National Gallery of Denmark receives funding to support integration of new citizens in Denmark

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National Gallery of Denmark receives funding to support integration of new citizens in Denmark
National Gallery of Denmark, SMK sets up a new, experimental social meeting place that focuses on inter-cultural language learning – over art and coffee. 

 Photo: Mathias André Smidt, SMK.

COPENHAGEN.- In recent years SMK has built a large network of people who do not have Danish as their first language, and the museum has had excellent results with combining art experiences with learning Danish – for example in courses and in an employment programme for language school students.

The museum has now received funding to continue this work by launching a new initiative: SMK KOM. Every Wednesday the museum will serve as a meeting place for anyone who wants to experience art and improve their Danish language skills. Art will form the starting point of the conversations held there, and research has shown that discussing art can strengthen the participants’ language skills.

"We know that viewing art together and putting your experience into words can do something very special. The conversation soon turns to questions about life lessons, identity and emotions. And that’s very motivational if you’re learning a new language and entering new social spheres," says Julie Johnsen, who is an art educator at SMK and one of the people behind the project.

The Wednesday sessions will be hosted by language school students who have previously worked at SMK. Everyone who shows up will help determine what happens at each session.

In addition to strengthening the participants’ language skills, the project also reflects SMK’s wish to be interesting and relevant to a wider demographic.

"SMK wants to – and has a duty to – constantly explore what it means to be a national gallery, and what it means to be national museum in a country and a world where cultures, languages and nationalities mix and merge," says Julie Johnsen.

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National Gallery of Denmark receives funding to support integration of new citizens in Denmark

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