Access to art and culture for children and young people
A steering group established in August 2012 by the Ministry of Education and Culture formulated a proposal for a children’s culture policy programme for the years 2014–2018. The programme proposal promoted the goal of supporting the right of all children to access art and culture by strengthening the status and operating conditions of children’s culture, as stated in the government programme. http://www.minedu.fi/export/sites/default/OPM/Julkaisut/2014/liitteet/tr10.pdf?lang=fi .
The latest programme of the Finnish Government (May 2015) comprises of five strategic priorities and 26 key projects. Key projects on the field of “Knowledge and education” include among others a project on promoting access to art and culture for children and young people. See more: http://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/sipila/government-programme
The main aim of this key project is to provide every child and youth with a possibility to actively participate frequently in art and cultural life. The idea is to integrate art and cultural actors/institutions/schools with primary schools so that part of the activities can be carried out during or after school days in school premises.
The problem is that childrens’ access to culture varies a lot depending on the region/area they are living in. There is a rich supply of cultural activities provided to children and young people in big cities and urban areas but hardly nothing in villages in the countryside.
The process has been started by sending a questionnaire to all lower and higher level comprehensive schools where the students are supposed to answer to the questionnaire asking what arts and cultural activities they would like to participate in their leasure time/after school hours. Close to 120,000 children participated in the survey. On the basis of this, local artists and arts institutions or children cultural centres will then be provided with funding so that activities will be organised in the regions. New recreational classes will be established, based on the pupils’ wishes.
See objectives above.
The Ministry of Education and Culture and Arts Promotion Centre Finland finance children’s culture with some 2 million euro annually. For the Government key project on access to art and culture, there is some 8 million euros reserved for the years 2016-2018.