Kopa is all about creativity. But what is creativity? It is more than just creating something pretty. It’s about thinking outside of the box; to see where the possibilities are. The essence of creativity for us is daring to try, be able to fail and let new ideas grow from there. Creativity is the start, the goal, and the means of our activities. Kopa believes in experiencing your own creativity. With it, you will learn to think in possibilities and be able to sculpt your own life in a positive way. Kopa wants to make the world a little more beautiful. The tools we use to make that happen are rooted in art, fashion, and creativity.
Our main goal is to build a connection between professionals in art education, the educational system, cultural organizations and social initiatives. All projects and collaborations are focused on children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Read more about our projects below.
Creatief vermogen Utrecht
‘Everyone knew it couldn’t be done, until someone came along who didn’t know.’ This is the motto with which Kopa innovates in the field of art education together with primary schools.
In Creatief Vermogen Utrecht (CVU), 45 schools work together with 14 cultural organisations to build on the creative abilities of all children in Utrecht.
Kopa is working with four primary schools within the CVU network since 2013. We strive for practical solutions without compromising the magic of creativity and art. Our collaboration is characterized by the equal partnership between teachers and artists, learning from eachother. In this way, artists learn to think like teachers and teachers learn to think like artists.
At Kopa – PIONIER!, we are committed to supporting the education of gifted children through various projects and partnerships. Our PIONIER! teaching approach, which emphasizes inspiration and autonomy, aligns naturally with the associative thinking and creativity often exhibited by gifted learners. In this space, you can challenge them to shift gears and expand their horizons.
I-TAP-PD is an international training program for duos of teachers and artists. Specifically, teachers and artists who want to build a partnership with the aim to create a art educational project. I-TAP-PD stands for International Teacher Artist Partnership Professional Development. I-TAP-PD believes that teachers and artists together in a classroom really contributes to the creative capacity in education.
Artists and teachers often use the same words, having different meanings. They have a different perspective on the development of children. They also have a different approach in the classroom. This training creates awareness of the differences and helps to turn them into strengths.
Even though the artist being in the classroom isn’t something new, we don’t often see artists and teachers develop a creative project together. That is exactly what I-TAP-DP does!
Four organizations from Europe are working together on this project. The training program is developed by an international team.
In education, Kopa also operates under the name ‘PIONIER! art at school’. This is a process-oriented methodology with which we support teachers to offer their students a creative learning environment. PIONIER! includes more than 200 visual and media art lessons and training for teachers.
The lessons can be used flexibly. Following a theme, as a project week or, for example, in combination with the visit of an artist who works in the same techniques.
Chillen met Erfgoed
Translated, ‘Chillen met Erfgoed’ means chilling with heritage. It’s a creative ‘Challenge-based learning’ project in which children, at the ages of 8 to 12 years old, discover the history of Utrecht. The lesson plans are co-created by a small group of children, artists, teachers, and heritage experts. We were looking for cohesion and balance between the learning areas of history, heritage and art, but also for fun and surprise.
Your environment has a rich history that you can connect with and give meaning to. What do past events mean for your life as it stands now? Which traces of time can you recognize around you when you look carefully? And then; What do I wish for the city’s future and how do I envision this with creative techniques?
Artshake 2015-2016 took place at the Saffier. A residential center in Utrecht where young and senior people came to live together.
Kopa invited three European artists to come live and work in the center for six weeks each. As an Artist-in-Residence they made art together with the residents of the Saffier and let themselves be inspired by each other. The residents were able to participate in workshops, but they would also cook dinner together and watch movies with the artists.
Because of all these activities the gap between young and old got smaller, they started to trust each other and they help out with small errands.
Fashion Skills Malawi
The goal of Fashion Skills Malawi was to create a professional Tailor training for vulnerable young people in Malawi. The collaboration started with three different kinds of organizations; working with street youth, in juvenile detention centers and in an entrepreneurial training village.
Between 2013 and 2015, Linda travels to Malawi three times. Because of crowdfunding and the support of many people she was able to realize the project Fashion Skills Malawi. The most succesfull outcome happened to be in the two juvenile detention centers. The motivation of the prison guards is high, they want to contribute to better opportunities for the boys.
An update from 2017 tells us that the professional Tailor training is still given with a lot of motivation and quality. At the time, more than 50 young people have been trained. Many have found work or started their own businesses. The training really gives young people a new chance!
Imbali is a cultural exchange project with the organization Imbali from Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2014 two of their trainers spend a month here in Utrecht to give inspirational workshops to the vulnerable residents of the suburb Lunetten. The residents learned how to batik with pancake batter and to screen print, without chemicals and low technical requirements.
Linda and Manja took their turn to go to Johannesburg to work with the students of Imbali. One group learned how to design with draping and textile techniques. The other group made animations on overhead projectors using light and shadow as a medium.