Strategies for children’s and youth’s encounter with art and culture

Everything starts with children and young people. That’s why art and culture should be an integrated part of all children’s and young people’s life from a very early age.

Art and culture should be a part of children's and young people's life from a very early age. In an everyday life where an awful lot is individualized and measured against its visible and measurable utility value, we may overlook the real nature of art and culture. This is what creates cohesion, sparks reflection and insight and furthermore shapes the communities that make us who we are. One is shaped as a citizen and an equal participant in the community when experiencing art and in dialogue with others reflect on the experience.

“The strategies are an attempt to raise the children to a new level. Art functions in a way that affects us, moves us and sparks our interest or curiosity as people. Art makes us reflect and enter into dialogue about our society. For this reason, I believe that all children in a democracy shall have equal access to participate in that development.”
– Marianne Jelved, Minister for Culture

Reflection and knowledge on equal terms

Children live in a variety of circumstances and with different opportunities. But all children need adults who will help them be a part of communities where they will find the recognition and the sense of equality that every child needs to experience in the communities of which they are part. We are not only (financially) rational inside our heads. We are also emotional, intuitive, self-organizing and social.  In a highly individualized society, it is important to remember the community’s significance to the individual.

In order to put the strategies into play, a number of new initiatives and models of cooperation between e.g. schools, daycares and cultural institutions are being put into action.  All with the purpose of developing and strengthening the cultural activities and encounters with art available for children and youth. The initiative “Culture Suitcases” is an example of such initiatives aimed at children who have less access to art in their everyday life. The “Culture Suitcases” contain books, films and a pass that provides access to a range of local cultural activities. The initiatives target children in all age groups, from their cradle through to early adulthood.

The three strategies include initiatives such as:

  • Culture Suitcases
  • Supporting local cultural services
  • Developing best practice-catalogues
  • Establishing a digital platform for culture
  • A new and improved children and youth culture portal 

Taking on the task together

To implement the three strategies a total of 40 mio. kr has been pooled to initiatives designed to improve the access to, and the quality of, arts and cultural experiences available to children and youths. 

Read the strategies divided into age groups here: 

Strategy for pre-school children’s encounter with art and culture

Strategy for school children’s encounter with art and culture

Strategy for young people’s encounter with art and culture

photo: Mette Johnsen