3.3 Infrastructure

Networks of non governmental associations (for amateur theatre, folk music, dance, traditional costumes, brass music, choral singing etc.) promote amateur art [Amateurkunst] activities all over Austria. They represent more than 700.000 volunteers engaged in different associations of folk culture. Local associations belong to provincial umbrella associations [e.g. provincial association of Music schools (Musikschulwerke), provincial amateur theatre associations or federal workgroup for folk dance (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Österreichischer Volkstanz)]. The associations offer courses and seminars to qualify their members and get basic funding by the federal government. Umbrella association Forum Volkskultur, founded 1984, represents their interests at federal level. Adult education activities The network continuing education [Netzwerk Weiter.Bildung] coordinates the departments concerned with adult and further education in provincial governments. At community level adult education centres offer a wide range of job-related courses, language, health and cultural education. They are operated by different social groups (commercial chambers, political parties, trade unions, churches etc.) and partly funded by provincial and local authorities and by attendance fees. 293 Adult education Centres [Volkshochschule] are organised in 9 provincial associations and a federal association [Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen]. Many offer adult education courses in the field of creativity. Among 685.000 enrolments, the majority (77%) were by female learners aged 30-49 years (39.4%). Most attractive were courses in health and movement (40.7%), languages (26.2%) and creativity and design (13.6%). Literature The Association of Public Libraries [BVÖ] represents 1,500 libraries in Austrian communities. They guarantee the nationwide supply with literature. Extracurricular youth work [Außerschulische Jugendarbeit] The provincial youth departments offer courses for coaches and trainers in youth work and leisure time pedagogy. In some cases (Akzente Salzburg, wien-Xtra) a separate organisation is assigned by the provincial governments with youth matters and non-formal cultural education. At community level, youth centres [Jugendzentrum] implement the provincial youth programmes and provide the infrastructure and activities. The centres offer a variety of activities and projects for young people in their leisure time including sports and culture. Many performances and courses are free of charge or have low attendance fees. The working group of Austrian youth centres is a national, non-governmental youth organisation [ARGE österreichischer Jugendzentren, Kulturzentren und Initiativgruppen - ARGE JUZI] and co-operates with other organisations and agencies related to youth and youth work in Austria and on international level. Music schools [Musikschule] There are 1,911 music schools all over Austria with 102 pupils per 1,000 inhabitants aged 5 to 25 years. They are the major provider of non-formal music education, mostly in the field of instrumental music, singing, dance and performing arts. Their work is governed by provincial legislation [Landesmusikschulgesetze].(Source: statistik.at (Musikschulen in Österreich 2007)) In Niederösterreich, the biggest province, there are 457 music schools with 53,900 students, which means, 148.2 pupils per 1,000 inhabitants. Salzburg runs 18 music schools with 72.3 pupils per 1,000 and in Wien there are 102 music schools with 26.1 pupils per 1,000 inhabitants. Associations of music schools [Musikschulwerke] coordinate the work of provincial music schools. Their representatives form a national coordinating network [Konferenz der österreichischen Musikschulwerke - KOMU] for all matters concerning music school education (legislation, curricula and activities). Folk culture [Volkskultur] 9 federal associations for folk culture act as platforms for different amateur arts and cultural activities, like choral singing, brass bands, amateur theatre, folk dance, folk customs and folk costumes. Cultural institutions As a consequence of their educational political assignment, cultural institutions become more important providers of learning opportunities. As part of their audience development strategies, museums and exhibition halls as well as theatres and concert halls provide activities for children and young people and increasingly also for senior citizens. Besides special programmes of the traditional cultural sector, new institutions were established exclusively for young target groups (Zoom children's museum, Dschungel - theatre house for young people in Wien). Regional arts and culture At regional level various regional cultural initiatives [Regionale Kulturinitiative] and cultural centres have been established since the 1970s. They take responsibility for the participation of artists and /or the wider public in regional cultural life. Cultural associations and initiatives organise regional events, multicultural, interdisciplinary and experimental arts and cultural projects. Since 1991, regional arts and cultural initiatives have been funded by a special department in the Arts Department of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture [Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur]. Meanwhile over 14,500 initiatives and clubs are active in the fields of amateur music, theatre and singing in Austria. They provide basic cultural services, especially in rural communities.