In recent years many cultural institutions have introduced audience education programmes and have increased co-operation between schools, cultural institutions and artists. Some examples are the audience education programme of the National Opera and the composer- in – residence programmes of the Finnish Symphony Orchestras.
The extra-curricular general arts education system is, however, the vantage point that provides the basis both for the continued professional training of artists and the creation of competent, interested audiences. See also chapter 5.1 and chapter 5.4 for the description of the system.
The opportunities created for children to participate in cultural life – production of children’s books, participation in public libraries, children’s theatre, participation possibilities in visual arts and dance courses at cultural centres – are quite extensive, at least in the cities.
There have been recent attempts to integrate different arts development and arts education programmes into creativity and cultural education programmes that focus on the whole life span of a person from the nursery and primary school to adult and working life and to retirement.