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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

Last update: 28 November 2023

1. Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture

Portugal Participatory Budget (Orçamento Participativo Portugal - OPP)

2017 marked the organization of the first Portugal Participatory Budget, a public funding initiative, from National Budget, from the Government that promoted a presentation of proposals by the citizens in several governmental areas, an encouragement of the participation in political and social life, in order to revitalise national and regional projects.

ÉS.CULTURA’18 - On national level one of the winning projects was «Culture for All», based on the principle of culture as a «fundamental pillar of education, feeling of belonging and integration of the individual in society». One of the measures of this project is ÉS.CULTURA’18 that guarantees the availability of free access to several cultural spaces and initiatives throughout an year for youths that turned 18 in 2018. This initiative is funded by the budget of each cultural equipment which integrates the network.

In 2018, the second edition of the Participatory Budget resulted in 8 winning projects for Culture. This edition featured a significant increase of the available budget, a total of €5M. The scope of action of the proposals was broadened to every governmental sectors. In this second edition, only one project was specific to young people - “ABC do Teatro” and intents the creation of a free children's theater school, covering youngsters from 7 to 16 years old. This school will be guided by young actors trained in theater, in collaboration with theater companies in the region of Lisbon.


Youth Participatory Budget (Orçamento Participativo Jovem - OPJovem)

Youth Participatory Budget (Youth OP) is a process of democratic participation in which citizens aged 14-30 years old can present and decide public investment projects throughout all the Portuguese territory, aiming to enhance the quality of democracy and greater involvement of young citizens in decision-making. Such as the Portugal Participatory Budget, this initiative is algo funded by National Budget.

The first edition, in 2017, had a total of 167 projects voted on (from more than 400 proposals submitted), divided into four thematic areas: inclusive sport; science education, social innovation and environmental sustainability. €300.000 was invested in 7 winning projects in the thematic areas of environmental sustainability, inclusive sport and science education.

In 2018, 7 winning projects from 232 proposals were voted on, related to the thematic areas of Inclusive Sports, Cultural Innovation, Environmental Sustainability and Intergenerational Dialogue.

The third edition (2019), with a total budget of €500.000, had 232 proposals on vote, with 7 winning projects in the thematic areas of environment and sustainable Development, Equality and Social inclusion and Formal and Non–Formal Education.



In order to promote the access to all citizens from an early age, the services within the Ministry of Culture provide a number of services and conditions that allow for a more accessible approach to the audiences.

Educational Services have been broadened within the services of the Ministry of Culture, in order to promote creativity, literacy and intergenerational and multicultural exchange between and to audiences, especially children and youth and school groups, in a more personalized approach to the communities.

The Regional Directorates for Culture, in collaboration with other services within the Ministry, promote awareness and dissemination of good practices for the defence and enhancement of the cultural heritage, through educational and training actions, and promote access to arts and culture creation and fruition, with a broad range of activities that are more focused and appropriate to the territorial contexts in which they intervene.

Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC) offers a set of special Tickets, including thematic or geographic related museum circuits, to promote universal access to Culture, ensuring free access or special fares, namely: 50% discount for bearers of the Youth Card, student Card and Family Ticket; free access for children under 12 yo and school visits. On Sundays, the access to all the equipment of the DGPC is free of charge for all national residents, until 2:00 p.m. (+ info).

Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema (CPMC) provides special access conditions to young audiences in movie sessions, including Youth Card and Student Card bearers, also offers free entrance to the exhibitions and develops the Cinemateca Júnior to the school audiences, with the aim to convey the early interest in cinematography.   

Teatro Nacional de S. Carlos (TNSC) promotes a large set of events with diverse discount typologies, namely in subscriptions (15 to 20% discount), single tickets (15% to 25% discount) and last minute purchases (special prices for specific rows). Additionally, through the ÉS.CULTURA’18 project, TNSC provides free access to performances to national and residents in the year they turn 18 years old.

Companhia Nacional de Bailado (CNB) offers special prices and discounts to schools (€3,00/ticket), to audiences under age 25 (25% discount), family subscriptions (50% discount),  (+info). Additionally, through the ÉS.CULTURA’18 project, CNB provides free access to performances to national and residents in the year they turn 18 years old. CNB regularly promotes campaigns of discounts when buying books of dance edited by the company.

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (TNDMII) promotes discount fares of 25% to under 30, 50% to family tickets, extended discount policy for underprivileged students (1€ tickets), as well as a 50% or higher discount in subscriptions. Young audiences also benefit from special fares to access the Theatre Bookstore (10% discount), Guided Tours (2€/student), Technical Tours, Library/Archive. The Special conditions to the educational community are also available, namely by supporting the schools trips to the Theatre.

Teatro Nacional S. João (TNSJ) provides 50% discount to Youth Card bearers, Family Tickets. It also provides School Visits and Dramatized Readings of plays that are part of the programme for basic and secondary schools; Masterclasses and Talks for schools groups and teachers, with the Director and Cast of TNSJ; Creative Workshops for children 6-12yo to stimulate their creativity inspired on the show in place. In addition to the abovementioned discounts, the TNSJ offers Theatre and Dancing School Cards, seeking to bring the school audience closer to the fields of Theatre and Dancing. This initiative already covers higher education establishments such as ESMAE, Balleteatro, Lusófona University and ESAP, and through this initiative students have a privileged access to performances. (+ info).

Direção-Geral do Livro, do Arquivo e das Bibliotecas (DGLAB) offers a set of free of charge services, including open and free access to the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (ANTT) and to the other archives of the network for all people over 18 with an ID card and a permanent or temporary Library Card; Online access to the database and collections in the care of the Rede de Arquivos DGLAB and download of any scanned document; Free of charge guided tours in the Archives and in permanent or temporary documental Exhibitions/showcases and to the António Pedro Vicente Museum Nucleous.

Additionally, through the ÉS.CULTURA’18 project, the same services provide free access to venues and events to national and residents in the year they turn 18.


2. Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

The information about access opportunities and facilities to cultural equipment is made available and promoted by the various responsible services within the Ministry. Information is provided on their websites and, in some cases, social networks, in particular Facebook and/or Instagram, about: Special conditions of access, free or with discount in the price of tickets; Different types of activities offered by educational services; Annual programme and events.

Additionally, Cultura Portugal, launched in 2018, and managed by GEPAC, is a dedicated website that aggregates information on Cultural activities promoted by the Services of the Ministry, and also provides information on other services and programmes. This website is funded by European Funds (Portugal 2020/Compete 2020).

The ÉS.CULTURA’18 Programme comprehends all the cultural venues and events that are provided to young national and residents that turn 18, with the participation of more than 70 entities (services within the Ministry of Culture, private entities and Municipalities) and over 400 venues/events available (as of September 2019). This website was funded by the Portugal Participatory Budget that is supported by National Budget.


Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

- A Collaboration protocol between the Direção-Geral da Educação (DGE) and the Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC) establishes the development of a number of joint events/initiatives in the field of Education for Cultural Heritage.

Of such activities we highlight the Intangible Heritage Collection Kit, an educational resource to raise awareness of young people to the need to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. The database is free to use and the goal is to be used in a school context in formative and educational activities promoted by other entities, particularly the Educational Services of Museums.

- The European Heritage Days are promoted annually by the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage in the framework of the celebrations of the European Heritage Days - an annual initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union that involves more than 50 countries with the goal to raise the citizens' awareness for the importance of safeguarding heritage as a witness of the past. Several initiatives within this programme are oriented to young audiences.

Torre do Tombo has a programme targeted at children and young people (TT para os mais novos), which intends to promote the dissemination of knowledge about historical and cultural sources of information that the archive provides. (+ info).

150 years of the Abolition of the Death Penalty Site: In Portugal, the Letter of Law of the Abolition of the Death Penalty received the honour of the European Heritage Label in 2015. The consecration of the Law of the Abolition of the Death Penalty in 1867 as a European Heritage Label, allows the DGLAB to contribute, especially among young people, to the promotion of the European Citizenship values and to contribute to the building of an identify based on the values of tolerance and respect for the Human life, according to the European Convention on Human Rights.


Educational Services at the Archives

Archives are institutions of research, culture and citizenship and can be seen as motors of cultural dynamism in the geographical areas in which they are located.

It is possible to visit the archives, either to get to know the buildings by their peculiar architectural characteristics, or to get in touch with the work done or to get to know the archival and photographic heritage in their care.

Guided study visits are organised by the entire network of archives dependent on DGLAB - national and regional. At Torre do Tombo, the visits can be thematically organised according to the audience they are intended, either schools, or for any type of organisation and association or even individuals who wish and are curious to get in touch with the reality of the archives.

Depending on the conditions and resources of each archive in the network, it may be possible to organise working sessions with groups of teachers .

The Portuguese Center for Photographie (CPF) has a programme guided tour targeted for children and young people with the objective of promoting the dissemination of knowledge concerning historical and cultural sources. Main topics are the headquarters as an antique prision; photographic information provide by the archive; the history regarding the writer Camilo Castelo Branco.