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Germany/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

The basic principle governing cultural policy in Germany – a principle that has been enshrined in some of the Land Constitutions – is to enable the greatest possible number of citizens to participate in the country's cultural life. All public cultural policy endeavours and expenditures serve the aim of creating the conditions for free and unfettered participation in cultural life. As in the past, however, some segments of the population are still afraid of trying something new and unfamiliar. Appropriate cultural support measures – in the fields of museum, theatre and arts education – are therefore being undertaken at all policy levels to reduce obstacles to access posed by educational deficiencies (see also chapter 8.3.1).

In the cultural policy debate, a direct link has, for some time, been established between the subject of cultural participation and issues of citizen involvement, of social cohesion etc. These are becoming increasingly important in relation to discussions on demographic developments and the growing significance of intercultural, inclusive and dialogue-oriented initiatives (see chapter 4.2.8 and chapter 8.3.3).

Recently, some initiatives started to promote participation in cultural life, for instance for people with lower incomes or for children and young people. Worth mentioning are e.g.

  • the initiative of "Kulturlogen". The idea is to enable people with lower incomes to have free access to cultural performances by distributing seats that are provided by theatres and other cultural institutions. The first Kulturloge started in 2009 in Marburg; meanwhile the idea spread to other major cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Göttingen, and Gießen but also to rural districts e.g. Lahn-Dill-Kreis.
  • The initiative "Cultural Bag Pack" in North Rhine Westphalia started in December 2011, which aims to give free or low-priced access to cultural institutions for young people aged between 10 and 14 years old. The state provides 3 million EUR per year to the municipalities taking part.
  • In Saxony children up to 16 years get free entrance to public museums since 2009.

Chapter published: 12-09-2016

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