Background of the project

Background of the project

The 'Community of knowledge on Arts and Cultural Education in Europe' or ComACE will be a web-based portal with information on arts and cultural education in European member states. The aim of ComACE is to promote and sustain the systematic exchange of knowledge and to compare information and practice. ComACE is a long term project with the objective to accomplish 'European-wide' representation. ComACE will include country policies, information on formal and non-formal arts and cultural education, implementation methods, research and best practices.

The Community will develop and collect information, which will be presented via the ComACE portal, consisting of three main sections:

  • Compendium, offering qualified information about the arts and cultural education policies of the EU Member States. The primary objective of the Compendium is to present an overview of how various European countries shape and implement arts and cultural education policy. The underlying - long-term - goals are to achieve more coordination and cooperation between the various countries and to learn from each other's experiences and findings. The compendium will include information from each country in the following areas:
    - Policy: National, Regional and Local;
    - Formal Education: from pre-primary to tertiary education;
    - Non-formal education.
  • Glossary, containing terms used in the compendium that could be misinterpreted or need further clarification. The terms in the Glossary will be accessible from the compendium. However, the Glossary can be used independently as well.
  • News & Events, containing information on upcoming conferences, news, national and international research, important national and international websites and trends.

ComACE is an initiative of the EU-wide network of civil servants working in the field of arts and cultural education, since 2008 entrusted as an expert group on cultural and artistic education within the framework of the Open Method of Coordination by the EU Cultural Affairs Committee.

At the 8th meeting of the EU-wide network in Paris of April 2008 the assembly approved the ComACE project proposal, and agreed on the formation of a steering committee to supervise the progress of the project. During the first meetings of the Steering Committee agreement was reached on the elaboration of the project proposal.

The initial, first phase of the ComACE project started with four countries in order to develop working procedures and to set the framework for the content of the compendium within which these countries as well as those not yet participating, could identify themselves. The participating countries are Austria, Belgium (Flanders), France and the Netherlands. The project started in 2009 and will last 2.5 years.

The content of the Compendium, Glossary and News & Event items will be collected by experts of the participating countries. These expert will play a significant role in the content development process. Countries participating in the project will finance their own contribution.

The Steering Committee supervises the progress of the project, i.e. monitoring the project and providing ministerial and financial support to the participating countries for the activities of the local experts/authors on behalf of the project. The general coordination for the initial phase is entrusted to Cultuurnetwerk Nederland, the Netherlands Expertise Centre for Arts and Cultural Education. Cultuurnetwerk Nederland will be responsible for the editorial staff, the contact with the experts/authors of the participating countries and the provisional and final editing and publishing of the supplied texts via internet. The participating countries are accountable for the content of the texts. In this initial phase the Compendium will be just in English.

Investigations on the possibilities of successful financial support for the coordination of the project through the European programmes or other funds yielded no results. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science considered the project to be important and was willing to fund the coordination of the first phase of the project.

Call for partners

The present partners of the pilot call other European countries to join the project so that the portal will become a tool for facilitating cultural communication and cooperation among civil servants in charge of artistical and cultural education and other people working or studying in the field of arts and cultural education.


Please contact Heleen de Groot
PO Box 452, 3500 AB Utrecht
The Netherlands
+31 30 711 51 23

How to become involved?

To participate in the project countries can apply through their representatives in the European Network of Civil Servants. The coordinators of the project will send relevant documents including information on required financial and time commitment allocated to the project.

A letter of intent is submitted in which the following is agreed upon:

  • the principal objective of the project;
  • willingness to participate in the project on the basis of the description provided, including the financial commitment proposed;
  • supplying the name of the representative in the European Network of Civil Servants, working in the fields of arts and cultural education.

Author(s) are appointed who will receive writing instructions, time schedule and formats.