International Initiative for Development for Ethnic Art

Workshop and concert at the Montessori centre at Ludesch, Austria (2015)

A choral and dance workshop with Austrian children and members of the Chavorenge Roma children’s choral group took place from March 4-6, 2015, at the Montessori centre at Ludesch, Austria, and culminated with a concert at St. Arbogast church on March 8.

Ida Kelarová, her artistic team, and six members of the Chavorenge choir accepted for a second time to visit the Montessori school at Ludesch following the success of the first visit. The project was awarded the first prize for a school project in the Voralberg region. Ida Kelarová agreed on exclusive future cooperation with the region with the director and teaching board and accepted an invitation to return again in 2016.

The workshop was two-way, for non-Roma children and for Roma children from Chavorenge with both learning how to exchange their culture and experiences. The Chavorenge children were guests throughout the duration of the workshop of the families of the Austrian children, thus having an opportunity to experience their culture and family life as well. On free days, they accompanied the Austrian children to school. The host families also prepared a series of activities and trips, for example a stables where horses were cared for, and were able to accompany them as well.

The workshop culminated with a joint concert which was attended by 300 Austrians, many of them friends and family of the Austrian children but also the wider public. The Austrian children were captivated not just by their guest but also by Roma culture and put their hearts into the songs. Their parents were able to witness all the joy that this brought. The project was aimed at reminding children that they should feel free to express their emotions and giving them an opportunity to do so.

Ida Kelarová and her team gave their time to this project for free. The collection from the concert was used by MIRET, z. s. to support its activities and for the further development of the Chavorenge choir.

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