Programme ‘Backpack Full of Culture’
In 2012, the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports envisaged a pilot programme "Backpack (full) of Culture / Ruksak (pun) kulture", with the aim of supplementing the arts and culture curriculum in kindergartens, primary and high schools. The aim of the Programme was to bring artists and cultural events directly to children and youth in areas where these programmes are not easily available. Thus, making arts and culture more accessible to the younger generations, developing aesthetic culture, sensitizing children and youth for arts and culture and enabling pupils to encounter artistic and cultural works of high quality and professional standards.
The programme started officially with its work in 2013 and functioned under its original title until July 2016.
The Ministry of Culture would issue a yearly public call for the expression of interest for artists, artistic organisations and cultural NGOs to participate in this programme, while the Programme Committee would select the participating artists and/or organizations that would become part of the yearly programme. The Ministry of Culture provided financing for the selected programmes, while the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports was responsible for providing the network of schools that hosted the selected programmes. The Programme was oriented to children and youth from 3-18 years of age, while the artistic range of the programmes was rather wide – from performing arts, fine arts, film, cultural heritage to literature, especially programmes oriented to the promotion of reading.
In the period from its initial launch in 2013 until December 2015, there were over 100 artistic-educational programmes executed in 63 kindergartens, 125 primary schools, 10 high schools, 3 rehabilitation centres. 2863 children in kindergartens participated in the programme, 6835 primary school children and 1476 children in high schools, together with 120 children with special needs. In 2016, during three last months of the programme additional 25 programmes were executed in which additional 1576 children participated.
The Programme ‘Backpack Full of Culture’ was selected as a good practice example for the OMC Group on Key Competence 8 Cultural Awareness and Expression manual for cultural and artistic education, published in 2016.
In 2014 the budget of the programme was 1000000 HRK (approx.133.333EUR), while in 2015 and 2016 it was 500000 HRK (approx.66.666 EUR). The pilot programme was stopped in July 2016. However, a new version of the Programme under the title ‘Arts and Culture for the Young’ started in 2016.
The evaluation showed that such a programme was necessary for both kindergartens and primary and high schools, where the arts and cultural education programmes are not adequately present. This is especially relevant for those educational institutions that are dislocated (e.g. the islands, mountain regions etc.). The pilot programme served as an important step in developing the new Programme entitled ‘Arts and Culture for the Young’.