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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences

Last update: 18 March 2022

Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training

TheMinistry of Education guarantees all pupils of all levels access to Italian culture and artistic heritage through the promotion of theoretical and practical activities, as well as with workshops, linked to the themes of creativity through the three-year adoption of an Arts Plan (See8.2). Schools include in their three-year educational offer plans (PTOF) courses of study as well as the production and use of the arts in the following areas:

    • music-dance: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of instrumental music, song and dance
    • theatre-performance: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of the art of theatre, cinema or other forms of entertainment
    • artistic-visual: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of painting, sculpture, graphics, decorative arts, design, artistic craftsmanship and Italian creative productions
    • linguistic-creative: strengthening of logical-linguistic and argumentative skills, knowledge and practice of creative writing, poetry and other forms of expression of the Italian language, its classical roots, languages ​​and dialects spoken in Italy.

Music Committee: theNational Committee for the practical learning of music for all studentshas the tasks of supporting, coordinating, monitoring and proposing towards the central administration to define cultural and didactic contents as well as creating training courses focused on the development of musical practice in school, while also valorising its aesthetic and historical aspects. The committee proposed the national plan “Everyone make music”, highlighting the central role of musical learning in school for the training of young people as well as the overall development of the person, through improvisation and “learning by doing” practices.[1]  In order to invest in new project in the setting of the PNRR, the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity (DGCC) of the MIC has organised a series of discussion tables and events .

Cinema for school: theNational Cinema Plan for Schoolsaims to promote the teaching of cinematographic and audio-visual language in the classroom and has provided for the issuance of several calls addressed to institutions, foundations, associations and schools of all levels to support and promote the study and use of cinema and audio-visual language at school. The calls have seen the participation of thousands of educational institutions, trade associations, universities and research centres, public and private agencies. Due to the pandemic the plan for 2019-2020 has been prolonged to 2021 and, despite the difficulties, it managed to involve 220 thousand students, 10 thousand teachers, more than 54 thousand hours of education, labs, activities, which are great numbers but still far from the majority of Italian students. For this reason, there is the plan to invest even more funds for 2021-2022, going from 30 to 54 million. Thecinemaperlascuola.itweb platform was also created, becoming a national reference point for cinema education and showing all the updates regarding the different projects and activities implemented within the plan.

Theatre and teaching: The Ministry of Education has launched a path of promotion, support and valorisation of theatre in schools, intending theatre as a transversal pedagogical tool capable of profoundly affecting the growth of the person in their cognitive and emotional entirety. With theStrategic Indications for the didactic use of theatrical activities for the school year 2016/2017, theatrical activity definitively abandons being an additional extracurricular offer and becomes a complementary didactic choice and becomes part of the didactic offer of Italian schools.

The issue of the acquisition and development of transversal skills in young people has become central in Italy with the reform of “La Buona Scuola”Law 107/2015 (See chapter6, paragraph8.4) and has been further strengthened withDecree 774/2019of the Ministry of Education with which the Guidelines on the paths for transversal skills and orientation (PCTO) were defined, in line with the European guidelines and, in particular, with theRecommendation of the Council of the European Union of 22 May 2018 (2018/C –189/01) relating to “key competences for lifelong learning”. PCTOs are paths that aim at the development of transversal and technical-professional skills. The certification of skills takes place in accordance with the indications contained in theLegislative Decree 16 January 2013, n. 13relating to the National Skills Certification System and subsequent implementation measures. The final results of the evaluation carried out by the educational institution are summarized in the student’s curriculum, attached to the final diploma issued after passing the state exam. The curriculum also reports the cultural, artistic and musical, sporting and voluntary activities carried out outside school.

TheNational Digital School Planis a pillar of “La Buona Scuola” aimed at meeting the challenge of school innovation. Among the objectives of the Plan, there is the need to promote creativity, entrepreneurship and the leading role of students in the context of the valorisation of key and life skills within the school curricula. The Plan is divided into a series of actions related to the development of digital creative skills including:

  • “Creative ateliers and workshops for key skills” to equip schools with innovative and modular spaces where they can develop the meeting point between manual skills, craftsmanship, creativity and technologies;
  • the creation of new laboratories for the strengthening of thematic and digitally characterized laboratories of technical and professional institutes, including artistic secondary schools, allowing schools to update their training courses by integrating them with elements of digital and multimedia creativity;
  • “School-friendly” laboratories: promotion of laboratories open to schools in the area of museums, research institutions, technology parks, foundations, associations and other spaces that involve sets of emerging practices but now recognized by the community such as the “Fab Lab”.

For what concerns the development of digital skills applied to form “digital citizenship”, the Plan includes courses on: digital art, digital management of cultural heritage; reading and writing in digital and mixed environments, digital storytelling, digital creativity. Also in the PNRR (see 8.3) there is direct mention of the use of digitalisation for creating “a cultural heritage for the next generation”, enabling and facilitating the development of services by the creative sectors, creating accessible platforms and removing possible barriers.

Specialised training for professionals in the education, culture and youth fields

The “La Buona Scuola” reform defines the training of school staff as “compulsory, permanent and strategic” and, to this end, the Ministry of Education approved the2016-2019 Teacher Training Plan. The Plan was updated in 2020, defining theoperational guidelines for carrying out remote training activities due to the COVID-19 health emergency. The training actions for teachers are mandatory and included in the Three-Year Plan of the Educational Offer.

Regarding the skills related to the use of technologies for the development of digital creativity and the creation of laboratory environments dedicated to art and creativity, the Plan provides training courses for teachers, managers, technical-administrative staff and digital animators (teachers who have a strategic role in the dissemination of innovation at school) on: didactic innovation, creativity and digital skills, computational thinking, digital content.

TheFoundation School of Cultural Heritage and Activities,established by MIC, was founded with the mission of valorising professionals working in the care and management of cultural heritage and activities, with it representing a training and research model of excellence of international standards in the areas of the protection, management and promotion of cultural heritage. The foundation has the “The School of Heritage” course which issues the title of High Specialization Diploma and Research in Cultural Heritage, corresponding to 150 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, valid and recognized within the European area. It also manages the International School of Cultural Heritage, a permanent laboratory dedicated to foreign professionals involved in the management of cultural heritage.

The system of Higher Education in Art, Music and Choreutics (AFAM)  ( is made up of state conservatories, academies of fine arts (state and non-state), former musical institutes promoted by local authorities, state academies of dance and drama, by the Higher State Institutes for Artistic Industries, as well as by other private institutions authorized by the Ministry of Education to issue legally recognised qualifications. The AFAM system is composed of a total of 100 institutions, of which 69 are public and 31 privates. Higher artistic and musical qualifications have a legal value equivalent to university qualifications. The data collected in 2020 show 344.850 first and second level graduates and 17.802 graduates under the AFAM system.

Providing quality access to creative environments

The main initiatives aimed at supporting, promoting and valorising youth talent and creativity in Italy are implemented at a national level by theDepartment of Youth Policies and Universal Civic Service,MIC and theMinistry of Educationthrough national and European funds, with the latter destined to the less developed southern regions.

TheDepartment of Youth Policies and Universal Civic Service, through the Fund for Youth Policies (See8.1), has financed and finances measures designed to promote the development of young talents and creativity through thememorandum of agreement of August 4 2021 (

  1. Sostegno ai giovani talenti” aimed at supporting young people between 18 and 35 in the expression of their talent and creativity, through initiatives that make it possible to valorise their experiences and skills, including in the field of technological innovation. The Call, with a funding of €2.5 million, financed the project proposals of 18 beneficiaries whose activities are currently being finalised.
  2. Orientamento e placement giovani talenti” (See1.7) aimed at promoting and supporting the job placement and self-entrepreneurship of young talents aged between 15 and 28 years through innovative orientation and placement initiatives that make it possible to acquire knowledge of all the available alternatives in the fields of education, training and professions. The Call, with an initial funding of €2 million and a subsequent further investment of €2.6 million, financed the project proposals of 33 beneficiaries whose activities are underway.
  3. Giovani per la valorizzazione dei beni pubblici 2018”, (See1.7) measure aimed at promoting private social projects aimed at young people in the territories of the «less developed regions (Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, Basilicata) aimed at both social inclusion and personal growth, promoting employability, activation, integration, inclusion and social innovation policies to be understood as a transformation technological economic management of services, spaces and public assets». The measure, which is part of thePiano di Azione e Coesione (PAC), was already adopted in 2013 with the funding of 507 beneficiaries and saw a refinancing in 2018 with a new public notice that approved 35 projects currently underway.
  4. Fermenti(See1.7) recent measure aimed at offering financial and technical support to build and implement youth entrepreneurship initiatives that respond to 5 social challenges identified as priorities, including the one on “Training and culture” which provides for the development of ideas designed to offer non-formal learning opportunities; strengthening of personal and social skills, critical and analytical thinking, creativity and the ability to solve problems as well as implementing actions for the protection and valorisation of cultural heritage.
  5. Sviluppo della creatività giovanile per la rigenerazione urbana”, a measure active since 2009 and financed with the National Fund for Youth Policies aimed at promoting youth creativity for the purpose of carrying out experimental projects on the theme of the regeneration of urban spaces, implemented thanks to the collaboration between the Department for Youth Policies and the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI). In ten years (from 2009 to 2019), the Fund has made it possible to carry out over 440 social innovation and regeneration projects and 23% of the funds have been directed to finance projects for youth creativity.

Per chi crea: is a program promoted by MIC and managed by theSocietà Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE) (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) which allocates 10% of the fees for “private copying” to support the creativity and cultural promotion of young people in the visual and performing arts sectors and multimedia, cinema, dance, book and reading, music, theatre. The measure provides for three lines of funding: 1) New works, or funding of artistic production projects aimed at the creation and promotion of unpublished works by young authors, artists, performers and performers under the age of 35 and resident in Italy; 2) Art residencies to support the creation of training-creative courses aimed at young authors, artists, performers and performers under the age of 35 and living in Italy; 3) Education and cultural promotion in schools for projects aimed at strengthening education and cultural promotion in public schools with particular attention to schools located in the “urban peripheries” In the three-year period 2016-2018, around €28 million were assigned to 927 winning projects. About 8 thousand young artists and 27 thousand students were actively involved. The submission period for 2019-2020 has been prolonged up to June 2021 due to the pandemic.

TheDirectorate General for Contemporary Creativity (DGCC) of the MIC carries out actions to promote and valorise contemporary art at an international level by encouraging the participation of young emerging artists through projects and awards created in collaboration with Italian cultural institutes. Among the important initiatives, there is theItalianCouncil, an international call to promote the production and dissemination of contemporary Italian creation in the field of visual arts, funding projects that involve the participation of artists in international events or that provide residencies abroad for artists, curators and critics or aimed at the realization of monographic exhibitions at foreign cultural institutions or editorial projects dedicated to Italian contemporary art.

Premio nazionale delle arti is an annual competition promoted by the Ministry of Education which promotes, through prizes and awards, the excellence of students enrolled in institutions and accredited courses of the AFAM system in the field of visual, digital and cinematographic arts, of the arts of entertainment, design and musical interpretation and composition. Each year a national winner is awarded for each artistic category.

Cultura Crea is a measure promoted by MIC, active since 2016, which supports the founding and growth of entrepreneurial and non-profit initiatives in the cultural, creative and tourism industry sector, which aim to valorise the cultural resources of the territory in the Regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily. The program, which is part of thePON Cultura e Sviluppo 2014-2020, provides for a subsidized interest-free loan and a non-repayable grant on eligible expenses, with an additional bonus for young people, women and businesses with a legality rating. According to the data collected in November 2018, the measure had a positive impact on employment with about 500 new work units of which more than 70% are women and young people under the age of 36, in line with the strategic aims of the Program. In October 2020, 279 companies were funded and €46 million were assigned. Considering that 55 million haven’t been spent, MIC decided to renew it on March 29th 2021, naming it Cutura Crea 2.0.

Piano Sud 2030: is a recent investment strategy of theMinistry for the South and Territorial Cohesionfor the revamping of the South of Italy, an action for the rehabilitation and development of cities set out as part of the 2020-2030 development plan in order to promote opportunities for aggregation and social integration for young people and for new job opportunities that could characterize the entire creativity chain. The action provides for the recovery of places o in the urban areas of the South where the use and production of culture takes place, starting from civil archives and libraries, theatres and conservatories, as well as supporting for youth orchestras. The document states that cities will be able to become “creativity factories”, through the recovery of urban complexes not used to attract and facilitate the settlement of artists. The interventions and methods of implementation for these lines of action are identified by MIC in partnership with the territories of the South and that have been confirmed and widened in the national budget for 2021.