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In the last few years, mainly since the roll-out of all-day schools, various political strategies and funding initiatives have aimed to get schools, cultural education providers and cultural bodies to work together to create more and better cultural education opportunities for children and young people (see the position paper of the general meeting of the German Federation for Cultural Youth Education [Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung] dated March 2015 “Cultural education is coproduction – Developing extra-curricular and school cultural education effectively” [Kulturelle Bildung ist Koproduktion. Außerschulische und schulische Kulturelle Bildung wirksam entfalten]).
Corresponding strategies and programmes have already been described under Administration and governance > National strategy on creativity and culture for young people, Promoting culture and cultural participation, Developing cultural and creative competences. So far there are no comprehensive evaluations or data sources to support the effectiveness of these partnerships.
There are few strategies in place to ensure that programmes für cultural education are coordinated by several /different ministries and authorities. No formal agreements exist at federal (national) level to create synergies by cross-sectorial cooperation or coordinating programmes and projects. They are only found when federal states or local communities have overall concepts – i.e. strategies – in place to organise the necessary collaboration and dialogue. See Administration and Governance > Cross-sectorial cooperation.
Given that cultural education for children and young people is an integral element of youth work in Germany, partnerships between the culture sector and the youth work field are common. Very often organisations and institutions work together at the local level, e.g., youth work organisations with theatres, museums, film-makers or artists. The respective cultural and youth umbrella organisations are represented at federal level in the German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (Bundesvereinigung kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung e.V.) and the German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat e.V.).
A nationwide programme exists to promote collaboration between as many different partners as possible:
- Culture builds strength – Alliances for education (Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung) The federal government’s (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) special programme Culture builds strength – Alliances for education (Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung), which initially ran from 2013 to 2017 and has now been extended from 2018 to 2022, supports local alliances for cultural education across Germany. Under such alliances, various local stakeholders (such as music groups, sports clubs, foundations, libraries, theatre and youth groups and schools/child day care centres) join forces to provide extracurricular programmes in various areas of cultural education to educationally disadvantaged children. The programme aims to further opportunities for cultural education as well as to establish a strong network of education stakeholders at local level for cultural education. The programme is implemented by 35 national associations and initiatives for culture and extracurricular nonformal education. See also National strategy on creativity and culture for young people (Nationale Strategie zu Kreativität und Kultur für Jugendliche).
Partnerships between schools, culture and creative sectors, and youth work
While it is not unusual for the culture and youth sectors to work together in Germany, further efforts have been undertaken to promote collaboration between the culture and youth fields and schools. Here are some examples at federal state level:
- Hessen: The Office for Cultural Education (Büro Kulturelle Bildung) of the Hessian Ministry of Cultural Affairs (Hessisches Kultusministerium) supports and networks schools who place particular emphasis on cultural education (e.g., musical primary schools, schools with an emphasis on music, culture schools [KulturSchulen]), helps other schools that are looking to establish a cultural profile, offers its own state-wide programme to improve lesson quality (“creative lesson practice”) for all types of schools, funds artistic projects by pupils, advises and helps schools on working with artists, and cooperates with cultural education institutions and associations in Hesse. The pilot project “Culture case” (Kulturkoffer), funded by the Hessian Ministry for Science and Art (Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, HMWK), seeks to roll out cultural education across the state so that all young people in Hesse, regardless of their ethnic origin, place of residence or socioeconomic background, have access to art and culture.
- North Rhine-Westphalia:The state government runs funding initiatives and targeted projects - especially in the youth and culture fields and in schools - to promote the ongoing expansion of cultural education (Kulturelle Bildung) in North Rhine-Westphalia. In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state ministries responsible for youth, culture and education have formed a jointly financed office of cultural education NRW (Arbeitsstelle Kulturelle Bildung NRW). The office advises and supports local authorities, schools and youth work facilities in designing cultural education activities for all young people and in networking effectively at the local level. It also helps communities and districts across the state to expand their general concepts for cultural education.
- Brandenburg: In 2011 Brandenburg launched a cultural education concept to strengthen and bring together existing organisations, introduce cultural activities in schools, and adopt a law specifically for youth art schools, which hitherto was part of the state“s legislation on music schools. Also in 2011 Brandenburg launched the online platform for cultural education providers (Plattform Kulturelle Bildung Brandenburg). The platform helps actors and potential partners to link up, assists them in launching projects, advises them on funding opportunities, and offers training and networking services.
- Baden-Württemberg: The state-wide pilot project Cultural school 2020 Baden-Württemberg (Landesprogramm Kulturschule 2020 Baden-Württemberg) was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Karl Schlecht Foundation. Ten schools are affiliated with the programme, each of which receive an annual grant of 10,000 euros for five years so they can expand their cultural profile. The schools use a “culture roadmap” (Kulturfahrplan) that guides them through this process. Based on their projects, a collection of best educational practices will be drawn up for use in other schools across the state.