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Cultural policy, particularly when geared towards young people, calls on a number of different stakeholders who may either work separately or, on the other hand, closely together. The main bodies involved in advocating culture are the government departments and their devolved departments, public cultural institutions, local authorities and associations.
Two government departments are particularly active in drawing up and delivering cultural policy for all young people: the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of National Education and Youth through the DJEPVA - Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisations (Direction de jeunesse, de l’éducation populaire et de la vie associative) in particular (which is placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education). Although they may participate in different ways through different activities, a good number of these activities rely on a cross-government, complementary partnership.
Other government departments also get involved alongside the Ministry of Culture in crafting policies or specific initiatives aimed at certain groups of youths: the Ministry of Agriculture, which sets up schemes for students at rural agricultural schools, and the Ministry of Justice, which comes up with programmes for young prisoners.
Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture's overarching mission is to foster access to culture, the development and dissemination of cultural creation and to showcase French artistic creations. That said, the Ministry is not the only key stakeholder in youth policies – it contributes jointly to them with the other government departments concerned with developing creativity and cultural participation among children and young adults.
The Ministry of Culture is composed of a central administration, and has three types of institutions and decentralized services to carry out its action: the regional directorates of cultural affairs, public institutions and services with national competence.
Within the central administration, the Minister of Culture has authority over several large entities:
- The General Directorate of Heritage is divided into four departments: architecture, archives, museums and heritage. Its general mission is to protect cultural property through a policy of conservation and restoration of tangible and intangible heritage.
- The General Direction of the Artistic Creation defines the artistic policy concerning the plastic arts (painting, sculpture, etc.) and the live show (dance, music, theater).
- The Directorate General of Media and Cultural Industries (DGDMIC) conducts the Government's policy in the field of communication and media.
- The regional directorates of cultural affairs (DRAC) which are responsible for implementing, under the authority of the regional prefect and departmental prefects, the cultural policy defined by the government.
- the general delegation to the French language and languages of France's mission is the preservation and enhancement of French throughout the world.
The Ministry has a SCPCI - Service for the Coordination of Cultural Policies and Innovation (Service de la coordination des politiques culturelles et de l'innovation) attached to the General Secretariat (Secrétariat général), which is in charge of cultural democratisation and artistic and cultural education, as well as of developing cultural practices for different population groups including young people. The projects and policies initiated by the SCPCI are rolled out across the regions by the devolved departments: the DRACs - Regional Departments of Cultural Affairs (Directions régionales des affaires culturelles)
Under the authority of the Regional Prefect and Département-level Prefects, the latter departments have responsibility over the cultural policy defined by the Government within the Regions (local authority).
The regional directorates of cultural affairs (DRAC)
The DRAC play an important role in the implementation of cultural policies for youth at the local level. The DRAC especially intervene through partnerships with NGOs, cultural institutions and the Minsitry of national education.
They ensure the conduct of the actions of the State, develop cooperation with local authorities to whom they can provide their technical support. The regional cultural affairs departments ensure the coherence of the action carried out in its area by the national departments of the Ministry of Culture and the public institutions under that Ministry.
It should be noted that the DRACs do not all carry out the same cultural projects for young people, the latter depending on the territories
Ministry of National Education and Youth
Together with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of National Education contributes to schoolchildren's artistic and cultural education particularly through artistic teaching content as well as the promoting of art and culture to school groups.
DJEPVA - Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisations (Direction de jeunesse, de l’éducation populaire et de la vie associative)
The DJEPVA, which reports to the Ministry of National Education, plays a key role in promoting the associative initiative, especially in terms of non-formal education, by financially supporting associations and facilities that carry out cultural projects for young people. As such, the DJEPVA reaches out to a wide section of the public, beyond pupils and students alone, and (indirectly) supports a range of cultural youth projects.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
The Ministry of Agriculture is something of a forerunner in terms of cultural youth policy, if you consider that, since the 1960s, agricultural learning paths taught "sociocultural education" (ESC), a multidisciplinary approach stemming from Non-Formal Education whose learning outcomes are open-mindedness, developing an inquisitive mind and independent thinking in young people.
Associations form the cornerstones of cultural youth policy. They put the democratisation of culture into practice, by organising cultural activities and familiarising youngsters in cultural and artistic practices. There are more than 260,000 associations with a cultural purpose (for all audiences) in France.
Cultural associations play an active part in rolling out youth policies under partnership agreements and contracts with the State (government and devolved departments) and local authorities. They also develop their own cultural and artistic projects.
In France, local authorities (Municipalities, Regions and Départements) are instrumental in cultural initiatives, for they consider such initiatives to form a crucial part of local development while also contributing to social cohesion and territorial appeal. What is more, they can make choices at their respective levels, on the basis of their remit in terms of cultural policy:
- Managing and financing libraries,
- Managing museums and giving grants to cinemas,
- Developing artistic education,
- Watching over and preserving movable cultural objects which are listed as historical monuments,
- Preserving and showcasing archives and organising archaeological departments.
With regard to cultural youth policies, the local authorities carry out and can bolster activities developed by the State (government and devolved departments), but they can also develop cultural strategies specifically tailored to the reality of their local areas.
2.Organisation of responsibilities
The Ministry of Culture may well be the key impetus and decision-maker behind national cultural initiatives, but it does not have the monopoly over cultural policy for all that: local authorities and associations alike play an equally important role in putting together and carrying out cultural youth projects and can also develop their own strategies for action. Cultural policy is also based on a number of partnerships between these different operators, however, who work together in setting up and regulating cultural youth initiatives.
Cross-sectorial cooperation is put into practice through the joint implementation of cultural youth projects between different ministerial departments. This may entail partnership agreements or agreement protocols:
The agreement between the DRACs - Regional Departments of Cultural Affairs (Directions régionales des affaires culturelles) and DRAAFs - Regional Departments of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Directions Régionale de l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et la Forêt).
These culture/agriculture agreements have a long history, since the first agreement was signed on 17 July 1990. It had two key objectives: "facilitate creation, dissemination and cultural and artistic practice in rural areas" and "enable rural populations to personally get to grips with the benefits of showcasing their heritage…".
The DRAC and DRAAF have run a joint artistic and cultural education policy at regional level through the "culture-agriculture" agreement. Signed for a three-year period, the "culture-agriculture" agreement sets out to develop cultural action and artistic education in rural and peri-urban areas. It encourages cultural facilities and local authorities to get involved in artistic and cultural projects conducted with the public agricultural schools. Such projects are primarily organised in connection with sociocultural education.
The strategic objectives of the agreements include:
- Fostering cultural and artistic education,
- Promoting new forms of cultural mediation,
- Supporting cultural and artistic creation.
For example, the DRAAF (Regional Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Forestry) and DRAC (Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs) of the Occitanie region signed on July 12, 2019 a three-year agreement (2019-2022) which aims to promote cultural action in rural areas.
As part of this convention, several projects are and will be developed in Occitanie around contemporary dance, digital arts and photography.
The objective of the convention is to develop a shared strategy for the democratization and development of cultural action in rural and peri-urban areas with local authorities and actors.
The Ministry of Culture also conducts inter-sectoral co-operation with the Ministry of Education in the framework of educational continuity policies and artistic and cultural education (See 8.3 National Strategy on creativity and culture for young people).
These interministerial cooperations which also mobilize associations and state operators are concretized by the signing of agreements like the Local Contract of Artistic and Cultural Education (CLEAC).
Local Contracts of Artistic and Cultural Education (CLEAC).
CLEACs are essential levers of arts and cultural education policy, which is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Culture.
These are renewable 3-year contracts, signed at least between a municipality, the DRAC and the National Education. They allow to build a coherent course of artistic and cultural education for all young people.They can also address the entire population and help the development of cultural structures.
For example, the CLEAC implemented in the city of Tourcoing in the Hauts-de-France region consists of a scheme for raising awareness of art and culture for young people from 3 to 25 years old and educational actors.
The Cities of Roubaix and Tourcoing, the DRAC (Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs) as well as the Rectorate of the Lille Academy and the Departmental Services of National Education have joined to pool their resources in favor of cultural action in order to reduce the inequalities of access to art and culture..
Framework Convention Culture at the University
In accordance with the law (Code of education, article L.123-6) higher education institutions must implement university cultural policies. These cultural policies must be in line with the policies of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture can sign partnership agreements with the ministry in charge of higher education. However, these conventions are not systematic.These conventions respond to objectives of democratization to access culture. For example, they can commit to:
• "Intensify artistic and cultural practices of students and, more broadly, of the university community"
• "Strengthen exchanges between universities and their environment so as to make them places of culture "
• "Energize partnerships with arts and cultural institutions"
• "Valorize the architectural, scientific, technical, artistic, landscape and linguistic heritage of universities and promote the meeting between the university and artistic creation".
These conventions are multipartenarial and mobilize various public actors: the regional directorates of cultural affairs, the rectorates of academy of the universities, the universities, public operators of the university and the local authorities.