Skip to main content

YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

On this page
  1. Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture
  2. Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
  3. Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture

In May 2008, the Government of the German-speaking Community ordered the development of a Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK). To do this, there was at first an in-depth situation analysis, which was published as the first volume of the Regional Development Concept in April 2009. The second volume of the Regional Development Concept, which was published simultaneously, contains the overall concept, the development strategy and identifies areas of action for the development of the German-speaking Community. As part of this overall concept, it is mentioned in the second volume that it is intended to permanently facilitate the access to cultural offers for all citizens. Explicitly for youth, it is also stated that it is intended to facilitate the access of youth to cultural offers, to support youth culture and to motivate young people to produce their own culture. Volumes three, four and five of the Regional Development Concept each deal with one specific implementation phase, every one of them corresponding to a legislative period, volume three corresponding to 2009-2014, volume four corresponding to 2014-2019 and volume five corresponding to 209-2024.

In volume three, culture was mainly dealt with in the project Living Borders (Grenzen leben). This project resulted in the Decree of 18 November 2013 on the Promotion of Culture in the German-speaking Community (Dekret vom 18. November 2013 zur Förderung der Kultur in der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft). This Decree basically provides structural funding for the different culture providers. In Article 22, there is also this specific provision:

“Special cultural projects are eligible if they:

1. have an innovative or exceptional character when measured against the applicant's normal activities;

2. have a regional or supra-regional impact;

3. demonstrate a content-related connection to the German-speaking community;

4. demonstrate sufficient audience orientation;

5. demonstrate sufficient quality characteristics in terms of content and subject matter with an independent artistic signature or orientation;

6. do not lead to duplicate offerings in the German-speaking Community;

7. have total costs of at least 1,000 euros.

 

The focus of funding is particularly on:

1. cultural projects in schools that sustainably stimulate cultural understanding and, in particular, the cultural creativity of the students and the school community;

2. cultural projects that aim to give disadvantaged population groups better access to cultural activities

The Decree also contains provisions funding the production of culture by young people between 14 and 30 years themselves (the so-called Kulturbeutel). In addition to the application form submitted, the young person must present their project idea to a jury, which is composed of three to seven young people and a member of the ministry staff. The maximum grant is 1.250€.  

Volume four of the Regional Development Concept considers youth a cross-sectoral topic. The project Culture in Focus (Kultur im Fokus) deals among others with cultural education. Cultural education contributes to the self-development of young people. It facilitates their acess to culture by teaching them different creative techniques und brings them closer to different kinds of culture. A part of cultural education is the programme Culture makes School (Kultur macht Schule). This promotion programme is fully financed by the Government of the German-speaking Community and takes place in all schools. Culture makes School is a yearly catalogue with a number of cultural offers. In order to be included into the catalogue, the culture provider needs to submit his project offer to the Ministry of the German-speaking Community. A jury of the Ministry will decide, if the offer fulfils the criteria. If so, the offer will be included into the catalogue. Schools of the German-speaking Community can then benefit from the cultural offer and the fees will be paid by the Government.

Volume five of the Regional Development Concept contains the project Future Competence Creativity (Zukunftskompetenz Kreativität). It will focus on the evaluation of Culture makes School and will also put an emphasis on out of school culture.

There is also the concept “Balltaxi”. This concept aims at offering young people a reduced fee for cab rides after special evening events. In November 2018, the Council of the German-speaking Youth (Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ) has been asked by the Minister for Youth to evaluate the effectiveness of the concept and to propose whether and how to continue it. Consequently, the Council of the German-speaking Youth set up the working group “Balltaxi”. The working group came to the conclusion that the concept should be renewed. Their proposal included the development of an app which is supposed to offer to young people the possibility to get a safe transport with neither much financial nor administrative burden. To make up for the very limited means of transportation in the rural south of the German-speaking Community, more leisure activities were intended to be included into the offer. The app should enable voluntary drivers and young people looking for a ride to communicate with one another so the young people can get a ride spontaneously, with low financial effort and safe. This concept has been presented to the Minister in July 2021.

A similar initiative is Cool-Tour. This initiative is organised and administered by the City Eupen. It has been launched in 2017. Every citizen of Eupen between 16 and 21 years can receive has Cool-Tour package. Every package includes three so-called “Juxis”, chips worth 5€ which can be used to pay for cab rides with the involved taxi companies.  Also, the package included culture ticket, granting more low priced access to specific events and concerts. The dedicated Cool-Tour facebook page also regularly promotes events and concerts where the culture tickets can be used. Cool-Tour was at first set for three years, that is to say 2017-2019, but the Cool-Tour packages were also offered for the same target group in 2020 and 2021.

Most of the culture providers, such as the museums or the cinemas offer discount systems for young people to make their cultural offer more affordable to them.

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

The Ministry advertises the provision in the Culture Makes the School programme by means of a catalogue, which is published new each year and distributed in all schools in the German-speaking Community. Over and above that, the provision can be viewed online (www.kulturmachtschule.be). This also applies to provision from the area of cultural heritage (www.ostbelgienlive.be, www.ostbelgienkulturerbe.be).

Also the professional cultural bodies, creative workshops etc. advertise their activities both online and via the print media (flyers, ads in local papers etc.)

Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

The local museums hold culture promotion activities for young people.

Apart from visits to some of the museums as part of Culture Makes the School, there are no particular measures or projects in this regard.