In the policy letter Culture in an open society (2018), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science focuses, among other things, on the process of inclusion by means of culture: “Culture is significant for the future of our nation, in the public debate about identity and in the search for what connects us all.” The Ministry implemented the following objectives to improve diversity in the cultural sector:
- The Ministry aims to match the interests of the diverse groups in society with diverse cultural offerings. Examples to reach this goal are the creation of talent programmes and the improvement of the accessibility of culture.
- The Ministry focuses on the characteristics of citizens that don’t engage with culture in order to increase their cultural participation.
- The Minister argues “culture is by and for everyone” and therefore the Ministry invests in the improvement of cultural accessibility. For example, the government will invest EUR 1 050 000 (2019-2021) in the Youth Fund Sport and Culture to support cultural accessibility for children that live in poverty.
- There will be more attention for historical consciousness, for example, by means of cultural education.
- Minister Van Engelshoven will invest EUR 1 050 000 (2019-2021) in the Youth Fund Sport and Culture to improve cultural inclusion among youth that live in poverty.
All in all, the objective of all tiers of government is to make culture accessible and relevant for as many inhabitants as possible. “Through culture, people participate in society. Culture also has a connective power.” (Culture in an open society) In the guidelines for the cultural policy in 2021-2024 (2019), Minister Van Engelshoven states she will invest EUR 2 million annually to match funding by local and regional governments of projects that contribute to the national goal of broadening and renewal in cultural offerings. Another policy plan in this respect is to make room in the national basic infrastructure (see chapter 1.1) for younger, less canonical art forms.