Community-Based Ecomuseums in Styria

CULTURECOVERY workshops organized by Rural Development Agency of Styria

Styrian Network of Community-Based Ecomuseums

3rd Workshop, 4th June 2018

The third workshop, which took place at the beginning of June at the Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing, brought together all the Styrian partners associated to CULTURECOVERY.

At this occasion, the steering groups of the three municipalities Krieglach, Trofaiach and Puch bei Weiz had the opportunity to provide first insights into their experiences with the project. The Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing was able to disclose its unique perspective of the preservation and recovery of intangible cultural heritage. In a second part, all participants were invited to share their ideas in terms of the potential of intangible cultural heritage for tourism and discuss the upcoming inclusion of schools.


3rd Styrian Workshop

3rd workshop
3rd workshop

Local Steering Committees ("ICH-Teams")

2nd Workshop, March/April 2018

Following the launch of the project activities, the second workshop series specifically focused on establishing local steering groups and defining their role in the first – collection of intangible cultural heritage – and upcoming phases of the project. In a similar fashion to the previous workshop, the second workshop series was again divided spatially into three parts in order to allow the participation of all three municipalities without limitations.

The local steering groups or “ICH-Teams” in the associated municipalities consist of representatives from the municipal authorities and administration, as well as interested local residents. The general role of these steering groups is to organize and coordinate the project activities on-site and serve as the local translators of the content and approaches developed by CULTURECOVERY. Among the core tasks of these groups is to put the theory into practice and – based on that - develop a distinctive local approach that expresses the local identity of the community. This unique local identity will, in further consequence, also become manifest in the three phases of project implementation.



'Hidden' Intangible Cultural Heritage

During the second workshop series, the collection of intangible cultural heritage was discussed with the newly formed local steering groups as well. The collection phase can be summarized as a comprehensive analysis of the local resources, history and needs with respect to intangible cultural heritage. It describes the systematic quest for cultural heritage that is still present or practiced by the local population. Collection, thus, describes the search for ‘hidden’ intangible cultural treasures that have – as of yet – not been comprehensively documented. ‘Hidden’, in this context, may refer to intangible cultural elements that have either only been passed on orally, have been restricted to narrations within families, or whose importance simply may not have been recognized yet. These intangible cultural elements may still be firmly present within the community or may be at peril of being lost or forgotten. The objective of the first phase is to strengthen the status of still practiced cultural heritage and sustainably preserve those elements that are prone to be lost.

To facilitate the collection phase, a research protocol was drafted and discussed during the second workshop series that should help the steering groups locate, identify and record the cultural elements in their municipality. With the help of this protocol, the associated partners should get a broader picture of the status-quo in their municipality. This, in turn, will lay the basis for the formation process of the Styrian decentralized, community-based eco-museum.



"Future needs origin"

1st Workshop, January/February 2018

The first workshop series, held in January and February 2018, commenced the project activities at a local level in Styria. As part of the first workshop series, three thematic workshops were organized by Rural Development Agency of Styria in cooperation with three select municipalities associated to CULTURECOVERY. The first workshop was, thus, split spatially into three parts in order to accommodate the requirements and time-frame of the three participating municipalities. These three municipalities, namely Trofaiach, Krieglach and Puch bei Weiz, will serve as the local venue for the development and implementation of the project activities.

The first workshop series was organized under the title of “future needs origin”, highlighting the importance of heritage for current and future municipal development. During the first workshop, the participants were introduced to the project CULTURECOVERY and to the topic of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). Aside from that, the workshop focused on the role of public participation within the project and the de-centralized structure of the emerging Styrian eco-museum.

Puch bei Weiz

Puch bei Weiz

Collect - Preserve - Convey

Thematically, the local project implementation will be divided into three different, yet interconnected phases. The first phase - ”collection” – will be followed by phase II “preservation” and phase III “conveying of ICH”. These phases, which were elaborated and refined in the first workshop series, consist of the necessary steps to sustainably preserve and recover ICH. Simultaneously, the three phases will play a crucial role for the establishment of community-based eco-museums in Styria.

The participants of the first workshop series, who hailed from the local administration and population, were also invited to form local steering groups for the preservation and recovery of intangible cultural heritage in their municipalities.