The 2nd part of a major longitudinal study on participation trends was published in 2011 in Flanders.
8.2.2 Policies and programmes
In Flemish cultural policy, cultural participation and cultural competence have been a main point of interest for several years. Consecutive governments wish to increase cultural participation through several strategies and, at the same time, create favourable conditions so that everyone can develop cultural competence. Also, in the current legislation participation is an important topic. One of the strategic goals of the current minister of culture is to "anchor participation and diversity as an engine for innovation" in the cultural field. Each sub-sector (socio-cultural, arts, heritage) must continue to focus on the themes of participation, diversity and interculturalisation.
Audience participation is an important aspect of different decrees.
The aims of CultuurNet Vlaanderen are to promote cultural participation and to strengthen cultural knowledge, to centralise information about cultural activities, to inform people about these activities and to promote cultural activities abroad. This centre functions closely with the existing support centres in the different cultural fields and with the communication centres already functioning on a regional or local level. One of the tasks of this centre is an online agenda covering the activities of the whole Flemish Community (http://www.uitinvlaanderen.be).
DÄ“mos is a knowledge centre that aims at making culture more accessible for disadvantaged target groups and using culture as a lever for democracy. It does so by supporting socio-artistic practice and by deepening and broadening audience participation with a focus on intercultural dialogue.
Over the last years, the Flemish government has supported a major longitudinal study on participation trends carried out by the university support centre "Beleidsrelevant Onderzoek Cultuur, Jeugd en Sport" [Policy-relevant Research in Culture, Youth and Sport] (see chapter 4.1). In 2006 and 2011, the results of large surveys within the Flemish population about culture participation were presented. The last survey, conducted in 2009 among a representative sample of the Flemish population between 14 and 85 years old, aimed to answer questions related to trends in and determinants of participation in arts and culture, community life and sports.
Cultural democracy is one of the fundamental objectives of cultural policies in the French Community. This is the case in all of the artistic sectors and for the majority of the institutions that benefit from subsidies. Access conditions for all types of audiences are specified in the government contract-programmes. In particular these conditions are aimed at audiences with socio-economic difficulties, young people and the elderly. Several institutions and associations implement strategies to inform and encourage these target audiences through collaborations with associations working in specific areas.
One association fulfils a particularly exemplary role in the area of cultural democracy. The association "Article 27" draws its name from Article 27 of the universal declaration for human rights according to which "Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits". In a short time, this association has managed to create and coordinate an extended network that spreads throughout the French Community. This network offers free tickets, or tickets at a very low price, aimed at every person encountering economic difficulties. Currently, the association is considering the possibility of extending the offer to other types of cultural and artistic activities other than the performing arts.
Cultural associations operate in the following ways: take a lead in informing the public about current social issues, minority rights and claims; raise cultural issues in public and political debates; support cultural and artistic productions and dissemination; schedule training workshops and artistic / creative activities.
Certain sectors such as cultural centres, cultural youth organisations, continuing education centres and youth centres are involved in participation and active citizen involvement in cultural projects. This participation is freely and willingly organised by the cultural associations around collective cultural and corporate projects. A priority is defined for the associations and projects conducted by groups in social or economic difficulty. It aims to encourage the emergence of social recognition of popular cultures and marginal or minority forms of expression. The funding conditions of these associations are, amongst others, the critical analysis of society, the stimulation of democratic and collective initiatives, the development of an active citizenship and the exercising of social, cultural, environmental and economic rights.