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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

The main policy instruments to ensure that all children and young people have access to a diversity of art and high-quality cultural experiences are:

  • Nationwide “culture schools”/municipal schools of music and the arts: By law all municipalities, alone or in collaboration with other municipalities, are required to have a school of music and the arts for children and young people. The cultural schools are both owned and run by the municipalities, and it is the municipalities themselves that determine the content and scope of the provision in their schools.
  • The Norwegian Youth Festivals of Art [Ung Kultur Møtes – UKM]: UKM arranges 400 local and 19 regional festivals every year all over Norway where young artists between the ages of 13 and 20 can perform and express their artistic vision. During the festivals, participants also attend workshops, where they can explore their interests and be inspired by the works of other artists. UKM is open to all artistic genres and methods of cultural expression like music, dance, theatre, circus, video, visual and digital art, photography, stage-technicians and journalists. The management system of the UKM is made up of a network that consists of municipalities, county councils, and UKM Norway which is an independent body funded by the Ministry of Culture.
  • The Cultural Schoolbag [Den Kulturelle Skolesekken] The Cultural Schoolbag programme is a national effort in which the cultural and education sectors cooperate in providing school pupils throughout the country with the opportunity to become acquainted with, understand and enjoy all forms of artistic and cultural expression at the professional level. In 2016 Arts for Young Audiences Norway [Kulturtanken] was given national responsibility for the programme, and today every pupil at primary and lower secondary school in the country is able to participate in the programme.  White Paper No. 8 (2007–2008) A Cultural Rucksack for the Future [Kulturell skolesekk for framtiden] sets out the principles for the development and implementation of the programme.

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities, a public information website aimed at youth aged 13 and 20 run by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs has a segment on youth culture .

The municipal schools of music and the arts, the Cultural Schoolbag [Den Kulturelle Skolesekken] programme and the Norwegian Youth Festivals of Art [Ung Kultur Møtes – UKM] described in section  8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation constitute the main policy instruments to reach young people with information and knowledge about opportunities to access cultural environments.

Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Arts Council Norway, which is the main governmental operator for the implementation of Norwegian cultural policy and fully funded by the Ministry of Culture, allocates grants for cultural heritage projects in which children and young people get the opportunity to learn about and appreciate history and national heritage. The aim is to better equip young people to encounter different cultural expressions with respect. Projects can include the active involvement of young people in collection, documentation, preservation and dissemination.

Various cultural heritage events are organised though the nationwide programme The Cultural Schoolbag [Den Kulturelle Skolesekken]. In this context ‘cultural heritage’ covers various disciplines and topics. It can refer to the art of storytelling, traditional handicrafts and cultural heritage management, as well as humanities disciplines like museology, history and ethnology. It also covers social science fields like social anthropology, sociology and human geography. Events organised through the programme may include guided tours, workshops, performances, lectures and guided walks.