Santa Croce: a creative venue for cultural mediation

The Opera di Santa Croce is keen to strengthen its cooperation with the educational and scientific institutions present in the Florence area and to involve those institutions' students by offering them an opportunity to play an active role in the city's cultural life.

The aim is to establish a creative venue for cultural mediation capable of promoting and developing awareness of the complex's cultural heritage on the basis of an interdisciplinary interpretation. We propose an open model in order to ensure that it can easily be tailored to the very varied nature of educational institutions and to their vast range of curricula.

Our purpose is to create a melting pot of ideas where professors and students can work on Santa Croce in a creative fashion. The initiative is part of our drive to optimise Santa Croce's heritage, which is why we would ask participants to organise their projects on the basis of a set of themes already developed by Santa Croce. These themes include: Florentine merchant-banker patronage with a special focus on the socio-economic system of their era; the history of gender through the biographies of women celebrated in the complex; the transformation of the concept of citizenship based on the self-representation of the state through monuments; changes in the way the basilica has been used in terms both of Catholic practice and of visitor experience; relations between Florence and its various different international communities; and the management and preservation of Santa Croce's cultural heritage over its almost 800-year existence. Special attention will be afforded to those projects that are capable of integrating with projects promoted by the Opera, such as the celebrations to mark the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante's death.

Institutions interested in taking part are invited to formulate a proposal in which their own educational programme is integrated with the Opera's optimisation plan. That educational framework may include such activities as: drawing from life in order to hone students' powers of critical observation and to reflect on the cultural value of the work of art chosen; research into the perception of Santa Croce in visitors both contemporary (through feedback on the Internet) and from the past (through an analysis of travel literature); the design of objects inspired by the complex's cultural heritage; the design and planning of exhibitions and/or exhibition spaces; photographic campaigns; the production of audiovisual items and so forth.

Priority will be given to projects that include actions specifically designed to promote the activities performed and the results achieved. Communication strategy will be devised and coordinated between the institutions. To ensure broad accessibility and to expand the community in which students interact, we recommend use of the Internet and of the possibilities that it offers such as on-line exhibitions, publications in Pdf, blogs and microblogging.

For further information, please write to us at