In a unique move to promote culture and aid the arts, Germany gifts its youth with a €200 culture pass. Let’s delve into this intriguing initiative.
Turning eighteen in Europe is becoming more than just a legal milestone. Picture this: you’re on the cusp of adulthood, and along with all the newfound freedoms, you receive a generous culture bonus to spend on a rich array of artistic experiences. Yes, it’s true. In Germany, turning 18 is now synonymous with receiving a €200 Kulturpass to spend on culture.
Joining the list of European countries championing the arts, Germany has introduced this culture pass specifically for its youth. The initiative allows them to indulge in everything from page-turning books and enthralling theatre plays to mesmerizing music and eye-catching museum pieces. If you’re a young German resident turning 18 in 2023, congratulations! You’re part of an estimated 750,000 people who qualify for this €200 pass. And the best part? This credit is valid for a solid two years and is easily accessible via a dedicated app or website.
What’s the reason behind this grand gesture, you ask? The Kulturpass initiative has two primary goals. First, it aims to reignite the passion for live culture among the young, especially given the recent inclination towards indoor pandemic pastimes. Secondly, it seeks to provide a monetary boost to the arts sector, which, understandably, has been grappling with the impacts of multiple lockdowns.
Germany’s Culture Minister, Claudia Roth, an enthusiastic supporter of the program, beautifully encapsulates the spirit behind the Kulturpass. She remarks, “The intent is for our young citizens to immerse themselves in the world of culture, to recognize its vastness and draw inspiration from it. Whether it’s attending a pop concert, exploring a museum, or soaking in a play – it’s all a celebration of culture.”
If the Kulturpass manages to strike a chord, plans to extend it to other age groups, potentially those 15 and above, might be on the horizon. Roth likens this cultural passport to a “birthday present”, a delightful analogy.
A European Trend
Yet, Germany isn’t the pioneer in this cultural revolution. Earlier, in March, Spain unveiled its €400 Youth Cultural Bonus for 18-year-olds, aiming to revitalize the creative domains affected by funding issues and pandemic setbacks. This significant move saw over 281,557 young Spaniards, including legal residents and refugees, benefitting from the whopping €210 million project.
France, too, isn’t far behind. French youngsters are eligible for a €300 scheme that encompasses diverse offerings, from creative classes and art supplies to media subscriptions. An additional feature of this program even entitles those over 15 to receive between €25 and €30, which their schools can utilize collectively.
Italy, having introduced its ‘culture bonus’ of €500 back in 2016, stands as a testament to the success of such programs. Despite political upheavals, this initiative remains strong, with books, music, and concert tickets emerging as favorites among its beneficiaries.