Lyon 1 and Vilnius Universities join forces to promote culture internationally
|21 Nov 2023
The heads of the Cultural Centers of the University of Lyon 1 and Vilnius University recently met at their respective institutions to launch a European cultural partnership in the framework of the Arqus Alliance.
For many years, Lyon 1’s Mission Culture has made internationalization one of its priorities. Thanks to the opportunities offered by Arqus, this ambition is being further realised, opening up new perspectives for collaboration.
This cooperation, based on a shared vision of the place of culture in higher education, has given rise to stimulating and promising projects. The testimonies of Charlotte Dufour, Director of Lyon 1’s Cultural Center, and Jean-Marc Chovelon, Lyon 1’s Head of Culture, shed light on this enriching and exciting cultural adventure.
This adventure began thanks to the initiative of Vilnius University, which, during the pandemic period, was behind the production of a video featuring choristers from each Arqus partner university.
This joint activity led to the development of closer links between Lyon 1 and Vilnius, starting with the hosting of two Vilnius choirmasters at Lyon 1 in March 2023 to gain a better understanding of how the artistic workshops work, and continuing with the invitation of Jean-Marc and Charlotte to Vilnius in September 2023.
During their visit to Lithuania, they were able to achieve the objectives they had set themselves, mainly focused on the setting up of joint cultural actions.
They also had the opportunity to observe and analyze the university’s cultural system, particularly taking part in workshops and attending a concert organised collaboratively by Vilnius and Riga.
Following on from these exchanges, Gintė Jokubaitienė, Director of the Cultural Center at Vilnius University, and Sonata Adomaitienė, Project Manager, visited Lyon in October 2023, particularly interested in the convergence between art and science practised at Lyon 1.
Their program in Lyon included a variety of activities, from the spectacular “Ice Memory” at the Théâtre Astrée, to workshops in hip hop, symphony orchestra and choir. This immersion in Lyon’s cultural practices enabled them to compare the common points and specificities between the two universities.
This cooperation highlights the complementary nature of the two universities, which provides fertile ground for exchanging expertise and collaborating on joint projects.
This sharing of experience has given rise to a number of ideas and new approaches to enriching local cultural initiatives. For example, the University of Lyon 1 would like to follow the example of Vilnius University by opening up its activities more to the outside world: organizing festivals in collaboration with other cities and countries, promoting its cultural activities on a national scale and not just within the university and setting up an improvisation theatre course in English for students wishing to open up to the world through culture.
According to Jean-Marc Chovelon and Charlotte Dufour, culture is a fundamental element in Arqus, as it fosters students’ personal development throughout their studies and prepares them for their future professional careers.
What’s more, the cultural activities offer influences students’ choice of university when they move abroad. The promotion of culture thus contributes to increasing the appeal and reputation of each university institution, even on an international scale. This new Arqus partnership will promote collaboration in artistic and cultural activities, contributing to enhancing the reputation of Lyon 1 and Vilnius in the field of education and research.
Through its Communities of Practices (CoPs), Arqus facilitates collaboration between universities in carrying out specific activities in their respective fields, such as culture. The collaboration between Lyon 1 and Vilnius Universities through ambitious cultural projects highlights the potential of culture as a motor for exchange and university cooperation and aims to involve other Arqus partner universities in this adventure.
10 Oct 2023