How can we integrate art and culture into school life? What do principals and teachers require so that they can incorporate cultural education in daily instruction and get children excited about it? And what political conditions are needed to make this possible?
For many years a variety of organizations has worked hard to promote cultural education for children and young adults. In 2003 the Cultural Foundation of German States established the educational project “Children to Olympus!” which aims to establish cooperative ventures between the cultural sector and our most important educational institutions. However, cultural education is not yet ubiquitous in German schools today.
For this reason, school itself was the focus of the fifth annual “Children to Olympus!” congress. With its particular emphasis on praxis in everyday school life, the conference programme addressed the interests and concerns of school administrators, teachers, parents and school social workers. Furthermore, the congress expressly wished to reach out to state and municipal representatives, cultural organizations, artistic universities and organizations of cultural education – each in their role as potential partners to schools.
The congress was being coordinated by the Cultural Foundation of German States together with the Federal Cultural Foundation in the Bauhaus city of Dessau. The congress was supported in part by the PwC Foundation and the Federal Agency for Civic Education. The event took place in Saxony-Anhalt at the invitation of the State Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs.
Approximately 500 participants looked forward to two exciting days at Dessau’s famous cultural sites, such as the Anhalt Theatre, the Bauhaus Dessau and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz.
Oskar and the Penny Gang
As part of the congress, the Federal Cultural Foundation funded the children’s opera “Oskar und die Groschenbande” [Oskar and the Penny Gang] which was being developed by children and young people in the city of Dessau-Roßlau. The congress featured one scene from this major production, which premiered 2012 at the Kurt Weill Festival.
“Oskar und die Groschenbande” is a children’s opera
Musical director: Stefan Neubert
Director: Silke Wallstein
Mentor: André Bücker, general theatre director of the Anhalt Theatre in Dessau.