Why are we running this project?

Discovering the world through arts and culture. In the Art and Games support project, Robert Bosch Stiftung brings together cultural institutions where the youngest among us can experience art in a creative way.

Music and performing arts, colors, and shapes give children fresh insights into the world. Today’s experts agree that immersing children in arts and culture early on fosters their cognitive, emotional, linguistic, and social development, and strengthens the development of their personalities. These positive effects are also apparent in everyday life, as preschools, elementary schools, and other educational institutions develop a variety of arts programs for the very young. In cultural institutions, however, the presence of small children is still quite rare, and this is where the “Art and Games” program comes in.

What are our goals?

Art and Games turns the often-heard cultural policy goal of “cultural education right from the start” into reality, allowing small children to discover the world of arts and culture, irrespective of their background and social status, and to do so at high-end cultural institutions. The program aims to trigger structural processes, boost cooperation between the art world and educators, and include both educators and children as early as the concept stage.  

What are some good examples of age-appropriate methods to convey arts and culture to young children? How do you arouse their curiosity and stimulate their inquisitive spirit? How can museums, theaters, and concert halls create exciting spaces for children to experience and actively take part in the arts, and how do you reach children that do not live in homes with parents who take an interest in cultural activities? The goal of the program is to generate creative, effective answers to these and other key questions in the participating cultural institutions.

How does the project work?

By participating in the Arts and Games program, leading national organizations in Germany active in the performing and visual arts, music, film, and natural sciences are given the opportunity to strengthen and further expand their early childhood cultural education activities.

Working in partnership with preschools and elementary schools, they develop and implement a wide variety of concepts tailored to their young audience that breathe life into the aspiration to involve children in "arts and culture right from the start." In this context, they enter into a lively exchange of ideas and experiences with the project’s other participants and receive advanced training opportunities tailored specifically to their individual needs, as well as constant assistance and support with regard to the program’s content and system.

The first funding phase spans two years, during which educational formats are being designed and tested in a more intimate setting. It will be followed by a funded transfer phase, intended to promote consistency and sustainable incorporation in the cultural institutions as well as a broader rollout. In an optional third phase, tandem funding would allow newly joining cultural institutions to benefit from the prior experiences gained in the network as well as to contribute their own ideas and expertise.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung provides grants to the program participants and/or tandem partners during their involvement with the project. On top of that, participants enter into an in-depth exchange across artistic boundaries and can learn from each other at topic-based trainings, individual coaching sessions, and network get-togethers. The growing network also includes experts from academia who support the ongoing development of the program.

Where is the project run?

Art and Games is a program previously/currently hosted by 23 cultural institutions throughout Germany. The funding phase 2017-2019 comprises 18 cultural institutions of different categories in different phases of the program. 

Who organizes and supports the project?

Art and Games was initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2013 and has been run in cooperation with the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor since 2016.