Culture is the expression of human creativity and shapes the collective identity of peoples through a dynamic process of establishing relationships with the world. Its role in the development of individuals and communities is so important that cultural rights form an inseparable part of human rights.
Aware of this, Educating Cities make a significant contribution to the guarantee and promotion of the cultural rights of their inhabitants, as set out in the new Charter of Educating Cities. Through their policies, they put in place initiatives that aim to correct inequalities in the access to and enjoyment of cultural and educational opportunities; promote the arts as a path to social and educational inclusion; encourage creativity and cultural innovation as vehicles for personal and socio-economic development; and foster an active role for citizens in the planning and management of cultural activities. In turn, they invest efforts and resources in training professionals in the wide range of cultural expressions, and play a key role in the preservation and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage as well as the protection of cultural diversity.
In order to showcase this work, the 2020 edition of the Educating Cities Award was organised under the theme “Inclusion and the democratisation of culture”, receiving a total of 58 candidatures from 50 cities (from 13 countries in four continents). An international jury selected the three winning experiences and the seven finalists, following a deliberative process in which they formally expressed the excellent quality of all the proposals received.
The three winning experiences of this third edition are:
Both the award-winning initiatives and those of the finalists underscore the transformative power of the pairing of culture and education. We hope that their dissemination will encourage more local governments to strengthen the link between their cultural and educational policies, and to continue exploring their potential to create more inclusive and creative towns and cities that are proud of their diversity.