New guidelines prepared by our working group on access to culture highlight the possibilities offered by cultural policies for the integration of newcomers and all residents of a migrant background, irrespective of their formal status.
They also provide recommendations to cities on developing a long-term cultural strategy to promote migrant integration.
Our guidelines explain the role of culture and the arts in integration. Culture empowers migrants, giving them a sense of community and belonging, raising their self-esteem and developing their skills, which then helps their social inclusion and economic integration. By participating in cultural projects, they can make a contribution to their host city.
Local cultural institutions and activities have a key role to play: they can facilitate exchanges about different views, beliefs and social rules; raise awareness of different cultures and identities; identify common interests and goals; and even change perceptions.
These recommendations, addressed to local administrations and local cultural organisations, focus on:
creating opportunities for mutual learning and intercultural dialogue by involving civic institutions, such as libraries or museums
developing cultural programmes from the bottom up
making culture visible and accessible to all
helping municipal officials and cultural institution staff adapt to a diversified society changing cultural institutions from within, for example by recognising the diversity of people originating from different social and cultural contexts, or by developing meaningful cooperation and dialogue between cultural institutions and migrant cultural associations
The guidelines are accompanied by six case studies, available at the link on the left.
Photo © Valérie Cols