France is giving young people €500 each to enjoy the arts

Yes, please!

Art is an essential part of life, but how accessible is it? France thinks not very, especially for young people. In order to reconcile young people with culture, the French Ministry of Culture is currently testing out a multimillion-dollar app that will give every 18-year-old in France €500 credit to spend on anything cultural.

Pass Culture is promised by current French president Emmanuel Macron to help people navigate art hot spots around the country. While anyone can use it, only 18-year-olds will be given the credit in a bid to expand their access to art, music, theatre, literature, film, and sport, with an option to spend it on movies, exhibitions, books, and musical instruments. 

This isn’t the first time a country has tried to launch a cultural app for its youth. In 2016, Italy launched an almost identical ‘cultural bonus’ of €500 for every 18-year-old that sadly failed. While two-thirds of Italian youth benefited from the pass, a black market opened up where some sold the goods they’d bought with the credit. This is something the French ministry promises to track and avoid.

The UK has also seen the benefits of the arts for young people, with the Tate offering £5 tickets for 16-25-year-olds in April this year.