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Küppelstein 34
42857 Remscheid

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Greifswalder Straße 4
10405 Berlin

Marienburger Straße 3
10405 Berlin

Phone +49 (0) 30 – 48 48 60 - 0
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What is Cultural Education? Who is the BKJ and what does it want?

Translation of the video

Welcome to the German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning – abbreviated: BKJ. In this video you will learn what cultural education is, who the BKJ is, what its goals are and in which areas it works to achieve these goals.

What is cultural education?

  • Young people tell touching stories in the circus ring.
  • Children bring new movement into old spaces through dance.
  • Young people create digital and analogue visions for tomorrow with artistic wit.
  • They bring wondrous creatures made of paper and poetry to life.
  • Or they hold up a mirror to the world with pictures and films.

We call all this and much more “cultural education”. The term describes activities and offers in which young people engage with cultural forms of expression, play and arts and show their views and attitudes, alone or in a group. Cultural education gives them a voice, lets them discover their abilities and gives them the opportunity to express their attitude to life. Arts and culture broaden their horizons, inspire them to develop their own opinions, negotiate them with others and discover new perspectives and interests. Cultural education helps young people to become strong personalities and to experience that they can create something themselves and help shape the world.

Cultural education often involves the whole body. And also the feelings and the mind. Many different forms of cultural expression are used: Visual arts, literature, digital media, film, photography, music, rhythm, play, circus, dance and theatre. This diversity is important because not all people are interested in and excited by the same things. A diverse and comprehensive range of cultural education contributes to educational equality, cultural participation and social cohesion. Participation and democracy are lived out in places of cultural education.

Who is the BKJ?

The BKJ is the professional and umbrella organisation for cultural education in Germany. It has over 50 members. These are regional umbrella organisations and specialist organisations for cultural education in various artistic fields. Some members also work across disciplines or are primarily involved in the field of further training.

The BKJ asvocates for the rights and interests of young people in the field of cultural education. And it represents the interests of its members vis-à-vis politics and administration at the federal level and internationally. The BKJ advocates that youth, cultural, educational and social policies secure and strengthen the actors and structures of cultural education, because cultural education is an indispensable public task.

The BKJ provides professional and strategic advice to all those who are involved in cultural education in youth work, in the cultural sector or in schools, either practically or academically, or who are planning to do so. It ensures networking and the exchange of knowledge and experience.

What does the BKJ want?

The BKJ is committed to good practice of cultural education in youth work, cultural institutions and associations. Schools and day-care centres are also important places for cultural education, because many children and young people can be reached there. The BKJ is committed to linking extracurricular and school venues in educational landscapes and to ensuring that cultural and youth work cooperates well with schools and day-care centres. More on this at: (German)

The BKJ wants a diverse practice of cultural education that recognises everyone and in which everyone can participate. All children and young people should be able to find a rich and easily accessible range of opportunities in all areas of art and culture, to develop a zest for life and to develop artistically, culturally and socially - regardless of where they live and what their individual requirements and needs are. Find out more at: (German)

Cultural education also takes place across borders: International encounters around art and culture enable children, young people and professionals to broaden their own horizons, break down prejudices and experience diversity. The BKJ supports cultural education actors in financing and organising international youth cultural exchanges and in international networking. Find out more at:

The BKJ advocates good conditions for volunteering in cultural education. Voluntary engagement is an indispensable support for the diverse offers in cultural education. Culture is the third largest area of engagement in Germany. Find out more at: (German)

The voluntary services in the field of culture and education are a special format for voluntary engagement. Together with an association of providers, the BKJ arranges around 2,500 placements in cultural, youth and educational institutions throughout Germany. A voluntary service lasts between 6 and 18 months and takes place on a full-time or part-time basis. In Germany, all people, no matter how old they are or where they come from, can do voluntary service. Further information is available at:


Funded by

Zur Internetseite des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

The German Federation for Arts Education and Cultural Learning (BKJ) is the umbrella organisation for cultural education in Germany.