People, Places and Stories project


FEST is partner in a Erasmus+ project - People, Places and Stories (PPS).

In 2018, the “European Year of Cultural Heritage” established societal, cross-sectoral cooperation across Europe to increase awareness of the crucial role of culture and heritage for social inclusion and European cohesion. Cultural heritage is very broadly defined and includes cultural, natural, tangible and intangible heritage. The main objectives are set out in the so-called Action Plan of the FARO Convention:

  • the strengthening of the sense of belonging to a common European social and cultural space
  • the integration of cultural heritage into social, ecological and economic processes
  • the development of cultural heritage as a rich and meaningful interdisciplinary learning environment.

These goals can best be implemented and achieved by local groups and initiatives directly in their environment; the heritage communities. Heritage communities are self-organised, self-managed groups of individuals interested in progressive social transformation of relationships between people, places and histories. They are the ideal context for developing key competencies such as cultural awareness, citizenship skills and the ability to learn.

This is also where the new Erasmus+ funded project People, Places, Stories comes in. It develops tools and methods to support capacity building in heritage communities as socio-cultural spaces for creativity, learning, participation and inclusion. The project relies on competence-based training, blended learning and validation of non-formal learning.

People, Places, Stories is targeted at heritage professionals, community mediators, participatory planning facilitators, adult educators, policy makers, citizens and groups. They will be provided with methods to build and expand communities on the ground that are committed to a unifying interpretation and treatment of cultural heritage – in line with the FARO Action Plan.


The Council of Europe Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro, 2005) focuses on the role of cultural heritage in society. Its principles are taken on board in the European Commission’s “Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century”. Faro works along 4 themes: European identity, social sustainability, regional development, and learning. Cultural heritage is put forward as a vehicle for addressing social challenges and as an ideal ground for sustainable social development. In this view cultural heritage relates to tangible and intangible assets and present habits, customs and traditions which people value and pick up as part of their (common) identity. As such Faro also refers to the right of everyone to engage with the cultural heritage of his choice: the right to participate in cultural life.

Heritage Communities

The Faro approach to cultural heritage crystalizes in one of the key concepts of the Convention: heritage communities. A heritage community consists of (a group of) people who value specific aspects of cultural heritage which they wish to sustain and transmit to future generations. The concept places an active responsibility in the group for heritage identification, value making processes and engagement in a common cultural good.

Competence development

People, Places and Stories aims to raise the capacity of society to exploit cultural heritage as an environment and resource for sustainable social development. The project team will develop a competence framework, a curriculum and tools for the professional development of facilitators and multipliers to support all stakeholders involved in heritage community engagement. The project will create a training offer for the development of 'Faro competences': competences that are needed to build and maintain heritage communities to be inclusive and foster a sense of belonging.

PPS targets social workers, cultural professionals, heritage professionals, adult educators, local authorities, civil society and communities.

Outputs & Outcomes

Outcomes for the different target groups​

Facilitators will be better prepared to support a participatory approach to cultural heritage and to support the development of co-creative & participative cultural projects involving heritage assets.

Adult educators will be better prepared to exploit cultural heritage assets as a rich learning environment for competence oriented non-formal learning.

Policymakers will become more aware of the role culture and cultural heritage can play in social inclusion issues. 

Citizens and participants will gain personal and social competences for a successful engagement in socio-cultural processes and will be able to participate actively in socio-cultural life, strengthening their sense of belonging in the environment they live in.

Direct outputs of the project will be​

  1. An overview of good practice examples
  2. A set of competences to implement Faro for stakeholders at grassroot level 
  3. Training modules for the development of Faro competences
  4. An EQF based validation approach for Faro competences at the level of the facilitators
  5. A place-based education model promoting learning that is rooted in the unique history, environment, culture, literature, and art of a particular place.