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Austria/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.5 Basic out-of-school arts and cultural education

Arts education is also provided on an institutional basis "outside of school hours" by music schools, children's singing schools or youth and cultural centres. They are mainly provided on the Bundesländer (provinces) or on the community level. With 200 000 school students and almost 7 000 teachers, the 430 public music schools are densely represented in all provinces and above all offer children and young people a high-quality musical education.

As the Austrian school system is currently slowly changing from half-day-schooling to all-day-schooling, new forms of co-operation between schools and out-of-school institutions are on the political agenda.

At the same time, education programmes of cultural institutions, especially for children and young people, have increased considerably. In response to the need to search for new audiences (and by that to legitimise public funding), arts education has become part of new marketing strategies especially of museums and exhibition halls, followed by concert halls (concert pedagogy) and theatres (theatre pedagogy). A new public interest in supporting the creativity and aesthetic capacity of young people led to the establishment of cultural institutions dedicated to young target groups. In the Zoom children's museum in Vienna, for example, under the motto "Hands on, minds on, hearts on!" children can ask, touch, feel, explore and play as they wish. In the workshops and exhibitions the children gather sensory and emotional experiences through play, which trigger learning processes and facilitate understanding. Unlike museums for adults and most children's events, which are more oriented to entertainment, children can touch and try out the objects (hands on) and through touch reach better understanding (minds on). The DSCHUNGEL WIEN TheaterhausfürjungesPublikum – both institutions are based in the Vienna Wiener Museumsquartier – is aimed particularly at children and young people. The house dedicates its entire spectrum to performing arts: from acting, storytelling, speaking, figure and musical theatre, and from opera to dance, dance theatre and interdisciplinary forms.

Further ambitious projects are the school project "Cultural Heritage – Shape the Future" and the project "Power / School / Theatre". The independent PASI initiative dedicates itself to the promotion of artistic education of children, encourages the anchoring of creativity in teaching and realises its own projects with children and young people, e.g. "I like to move it move it" in the framework of the European Cultural Capital Linz09. Contemporary artists from the performing arts sector developed diverse projects with teachers and students in more than 90 schools in Linz and Upper Austria.

Chapter published: 02-02-2016

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