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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Cyprus

Cyprus

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

As already mentioned, the Youth Board of Cyprus runs the ''Youth Initiatives'' funding scheme which subsidizes young people and youth NGO’s, youth clubs and local youth councils to utilise their own projects in different areas. Three of those areas are: Cultural Interventions, Innovation and Creativity Projects and Book Publishing. According to the funded projects, cultural events seem to prevail young people’s activity. Specifically, 32% of the actions funded in 2020 concerned cultural activities (109 funded projects out of 344 successful applications). Moreover, in an effort to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Youth Board announced a new funding scheme for young people and youth organisations entitled “ReCOVer20”. Around 30% of the funded projects concerned cultural activities (26 out of 86 approved projects). The above data is available at the Youth Board’s website.

Also, one place promoting specifically the access of young people to culture is the Foundation for Cultural Creation for Children and Youth (Ίδρυμα Πολιτιστικής Δημιουργίας για Παιδιά και Νέους) established by the Ministry of Education and hosted by the Municipality of Larnaca. The key objectives of the Foundation, as appearing in UNESCO’s website, is to create the conditions for artistic creation amongst young people regardless their origin and their economic capacity, to promote creativity and encourage access to culture for youth, while at the same time fostering intercultural dialogue and safeguarding cultural identity.

Theatrical Organization of Cyprus (THOC) has the programme “Valitsa” Theatre, which gives the opportunity to young people under 18, who cannot visit the theatre, to watch performances at their place. It also has the program “Scene 0-18” (Σκηνή 0-18), which offers performances specifically for this age group. For young people under 25 years, THOC is offering reduced ticket price (for THOC’s productions), as well as organized visits to their buildings with an educational program for theatre evaluation. Τhere are also some other programmes, such as “Thimeli”, which are not specifically for young people but young people can also benefit from them.

Furthermore, the Department of Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth offers various funding opportunities to either professionals in the field, NGO’s, local authorities or general public, such as:

- "Popular Culture", Scheme for supporting Activities for the conservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Traditional Tourism

- "Visual Arts" Scheme for supporting Visual Arts and Development

- "Cinema" Scheme for supporting Cinema Activities, Cinema Education and Training

- "Music" Scheme for supporting Activities for Music Development

- "Literature" Scheme for supporting Literary and writing Activities

- "Dance" Scheme for supporting Activities in the field of Dancing

- "Theatre" Scheme for supporting of the Theatre Creation and Development

- “Support for Cultural Activities of Religious Groups” Scheme

The Department of Theatre Development of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation, has been engaged since its establishment in 1979 in ways and projects that broaden and promote theatre activity in Cyprus, in cooperation with other bodies and social groups.

The main activities of the Department of Theatre Development are the following:

  • Subsidisation of performances by theatre companies which are active in Cyprus;
  • School theatre – Organisation of the Pancyprian Theatre School Games and workshops for teachers;
  • Amateur theatre – Organisation of the Pancyprian Festival of Amateur Theatre;
  • Organisation of Masterclasses for various theatre disciplines;
  • Collaboration with non-governmental organisations and groups for the promotion of activities for theatre;
  • Financial support of organised groups that have among their objectives the development of theatre (Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute, Actors Union of Cyprus, Cyprus Playwrights Society etc.);
  • Provision of information to prospective students, parents, professionals, organisations interested in the theatre in Cyprus, educational institutions, organised groups etc.

It should be noted that due to the lockdown and the restrictive measures for the Covid-19 pandemic, several festivals and cultural activities had to be postponed or cancelled.  In an effort to support art workers and the cultural sector in general, the Council of Ministers decided the following measures:

  • Artists (including young ones) were supported by a lamp sum amounting to €1.500.
  •  Cultural NGOs received a subsidy based on certain criteria of up to €20.000.​​​​​​​
  • Further support was allocated to the programme “Culture”. ​​​​​​​
  • Support to theatrical producers and operators through “Thymeli” Programme up to €5.000.

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

The main information provider to young people in Cyprus are the Youth Information Centres operated by the Youth Board of Cyprus. Therefore, information on cultural opportunities is disseminated through the Centres who are located in every city of the non-occupied part of the island. To reach out to all young persons, the Centres collaborate with the local schools, clubs and authorities who also run cultural services departments. Moreover, the YIC act as multipliers of Eurodesk Cyprus (also run by the Youth Board of Cyprus) which is responsible for the European Youth Portal, thus disseminating youth targeted information on cultural opportunities and initiatives online.

The Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth have also initiated the Portal of Cultural Information programme which is incorporated in the creation of a national network of cultural information. The Portal presents artists’ profile, their creative works and covers the areas of Visual Arts, Cinematography, Music, Writing and Performing Arts.

There is also the Cyprus Music Information Centre (CyMIC) established in 2008 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation with the aim to become the primary provider of specialized information, publications and music scores about the whole range of Cyprus music.

Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth either through the educational system or through the Cultural Services Department promotes awareness of the national and European cultural heritage.  As of 1st January 2011, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth participates in the Cultural Routes programme of the Council of Europe and the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) of the Council of Europe established in April 2011. 

In 2017, Cyprus and Denmark hosted the European Capital of Culture institution. Aarhus was the city in Denmark that shared the title with Pafos in 2017. The management committee of the European Capital of Culture competition in Cyprus was the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth of the Republic of Cyprus. The Programme of Events of Pafos2017 was built around three basic themed programme lines: Myth and Religion, World Travellers and Stages of the Future. The Cultural Services promoted a large number of activities in the domain of Popular Culture.  

Several actions for raising awareness on cultural heritage take place in the context of formal education as well. The 42th Pancyprian Symposium ASPnet took place between 4th and 5th of April, 2019 at Omodos, with the participation of about 300 students and teachers of Primary and Secondary Education from schools in Cyprus and Greece. The subject of the symposium was "Cultural Heritage: knowledge, development, evolution". During the workshops, students had the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of lesser-known aspects of cultural heritage, to develop skills for its preservation and to experience alternative methods of learning, personal development and active participation in the community.

The Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO operates under the supervision of the State as exercised by the Minister of Education and Culture through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth provides the Commission with funding for its organizational needs and the promotion of its programmes. The Commission actively promotes the implementation of the UNESCO Conventions and Programmes in Cyprus in conjunction with all Ministries and Government Services, as well as with Non-Governmental Organisations the activities of which are related to those of UNESCO, in other words, education, culture, social studies and humanities, natural studies and communication and information.

The Cyprus Research Centre (C.R.C.) was founded in 1964 with the aim of enabling Cypriot and overseas scholars to research the history and civilisation of Cyprus and to have the conclusions of the relevant research published on a systematic basis. The C.R.C. has a specialised library covering the history and civilisation not only of Cyprus but also that of Greece, Europe and the Middle East in general.

There is also a Creative Europe Desk in Cyprus aiming at providing assistance to cultural and creative agencies regarding the Creative Europe Programme. The Desks are designed to: - Provide information about and promote the Creative Europe programme in their country; - Assist the cultural and creative sectors in relation to the programme and provide basic information on other support opportunities; - Stimulate cross-border cooperation within the cultural and creative sectors; - Provide assistance regarding the cultural and creative sectors in participating countries; - Support the Commission in ensuring proper communication and dissemination of the results and impacts of the programme; - Ensure the communication and dissemination of information concerning funding awarded to and results in a participating country.