Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)-Bildung

  • Sanchez-Royo, Begona (PI)

Project Details


The ICH-Bildung research project examined the impact of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in formal, non-formal and informal education and its contribution to the key competences for lifelong learning in the EU reference framework.

Europe’s Intangible Cultural Heritage includes the skills, music, dance, drama, gastronomy, festivals and crafts which have been passed from one generation to the next. ICH is a hugely important economic and social resource and yet this aspect of cultural heritage is poorly researched. ICH-Bildung proposes to redress that balance and study the impact of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Running between May 2015 and ended in May 2017, ICH-BILDUNG was a European Commission project within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme, run by Dr Begona Sanchez-Royo.

The ICH-Bildung project received EUR 195,454 in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions initiative.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable research-focused organisations to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide. Dr Begoña Sanchez-Royo is supported as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow to complete this project.

Key findings

In 2003, UNESCO established the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). The performing arts and, in particular dance, are some of the examples described by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. According to Article 2.3 of the Convention, ‘safeguarding’ means to ensure the long-term viability of intangible heritage within communities and groups. UNESCO highlights transmission and, in particular, through formal and non-formal education as an activity that ensures safeguarding of intangible heritage. By ratifying the convention, countries around the world (136 as at 25 May 2011) agree to take initiatives to ensure safeguarding of intangible heritage.

Although the number of higher education programmes concentrating on dance is growing internationally, the majority of these engage with the artistic and theatrical dimensions of dance. In view of this, programmes focusing on dance heritage within a cross-cultural perspective are needed.

Contrary to well-established cultural fields like fine arts, archaeology and art history, there is a lack of critical mass of specialised experts in the field of intangible cultural heritage worldwide, which is a handicap for a smooth and effective implementation of the 2003 Convention. Non-governmental organisations in Europe and other countries which advise UNESCO in working with the Convention call for appropriately qualified staff in dance heritage, as do government departments and state institutions dealing with culture, tourism and heritage.

ICH-Bildung innovates by focusing on educational methodologies for specialised experts in dance heritage around the world. ICH-Bildung will contribute not only to the field of Dance Heritage but also to the design of digital platforms for dance heritage such as digital dance archives. ICH-Bildung thus responds to needs for professionalisation, arising from the UNESCO convention in a large number of countries around the world, in the state cultural sectors and cultural industries, as well as to the commitment to lifelong learning, central to the policies in United Kingdom and European academic institutions.
Short titleICH-Bildung
Effective start/end date1/05/151/05/17


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