Art and culture highlighted by education competition in Chile

For the third year a government initiative designed to encourage interest in Chilean art and culture invites students to apply for free funding.

Encouraging artistic and musical education in Chile’s schools is high up on the CNCA agenda. Image taken from Consejo de la Cultura website.
Encouraging artistic and musical education in Chile’s schools is high up on the CNCA agenda. Image taken from Consejo de la Cultura website.

Chile’s Council for Culture (CNCA) forever strives to encourage art and culture among the country’s school children as the cornerstone of quality education. As a result new initiatives are being created to further encourage interest in the two subjects, such as the Artistic and Cultural Initiatives Competition — a contest now in its third consecutive year that aims to financially support students showing promise in a number of artistic disciplines.

In the past two years students have used grant money to purchase musical instruments, art supplies and to fund events. Chile’s Regional Director of Culture, Carla Herrera Redlich, explained how artistic and cultural development is at the heart of such initiatives.

“An important task is making sure artists, groups and institutions have access to assistance and advice,” she said in a press release. “Emphasising arts education so that communities increase their cultural capital and develop artistically is also something we are working towards.”

Also continue the emphasis arts education demand and work for the instances that allow the community to increase their cultural capital, develop and visualize their artistic and cultural events recognize and respect their individual and collective memory.

“The competition opens to students again this year to promote artistic projects submitted from student groups and alumni centers to fund the ideas relating to artistic and cultural development in such establishments,” she said.

Students from Chile’s primary and secondary schools had the opportunity once again for CNCA funding for three varieties of projects, with applications accepted from May 2 – June 2. This year a sum of up to US$ 545 (300,000 pesos) was available to each student who successfully presented his or her respective project to the CNCA panel. Three projects per establishment were permitted and only one project per group.

Accepted projects ranged from festivals, competitions, art events to publications, any initiative aimed at the acquisition of technical equipment including tools, clothing and materials, and finally training methods to improve and aid education relating to art and culture. Each project needed to be organized in student centers, cultural groups or the educational establishment to which the students belong.

Chile’s government is constantly aiming to improve the country’s education sector with emphasis placed on events such as last year’s 13th Education Seminar, organized by Libertad y Desarrollo (LYD) — a Santiago based organization for research and private education. A special guest, New Zealand Education Minister Hekia Parata, was invited to share her country’s education successes and models for improvement, particularly in indigenous communities.

“Like New Zealand, Chile recognizes that raising teaching quality and leadership is crucial to raising achievement, and building skills and pathways to success is essential,” Parata said.