Cultural education in the Bergisches Land:
The fifth school tour begins at the end of May
Rhein-Berg / Oberberg Nothing worked for two years because of corona. But this spring it starts again: Juca organizes the fifth school tour with musicians. The cooperation partners are ten schools.
In ten secondary schools in the municipalities of the districts Rheinisch-Bergisch and Oberbergisch there is great joy: after two years of corona-related abstinence, the youth café in Wermelskirchen (Juca) is once again organizing the popular school tour. “The anticipation is not only present in the Juca team,” explains Juca manager André Frowein. The musicians de Jonnes from Ludwigsburg and JackSayFree from Switzerland go on a school tour. “We want to combine cultural education and encouragement. Those are the two main goals of the ‘Masks Down Hands Up’ school tour,” says Frowein.
This is the fifth school tour. The first started in 2016, two years had to be suspended due to Corona. In the meantime, it is a guaranteed success, because sometimes teachers or school management, but also students, contact the organizer after the first days of the tour or during the following festival and ask if they can come and see them next year. “Kürten will be there in 2023″, announces Frowein. And if you don’t sign up fast enough, you’re at a disadvantage. Like the Gymnasium Wermelskirchen, by the way. “The tour booked up so quickly. We inform all the schools at the same time, but the school did not intervene quickly enough.”
The Juca team as well as the musicians take lessons in different classes. There they answer questions. At the end of a school day, students can expect a small concert from both bands. According to Frowein, it is above all about exchanges between students and musicians. “Young people are encouraged to hold on to their dreams. The musicians and volunteers challenge the students to dare to take a different look at their lives, to be creative, courageous and honest and always centered on each other.
What do the artists offer? Jonnes writes and sings to understand the thoughts of the heart. The songs are diary entries in German. The trio JackSayFree mixes electronic dance music with hip hop beats and catchy lyrics.
The school tour is scheduled a year in advance. André Frowein: “In 2019 we organized everything for 2020, but then Corona came.” It was agreed with the school management that the tour would be postponed until 2021. And then a year later until 2022. “At the end of January, we carefully asked if there was a desire to participate. At that time, of course, we were moving in a crystal ball and could only plan roughly, ”reports the manager of Juca. “We wanted to know what the schools thought about it – the response was overwhelming for us. Everyone thought that there could still be Corona challenges, but that the importance of such an extraordinary school day had increased.” The need was great, so planning began immediately.
At the end of the ten-day school tour, the “Youthnited Festival” will take place in Wermelskirchen from June 16 to 18 by young people for young people. During the Corpus Christi weekend, twelve bands will perform over three days in the barn at the Kuhler Heide festival site. The young people organize everything themselves under supervision. The event is barrier-free and inclusive.
The project is financed by the “LEADER” association Bergisches Wasserland and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Funding amounts to 90,000 euros for the years 2022 and 2023 combined. The school tour with festival costs around 150,000 euros for the two years. “With donations and a lot of volunteering, we manage to finance the remaining 60,000 euros.”