KEP has put in light several challenges linked to the regional, local and community-driven cultural efforts. According to the municipality code, culture is not one of the obligatory missions of a municipality, resulting in a very unequal cultural and artistic offer across the country. The regional cultural centres and individual municipalities play an important role in the cultural landscape of the country, but the often top-down policies do not always reflect this enough. Moreover, the financing of the regional and local cultural efforts often does not sufficiently match the actual cultural impact these activities have even on a national scale, e.g. through organisation of important festivals. This is combined with challenges concerning insight and statistics on the regional and local levels. In response, KEP proposed a number of objectives and recommendations 29-31 for the 2018-2028 policy. The ministry of Culture is also currently undertaking a mapping on regional and local cultural centres and culturally-used facilities.
An important player is the Réseau Luxembourgeois des Centres Culturels Régionaux (http://reseau.lu), a non-profit network organisation of ten decentralised regional cultural centres founded in 2008. Even though the members differ a lot when in size and facilities, they all are locally embedded, have an important regional influence and are being subsidized by their respective municipalities and by the ministry of Culture. The network’s objectives are laid down in a manifesto : “The centres are responsible for “providing the basic supply” of culture to the population in the decentralised regions (= proximity), by offering a diversified programme with possible specialisations in certain fields. In doing so, the centres fulfil different tasks
- to provide platforms for the expression of different cultures;
- to create links between local culture, regional roots and interregional cultural productions;
- to provide opportunities for identification for a wide range of people and thus help social cohesion;
- to stimulate dialogue;
- to professionalise cultural life;
- to provide forums for young art;
- to be understood as actors in regional development and provide input to the socio-educational, socio-cultural and economic development of the region;
- to encourage individual development through their programmes.
Besides the work of regional cultural centres, other actors engage more specifically in the mitigation through culture of the effects of social exclusion and societal crises. For instance, Hariko (www.hariko.lu), a service of the Luxembourg Red Cross for young people between the age of 12 and 26, “aims to offer access to different forms of artistic expression to young people from underprivileged backgrounds, to young people attracted by art but also to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers”. In another example, the CULTURE_UP programme by the UP_FOUNDATION “offers educational workshops to various institutions that support vulnerable children and young people, aiming to strengthen the individual through culture. This programme is offered to institutions, associations, or initiatives that work with vulnerable children and young people and is tailored to the respective institution’s needs. These educational activities will bring out the potential and creativity of children and young people who have little access to culture and will help them discover their passions.” Furthermore, following the call for projects launched by the Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte and Esch2022, three new cultural projects will be able to develop: “Bâtiment IV” in Esch-Schifflange, “Cultural Hub + / Vestiaire” in Dudelange and FerroForum & “Kamelleschmelz”.
Recently, some investments have also been in made in the ‘cultural third places’. A joint initiative of the Œuvre nationale de secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte and Esch2022 aims to support transdisciplinary cultural projects that will develop in areas such as brownfields, abandoned spaces or in the heart of the city, in the form of collaborative ecosystems. Following a call for projects, new cultural projects able to develop as third cultural places are: “Bâtiment IV” in Esch-Schifflange, “Cultural Hub + / Vestiaire” in Dudelange and FerroForum & “Kamelleschmelz”.
Finally, more and more attention is being paid to active citizen participation in culture – including difficult to reach populations. As an example, citizen participation is at the very core of the Esch 2022 strategy, as reflected in everything from the project’s objectives, to impact indicators, call for project evaluation criteria and the thematic focus itself. The Impact Lab was commissioned to develop a Toolbox for citizen participation in culture for Esch2022-involved municipalities. The toolbox includes 27 detailed and practical approaches to citizen participation in culture, engaging specific groups such as children and youth, seniors, migrants, disabled people etc., focusing on specific locations e.g. ‘forgotten’ neighbourhoods, as well as more cross-cutting approaches such as participatory budgeting, audience-as-artist, or blurring the boundaries among different roles, to name just a few examples. Some municipalities are dedicating significant effort to enhancing and better understanding citizen participation in culture. These include for instance Esch-sur-Alzette (one of the few municipalities with its own cultural strategy, carrying out numerous studies and actions in this respect), or Sanem, which has commissioned a strategy and toolbox for the engagement of their own citizens in cultural policymaking.
 Kulturentwécklungsplang 2018-2028, p. 136.
 https://upfoundation.lu/projects/culture_up/?lang=en; Accessed 18 November 2021.