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Germany/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

At the federal level, the main governmental responsibility for art and cultural education lies with 3 ministries: the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the Federal Government Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth started implementing their "Discrete Youth Policy" in 2011. In particular, the field of Cultural Education can advance the area of accepting non-formal education and cooperation with formal education. In addition to an innovation fund for Cultural Education in the realms of "Discrete Youth Policy", in 2012 the ministry will provide approximately 8.5 million EUR in order to advance the federal infrastructure and professional enhancements in the practices of cultural policy.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media announced a support programme for pilot programmes of artistic and cultural intermediation in 2011 in the amount of 1.2 million EUR. The subsidy for this programme is planned to be increased in the upcoming year.

Supported will be sustainable model projects, qualifications, nationwide conferences, recommendation focused research, that give impetus for a qualified artistic and cultural intermediation and enable new methodical approaches. These projects should aim especially those people that don't come into contact with cultural activities offered by traditional cultural institutions and enable them to own cultural activities.  

The "Alliance for Education" was established by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and forms a cooperation of 29 initiatives, associations and foundations in the field of culture, education, sports and economy to support and encourage educationally disadvantaged children and young people.

In 2012 the Federal Ministry for Education and Research announced the largest programme of support for cultural education. The main aim of the programme named "Kultur macht stark" ("culture encourages") is to support extra-curricular activities for educationally disadvantaged children and young people. This will be implemented through alliances for education via national organisations at municipality level. The funding started in 2013 and will be extended over 5 years. In 2013 the Federal Ministry for Education and Research is providing 30 million EUR, with in total (2013-2018) approximately 230 million EUR.

Another project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research since 2012, which is implemented by the Deutscher Kulturrat: a dialogue platform on cultural education.

The results of recent cultural policy discussions revealed that arts education for children and young people in schools and in non-school education has to be strengthened. The "Enquete-Kommission" on Culture in Germany placed this topic on the top of its agenda. Other initiatives worth mentioning are:

  • in spring 2007, a programme entitled "An Instrument for Every Child" was initiated in the Ruhr district. It was developed by the German Federal Culture Foundation, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Foundation for the Future of Education – as a project of cooperation within the framework of RUHR 2010 being the Europan Capital of Culture. Under the programme, primary school children are to be trained in schools by music teachers in an instrument of their choice for four years. The cost of approximately 35 million EUR is being met by the Federal Culture Foundation, the land North Rhine-Westphalia and private promoters, as well as by a small contribution from parents. The four-year-introduction phase of the programme is going into permanent operation in the Ruhr, sponsored exclusively by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. In NRW, in the school year of 2012/2013, 634 primary schools and 26 schools for people with learning difficulties and approximately 60 000 pupils are taking part. The idea of the project is taken from initiatives in other states e.g. Hamburg, Saxony and Hesse.
  • the arts education programme for children and young people, called "Kinder zum Olymp!" supported by the Cultural Foundation of the federal states (Länder) in co-operation with private sponsors. A school competition was sponsored by the Federal President Joachim Gauck; see;
  • an initiative to support children and youth culture sponsored by the cities of Munich and Hamburg;
  • since 2009 the Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs awards a prize to 3 projects of cultural education every year (endowed with a total of 60 000 EUR);
  • to present examples of good-practice of cooperation between institutions of cultural education and schools, the Federal Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth and the Association of Cultural Education for Children and Youth set up a competition called Mixed Up. Since 2005, it awards annual prizes, the 3 regular prizes are complemented by special prizes focussing on specific topics each year (in 2013: Inclusion);
  • with the school year 2011/12, a new programme "Cultural Agents for Creative Schools" started in 5 states (North-Rhine Westphalia, Berlin, Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg, Thuringia) at 138 schools. It is initiated and funded by the Federal Culture Foundation and the Mercator Foundation together with the ministries for culture of those states. For a period of 4 years, cultural agents will come into schools to develop a cross disciplinary concept on cultural education together with pupils and teachers and to build up long-term cooperation between schools and cultural institutions. Since the school year 2015/2016 the programm is continued within the 5 five federal states as projects of each federal state; and
  • In 2012 the 4th national Report of Education was presented, this time with a focus on cultural education (previous special issues: 2006: migration, 2008: transition between school and the labour market, 2010: demographic changes). Being a special topic, cultural education gained more attention from stakeholders. One of the findings is a recognised lack of statistical material on cultural education.

Chapter published: 12-09-2016

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