EU School of Spectacle

European Outdoor Arts Academy: School of Spectacle.

Project Report: The democratisation of outdoor arts expertise.

Between autumn 2016 and spring 2018, Creative Europe investment enabled Walk the Plank (UK) to lead a partnership between five European Capitals of Culture and candidate cities to develop and deliver an outdoor arts training school: School of Spectacle.

This European academy proved that an outdoor arts learning programme could and should be intense, ambitious and interesting, with a ‘learning on the edge’ approach designed to stimulate ‘learning by doing’.

The report was published in mid November 2018 and a downloadable version is now available here

Partners were: Limerick Arts Office, Plovdiv Together 2019, Pafos 2017, Limerick City and County Council and Teatro Klubas.

Associates were: Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, Irish Aerial Creation Centre, and Eleusis 21.

The project was supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Plovdiv Together 2019, the Arts Council Ireland, Limerick Arts Office, and Pafos 2017.


Click below to explore our Schools of Spectacle:

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In this exciting Trans-European initiative, Walk the Plank’s team, working with artists from the four partner countries, are leading training schools which respond to the location and context in each country, and end with a bespoke live event.

Up to 25 practitioners drawn from across Europe work together for a week – looking at techniques from mass movement to fire drawing, from design and making for processions to special effects – and each training school finishes with a site responsive event or  installation designed to touch local people or tell a story inspired by that place. The Schools of Spectacle mix the strengths of artists from eastern Europe and the Mediterranean with the traditions of artists from western Europe to enable cities that are trying to build the capacity of their own artistic landscape to benefit from each other.

“Training focused on the skills that creative practitioners might use to create artist-led celebrations will enrich the cities and communities in which each School takes place, as well as more than one hundred artists selected to be supported through the Creative Europe investment” said Alexis Johnson, Learning Director.

For 25 years Walk the Plank’s work has empowered emerging artists in the UK to learn their craft by training through production, making shows to suit diverse landscapes, and inspiring communities to experience performance and art without boundaries. Taking this process to a pan-European level is extremely exciting, and comes at a time when the company’s own international work portfolio is growing.”

Follow the latest news on Twitter and Instagram with #SchoolOfSpectacle.


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Associate Partner:fidget feet