“Actors in the world of culture, we ask to recognize the singular character of artistic studies”
NOTour country is preparing to close seven public high schools in Paris. Has France decided to save money on the backs of young people? Among the condemned high schools, three welcome students with an artistic project: Brassaï, Brassens and Lucas de Néhou. Created in 1993, the Brassens high school was an educational innovation allowing young artists from very diverse backgrounds, professionals and high-level amateurs, to be educated.
It offered everyone an adapted public education: strict half-time, a small structure, reduced numbers and an educational project consistent with their artistic work. The only high school to host only double courses, the Brassens high school is the symbol of the State’s commitment to the cultural life of France. Since 2016, dual-curriculum classes have closed one after the other. There are only twenty left in all the public high schools in France.
These classes have been closed, excluding pupils from the suburbs and peri-urban areas. How can a discourse on cultural democratization be justified if young people engaged in intensive artistic practice are denied access to the same public lessons as their peers of the same age, under conditions compatible with their art, whether they come from Paris or Seine-Saint-Denis?
The lost sense of diversity
Because finally, it is this diversity, whether geographical, social, of artistic practices that gave all its meaning to the Lycée Brassens. France is proud to train excellent dancers, musicians, actors, lyrical singers… They were able to benefit from a French model who watched over their intellectual formation.
To stand in front of you, on boards, these children have provided colossal efforts: three to five hours of daily practice. And, before sharing their creative worlds, they were students trained in citizenship and our common culture, that provided by the school of the Republic.
A serious renunciation of the values of the Republic
Has France decided to give up its cultural influence? It sacrifices the budgets of artistic training, for example of the Louis-Lumière Institute, the Higher School of Art and Design (ESAD) of Valenciennes, the Duperré school, the National Center for Circus Arts (CNAC ), regional conservatories. Students see their working conditions deteriorate, their professional project is threatened.
We, artists and players in the world of culture, some of whom have had the chance to attend dual-curriculum classes, ask to recognize the unique nature of these studies and to take it into account before further weakening artistic education.
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