Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture will be a partner in an Erasmus+ 2020 program entitled Multidisciplinary Skills for Artists’ Entrepreneurship (MUSAE). The program is funded through the European Union Erasmus+ program, which supports education, training, youth, and sport in Europe and beyond.
Dr. Nuha Khoury, vice president for academic affairs at DAK, is the LEAR of the project at Dar al-Kalima. The MUSAE project, coordinated by the Conservatorio of L'Aquila in Italy, will bring together representatives from 16 institutes of higher education from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.
The goal of the project is to provide students in the visual and performing arts with entrepreneurial skills in order to improve arts education and provide future artists with the necessary skills for employment and opportunity development.
“There is an employability issue with these young people,” Khoury said. “The solution is to within their four year plan of study create a course with curriculum that will give them entrepreneurship skills so they are employable, employed, or can create jobs.”
Some of the steps planned by the project include “developing skills creative entrepreneurs need to stand out as independent artists or to create new arts organizations, developing and establishing the institutional structure of the creative entrepreneurship, and expanding the boundaries of performing arts entrepreneurship while learning from leading nonprofit and management practitioners,” according to the project brief.
Khoury said another important aspect of the project is the partnerships that are developed. The project includes universities from seven countries including Palestine, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Uzbekistan. All the universities have visual and performing arts programs, which Koury said could lead to future opportunities for more partnerships.
“The advantage is this course in the long run is that our students have access to all these universities for possible future projects and introductions because these universities already have their own connections,” she said. “So you’re talking about an international network.”
Planning for the program began in 2018, and Dar al-Kalima was contacted through the Palestinian Erasmus+ office in Ramallah. As a partner in the MUSAE project, funding will be provided for necessary travel, equipment, and any subcontracting required for the development and implementation of the new course curriculum.
According to the MUSAE project brief, arts alumni surveyed in a US study claim they would have benefited from learning how to market and promote their work as part of their official course of study. Many students said learning how to distribute their work in a way that benefits them was as important as learning to create the best work possible.
Predicted long-term impacts of the MUSAE program include new organization of arts curricula and a mitigation of failure rates in arts start-ups. The courses developed through the project will hopefully be available starting in 2021.
“We are teaching them things that are relevant to their fields and are relevant to the market,” Khoury said. “When you are training them in entrepreneurship skills, you are giving them skills to be independent and not have to wait for anyone to say whether they are employable or not.”