The commitments of the President of the Republic to make the consideration of youth one of the priorities of the quinquennium call today the elaboration of a National Arts and Cultural Education Project: “for access to art and culture for all young people.”
In a highly transformed social, economic, demographic and technological environment, the policy of young people’s access to art and culture needs to be reformulated. This is why the Ministry of Culture and Communication, in conjunction with the Ministry of National Education, was asked to implement this national project with the other ministries concerned (youth, sports and community life, higher education and research, agriculture), in close collaboration with local and regional authorities.
The reflection undertaken within the framework of the consultation on the recasting of the School has generated very positive reactions and a strong expectation. Because art and culture are powerful vectors of individual emancipation and social integration, the School must help students discover the variety of cultural riches and, even more, awaken their artistic sensibility and creativity.
The choices proposed by the steering committee of the consultation on the recasting of the School have drawn the first outlines of a renewed ambition assigned to arts and cultural education. It is now necessary to discuss it from a broader perspective, in order to achieve the generalization of young people’s access to art and culture in the next five years.
The consultations highlighted the importance of “out-of-school time” and the different ways in which young people can access arts and culture. Arts and cultural education must therefore take into account all the different times of the child in his territory of life in order to consider the various modes of appropriation of culture that are now available to young people according to their age (educational provision of cultural structures, associative life, specialized teaching in conservatories, etc.) It must also integrate the developments introduced by digital technology, both in creative practices and in access to the cultural offer and to associate the action deployed in favour of young people in specific situation (city policy, disability, youth under the control of justice, ...). All ages of youth must be considered, from early childhood to university, beyond the strict framework of compulsory schooling.
The time has come to favour a territorial approach to arts and cultural education, based on the practices and experience of the territories. The structuring role of local and regional authorities, as part of the educational and cultural policies they develop, is an essential lever to combine educational ambition with the objectives of cultural development and social cohesion of the territories.
The generalization of arts and cultural education now requires an organized and cooperative mobilization of all partners. Without imposing a single model, it is necessary to make more visible the initiatives remarkably developed by actors whose involvement is very strong to disseminate them more widely and to ensure that no territory, no young public is deprived of them.