Buenos Aires is celebrating the success of its Cultural Pass for young people after exceeding its take-up targets.
Argentina’s capital city launched the pass in 2018 with hopes of reaching 35,000 users. However, some 38,256 young people aged 16-19 years old have now registered for the service, which provides ARS10,000 ($29) semi-annually to spend on cultural pursuits.
The Cultural Pass can be used at cinemas, comic book stores, bookstores, outings, workshops, musical events, art bookstores, theatres, museums and cultural centres. Users, who must be school or college students, use a physical card that can be topped up.
“The main objective is to broaden youth access to the extensive cultural life of Buenos Aires, and to promote diverse cultural consumption habits,” a spokesperson said.
“We believe that access to culture allows equal opportunities, in addition to generating a positive cycle of consumption of these cultural industries and, therefore, greater growth in job opportunities associated with the development of the cultural economy.”
The programme is run by the Ministry of Culture of Buenos Aires, which promotes and manages the initiative. Other partners include the Banco Ciudad, which helped develop the card itself, and the Ministry of Education of the City of Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires has 74 museums, more than 280 theatres and concert halls, 200 art galleries and 60 cultural centres. The capital city also boasts more than 70 movie theatres, more than 80 public libraries and more than 600 bookstores.
Earlier this week it was announced that more than a third of eligible 18-year-olds in Germany have activated their €200 Kulturpass in the initiative’s first year.
The pass gives young people a credit to put towards cultural endeavours and is this year available to all those born in 2005 who will turn 18 in 2023. Figures from the Ministry of Culture show that 560,000 people have turned 18 so far in 2023, and 180,000 have activated their budget.
Other countries such as France, Italy and Spain have introduced similar initiatives to help the arts recover post-pandemic.