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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  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

National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts  (Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst LKCA)

LKCA works for everyone who is committed to education and participation in culture and arts, both within the education system and beyond. Anyone working in or involved with these sectors can benefit from the expertise and opportunities for active knowledge exchange that LKCA offers. This includes a wide range of people, like art teachers, internal culture coordinators and coaches, education officers within cultural institutions, policy officers, politicians, researchers, school managers, administrators in the education sector and in umbrella organizations for the amateur arts. Volunteers working in amateur arts can also consult LKCA for information.

The activities of LKCA are categorized under ten themes:

  • Renewing culture education by;
  • Promoting culture in post-secondary vocational education;
  • Renewing extracurricular culture education;
  • Stimulating culture in special needs education;
  • Programme Culture Education with Quality (Cultuureducatie met Kwaliteit)
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Connecting culture, care and welfare
  • Strengthening the voluntary sector
  • Programme Culture Participation (Cultuurparticipatie)
  • Supporting municipalities in developing policies

Prince Bernhard Culture Fund (Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds)

The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund supports culture, nature and science in the Netherlands. The fund stimulates special initiatives and talents with financial support, expertise, awards and scholarships in more than 3,700 projects each year.

Cultural Youth Pass (Culturele Jeugd Pas CJP)

CJP aims to introduce culture to all people from 18 to 30 years old. The organization encourages and inspires people to embrace culture by offering discounts on (film)festivals, concerts, theatres and museums. They promote cultural events by highlighting a careful selection in magazines, newsletters and on their website. For more than 60 years they have been organizing cultural events and working together with cultural partners.

Youth Fund Sport and Culture (Jeugdfonds Sport en Cultuur)

The foundation enables children of 4 to 18 years old from families with low budgets to attend lessons in the fields of arts and culture, and sports. A request for funding can be submitted by independent mediators, often professionals from local social service organizations who are already involved with the family.

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

Boekman Foundation (Boekmanstichting)

The Boekman Foudation is an institute for arts, culture and related policy. The institute collects, analyzes and disseminates data and information about the culture sector, and stimulates and facilitates the culture debate.

The Boekmans quarterly series of books about arts and sports, number 112 (autumn 2017, only in Dutch, not freely available, research by Maike Kooijmans) highlights the value of arts and sports in her article ‘De opgetelde waarde van sport, kunst en cultuur’ (The value of sport, arts and culture). According to the editorial, the worlds of sports and arts have many interfaces. Both are popular leisure time activities and both depend on volunteers. The editor argues that governments should combine forces. On a local level, themes like youth development, the social cohesion in neighborhoods, physical activities and finding purpose can be integrated and tackled in combined projects, wherein the participant is always central.

Cultural Participation Fund (Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie)

The Cultural Participation Fund promotes cultural participation. This fund’s principle is that everyone deserves the chance to be involved in culture in their own way. At school and in their free time. Cultural activities can be fun, bring people together and make stories visible. Culture shapes everyone. And vice versa: everyone, in whatever form, helps to shape culture.

Culture Connection (Cultuurconnectie)

Culture Connection is the branch organization for culture education, amateur arts and the work of volksuniversiteiten (people’s universities, see later on in this paragraph). Culture Connection wants to contribute to the future of culture education. The 143 members are: arts centers, volksuniversiteiten, schools of music and provincial support organizations for arts and culture. Together with and on behalf of the members, Culture Connection takes a stand and formulates solicited and unsolicited advice about various themes and topics.

The so-called Volksuniversiteiten (which translates into ‘people’s universities’) form the largest language institutes of the Netherlands, based on 75 locations throughout the country. Together they offer courses in more than 30 different languages. Apart from language courses, they offer a wide variety of courses on creativity, arts and culture, social and communication skills, man and society, food and drink, and many computer courses. The courses are accessible, instructive, versatile and affordable. The set-up is divers: there are large Volksuniversiteiten in the bigger cities with thousands of students, middle sized ones, and some in smaller towns and villages with a few hundred students.

Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Interest in archeology

As part of the latest evaluation of the Law on Archaeological Monuments care (Erfgoedwet), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science commissioned a quick scan about the visibility of archeology to the Dutch public. The quick scan ‘Inventarisatie publieksbereik archeologie in Nederland’ (only available in Dutch) was executed by SiRM and DSP-groep and was finished in 2021. The report describes that in 2014 31 percent of the 12 till 19 year olds visited a history or archeology museum in the year before and 9 percent of the young people in this age category visited an excavation. Both percentages are lower among young people than among children between 6 and 12 years old, but the museum visit percentage among young people is higher than in the total Dutch population of 6 years and older. Archeologists also observe less interest in archeology among youth and young adults than among children up to 11 years old.

Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, RCE) helps other parties to get the best out of Dutch heritage. The agency lists, preserves, develops (sustainably) and provides access to the most valuable heritages in the Netherlands. It is the link between policymakers, academics and practitioners, and provides advice, knowledge and information as well as performs certain statutory duties. One of the agency’s target groups is youth.

Two examples of their projects are:  

  • Mapping Archaeology

The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (RMO) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands have made a map of an archaeological time travel through the Netherlands, from prehistory (300,000 years ago) until and including the Second World war. Archaeology on the map (Archeologie op de kaart) shows the most interesting discoveries and locations in the Netherlands. Every map of each period is illustrated with photos, films, drawings and 3D-reconstructions. The application is a product of the RCE programme on Improvement activities in archaeology, that followed the evaluation of the Law on Archaeological Monuments care (Erfgoedwet) in 2011. Archaeology on the map mainly targets young people. The map offers easy access to the archaeological richness of Dutch soil and all the discoveries and stories that are part of it. The periods of Archaeology on the map are connected to the Canon of the Netherlands, an important reference in Dutch history education. The website of Archaeology on the map is meant for advances stages of primary education and the first years of secondary education. Teachers can use the website as reference, and students can find a wealth of information for their own projects.  

  • World famous in your own country

The outcome of an evaluation by order of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed RCE) in 2014 was to increase awareness about world heritage in the Netherlands. A baseline measurement (by Kantar Public) showed that the UNESCO World Heritage is not high on the agenda of Dutch people. 60% of young people in the Netherlands had never heard of it. A campaign was launched with the motto: ‘Our world heritage is world famous… Coming soon to the Netherlands’. There were television commercials, promotion on the Holiday Fair, new visitor centers were opened and touristic route markers were improved. A small mobile home went on tour with twenty souvenirs designed by students of various design colleges. Two years later, at the end of 2016, the follow up research showed that 84% of Dutch people of 18 years and up had then heard of world heritage (which was 79% in 2014), 1 in 3 people saw the campaign on television and more teachers talked about world heritage in school. More results are shown in these infographics.