N-arts connects the arts to Adult Education. The aim is to highlight the role of the arts in adult education, strengthen the arts facilitators' position and motivate the teachers to develop new methods and approaches. The name N (Non-Intended)-arts implies that the focus is on the creative process rather than on the art product/object/event. 

The tools provided by the project draw attention to the impact the arts can have on the learning process, social cohesion and wellbeing.
The tools supported the facilitators and teachers to articulate and explain N-arts, by applying criteria and techniques of evaluation, and conceptualizing frameworks for the activities in terms of adult education.

The Partnership

We looked at good practice examples within four partner institutions that cover extremely diverse areas of adult education, each with its own characteristics with regard to the institutional setup and the learners.
W-Point is a project promoter in the field of adult education with extensive experience of working in informal learning frameworks within different educational settings.
Centrum Ksztalcenia Ustawicznego Nr 2 in Warsaw, Poland (CKU2) is an adult education institution providing guidance and a second chance for early school leavers.
Círculo de animação cultural de Alhos Vedros, Portugal (CACAV) is an informal adult education association with strong roots in the community that offers and promotes music, literature, and visual arts activities.
Tanz die Toleranz in Vienna, Austria (TdT) is part of the community arts provision of Caritas Österreich and offers performing arts as a way for integrating people from different backgrounds.
The Faculty of Education at the University in Osijek, Croatia (FOZOOS) delivers a formal framework of education with an interest in giving their students experiences in lifelong learning.
The partners’ N-arts activities were workshops in dance, drawing and painting, literature, GIF, and visual arts with a regular frequency over a period of several months, some of them leading to a public presentation. 430 learners participated in these N-arts activities.

Procedure/method and plan

The personal experiences of the facilitators, qualitative evaluations and the observations were central subjects of the exchange of good practices and the basis for discussions on assessing the impact of arts activities in adult education. We worked together to establish evaluation criteria with a common relevance for the N-arts activities in the fields of visual arts, dance, and literature. During the transnational partner meetings these activities were presented to the partnership, analysed, discussed, and related to a process of evaluation suggested by the project promoter.

Models of evaluation

We related the N-arts activities to the dynamic action model “Five Ways to Wellbeing”. This is a well-researched general evaluation system that is commonly applied to projects in the field of adult education, arts and health. It takes outcomes that can be easily understood and assessed into consideration. As a common denominator, this model accommodates the very wide variety of options that the partnership represents.
To answer the question how N-arts activities reflect the parameters of wellbeing (connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, give) we used observations of the facilitators, qualitative interviews with the participants and a set of tools that aided the process of critical analysis.


We proposed an innovative use of tools and applications that facilitate the documentation and analysis of N-arts activities. The process of mapping provided a road map by visualizing the steps required for the N-arts activity to take place: from the planning to the evaluation. We devised a template that traced the N-arts activity from the conception to the implementation and evaluation.


We obtained an overall picture for each of the N-arts activities, highlighting how the learners’ experience related to the elements of wellbeing. Through identifying the relevant attributes, the individual N-arts events could then be fine-tuned.


N-arts proved to be a fundamental motivational factor at every stage and level of Adult Education.
N-arts provides a space for learning in Adult Education that is non-utilitarian, non-conflicting, and non-competitive.
N-arts creates a space that is involving and allows for easy communication, motivation, consideration, and mutual respect.
For the partnership, these attributes of N-arts can easily complement a more rigid learning task as for the school leavers in Poland. They play an important role in community life, as we saw in Portugal, or, in Austria, in creating a new community. Or it can be introduced for developing awareness about lifelong learning as in Croatia.

Including the arts in adult education expands the concept of learning beyond the acquisition of skills and information contributing significantly to the wellbeing of the individual learner as well as the community of learners.

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