As of spring 2020, access and contact restrictions in connection with the Corona pandemic meant that we were no longer able to realize our diverse range of projects “live” on site as usual. In order to be able to continue our work with children, we have relaunched and expanded various digital mediation formats as part of the “We’re going online!” project. Above all, we have made our dance and theater projects, which we have been developing, rehearsing and presenting for years on the premises of the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School, also in cooperation with surrounding daycare centers and other socio-cultural and cultural actors in the area, (re)accessible to the participating children, their parents and families, and the neighborhood. These projects include “Tanzt kunterbunt!” (since 2013: transition of children from daycare centers to school accompanied by dance art with courses, excursions and presentations), “Wir spielen Märchen” (We play fairy tales) (since 2014: elementary school students bring their own versions of German folk tales to the stage), “Verwandlungen” (since 2016: open dance theater workshops for students from the 6th grade onwards during vacations and weekends – accompanied transition of children to high school).
To this end, we have set up a digital infrastructure that has enabled us to conduct our courses and rehearsals online and interactively, including through suitable video conferencing programs and the complementary expansion of our existing web presences. Furthermore, we were able to provide many children who did not yet have an Internet-capable terminal with their own laptop. In this way, “We’re going online!” also helped to promote the children’s digital literacy by providing them – in addition to the opportunity to participate in our dance and theater projects – with the tools and skills needed to survive in an increasingly digitalized world. In a situation of severely limited “analog” communication, our project was particularly important for those children who come from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds and are therefore already limited in their participation.
The project “Wir gehen Online!” (We’re going online!) was financed within the framework of the support program of the Bundesverband Soziokultur e.V. “NEUSTART. Sofortprogramm für Corona-bedingte Investitionen in Kultureinrichtungen” with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).