8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation
Reducing obstacles to young people’s access to culture
The main actions taken to facilitate the access of young people to the artistic and cultural heritage of the area are:
TheNational Youth Card (CNG) was established by art. 1, paragraph 413, of law 160/2019 (budget law 2020), in order to promote access to goods and services to Italian and European citizens residing in Italy, aged between 18 and 35, supporting the process of growth and encouraging opportunities. From March 2021, the CGN allows for assistance to access goods, services and opportunities on the national and European territory. The Card is linked to the European Card managed by the European Youth Card Association (EYCA) joined by theDepartment of Youth Policies and Universal Civic Service. The use of this tool wants to encourage cultural and educational “consumption”, support the mobility and sociality of young people, change in the digital age, as well as physical and social well-being. The card will be available only in digital format on the app for social services IO,since it’s connected to the digital identity of citizens (SPID). Its launch will be accompanied by a dedicated website but also an advertising campaign, distributed mainly on the social media channels of the card, on Facebook, Instagram andLinkedin.
IoStudio - La carta dello studente. The initiative, promoted by the Ministry of Education, is part of the right to study and student welfare actions. With IoStudio, upper secondary school students can take advantage of the first private/public partnership network in Italy for young people. This network offers discounts and concessions of a cultural and edutainment nature for cinemas, museums, books, school and audio-visual material, telephones and internet, technology, travel and study holidays. All this to also encourage student mobility, access to architectural and environmental heritage, the use of products and services of a technological nature to support teaching.
Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
The importance of communicating to young people the opportunities offered to them through digital and innovative communication channels is recognized at an institutional level, especially in consideration of the significant changes inherent in the youth media diet, as demonstrated by recent national and international studies on the topic (ISTAThttps://www.istat.it/storage/ASI/2021/capitoli/C10.pdf,We are social https://wearesocial.com/it/blog/2021/10/digital-2021-i-dati-di-ottobre/). These changes have inevitably led central and peripheral institutions to adapt and equip themselves with dedicated communication plans as well as implement social media policies aimed at promoting the image of Italy in Europe and in the world, giving visibility to events of local and regional, national and international importance.
In 2021, theDepartment of Youth Policies and Universal Civic Servicecreated theGIOVANI2030 project, a web platform for young people between 14 and 35 years of age, with the aim of promoting a dialogue between young people and institutions. The logo shares the colour choice of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the colours of the rainbow highlight the multiplicity of opportunities that are intended to be offered to the younger generations. The GIOVANI2030 platform offers news, insights on volunteering, training, education, culture, entertainment, sport, giving the opportunities to be taken so as to grow in a participatory way. GIOVANI2030 is a digital home that is always open and constantly evolving, ready to welcome proposals, ideas and suggestions from those who want to contribute. The long-term objective is to promote and develop a community capable of providing ideas and contents, also through periodic columns.
There are also platforms dedicated to youth creativity promoted and implemented by public or private institutions and aimed at promoting, valorising and supporting art and creativity:
- GAI – Giovani artisti italianiis an Association for the Circuit of Young Italian Artists created to support youth creativity through training, promotion and research initiatives. The GAI circuit, present since 1989, also carries out programs through the collaboration of public and private subjects.
- Chiamata alle artiis a project started in 2010 to valorise contemporary creativity, promoted by theYouth Observatory (OCPG) of the Department of Political Sciences and Communication of the University of Salerno, with the patronage of the Campania Region. The platform is an institutional showcase of contemporary art and creativity aimed at promoting and legitimizing creative work by involving and informing artists on initiatives, events, exhibitions, artistic collaborations, projects and awards organized by the OCPG Observatory or by the network of connected national and international partners.
- ArTribune is a content and services platform dedicated to contemporary art and culture, founded in 2011 from a private initiative as a tool for information, updating and in-depth analysis in Italy on the themes of art and culture.
In addition, some Regions have opened websites dedicated to art and creativity containing information on measures, programs, and funding in support of youth creativity. The main ones include:
Every year MIC implements a Memorandum of Understanding with the Regions containing the Museum valorisation plan with an indication of the main initiatives to be implemented during the year to promote widespread communication throughout the territory and a wider participation in cultural initiatives through involvement in schools. Starting from the analysis of research carried out on participation in cultural sites that showed a lower interest in cultural heritage by young people, MIC has adopted a series of measures aimed at encouraging youth participation, implementing a social media policy through the use of social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram eYouTube) dedicated to culture and strengthening digital communication with a series of initiatives and campaigns aimed at citizens and in particular young people:
- Gran Virtual Tour: a digital journey throughout the whole Peninsula to explore the beauty of the Italian cultural heritage online through virtual tours of theatres, archives and libraries, museums and state archaeological parks.
- European Heritage Days: the largest and most popular cultural event in Europe to which the MIC adheres with its own structures in line with the themes launched by the Council of Europe (e.g., 2021 theme: “Cultural Heritage: Everyone included!”).
- Fumetti nei musei: is a project conceived for children and young people who receive free books by participating in educational activities, workshops and guided tours in state cultural sites: 51 comics set in Italian museums, by some of the most famous Italian cartoonists.
- #Artyouready: digital flash mob, active every weekend, through which citizens are involved in actively participating online. The invitation is to share their photographs of works of art, museum rooms, archives and libraries, foyers and theatre stages as well as landscapes throughout the country. A shared and free space where it is also possible to play with #lartetisomiglia looking for similarities between works of art, people, environments.
During the Covid-19 health emergency,MIC launched the “La cultura non si ferma” campaign, a section dedicated to the many virtual initiatives organized by the places of state culture, the world of entertainment, music and audio-visual; a rich cultural offer available from home that has allowed Italians to stay in touch with art and culture even in the crucial moments of the pandemic and directly involving them with the social initiatives #ioleggoacasa and #inLibreria. Currently it is not updated anymore but it still represents a great archive of initiatives and resilience.
Finally,Cepell – Centre for books and reading(See8.2), which aims to implement policies for the dissemination of books and reading in Italy, as well as to promote Italian books and culture abroad through a series of initiatives dedicated to young people such as:Il Maggio dei Libri andLibriamoci.
Knowledge of cultural heritage among young people
The dissemination of knowledge of cultural heritage, especially among the young people, is entrusted to theCentro per i Servizi Educativi (SED) (Centre for Educational Services), which is art of the Directorate General for Education, Research and Cultural Institutes of theMIC in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The Centre has the task of supporting the dissemination of knowledge of cultural heritage through educational projects and activities aimed, in particular, at the school sector.
The Directorate General for Education, Research and Cultural Institutes prepares theNational Plan for Cultural Heritage Educationevery year, taking care of the development, verification and evaluation of the actions planned also through the actions of the Centro per i Servizi Educativi which collects the activities and projects for cultural heritage education carried out free of charge by the Network of Educational Services of places . The collection aims to promote educational activities, which include historical-documentary paths, workshops, school-work experience, internships, courses, training and refresher days, series of conferences, aimed at the school and university systems, families, and the general public as well as training proposals for school teaching staff and sector operators. The Educational Offer 2021-2022 (http://www.sed.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/471/of-2021-2022) includes around 900 laboratories, trainings and activities to educate about the national cultural heritage, free of charge and organised in cultural places and institutions of the Ministry.
In recognising culture and creativity as parts of broader political agendas, it becomes fundamental to prioritise social cohesion, the implementation of economies more attentive to welfare, to the environment, to health, to digitalisation, to innovation as well as to inclusion and to cultural accessibility. For this reason there is the main support of two initiatives:
- The three yearsArts plan 2020-2022 (https://miur.gov.it/web/guest/il-piano-delle-arti) (DPCM 12th of May 2021) for what concerns the promotion and the development of themes connected with creativity
- The memorandum of understanding between MIC and the Minister of EducationMI-MiC 11/06/2021 (https://www.miur.gov.it/-/protocollo-d-intesa-ministero-istruzione-ministero-della-cultura)
Concurring to social responsibility and fostering participation while strengthening the competences related with citizenship; providing orienteering and fostering local synergies and networking, become priorities.
School-work experience in paces of culture. The reform of the national education and training systems with -Law 107/2015 “La Buona Scuola” (Seechapter 6) has introduced important innovations in the field of school-work experience, making it mandatory for all students of the final three years of any area of study of upper secondary school. The reform also explicitly indicates museums and other places of culture as privileged places for work experience, with this having resulted in a significant increase in requests from schools. The Directorate General for Education and Research has developed the ‘Portolano’ of school-work experience in places of culturewith the results of work experience in cultural places relating to the academic year 2015-2016 being positive, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, due to the number and level of activities offered by the Institutes, which have invested considerable energy and professional resources in this area. The largest number of projects were carried out by those institutes that already had a long tradition in the heritage education sector and the Regions most involved were those with a widespread presence in the territory of museums, archaeological sites and archives.