Finland wins a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage for its Cultural Education Plans

Finnish Cultural Education Plans and the Culture Leap project have been chosen as one of the winners of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards 2018. Due to the ongoing European Year of Cultural Heritage, this year the jury placed a particular emphasis on the European special value of the recognised heritage achievements.

A Cultural Education Plan provides children and young people with cultural and cultural heritage education as part of municipal basic education. The project produced an online tool, that enables municipalities to independently prepare a Cultural Education Plan based on their local and regional heritage. The tool is freely available to all, and it exists in three languages (Finnish, Swedish and English).

“This project offers a relatively low-cost but high-impact framework that is applicable across Europe for educational planning which has cultural values at its heart,” the jury affirmed. Culture Leap was developed with the cooperation of the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland and the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres. The main partners were the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The project was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition, the Arts Promotion Centre supported the organisation of a workshop tour.  

Celebration at the European Heritage Summit

The winners will be celebrated at the first European Heritage Summit, to be held in Berlin between 8 and 24 June. The European Heritage Summit is one of the key events of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and replaces the European Heritage Congress 2018. The actual European Heritage Awards Ceremony will be held on 22 June.

From among the year’s winning projects, the jury will select seven Grand Prix laureates, each of whom will receive €10,000. The Grand Prix laureates will be announced at the European Heritage Summit held in Berlin in June. Additionally, one of the projects will be awarded the Public Choice Award based on online voting. You can vote for your own favourite at Voting for your own country’s projects is also allowed and campaigning for them is even encouraged.  

90 plans already established in municipalities around Finland – a further 50 in preparation

At the start of the Culture Leap project, just 43 of the 311 municipalities in Finland had cultural education plans in place. As of 2017, at the conclusion of the project, there were 90 plans established in municipalities around Finland with a further 50 plans in preparation.

Workshops have been organised in 15 locations, reaching 83 municipalities and an audience of 450 people. Further workshops are now being organised with the Finnish Network of Children’s Cultural Centres in areas that do not yet have a Cultural Education Plan.

“The project outlines an inclusive and flexible approach to educational planning through an innovative use of digital technology, which is relevant at local, national and European levels. It proves how digital technology can help to accelerate or maximise the results and impact in wider communities,” the jury states. 

The jury was of the opinion that the Culture Education Plans ensure that cultural education is inclusive of all children, regardless of their background, and that it is more effectively distributed to municipalities and regions where cultural experiences for children and young people are, at times, lacking. The plans ensure cooperation between schools and cultural institutions in the surrounding area and give participants a chance to familiarise themselves with the culture and cultural heritage of their hometown or region while encouraging an understanding of the diversity of local culture.

“Culture Leap has stressed the importance of including education related to the arts, culture and heritage in the regular curriculum for the sake of student equality, in turn underlining its important role in creating responsible citizenship and instilling value in innovation and creativity,” the jury stated.



Bulletin on The Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland’s website:https://www.kulttuuriperintoka...
Europa Nostra’s Finnish press release: (includes more press photos)
Europa Nostra’s English press release:

Press photos:

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More information:

The Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland
Executive Director Ira Vihreälehto
tel. +358 (0)50 338 1743

Finnish Network of Children’s Cultural Centres’ experts:

Europa Nostra Finland
Anna-Maija Halme
tel. +358 (0)40 536 8188

Cultural Center Annantalo Preview