European network leading the agenda on arts education

Image: Ruslan Guzov /

ACEnet is a network of European policymakers, civil servants and academics working in the fields of arts and cultural education. Their most recent meeting took place in May 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia, hosted by the Ministries of Culture and Science and Education. This marked a number of important moments in the development of this field, both for Croatia and across Europe.

Targeting teachers

The meeting coincided with the international conference Culture and Creative Actions for Better Education, which was the first teacher conference on cultural and creative learning hosted by the Ministry of Culture.

Sharing expertise

The Croatian translation of the European Commission’s Handbook on Cultural Awareness and Expression was launched. This report contains numerous key messages and examples of practice from across Europe of how to develop this competence relating to arts and cultural heritage.

ACEnet conference activity

Image: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

The event featured international speakers including Peggy Brandon (MOCCA; Netherlands), Gerhard Kower (KulturKontakt; Austria), Christophe Marquis (Centre de Développement Choréographique National; France) and Joan Parr (Creative Scotland).

ACEnet conference group picture

Image: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia

Global agenda for arts education

ACEnet is anxious to follow up on the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education, which were set out at a UNESCO World Conference in 2010:

  1. Ensure that arts education is accessible as a fundamental and sustainable component of a high-quality renewal of education.
  2. Assure that arts education activities and programmes are of a high quality in conception and delivery.
  3. Apply arts education principles and practices to contribute to resolving the social and cultural challenges facing today’s world.

In the coming years, ACEnet will be focussing its discussions around these themes in order to better understand practice and challenges that exist across Europe in arts, creative and cultural education. The European Network of Observatories in the field of Arts and Cultural Education (ENO) and the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA) in the Netherlands have both been leading on the development and analysis of this framework.

The next ACEnet meeting will be taking place during the LKCA conference Sharing Arts & Heritage from 17th – 19th October in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, the European City of Culture.

As an informal learning network, ACEnet strives to improve arts and cultural education in Europe, by exchanging information, knowledge, experiences and inspiration, and learning from other EU countries on work-in-progress. For more information or if you are interested in joining, please visit the website.