Since 2007, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the education department's awareness-raising initiatives have been deployed all over the Aix-Marseille educational authority area and nearby areas, reinforcing the Festival's strong regional roots. With the help of a wide network of partners, the educational department is developing an adapted programme adapted to the needs and context of each partner. Reciprocal relations are at the heart of the implementation of these initiatives. Their success results both from the project and from the quality of the partnership with the school and teaching team.
Awareness-raising actions are based on the cultural initiatives of the Aix-Marseille educational authority, as well as on the Departmental Council guide for educational initiatives.
The introductory courses on offer in the Passerelles (Gateway) project are educational and cultural programmes based around the Festival programme, helping audiences to find out more about an opera or concert performance beforehand. The courses include a range of modules developed in close collaboration with teachers and featuring regular encounters over the school year. They provide an introduction to opera and live performance, while helping to create the conditions for a unique interaction with the Festival teams. The education department organises courses in primary and secondary schools in the Aix-Marseille and the Nice education authority areas.
Designed along the same lines as the awareness-raising course and with the support of the Regional Council, the vocational course is aimed at students in technical and vocational training and highlights the professions and skills involved in the performance arts and opera. The course includes talks by professionals and visits behind the scenes to help students explore the new fields of application for the skills they learn at school, helping to broaden their vision of the world of work. The project also features thematic approaches introducing one of the productions in the 2019 programme.
This introduction to opera and artistic practice was launched by the Festival and the Granet Museum in 2018 in partnership with a regional cultural body. The aim is to boost multidisciplinary approaches and help deepen students' cultural awareness.
In 2019, the Festival d’Aix is joining with the Pavillon Noir for a course combining dance and opera, voice and movement workshops. The course is aimed at five secondary schools (with pupils aged 11 and 12 from Aix-Marseille and Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade) and is partly funded by the Departmental Council for pupil cultural outings.
A piece commissioned from the composer Raphaël Cendo, Double Cheese Passions is a new work for amateur chorus, professional string quartet and a narrator, based on texts by Rodrigo García. The Festival's aim is to invite secondary school pupils and students, whatever their level of experience, to join this creative adventure in 2020 with preparatory works beginning this year.
The European Culture and Education Symposiums have been organised every summer since 2009 for participants from the social sector, non-profit organisations and the world of education, in partnership with RESEO (European network for dance and opera education) and AFO (Association française des orchestres).
Round-table sessions, discussions, exchange of views, presentation of projects and approaches – these meetings highlight not only the diversity and inventiveness of the different players but also the complexity of the environment.
The themes tackled since 2009 reflect topical European themes: