An Initiative by the Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Stiftung Mercator in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia
Participating in art and culture should be an integral part of every young person’s life, because today’s children will someday become active participants in tomorrow’s cultural scene. The programme "Culture Agents for Creative Schools", which began in the 2011/12 academic year, aims to stimulate children’s curiosity about the arts and teach them more about art and culture. The Culture Agents collaborate with pupils, teachers, principals, parents, artists and cultural institutions to develop a broad spectrum of cultural education projects and activities. The Culture Agents are responsible for carrying out artistic projects, experimenting with new educational formats, introducing processes for reflecting on artistic and cultural possibilities in schools, and forging long-term collaborations with cultural institutions.
This model programme enables museums, concert halls, libraries, theatres and cultural centres to establish contact with their future visitors and audiences. Consequently, cultural institutions and the artists associated with them are the central partners for this programme. The goal is to jointly search for new ways and possibilities for schools and their cultural partners to promote mutual accessibility and develop model cooperative projects. The programme is only sustainable if it encourages schools and the cultural institutions, with which they cooperate, to develop joint cultural programmes of their own. To this end, the facilitators at these institutions – teachers, artists, cultural professionals – are trained to ensure the quality of the artistic projects and create the structures necessary to maintain them. “Culture Agents for Creative Schools” is a model cultural education project with a supraregional and national impact. The programme adopts an innovative and exemplary approach unlike any other in Germany that goes beyond the scholastic framework.
2011 - 2015
A total of 46 Culture Agents began working at 138 schools in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia in the 2011/12 academic year. Their goal was to collaborate with pupils, teachers, principals, parents, artists and cultural institutions to develop a comprehensive cultural education programme and create the basis for long-term cooperation with cultural institutions. The Culture Agents were entrusted with supervising local networks of up to three schools for a period of four years. Both the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator allocated 10 million euros each to fund the programme “Culture Agents for Creative Schools” from 2010 to 2016. All of the participating states have pledged to co-finance the programme and are closely involved in its implementation.
2015 - 2019
The second phase of the programme began in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia in the 2015/16 academic year. The focus of the second phase is to reliably integrate the programme into the respective state-level structures and transfer the results collected during the model phase. The Culture Agents will continue fostering a network between schools, artists and cultural institutions so that art and culture become a fixed part of school life for as many pupils as possible. The goal of this phase is to continue anchoring the experience, instruments and knowledge gained during the model programme at the schools themselves and to share these results with other interested schools and cultural organisations. The Federal Cultural Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator have allocated 4.5 million euros each to finance the second phase of the programme.
Evaluation and Research
The main goal of the programme “Agents for Creative Schools” is to promote and establish long-term cooperative partnerships between cultural and educational organizations. The Federal Cultural Foundation and the Institute for Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim have organized an accompanying research/evaluation team to regularly investigate the progress these new collaborations are making. The objective is to carefully analyse and understand the conditions that are necessary for establishing successful partnerships between schools and cultural organizations.
The accompanying research project in the model programme “Agents for Creative Schools” is a cooperative venture between the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Institute for Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim.
Department of Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim
Sponsors and partners
“Culture Agents for Creative Schools” is coordinated by the non-profit organisation MUTIK gGmbH and financed by the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia. For more information, please visit the websites of the respective German states.