Regional Development through Heritage in Sweden

29 June 2018 | Östersund, Sweden

Right after the Midsummer festivities, on 29 June 2018, the Jamtli Foundation and the Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity invited five NEMO members to a one-day Training Course in Östersund, Sweden. The delegates from the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Romania and Hungary learned about “Regional Development through Heritage in Sweden” and visited the acclaimed Jamtli open air museum. The schedule of the NEMO International Training Course can be downloaded here.

The day started with a short introduction of NEMO and the Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity (NCK), which is a Nordic Baltic research and development centre, owned by museums and archives in the Nordic and Baltic countries. NCK aims to approach, better understand and enhance learning through heritage. They perceive cultural heritage as a valuable resource that can facilitate, among other things, the development of new competences and contribute towards a sustainable and inclusive society where learning is a lifelong process. In a political context, they use heritage learning to promote social inclusiveness and regional development. Afterwards, the participants also got to present their organisations and gave an insight on how their organisations contribute to regional development through heritage in their countries. Knowing the background of the participants, the NCK adapted the contents of the training course as much as possible to the participants’ needs.

Jamtli Open Air Museum
Maria Domeij Lundborg, project leader and researcher at NCK, explained how the Jamtli open air museum was developed and how it reflects and enhances the region. Being founded in 1912, Jamtli was the first museum in Scandinavia that introduced living history. Today it consists of 90 cultural historical buildings and 35 service buildings. Jamtli is well connected to the social and educational sector in the region and works with different operators to broaden their audience. The museum is also engaging in various activities on European level and EU projects and won several prices such as the Big Tourism Price and the Children Tourist Price. Working closely together with the municipalities in the region, the Jamtli board decided to create a small village inside the museum in 2015, consisting of nine houses especially purposed for people in need, such as refugee families.

After a traditional Swedish lunch at the restaurant Hov, the participants got a guided tour through Jamtli History Land by Maria Domeij Lundborg and Berit Hildebrand, project leader and researcher at NCK. The Jamtli History Land is only open during the summer, when actors and animals move into farms and other historical areas. The participants visited for instance a 1970s family´s house and got to know their everyday habits by talking to the actors. The group also had the chance to see the new Nationalmuseum Jamtli, which displays paintings and art handicraft from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. One of the highlights of the new museum is the very well equipped “Konstateljé” (Art Atelier), where children can be an artist for a day.

Importance of Cultural Heritage
The tour was followed by a presentation of the project Kulturkraften (information in Swedish) by the NCK. This EU funded project aims to increase the understanding of cultural heritage for the development of the region since politicians often focus on the tourism sector, rather than on heritage tourism. Kulturkraften gathers cultural and creative industries with the tourism sector and developed networking platforms to help for example craftspeople and artists to get a higher visibility.

The last hour was spent with a discussion about how to implement similar initiatives in the own institutions.

NEMO would like to thank the Jamtli Foundation and the Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity for the successful Training Course!

This event was awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage Label, showing that the event supported the role of Europe’s cultural heritage and its importance to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Learn more about obtaining the label from NEMO here.