8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation
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There is no document that discusses the mechanisms for facilitating young people’s access to culture and their participation in cultural events. An important instrument in this respect (albeit, like most government programmes, it is addressed to the general public) is the Accessible Culture (Kultura Dostępna) portal funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, whereas the National Centre for Culture is responsible for staging a call for applications for the programme. The portal provides information on the most interesting events in the vicinity of one’s place of residence and aims to popularise participation in culture as a way of spending one’s free time. At the same time, it targets those users who cannot always afford to buy cultural services: admission to many of the listed proposals is free, whilst the ticket price of others does not exceed PLN 20. Moreover, accessibility icons mark the places that are friendly to families with children and people with disabilities. The portal also features a database of websites containing cultural resources, namely films, e-books and 3D museum exhibitions.
In addition, the National Centre for Culture runned the long-term grant programme; the Very young culture 2019-2021 (Bardzo młoda kultura 2019-2021). Its main goal was to strengthen the role of cultural education in Poland through enhancing and empowering the educational potential of culture. The programme was to build and support a system assuring that cultural activities shall contribute to shaping skills and attitudes such as for example creativity, innovativeness, cooperation, trust or media-related competences. This goal is to be achieved by creating and developing grounds for cooperation between the sphere of culture and the sphere of education. The programme supported organisational, information-related and integrational activities. In particular, this included the creation of regional information portals, and the organisation of conferences, meetings and presentations concerning activities in the field of cultural education, which also serve as an exchange of educators’ experiences. The future of the programme is unclear. It is not being continued in 2022, but there are plans to start it again in 2023.
Potential sources of funding can be found in the programmes implemented under the Strategy for Responsible Development 2020 (with a 2030 perspective) (Strategia na rzecz odpowiedzialnego rozwoju do 2020 roku (z perspektywą do 2030 roku)). The Strategy defines one of its objectives as “strengthening the role of culture for economic development and social cohesion”, and emphasises that “educating the beneficiaries and developing their cultural competences contributes to the development of culture and innovation”, because “due to these competences and participation in culture, society develops its identity, respect for tradition, a sense of belonging to a community and its history on the one hand, and on the other its creativity, innovativeness, openness and tolerance”. Among the planned activities, it is worth noting the topics, which the documents discussed so far have not identified in such a clear way, for instance “designing a system to support the development of the creative sectors: to provide conditions for the development of creative sectors in Poland, which will affect the development of the whole ecosystem of supporting culture. Another example is strengthening the identity, sense of community and intergenerational bonds through participation and broader access to cultural institutions and works of culture at all the levels, where communities operate (local, regional and national), as well as the elimination of ‘blank spots’ in access to culture”. Furthermore, fulfilling all the goals of the Strategy for Responsible Development will necessitate “the involvement of significant public (domestic and foreign) and private resources, which by 2020 are estimated at about PLN 1.5 trillion on the part of the public sector, and over PLN 0.6 trillion from private investments”. The public resources are identified as a wide range of institutions and agendas subject to various ministries, which causes concerns as to the coordination of this undertaking.
There is no data on the level of knowledge of cultural heritage of young People in Poland. A study indicates that 74% of adult Poles is aware of the concept of “cultural heritage” and thinks it important, and 83% of Poles believe that it is vital to take care of heritage and protect it.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage runs the National sites of memory and permanent commemorations programme (Miejsca Pamięci i Trwałe upamiętnienia w kraju). It is however dedicated to the wider public, and not to young people directly.