The Cultural Rucksack and other measures targeting different age groups
In November 2007, the Government presented a White Paper on a cultural policy for children and youth to the Parliament. The White Paper states that children and youth should have access to cultural activities in the same way as adults. The Cultural Walking Stick was established in 2007, and is a grant scheme for cultural activities for the elderly. Preparations are currently under way for launching a national grant scheme for cultural events in the workplace, as indicated by the White Paper on Culture, Inclusion and Participation from 2011.
The Government’s cultural policy for children and youth has a number of tools. The main policy instruments are the municipal schools of music and arts, the Norwegian Youth Festivals of Art, and the Cultural Rucksack. The Cultural Rucksack has been in existence since 2003, and is a national programme for culture and the arts for schools. It is at the core of the Government's policy of making culture and the arts available to all children and youth. It is intended to allow school pupils to become familiar with, understand and appreciate different forms of artistic and cultural expressions at the professional level. Other tools and measures are: Frifond (the allocation from Norsk Tipping, the state-owned gaming company, to voluntary work targeted at children and youth), the musical workshops scheme for jazz, rock, folk music and world music activities, the youth and student card giving discounts for cultural events, and grants for the purchase of musical instruments for school bands.
The figure provided below refers to the resourced allocated from 2007 through 2011.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
An independent evaluation of The Cultural Rucksack was carried out by the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education in 2006 and pointed to the need to clarify the division of responsibilities between the education and cultural sectors. These findings were addressed in the above-mentioned White Paper in 2007.
A three-year research project on The Cultural Rucksack is currently being carried out by Bergen University College and (The Stein Rokkan Centre for Social Studies at) the University of Bergen. The results will be presented in 2013. The implementation of the Cultural Walking Stick in the Municipality of Trondheim was evaluated by (the Research Centre for Health Promotion and Resources at) the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Sør-Trøndelag University College. The evaluation concludes that the Cultural Walking Stick scheme is highly appreciated by the elderly taking part in the activities, but that more research is needed on the relationship between health and culture.