The European Cultural Learning Network (ECLN) has been established to explore the vocational education and training issues that are relevant to ‘Cultural Learning’ practitioners, and the organisations that employ them. ‘Cultural Learning’, comprehends the whole range of artistic and cultural learning that is delivered by artists and creative people within the informal, non-formal, or formal learning situations.

The ECLN approach to the mapping of Cultural Learning was to create an ecological model. This connected 3 generic rationales for Cultural Learning (generalist: fun, social, exploration, or edutainment; specialist: learn the art-form for its own sake; professional: to learn how to be a professional or work using the art-forms) with 3 generic contexts for Cultural Learning (individual: alone or one-one; group: one group however large or small; community: different groups working together). This then formed 9 zones, in which all Cultural Learning can occur. This ecological approach enabled an individual to reflect and trace their own historical and current cultural learning contexts using different art-forms as well as recording the zones in which they support the cultural learning of others.  The approach highlighted the use of knowledge networks, informal systems and the characteristics of individual journeys as they move through the Cultural Landscape building their art-form, roles and context portfolios. It also highlighted certain country infrastructural characteristics e.g. Freelance structure; Organisation/employment structure.

The ECLN curriculum devised through the research is expressively prioritising strategies to develop human and artistic potential rather than to be used instrumentally or solely to create economic benefit. The curriculum includes creative processes, artistic techniquescultural contexts, self-awareness, communication, teamwork, coaching, mentoring, and training. The research also highlighted that the key resources for Cultural Learning were dedicated artistic and creative space and active professional and creative networks.

The State of Play report (, is an exploratory and pragmatic piece, summary of the ECLN field research, to uncover the vocational educational and training issues for the workforce and to begin to map the Cultural Learning Landscape across Europe.

The ECLN project was co-financed by the Life Long Learning programme till 2015. This Network project included 12 partners from 11 countries (together with a further 20 associate partners, bringing 3 additional countries):

  • Collage Arts, UK (lead)
  • Rinova, UK
  • Associazione Culturale Mulab, Italy
  • Labcademy, Spain
  • VIA-UC, Denmark
  • New Arts,Netherlands
  • Dimitra, Greece
  • Kau Academy, Estonia
  • Fundacja Arteria, Poland
  • Association Prostor Plus, Croatia
  • MITRA, Slovenia
  • Hope for Children, Cyprus
  • CEPS Projectes Socials, Spain