If the Government Gave You $350 to Spend on Culture, What Would You Buy?

How a lot cash do you spend on arts and leisure — books, films, music or video video games — every month?

If your authorities had been to offer you the equal of $350 to spend on tradition, do you suppose you’d purchase extra of what you realize you want — or do you suppose you would possibly use a minimum of a few of the cash to strive one thing new and out of doors your consolation zone?

In “France Gave Teenagers $350 for Culture. They’re Buying Comic Books.,” Aurelien Breeden describes what occurred when that nation tried the experiment:

PARIS — When the French authorities launched a smartphone app that offers 300 euros to each 18-year-old in the nation for cultural purchases like books and music, or exhibition and efficiency tickets, most younger individuals’s impulse wasn’t to purchase Proust’s biggest works or to line up and see Molière.

Instead, France’s youngsters flocked to manga.

“It’s a really good initiative,” mentioned Juliette Sega, who lives in a small city in southeastern France and has used €40 (about $47) to purchase Japanese comedian books and “The Maze Runner,” a dystopian novel. “I’m a steady consumer of novels and manga, and it helps pay for them.”

As of this month, books represented over 75 p.c of all purchases made by way of the app because it was launched nationwide in May — and roughly two-thirds of these books had been manga, in accordance to the group that runs the app, referred to as the Culture Pass.

The French information media has written of a “manga rush,” fueled by a “manga pass” — observations that got here by way of a barely distorted lens, since the app arrived simply as theaters, cinemas and music festivals, rising from pandemic-related restrictions, had much less to provide. And manga had been already wildly widespread in France.

But the focus on comedian books reveals a refined pressure at the coronary heart of the Culture Pass’s design, between the virtually whole freedom it affords it younger customers — together with to purchase the mass media they already love — and its architects’ goal of guiding customers towards lesser-known and extra intellectual arts.

Every French 18-year-old can activate the move and spend €300, about $350, for up to two years on the app, on which over eight,000 companies and establishments have listed their choices.

Teenagers should purchase bodily items from bookstores, document retailers and humanities provide or instrument shops. They can buy tickets to film showings, performs, concert events or museum displays. And they’ll join dance, portray or drawing courses.

Students, learn the whole article, then inform us:

If your authorities tried an analogous experiment, what do you suppose you’d purchase? Why?

Is it an issue that French youngsters spent a lot cash on manga, the mass media they already love, moderately than on “more highbrow arts” like Molière? Why or why not?

In your opinion, do youngsters want to be pushed — by mother and father, academics, the authorities or another authority — to find out about new types of artwork and tradition? Or do you suppose it occurs naturally?

How do you discover new types of artwork and tradition? Are they often launched to you by pals? By older individuals, like academics or members of the family? To what extent do you discover them on your individual? Jean-Michel Tobelem, a professor quoted in the article, describes the approach “you can enter Korean culture through K-pop and then discover that there is a whole cinema, a literature, painters and composers that go with it.” Has something related ever occurred to you?

The French app gives “incentives to push teenagers toward new, more challenging art forms,” together with lists of suggestions curated by widespread artists and celebrities. Would such lists be useful to you to find new arts and tradition? If so, which artists or celebrities would you select to make lists?

When was the final time you tried to take pleasure in or to discover a creative or cultural work that you simply felt was “demanding” — whether or not it was a guide, a live performance, a portray, a sculpture, an album, a movie or the rest? What occurred?

Learn extra about Student Opinion right here and discover all of our questions on this column. Teachers, see how one can incorporate this function into your classroom routine right here.

Students 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to remark. All feedback are moderated by the Learning Network employees, however please remember that as soon as your remark is accepted, it will likely be made public.