Based in Islington's main thoroughfare, ARTEC is an arts technology centre established in 1990 to explore the creative application of digital technologies. ARTEC is a multi-disciplinary agency offering new ways of recording, processing and presenting ideas and information; provides resources and expertise for education and training in multimedia applications; production facilities for sound, music, video, photography, graphic design and animation; research and development work.
ARTEC is revenue funded by the London Borough of Islington, ESF, national and local Arts Councils. It receives project funding from a variety of sources including European programmes: Leonardo Da Vinci, Telematics programmes, ADAPT programmes; national and regional arts councils, and skillnet (the national training organisation for multimedia).
Its activities can be organised under the following themes : Arts, training, multimedia production, and facilitating commercial projects by providing a range of client services. The focus here is on Artec's training activities.
Its Access to Digital Arts Course (ADAC) has been running very successfully for 8 years and is a highly regarded, innovative one year programme of student-defined (ie based on student?Artec learning contracts) multimedia learning with a very high percentage of trainees finding work in industry either as employees, freelancers or self-employed. ADAC has around 16 trainees who must be unemployed for 6 months and living in Islington. The course has 4 units : a basic induction/foundation in multimedia and team working; advanced software techniques, production skills and critical studies; Industry studies/design and development of interactive media, working with clients and fourthly, an industrial placement.
In the last year Artec has piloted a second training programme (ADAC+) which enables trainees with foundation level multimedia skills to consolidate their knowledge and skill. The course lasts 6 months and is also funded by LBI, ESF and is supported by Skillnet. Half the 6 places are for Islington residents unemployed for 6 months and the rest are for non Islington unemployed applicants with basic multimedia skills. Like ADAC, ADAC+ is strongly student-defined, and provides opportunities to work with multimedia agencies and professionals on creative multimedia design briefs.
3 Bespoke Training
Artec also organises and runs multimedia courses for organisations. These include specialist workshops, short, practical multimedia courses and postgraduate provision at Birkbeck (University of London).
4 EXETRANET Education
This is a 2 year EU funded action research partnership project which began in January 1998 and is designed to develop teachers and others to use multimedia technologies in classrooms through the Internet, and to develop on-line learning materials for this purpose. There are 10 partners in the project including LBI, UNL, City of Barcelona, City of Bologna each bringing their different expertise to work on different aspects of this new educational field. Artec's focus is on producing learning environments for the on-line teaching of multimedia by for example, developing software tools and applications to help to teach multimedia in the classroom. UNL (through its LATID team) is involved in User Needs Analysis in the vocational/tertiary education/training sector.
5 Learning Resource Centre
The multimedia Learning Resource Centre is another trans-European (along with Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Greece) training initiative with a long term aim of developing new kinds of training for the digital arts across Europe. Currently in its early phase, work includes the Multimedia Coursefinder Database; and developing on-line training courses in Web production, Quicktime VR and Toolbook.
6 Islington NU-MEDIA
This is a project with local partners (ie IEA, Islington Chamber of Commerce, Prevista Ltd, IDL Ltd) started in January 1998, funded for 2 years under the European ADAPT programme. The aim of this project is to ensure a positive, productive response to information and communication technologies on the Islington economy. Initially, the focus is on improving the capacity of SMEs (small/medium enterprises) in the evening economy of Islington's Upper Street area to respond to the challenge of new technologies; the piloting of an accredited framework for training small business advisers and others in SME support agencies in multimedia; and to pilot an on-line guidance and training programme for targeted owner/managers of SMEs.
7 The Periphera Project
Artec is one of 7 centres in the UK (and others in Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland) to participate in the Periphera Project funded under the EU Telematics Applications Programme. The overall aim of the project is to research and find practical solutions to improve the employment prospects of marginalised groups (eg black and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, refugees) through access to new technologies. Artec's work on this project assists its ex-trainees to move into employment, self employment and business start-up in the multimedia sector. Users are offered use of Artec's production centre where they are able to get paid development work (eg Web, CD-Rom, installation based products) from Artec's clients. When the project ends in December 1998, it is hoped to make the centre a self-managing support agency for Artec's target group.
ARTEC is an exiting, innovative multimedia training organisation with a diverse portfolio of activities, funding sources and working partners with a potential to provide Islington with a strong profile in new media technology development and digital businesses.
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