I just found out that France has a Council for Artistic Creation and that Marin Karmitz (a producer, distributor and founder of MK2 cinemas) runs it. Apparently Karmitz's position is complementary to the minister of culture: he is not involved with the macro stuff but is supposed to "innovate, experiment and push the boundaries", particularly for young artists. In a country where "youth" has become a dirty word, this strikes me as refreshing. Yesterday at the Musée du Quai Branly, he put forward the 10 commandments of his cultural programme. You can see the full list here (en français of course); some of them are tremendously vague (make Paris the global capital for art), others a bit pedestrian, but there were a few that I found particularly interesting:
Event to "raise the visibility of young people's inventiveness" In summer 2010 young artists (under 30) from all artistic disciplines will be given carte blanche to take over major public spaces (parcs, train stations, factories, monuments and even a few chateaux), however they feel like it.
Youth orchestras in rough areas France are essentially going to copy Venezuela's hugely successful youth orchestra programme initiating 500 young people (aged 7-15) to classical music and giving them in-depth training.
Nomad film school A "nomad" film school will be set up early next year on a barge in one of France's many rough urban areas with the aim of creating a "cinema of the streets". The project will involve around 20 young people (aged 18-25) that will get 1.5 years to make a first film. The director of the school will be Abdellatif Kechiche, the director of La graine et le mulet (The Secret of the Grain), one of my favourite films of last year, and the barge will be the one he used in that film.