8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation
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Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture
Public libraries provide young people under 18 with a free library card. It allows them to borrow books for free.
There are reduced fees for people under 26 years old.
Museums subsidised by the French-speaking Community are free for everybody the first Sunday of each month according to the decree of 3 May 2012 related to the recognition and the funding of museums and other museum institutions.
Since 1997, the Federal Museums are free on Wednesday afternoon.
Mobility for young people
The state demands free transportation for some categories of persons including young people according to the management contract (2008 - 2012) signed between the belgian state and the belgian train public transport SNCB. The appendice 12 details it.
Train is free for :
- young people under 6 years old accompanied by a person of 12 years old or more with a valid transport ticket. A person of 12 or more with a valid ticket may travel with 4 children under 6 years old ;
- young people from 6 to 12 accompanied by a person of 12 years old or more with a valid transport ticket except for week-end and public holidays. A person of 12 or more with a valid ticket may travel with 4 children under 6 years old;
Mobility for scouting movements
Since the 1st of March 2017, the bus network « TEC » is free for scouting movements during their activities according to the former Walloon Minister of Mobility’s office. 116 000 young people are affected by this measure. According to scouting Federations, each scouting federation has signed a partnership contract with the Walloon Transport Society (Société régionale wallonne du transport).
Public transportation are free on the Brussels network STIB for children under 12 years old. On the Walloon network the age limit is 6.
There are no agreement between scouting movements and the Belgian train network SNCB.
Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
- The General Administration of Culture has an official website « culture.be » which disseminates information about cultural events, jobs and internships in the cultural sector, news, work of associations funded by public services, etc.
- The “Wallonia Museum Homepage” gives virtual access to almost 500 museums in the French-speaking Community. It includes a database with all school activities or learning activities provided by the museums for young people. It was created in 2007 by the Cultural Heritage Service of the French-speaking Community. It is no more funded or updated.
- “Youth Theatre meetings” (rencontres Théatre jeune public) is an annual festival in Huy between Liège and Namur. It showcases around 30 youth theatre performances per year. The Youth service of the Liege Province organises this event. Many professionals or teachers attend this event to select the future shows to present to their pupils for the upcoming year.
Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people
In January 2017, around 100 pupils from 16 to 18 years old from 13 schools spread on the Belgian territory went to Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland with the Federal Minister of Defence. It is organised by the public body “War Veterans Institute” in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence. This annual commemoration aims at continuing Holocaust remembrance among youngster generations and to fight extremism.
It also took part in 2014-2015 to the European project “the train of 1000 – a European story on Remembrance” for the 70st anniversary of the Liberation. 1 000 young Europeans from Belgium visited Auschwitz for 5 days. It was organised by the ASBL Auschwitz Memory – Auschwitz Foundation (Mémoire d’Auschwitz - Fondation Auschwitz), the « Veteran Institute » (Institut des Vétérans) and the International Federation of Resistance (Fédération internationale des Résistants) with the supports of the European Commission, the 3 Regions, the 3 Communities, Provinces, private funds (Fondation Roi Baudouin, etc.), associations, etc.
As part of its missions, the “War Veterans Institute” must organise learning projects on the transmission of memory. It organises cultural visits, develops learning tools and exhibitions on memory transmission.
The War Veterans Institute is a Federal public body under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Defence.
French-speaking Community level
Some youth organisations, youth centres, cultural centres and museums organise on their own initiative activities to promote awareness of a country’s cultural heritage.