The proposed cuts will have a decisive impact on Aarhus as a lever and frontrunner for children and youth culture both regionally and nationally. Aarhus is a key contributor to a visionary children's culture area with strong professional skills and high-quality artistic offerings for all. The cuts will mean that in future far fewer children and young people will encounter art and culture as a natural part of their everyday lives. They will also miss an important opportunity to use proven methods to engage even more children and young people in new communities of well-being through arts and cultural activities.
With the municipal savings catalogue, a large number of Aarhus cultural institutions with decades of experience in children's cultural development stand to lose subsidies from and cooperation agreements with the Magistrate's Department for Children and Young People. Grants that allow them to create targeted partnerships with schools and day-care centres and develop teaching programmes using art and culture. Moreover, the cuts come at a time when many cultural institutions are already under pressure from price rises and the need to cut costs. The planned cuts mean, for example, an end to school concerts and family Christmas concerts, an end to arts education programmes and partnerships for schools, and an end to advice and training for educators and teachers.
In the 20 years that Kulturprinsen has existed, we have often looked to Aarhus Municipality to support a rich, varied and artistically strong children's cultural area. We have had inspiring collaborations with a number of the institutions that are about to cut back on children's cultural initiatives. Denmark's second largest city has stood as a regional, national and international children's cultural beacon with a focus that puts children and young people's right to encounter art and culture in their everyday lives in day care and school high on the agenda. Not least when Aarhus became the first European city of culture to take children's cultural voices seriously in the 2017 Capital of Culture year. Here, Kulturprinsen was a driving force in the regional organisation of the Children's Opening 2017: the Wishing Land.
Kulturprinsen has also been greatly inspired by the experience of ULF in Aarhus in setting up KLCViborg. Arts and culture programmes in the school services that are being cut help to create variety, immersion and quality in open schools and open day care, as children and young people encounter a sensory, experimental and open approach that complements teaching and learning - as breathing spaces in an everyday life that is often characterised by performance, testing and targeting. So it is not just cultural institutions, but children and young people's encounter with art and culture and their education for an uncertain future that will lose most from the proposed cuts.
Cultural experiences in day-care centres and schools help to promote education, community and well-being - which is why it is primarily the children, their teachers and educators, and not the cultural institutions, who will lose the most if Aarhus Municipality chooses to implement the planned cuts in the children's cultural area.