What We Do
We contribute to a range of cultural heritage and youth education projects and initiatives.
Context Travel Scholarship
Travel fellowship for economically disadvantaged youths. Working with the innovative St. HOPE, which has transformed the inner-city community of Oak Park, Sacramento and established a new standard for public education and economic revitalization of urban communities in the U.S., we sponsor a yearly travel fellowship for one or two high-achieving student. The fellowship includes travel and accommodations in Europe, plus a study trip with the scholars in the Context network. The program is intensive and includes several days of seminars, classes, workshops, and other programs, capped by a writing project. So far, students have visited Rome and Paris as part of this program.
Apprenticeship Program for Oltrarno Artisans of Florence
Economic changes in Florence fueled by the tremendous rise of mass tourism have put serious pressure on the silversmiths, woodworkers, paper makers, and other traditional craftsmen who have defined the Oltrarno as a center of Italian artisanship for more than a century. In conversations with many of these artisans, with whom Context Travel works as part of their walking seminars there, we discovered that the artisans are facing tremendous difficulties in keeping their businesses viable; and there is a very real threat that in a couple of years few traditional craftsmen will continue to practice in Florence. A major problem for these artisans is their ability to attract and retain apprentices who can learn these crafts and eventually become masters in their own right. The artisans simply can’t compete with global companies, including the tour companies, as employers in Florence. To mitigate this danger, we fund a scholarship and internship at the Arti e Orafi Jewelry School and Academy. The recipient of this annual prize is given the opportunity to study at a local artisan in Florence as part of his or her hands-on education.
Fundraising & Sponsorship
We work with various charitable organisations to fund and sponsor cultural heritage initiatives in cities where we operate, with a focus on sites and projects that have a connection to the work we do and topics we cover in our tours.
Tours in the Public Interest
In an effort to broaden and deepen understanding of the culture of cities, we fund a series of tours to off-beat places and other unique on-site educational experiences offered for low- or no-cost to the general public. This series of “Tours in the Public Interest” includes such experiences as a walk of Public Art in Philadelphia or visits to the Jewish Catacombs in Rome. With funding from the Aramark Charitable Fund, we organize many of these for local school children and inner city youth.