There is a lot of preparatory work required before Mentor can produce its deliverables in the context of Pros-Eleusis. This is a collaborative project, where people with different skills and professional backgrounds must come together to deliver an ecomuseum for Eleusis, as well as the app that will enable visitors to enjoy the wealth of stories associated with this town. There are still many months left before we are ready to present these innovative products to the public, but over the past few weeks, we have laid some pretty solid foundations on which to build, as the project evolves.
A list to get things started
Pros-Eleusis revolves around the cultural heritage of Eleusis. It was, therefore, essential to determine the nature of this heritage. We determined the best methodology for the project and created a comprehensive list of tangible and intangible assets. These were subsequently pinpointed on a map that will serve as a point of reference. All the assets were categorized according to the main research themes (industrial heritage, immigration, the labour movement etc.). The list is not exhaustive since much depends on the unique information and perspectives to be provided by local participants.
Since their contribution is the essential factor that will determine the project’s success, we established our first contacts with stakeholders in Eleusis (the municipality, private collectors, the Labour Center etc.) to request access to their archives and collections. The Municipality of Eleusis and the municipal Cultural Center provided crucial assistance in our bibliographical research, while the Labour Center of Eleusis accepted our proposal of collaboration. A similar proposal was extended to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation since they have an invaluable archive of iconographic material relating to Eleusis.
Our window to the world
The project requires a website, where people can learn about it and identify ways to contribute. Our webpage is simple, but highly inviting and functional, a most pleasing first impression to encourage visitors to browse without feeling overburdened with information or technical details. It was developed on WordPress, an open source CMS and we are currently designing the wireframes for the second version. This will receive the material collected through Pros-Eleusis.
We also invested considerable effort in designing the app logo. On the first team meeting, our graphic designer submitted three proposals. The participants selected a winner and we created a comprehensive project identity, which will define Pros-Eleusis in a positive way. The identity and the logo are accompanied by a design manual to assist those interested in their proper use.
Likes, tweets, and sharing
A successful communications strategy may make or break a project as ambitious and public-oriented as Pros-Eleusis. Our social media outreach effort is thorough and far-reaching. We designed a social media plan that includes regular quality posts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. The response has been encouraging (more than 1700 followers on FB in one month), a definitive proof of the widespread interest among the people of Eleusis in their past and their cultural heritage. We have also initiated a weekly blog post, where we will present topics pertaining to ecomuseums, the history of Eleusis (as well its present and future), its industrial heritage, the natural environment, and the stories we will collect through our collaboration with local stakeholders. And since we are also firm believers in the value of more traditional communication channels, we presented Pros-Eleusis at the 9th International Cultural and Creative Economy and Development conference organised by the Arts Council of Greece in Athens on 5-6 October 2018.