthen resilience and increase self-esteem
- Create a group process
- Get acquainted with employment opportunities in the cultural sector
- Reduce barriers to accessing standard cultural offerings
In 2012, three students from theater, film and television sciences came up with the plan to organize a "talent search but different" in the Parktheater. For them, it was an excellent opportunity to put their acquired theoretical knowledge into practice, and for the Parktheater, it gave the opportunity to organize a new activity for a new target group.
The idea was to, after auditions, professionally coach a group of primary school-aged children to produce a diverse performance. It had to be more than a competition or a showdown. For the children, the learning process was central – they got the chance to develop their talents in a concentrated way and learned what it takes to put together a performance. RAAK! successfully took place in both 2013 and 2014.
A gentle nudge
Although the 2013 and 2014 projects were very successful, both in terms of quality and variety offered as well as number of participants and public interest, the project organizers wanted to delve in even further. Upon inquiry, they found that a large majority of the participating children had already been to the theater previously, either for a performance visit or for an audition. The organizers realized that this was a group of children who would participate even without the "gentle nudge". They had plenty of options and were already sufficiently encouraged by parents or by school to discover and develop their talents.
The organizers thought how nice it would be if the RAAK! children who were reached were the ones who face a much greater barrier to (participating in) culture. Children who are equally talented but really need that 'nudge' to discover and/or develop their talents. Hence, the idea of a new RAAK! was born.
In order to be able to achieve the full-scale project objectives, three parties are actively collaborating. All of these parties have drawn upon their own background to contribute knowledge and experience equally to the project.