1.1.3 Programmes, incentives, funds, etc.

The Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (bm:uk) [Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur] regards arts education as means to focus on general pedagogical issues, such as the prevention of violence or racism. Within those focuses, teachers and educators involved in cultural education are free to choose their creative approaches and themes.In 1993 there was a transition to more flexible curricula through the establishment of the autonomy of schools [Schulautonomie] with an amendment. This amendment enables schools to consider local and regional requirements and to be more flexible in their work. This may include autonomous budget management or the change of subject tables within a given range. Thus allowing schools to develop a specific focus. There are now schools with a wide range of specialisations, for example in sports, visual arts, information technology, economy or music.Supplementary to autonomously developed curricula, the state encourages cultural education [Kulturvermittlung]  through various national projects with a special focus on students. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture most projects are carried out by KulturKontakt Austria (KKA) [KulturKontakt Austria]KulturKontakt Austria is an Austrian centre of competence for arts & cultural education, cultural dialogue and educational cooperation with Eastern and South East Europe. It is a non-profit making organisation and has three programme departments: arts & cultural education, educational cooperation and cultural promotion & sponsoring.In the department for 'arts & cultural education', KKA supports professional cultural education and mediation, mainly in the school sector. With the support of KKA, every year over 130.000 young people receive the opportunity to take part in arts education projects in their schools. A significant number of arts education projects is also offered to apprentices. Some of the projects are described below:Dialog Events [Dialogveranstaltungen]So-called dialogue events with the intention to meet artists personally serve as an impulse for education in contemporary art for children and young people. They are carried out at schools throughout Austria. In 2007 a total of 2,791 dialogue events were held in which around 132,000 students participated.'Dialogue events are projects which bring innovative initiatives and methods of arts and cultural education to schools. They are based on participatory and activity-orientated communication in which pupils, teachers and artists experience a creative process together.' (KulturKontakt Austria, 2008, p. 58)School Culture Budget for State Schools [Schulkulturbudget fur Bundesschulen]This programme supports cultural education projects at schools. By involving students in the arts and culture, these projects contribute to the positive perception of cultural diversity. The goals are to strengthen the perception of oneself and others, to create a desire to experience unknown and new things, to promote acceptance and dialogue and to enable pupils to think and act creatively together. In the school year 2007/08, 280 schools submitted projects. There is a noticeable trend in favour of larger-scale projects which go beyond specific subjects or classes (KulturKontakt Austria, 2008).p[ART] [Partnerschaften zwischen Schulen und Kultureinrichtungen]Since March 2009 KulturKontakt Austria supports partnerships between schools and cultural institutions. In this programme called p[ART] each school works in cooperation with a cultural institution with the aim to initiate long-lasting partnerships. The programme centres on the promotion of dialogue and communication. One of the main targets is that cultural institutions get to know children and young people better. At the same time pupils become aware of the work of cultural institutions.p[ART]