Évora, Portugal, witnessed a momentous occasion on May 9, 2023, as the UAx Sister Schools convened alongside the ELIA Academy 2023 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU lays the foundation for a collaborative framework among the UAx Sister Schools, operating under the ELIA's UAx Platform from 2023 to 2025. Launched in November 2022 with support from the Abakanowicz Arts and Culture Charitable Foundation (AACCF), the UAx Platform aims to strengthen the resilience of Ukrainian art universities and academies, provide support to students during crises, and foster sustainable international cooperation through the Sister School network of five Ukrainian higher art institutions:
Paired with five higher art institutions from across Europe:
This MOU underscores the platform's commitment to Ukrainian art students and their institutions, highlighting the mutual benefits of participation. ELIA will fully subsidize fifteen Ukrainian Sister Schools as ELIA members, granting them access to ELIA's programming, resources, networks, and opportunities. The ELIA UAx Bureau, responsible for coordinating and implementing UAx Platform activities, will facilitate communication and collaboration between ELIA and the UAx Sister Schools.
The MOU also outlines the establishment of the UAx Abakanowicz Fellowship and Mentoring Programme, providing financial support, mentoring, and community engagement opportunities for selected art students from Ukrainian UAx institutions. Additionally, the ELIA UAx Bureau will allocate resources for representatives from Ukrainian institutions to attend ELIA signature events throughout the UAx Platform's duration.
The signing of this MOU signifies a significant milestone in supporting higher arts education affected by war and promoting international cooperation. The UAx participating institutions have expressed their commitment to annually evaluating the UAx Platform to ensure its sustainability and impact, serving as a model for art school communities globally affected by war.
As this visionary partnership takes shape, the collective potential of UAx art institutions will undoubtedly shape the future of higher arts education in Europe and beyond, nurture emerging talent, and foster partnership and solidarity across borders.