As French coordinator of an Erasmus+ consortium, Abbaye aux Dames, la Cite musicale from Saintes, is compiling good examples of interpretive activities involving local communities in cultural heritage interpretation.
A new approach to cultural heritage interpretation is to become more people-centred by having the audience interact with the collections by placing people at the heart of activities and organising an intelligent dialogue between different points of view.

The French Erasmus+ consortium brings together complementary institutions based in Saintes (South-West of France, close to La Rochelle): the city of Saintes (local authority), the Saintes Touristic Information Centre, the Atelier du Patrimoine de Saintonge (local cultural heritage interpretation association) and the Belle Rive social centre.

The objective of this Erasmus+ mobility project in adult training is the identification and the analysis of innovative methodologies and practices in the interpretation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage that involves local people and communities, particularly under-represented groups and non-audiences. The analysis and evaluation of these best practices will help identify new competences needed for the sector and to develop professional skills at the European level. The best practice examples that we are looking for can be digital or non-digital.

If your organisation uses this approach or if you have visited any European institution that has developed similar involving and inclusive methodology, I would be very glad to receive your examples, feedback, evaluation, or comments.

The project lasts until May 2017. Thanks to the support of Erasmus+, and in response to your feedback, my consortium will be very interested to meet you in your country.

The sharing of best practice between European cultural heritage institutions will inspire our today life practices. Our future professional meetings and exchanges will be the basis of potential cooperation between our organisations and countries for applications to EU funds (Erasmus+, Creative Europe, etc.) in 2017.

Please send your best examples of cultural heritage interpretation activities involving local communities to Vincent Soccodato at:

For more information concerning Abbaye aux Dames’ activities, please consult our website or have a look on Youtube at:

Vincent Soccodato works at the Abbaye aux Dames, la Cite musicale, Saintes (France) as European projects coordinator. You can get in touch with him at:

To cite this article:
Soccodato, V. (2016) ‘Searching for examples of cultural heritage interpretation involving local communities’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 2-2016, 29

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