Youth & Cultural Heritage – the pioneering projects of IBC Emilia Romagna

Youth & Cultural Heritage – the pioneering projects of IBC Emilia Romagna

The Institute for Cultural Heritage – Istituto per i beni artistici, culturali e naturali (IBC)of the Emilia Romagna Region, founded in 1974, operates as an advising body for the regional government and local authorities in policy making related to cultural heritage. It promotes projects in the field of architectural and environmental heritage, museums, libraries and hierarchies, for different purposes: restoration, protection, enhancement and enjoyment of cultural heritage.

The IBC Emilia Romagna has been developing best practices in youth engagement to the enhancement and management of cultural heritage goods, involving both schools and young associations.

We interviewed Valentina Galloni, coordinator of the pioneering project “I love cultural heritage”.

How the project “I love cultural heritage” works and how does it fit with the IBC’s activities

In Emilia Romagna, The Institute for Cultural Heritage has adopted a new policy to actively engage youth to their local cultural heritage. This policy is realized through two already consolidated initiatives: one devolved to youth cultural agencies of the region – the “Youth for the Region” contest – and the other – the contest “I love cultural heritage” – aimed at targeting students in schools.

The “I love cultural heritage” starts in 2011 to ensure the regional reach to a European project, where at the time IBC was a partner, called “Acqueduct”. The aim of the project was to train teachers and cultural institutions’ operators to understand the value and the importance of cultural heritage as a vital tool to spread key transversal competences to students. Those competences, as established by the Panel of Reference adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2006, are: learn to learn, social and civic competences, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit, and cultural expressions and consciousness. In order to effectively meet those goals, several pilot projects started in partner countries in collaboration with schools and cultural institutions actively involving students. Given the effective methodology employed and the successful results achieved by students, a new regional initiative has been envisioned by IBC. This is how “I love cultural heritage” came to life,  encouraging every year new schools to join the partnership together with museums, libraries and archives, and to present a project adding value to local institutions and/or cultural assets. The active students’ involvement and the development of transversal competences are themselves two key goals of the project.

Which are the projects’ evaluation criteria? Which supporting activities IBC offered in addition to funding, if any?

For the projects’ evaluation we use the following criteria: innovation and originality of the project proposal and communication; clarity and coherence in its articulation; the active participation of students in its implementation; the capacity and modality of schools and other local stakeholders’ engagement; the proposal reproducibility in other scholastic contexts or museums, and libraries. Thus, we support the project not only financially but also in terms of training, documenting and promotion. The referents take part in meetings with initiative’s coordinators, with those who previously implemented projects and with the MOdE’s – Museo Officina dell’Educazione dell’Università di Bologna – professors, for what concerns the documentation and the evaluation of the projects. At the end of every year, results are collected, published, and spread in affiliated websites, in as much they can inspire future projects; they will be further presented by the same students in the final conference.

Which are the main innovations introduced by students in the project’s partners institutions?

During these years, students have achieved extremely original and innovative projects: board games, eBooks, audio guides, videos, interactive and emotional maps, bas-reliefs, design objects, xylographies, didactical routes, web sites, promotional projects for tourism, virtual reconstructions, catalogues and exhibitions, monitoring attentively every phase of the process.

Many projects connect students coming from different schools linking their different competences to reach a shared goal. For example, in a recent project students made a short film to highlight the value of some paintings hosted in a museum: students from high school not only acquired knowledge in various disciples (e.g. art, history, cinema etc.) but also developed the new competences like film-making, writing and acting. Older students from a cinematographic institute helped and guided them in this venture; students from fashion school crafted their costumes while students from art school helped with the scenography of the movie.

Which are project’s main objectives achieved? And which the main criticisms?

The different editions of the contest involved thousands of students who have worked with hundreds of cultural institutions, organizations and associations from all over the region. Museums, archives and libraries are the institutions where students work as a group, learn, create, play and make use of their learned competencies and their talents; each one of them is given the possibility to have an active role in the achievements of a cultural project; each one understands the role he or she can have in taking care of a cultural asset and how this can impact future generations. Students have the possibility to actively experiment the museum, the archive and the library as areas for active learning. Here they can develop new forms of communication to enhance their cultural heritage’s value. Now other cultural institutions are involved as well: initially the project was designed only for museum, later on archives and libraries were involved too. The funded projects have increased (currently 20) as well as the funds allocated for each project (at the moment 4000 euros: 2000 for the school and 2000 to the cultural institution).

Some criticisms are due to the fact that these activities are extremely challenging, since they develop through the whole academic year. Therefore, they require commitment and energy in task accomplishment and organization between the different involved actors. Nevertheless, the overall evaluation is very positive and enthusiastic from the part of the students.

Over the years, also a project called “Youth for the Region” has been developed. What are the objectives and results obtained up to date?

In this case as well, the main objective lies in the active involvement of the youth, in order to create new forms of management and communication of cultural assets. Youth associations are invited to partner up with agency, possibly owner of a cultural good, to present an innovative project with regard to the governance of the asset.

Each year, several projects compete in the contest and, in order to select the 10 best projects, the criteria employed are among inventiveness, active participation and capacity to involve the entire local community. Moreover, a necessary condition for the admission is to receive either from the respective agency or from a third subject, a contribution of at least 2000 euros. As a matter of fact, the capacity to attract new resources is ultimately considered a further the criteria. Each project financed with a 10.000 euros funding, is further monitored and followed up by the Institute for Cultural Heritage becoming example for next projects.

These projects represents occasions to research and to collect historic material, to learn how to use new technologies, to strengthen the link between cultural assets and the surrounding landscape, to give new inputs and awareness to the local community about the importance of cultural heritage. They foster civic engagement in cultural heritage commons’ management, fostering social inclusion and job retrieval.

The participation to the contest can constitute an impulse for some associations, evolving them from start-ups into concrete realities; for others, it has been an occasion to value and acquire recognition for their own work while enlarging the local partners.

As demonstrated with these projects, Culture & Participation are key part of the IBC mission and activities at the cutting edge of in the current debate. Which are the main obstacles encountered? And which the potentialities still to experiment?

Unfortunately, students are often committed to other activities which obstacles the possibility to make a real job from these projects. They should be supported more and for a longer period. A public – private partnership should be promoted to create a financial system to support their activity.


Participation &/in Culture: trends, debates and next events

Participation &/in Culture: trends, debates and next events

On April 18-20 Aarhus University, Denmark, hosted the international conference “Cultures of participation. Arts, digital media and politics”, organized by the Take Part research network on cultural participation. The conference aimed at presenting and discussing how participatory approaches are declined within both physical and virtual contexts, like cultural institutions and digital media platforms, urban spaces, artistic production, architectural design. It dealt with three main themes: 1) Participatory art & aesthetics, 2) Digital media & technology, 3) Cultural policy & participation.

In this context, LabGov participated, with its co-founder Christian Iaione together with Maria Elena Santagati, in the session that provided a reconstruction of the Italian context and initiatives, presenting the experience of the LabGov’s project Co-Rome promoting the participatory governance of cultural heritage in the framework of the Faro Convention, with a focus on the urban commons implemented in the Centocelle’s Archaeological Park in Rome


120 participants from all over the world had the opportunity to attend the three keynote speeches by Lisanne Gibson (School of Museum Studies-University of Leicester) “Museums and participation – Who goes… (and who doesn’t?)”, by Shannon Jackson (University of California, Berkeley) “Civic re-enactment and public re-assembly”, and by Zizi Papacharissi (University of Illinois-Chicago) “Affective publics: news storytelling, sentiment and Twitter”. The first one–starting from a recent study conducted in the UK showing that museum visitors are just a minority of the population (8.7%) who engage with State funded cultural activities–calls for a rethinking of museum practice and role to enhance the citizens’ interest and participation starting from the idea that “Museum can function as places where people can explore their own identities in relation to others, to reflect on how people are different and how they are the same” (Mark O’Neill, 2006: 109). The second one–based on the UC-Berkeley’s research platform on Public (Re) Assembly and the work of Aaron Landsman and Paul Ramirez Jonas–investigated the re-enactment in civic processes. The third one discussed about the concept of affective publics, the role and meaning of social media for the Arab Spring and occupy movements, together with data from recent studies by the University of Illinois at Chicago explaining the relevance of the platform for contemporary news storytelling, framing, and gate-keeping.

A range of sessions provided different perspectives on the topic of participation in culture through the lenses of different disciplines, reflecting the ongoing practices trends across Europe and beyond, including digitized cultural institutions and experiences, participatory art, policies of participation, measurement and valuation of cultural participation, cultural activism, methods for engaging communities in cultural production, arts&media platform, spaces for civic participation, urban and public space, participatory management of cultural institutions, technological transformations, and (non)participation. With respect to participation in policy and management, the session concerning the European Capitals of Culture provided useful considerations emerging from a study on ECOC projects revealing that most of them had an instrumental approach to the participation instead of providing a base for participatory governance (Szilvia Nagy). The session also stressed the need of rethinking the participation with regards to the experience of Aarhus 2017 based on the Rethinking participation Report  (Leila Jankovich and Louise Ejgod Hansen), shared an analysis of arts carnivals programmes and participation within Capitals of culture in UK (Angela Chapell), and, finally, displayed a very interesting project “2025€ x 2025”, concerning participatory projects for Dresden ECOC candidate city for 2025, including one based on the “table-theatre” method (Valentina Mercenaro).

With regard to participation in culture policy-making, interesting inputs were raised from: a critical perspective on Iceland’s official cultural policy and its confusing aesthetic of involvement (Njourour Sigurjonsson); an interesting critical analysis of newly rooted participatory cultural institutions in Poland (Marcin Poprawski); a case study of Leeds cultural policy making as a democratic space (Malaika Cunningham and Elysia Lechelt); and a reflection about cultural participation as a narrative in the German cultural policy (Claudia Steigerwald). Finally, another case treated the challenge of participatory management at the School-Museum of Pusol within the SoMus-Society in the museum project (Lorena Sancho Querol, Rafael Martinez Garci and José Martinez Jurado).

Meanwhile, on April 18th, the European Union published the final report of the OMC working group on “Participatory governance of cultural heritage”, containing both operational and policy recommendations. Moreover, within the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the European Cultural Heritage Summit will take place in Berlin on June 198h-24nd, with the slogan “Sharing heritage-Sharing values”. Among the next interesting meetings and events, some concern participatory issues like: the conference “Cultural heritage communities and audiences in today’s digital environment” dedicated to digital technologies and cultural heritage; the conference “Sharing as a chance. Private initiatives and cultural heritage”: “People want to participate in heritage and be involved in decision processes. It should no longer be a specific task of experts to decide about the future of our heritage but of all those who are engaged in it”; and the students’ summit “Culture Up Your Future – Living out European Heritage in the Digital Age” concerning students’ engagement with European cultural heritage.

Finally, another relevant meeting on the topic of participation will be held on June, 11th-12th in Manchester for the conference “Understanding everyday participation: Re-locating culture, value and inequality”, as the final step of Understanding everyday participation – Articulating Cultural Values, a five-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council advancing a re-evaluation of the link between participation and cultural value.

Significant cemeteries: urban spaces claiming for participatory approaches

Significant cemeteries: urban spaces claiming for participatory approaches

“I have been picture-gazing this morning at the famous Domenichino and Guido, both of which are superlative. I afterwards went to the beautiful cemetery of Bologna, beyond the walls; and found, besides the superb burial-ground, an original of a custode, who reminded one of the grave-digger in Hamlet (…).”

George Gordon Byron, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron with a Notice of his life, 1831

Not only the world-renowned Père Lachaise in Paris (more than 3 million visitors per year), the evocative Okunoin Cemetery in Japan (in the sacred Mount Koya), or the Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm (UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994, although built in the 20th century). Historical cemeteries represent anywhere in the world a peculiar type of urban spaces, both tangible and intangible heritage, while providing funerary services.

In 2001 a European network was created in order to raise awareness about their sometimes neglected importance: ASCE-Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe. The network counts 179 cemeteries in 22 countries, specifically those public and private entities that care for this specific heritage. The association, born thanks to an Italian initiative, also aims to share experiences and best practices among members and to cooperate in order to protect, restore and enhance these open-air museums.


“Cemeteries as places of life, settings that, as urban spaces, are directly linked to the history and culture of the community they belong to and where we will find many of our references”. This is how the European Route of Cemeteries, promoted by ASCE and supported by the European Commission under its Europe for Citizens Programme (project “Remembrance in European Cemeteries”), refers to this heritage. The Route, comprising 63 cemeteries in 50 cities in 20 European countries, is mainly in charge of the touristic promotion of the sites, and, by raising awareness, it also stimulates dissemination activities and encourages restoration actions. Among the main results achieved by ASCE, we could also mention the establishment of the “Week of Discovering European Cemeteries (WDEC)”, whose activities in 2018 (May 18-June 3) will support the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and a mobile guide presenting members’ heritage thanks to the ARtour platform.

In Italy, we assist to an increasing attention toward the enhancement and management of historical cemeteries, as witnessed by the memorandum of understanding signed in 2016 by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism and SEFIT-Servizi Funerari Italiani (the Italian public funerary services): “Protocollo d’intesa per la valorizzazione culturale e turistica dei cimiteri monumentali”. The memorandum also led to the elaboration of a first version of an  Atlas of monumental cemeteries in Italy, published few weeks ago. On December 14, 2017, SEFIT, in partnership with Fondazione MAXXI, organized in Rome a workshop dealing with new urban and architectural challenges related to cemeteries: “I cimiteri nella città. I cimiteri come città – Una svolta culturale per la città dei morti pari a quella in atto nelle città dei vivi?”. In 2017, almost 19.000 participants attended cultural events in the four cemeteries of Bologna, Milan, Genoa and Turin.

Practices of participation and citizens engagement are an ever growing phenomenon in the enhancement of these public spaces, that have to balance the protection and development of its cultural heritage with its primary function. The role of citizens, volunteers and not for profit actors turns out to be crucial, especially to ensure the sustainability of enhancement activities, as we will see in two Italian cases: the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa and the Certosa Cemetery in Bologna.

The cemetery of Staglieno in Genoa (330.000 mq.) was officially opened to the public in 1851. It is one of the most important historical cemeteries in Italy: hundreds of sculptures, but also chapels, galleries and porticoes, with a diversity of styles that contributes to its outstanding historical and artistic value. For the enhancement activities, the cemetery relies on the contribution of different actors, among which an important partnership with ARCI Genova, Auser Liguria e Genova, University of Genoa and CNA-Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato e della Piccola e Media impresa (National Confederation of Artisans and of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), that led to the creation of “La fabbrica di Staglieno”. Financed by Fondazione Telecom, the project is aimed at enhancing the restoration activity carried out within the cemetery by creating a restoration laboratory opened to the public, and combining the guided tours with practical activities and workshops, involving restorers, artisans, researchers and students. In August 2017 the Municipality launched a call for proposals to co-design the enhancement activities, through a “Patto di sussidiarietà”, a juridical instrument within the Third sector regulation allowing not for profit organisations to carry on public interest activities. In this case, the project should involve volunteers, disadvantaged or unemployed people in a variety of activities, with in kind and financial support of the Municipality.

The Certosa Cemetery in Bologna was created in 1801 from a former Chartusian monastery founded in 1334. Its architectural structure is very rich and comprises galleries, cloisters, halls, added to which are frescoes, sculptures, an Etruscan Necropolis and the San Girolamo Church. Starting from 1999, an important enhancement project has been carried out, leading to the restoration of many monuments and to guided tours, special initiatives, a summer programme of events. The entire project is managed by Museo del Risorgimento, which is part of the Municipality museums department, in partnership with the Funerary service provider “Bologna Servizi Cimiteriali”; the cultural association of touristic guides “Didasco”, in charge of the guided tours; the volunteers’ association “Amici della Certosa”, founded in 2009 and relying on more than 90 volunteers that contribute to the maintenance, conservation and enhancement activities and to the opening of the Infopoint; “Fondazione Collegio Artistico Venturoli” for the study and research activities. The summer program of events is conceived through a public call for proposals for cultural and not for profit associations, whose projects are annually evaluated and eventually selected. The Call for projects for summer 2018 has been recently opened (deadline March 11). From each entrance fee of the summer events, 2€ are allocated to the enhancement and restoration project. As regards the collaboration with volunteers, in 2016 the Municipality signed a “Patto di collaborazione” with “Amici della Certosa” association within “Collaborare è Bologna” policy and the Bologna Regulation on public collaborations between citizens and the city for the care and regeneration of urban commons. Recognising the value of both the cemetery heritage and the role played volunteers so far, aims and actions are defined for both actors with a collaborative approach.

Significant cemeteries are more and more serving as catalyst for citizens, associations and volunteers that would take care of these fascinating urban spaces, at the same time maintaining and enhancing its outstanding heritage and raising awareness about its value for the local community.

Pratiche partecipative e di coinvolgimento dei cittadini sono un fenomeno crescente nella valorizzazione dei cimiteri monumentali, particolari spazi urbani che si trovano a dover conciliare l’impegno per il proprio patrimonio culturale con l’originaria funzione funeraria.

Participation on stage. Toward a new focus in the cultural sector.

Participation on stage. Toward a new focus in the cultural sector.

Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers, France. Image from La Voix du Nord


More than 17.000 contributors from 115 countries participated to the crowdfunding campaign promoted by Dartagnans, a French crowdfunding agency dedicated to the promotion of cultural heritage, to buy, save and enhance the Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers in France. More than 1,5 million € have been collected thanks to the contributors that will become co-owners of the medieval castle; 500.000 € will go for the purchase, while the remaining part for the securing and restoration activity.

Meanwhile in Italy Federculture, the National Federation of Regions, Municipalities, Local Utility Companies and all actors managing cultural, tourism, leisure and sports services, launched a petition to ask the Italian government the ratification of the Faro Convention.

Besides the ever growing bottom-up initiatives and activities promoting citizens involvement and engagement in culture, participation is finally gaining an increasing attention also in the research field, as demonstrated by the recent conference “Participatory governance in culture. Exploring practices, theories and policies”, held in November in Rijeka and promoted by Kultura Nova Foundation in collaboration with the European Cultural Foundation. 3 days of interesting discussions and paper presentations around the topic of participatory approaches in culture. Professors Leila Jankovich (University of Leeds, UK), Frank Fischer (Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany and Rutgers University, US) and Christian Iaione (Guglielmo Marconi University of Rome, LUISS University and LabGov’s co-founder, Italy) proposed three different keynote speeches exploring participatory approaches in the arts, in cultural governance and policy making and in the city as a commons perspective. The conference was also an opportunity to learn about many practices spreading throughout Europe, from cultural associations to independent spaces and platforms, from social centres to museums, all developing participatory projects and processes in their everyday activity. Insights into other continents approaches, with some representatives of Zambia, South Africa, US and India were provided as well. Also difficulties and potentials of participation in European Capitals of Culture were discussed, thanks to the experience of some candidate cities.

Next year, other conferences will explore the role of participation in culture, finally acknowledging its importance.

In April (18-20), Aarhus University will host the international conference “Cultures of Participation – Arts, Digital Media and Politics” in order to discuss about the main trends, potentials and problems of the different cultures of participation. The key question is: “On policy levels, citizen participation and engagement are emphasized as key components of democratic societies and these policies are currently being practiced and put to work at cultural institutions and cultural houses, in artistic production, in architectural and urban ‘smart city’ designs and various digital media spaces. But what are the characteristics of cultural participation and how do these manifest themselves in cultures of participation?” The conference invites paper proposals in these topics (deadline January 5): 1) Participatory art & aesthetics, 2) Digital media & technology, 3) Cultural policy & participation.

Image from (the main building of the University of Glasgow)


In June (13-15th), the main annual conference of Universeum- The European Academic Heritage Network (XIX Universeum Network Meeting), held at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, will be focused on “Working Together: Partnerships,Co-creation, Co-curation”. A call for papers (deadline January 31) is launched in the following topics: 1) Teaching and Student Engagement with Collections; 2) Co-curating Academic Collections Within and Beyond the Campus, while a poster session will deal with the topic of “Working Together in University Museums”. The purpose is clear, due to “the importance for university museums of working together, not only within the university campus but also beyond, collaborating with other cultural heritage organisations; with other communities; with society at large. (…) Working together includes also giving the initiative and the voice to our end users, and working closely together to co-curate and co-create exhibitions, resources, and events”.

European Cultural Heritage Summit, Berlin


Always in June (18-24th), Berlin will host the European Cultural Heritage Summit, one of the flag events of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Summit theme is “Sharing heritage – sharing values” and it will be co-hosted by Europa Nostra, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) and the German Cultural Heritage Committee (DNK). A large number of events will be proposed mobilising public and private stakeholders, among which the Heritage excellence fair, an High-level policy debate on Europe and cultural heritage, the Award-giving ceremony for the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards 2018 and the Europa Nostra General Assembly and visits of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Potsdam.

An increasing attention for a relentless phenomenon. Stay tuned!

Il tema della partecipazione nel settore culturale sta finalmente ricevendo la dovuta attenzione. Accanto alla crescita di iniziative dal basso, anche il mondo della ricerca e della policy inizia ad interrogarsi su tendenze, problematiche e scenari del fenomeno. Un 2018 ricco di appuntamenti.

Taiwan, a participatory process for the new cultural policy

Taiwan, a participatory process for the new cultural policy

Cultural policy is experiencing a participatory revolution in Taiwan. In 2016, the new Minister of culture proposed a new approach for the formulation of the national cultural policy − the Taiwan cultural empowerment − based at the same time on three main pillars: a National Cultural Congress in 2017 (after the ones held in 1990, 1997 and 2002), a Culture White Paper and a Cultural basic law.

The overall project relies on a participatory process involving civil society, researchers, associations, young people and cultural practitioners, coordinated by the National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) and the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies (TACPS). The latter was created in 2015 by 34 artists, cultural practitioners and academics in order to create a knowledge platform and to foster dialogue and cooperation among the different actors of cultural governance.

The new agenda setting is the result of cultural opinions and research (by NTUA and TACPS), Ministry of Culture’s policies and six advisory committees.

To learn more about the project, we propose the interview to Dr Shu-Shiun Ku, CEO of National Cultural Congress and Culture White Paper Project, and Debbie C.Y. Lee, Deputy Secretary-General of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies.


How did the project come about?

Since Martial Law was lifted in 1987, cultural democratization has become the main issue in Taiwan’s cultural policy.

In 2016, the Democratic Progressive Party gained the presidential seat upon winning the general election. The new Minister of Culture pledged to strengthen cultural democracy and enhance cultural citizenship by the bottom-up approach. Therefore, researchers and cultural practitioners in National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) and Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies (TACPS) have been commissioned to co-organize the project entitled “2017 National Cultural Congress and Cultural White Paper” with the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan.

What are the main steps and related achievements of the participatory process?

In order to take the bottom-up approach to implement this project, the executive team (NTUA and TACPS) initially set up an implement mechanism, which consist of advisory committees from diverse areas including academics, industries, cultural groups and civil groups, to work with Ministry of Culture.

Based on 5 core values (cultural citizen, public participation, diversity and equality, deliberative thinking and collaborative governance), 15 regional cultural forums and 4 thematic forums (including a National Cultural Youth Forum, Forum on the Cultures of New Immigrants, Forum of Cultural Heritage, Forum of Culture and Technology) were held between March to July this year around Taiwan cities. In addition, there are 34 public petitions from ‘Citizen Think Tank’ through the internet proposals. These forums then lead to the National Cultural Congress in Taipei for 2 days on September 2nd and 3rd.

Currently, the advisory committees, the MOC and the executive team are analysing these public discussions to identify the problems and causes of the recent controversies. Most importantly, they are working together to make a new version of Culture White Paper for the future cultural policy.

It can be seen as an experimental case of the co-governance between state, academics and the third sector through practices.

The project sees an high degree of participation from young people.  How do you achieve it?

The National Cultural Congress aims to create a friendly, respectful public space for rational debate. In addition to the public forums that took place island-wide, online, social media communications via website and Facebook was used to facilitate the discussions online as well as off-line.

The Congress launched the Youth Forum which was a public space and dynamic opportunity for youth participants to voice their opinions and create dialogues with policy makers and stakeholders from the Ministry of Culture. Over 100 participants in their twenties and thirties actively took part in the Youth Forum by choosing a topic that interests them under the framework of National Cultural Congress and discuss with the group.  The Youth Forum deployed group discussion practices including World Cafe and workshop.

How to make the project sustainable?

In order to make the project sustainable, the democratic implement mechanism and strong civil society play essential roles. Firstly, the collaboration of implement mechanism between the Ministry of Culture, advisory committees and the executive team has set up an operational model of bottom-up approach for future National Cultural Congress. Secondly, the strong civil society, which the public actively participates in cultural affairs and cultural NPOs oversee the implement, can facilitate the continuity of the project.

What is the role of the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policies Studies in the project?

Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies is an autonomous and not-for-profit legal organization. Its role in the National Cultural Congress is to facilitate ground research, data collection, and open accesses for citizens to participate in cultural policy making. TACPS acts as an intermediary between policy makers, advisory committees, and the public and contributes to the introduction of better informed cultural policies to promote the development of a dynamic cultural sector.


Una nuova politica culturale per Taiwan, formulata grazie a un interessante e strutturato processo partecipativo lanciato dal nuovo Ministro della Cultura nel 2016. Il progetto, coordinato dalla National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) e dalla Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies (TACPS), vede la partecipazione attiva della società civile, dei professionisti della cultura, dell’associazionismo e di giovani ricercatori. Proponiamo un’intervista ai coordinatori per conoscere da vicino il progetto.