Application by the City of Metz
Over the last decade, the City of Metz has embarked on a policy focusing on two main objectives: to make culture a lever for sustainable and inclusive development, and to enhance accessibility to culture as a pillar of education and social inclusion for as many people as possible.
In keeping with the city's history, the field of music (which accounts for 75% of the municipal budget for culture) best reflects the work undertaken, since music is an excellent way to boost learning, dialogue and inclusion and to reduce social inequalities.
Located in a thriving region of 500,000 inhabitants that has witnessed significant economic and territorial changes, since the end of the 2000s the City of Metz has been working towards a long-term commitment to make culture a lever for its development. To pursue this ambition, the City's investments in the culture sector have been sustained and substantial: over ten years, a total investment of €160 million and a €300 million operating budget for culture.
This is why the City wants to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, in the creative field of "music", with a view to showcasing its initiatives for education and communication through music, and sharing the results of its endeavours with other cities across the network.
The music ecosystem in Metz: educational, inclusive and dynamic
Music as a lever for sustainable urban development
Given its rich musical heritage and the level of resources invested, the excellent quality of the infrastructures put in place and the sheer dynamism of the projects being orchestrated by professional and amateur associations, music lies at the very heart of Metz's identity. The City is proud to promote music in all its various forms, as a means to boost dialogue, mutual respect between its people and social cohesion.
The City is able to offer residents of the Metz metropolitan area superb facilities through:
- the Pompidou-Metz Centre (2010), the Boîte à Musiques [Music Box, BAM] (2014), the Agora (2018),
- developing and maintaining its historic venues and sites: the Arsenal and Academy concert halls, libraries and media libraries in Metz, Musée de la Cour d'Or [Golden Court Museum] and the Opera &Theatre,
- the renovation or opening of third place-type structures: Bliiida – arts and digital, Porte des Allemands – arts and heritage etc.
The Cité musicale-Metz is the jewel at the heart of our music policy and represents a bold cultural ambition: to bring together the Metz National Orchestra and the City's three concert halls (Arsenal, BAM and les Trinitaires) in one "home to all forms of music for all audiences" as part of a joint artistic and cultural project, to promote creation, expression of all musical forms and education through music.
Music: a tool for learning and minimising social inequalities
The commitment made by the City of Metz to promote equal opportunities for accessing culture is a priority, having placed early years at the heart of its development project to better fulfil this purpose. Examples of this include signing the Unicef "Child Friendly City" Convention and developing an ambitious region-wide educational project with culture and music at the forefront.
Music plays a fundamental role in a person's education and advancement. The City of Metz has based its approach to music on active participation with key stakeholders, to weave it into all aspects of its strategic plan. In so doing, it is promoting social integration, respect for diversity, exchanges between cultures and knowledge transfer.Music is the cornerstone of a number of educational and communication initiatives:
- Metz, a social experiment in artistic and cultural education.
Drawn up in consultation with the French Ministries of Culture and National Education, this programme aims for all school students within the Metz area to play and experience music, discovering famous masterpieces along the way. An important initiative for artistic residences in schools is already taking the form of discovery and group initiation workshops, with music playing a key role.
- Commitment to the most vulnerable members of society and those for whom music is least accessible.
Whether through the initiatives launched by volunteer associations (festivals, music schools and choirs) or those led by cultural institutions, such as the Cité musicale-Metz, the Regional Academy, the Music and Dance Centre at the Lorraine Higher School of Arts or the Opera & Theatre, Metz offers a rich array of artistic and musical education programmes, from pre-school to higher education (specific curricula, participatory projects, young people's orchestras, discovery trails, workshops, forums etc.). This offer targets the most vulnerable in our society (in prisons and hospitals, social centres, supported by the voluntary sector) and people with modest or insecure financial means.
- Support for amateur and professional participation.
The City of Metz runs an ambitious music policy focused squarely on engagement. This approach has fostered amateur participation and allowed local artists and groups to break through on the national and international stage (Concert Lorrain, Cascadeur, Chapelier Fou, Grand Blanc etc.). :
- hosting artists in the halls of the Cité musicale for creative residences, including educational projects;
- INECC (European Institute of Choral Singing) initiatives;
- opening the BAM rehearsal studios 300 days a year;
- setting up programmes to support music groups run by the Cité musicale-Metz and associations such as Zikamine and Musiques Volantes etc.;
- support for amateur participation (festivals, music schools, choirs, ensembles etc.).
Music, a vehicle for interdisciplinarity and economic growth
Each year, tens of millions of euros are generated by music-related activity (production, innovation/start-ups, distribution etc.), which is further evidence of the burgeoning economy in the Metz area
Metz has made interdisciplinarity a fundamental aspect of its musical offer, further enriched by interaction between various sectors (public, voluntary and economic). The partnerships forged between the main musical institutions (Cité musicale-Metz, Metz Métropole Opera Theatre, Gabriel Pierné Regional Academy, Music and Dance Centre at the Lorraine Higher School of Arts) and stakeholders in other creative fields (particularly literature, digital arts, contemporary art and design) have brought about solid collaborations when organising joint events, as well as enhanced cultural vitality and a common focus on educational initiatives and access to all Metz has to offer for the broadest audience possible. Examples of this include the Metz Constellations, Passages and Livre à Metz Literature and Journalism festivalsas well as a number of events (installations, performances, etc.) in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou-Metz, FRAC Lorraine (Regional Contemporary Art Fund) and Bliiida, the third-place for artistic and digital creation and innovation.
Since its launch in 2013 and having undergone significant development for 2020, Bliiida is testament to the support for innovation, particularly in the sound and digital arts fields (an example of which is the international growth of Divacore, a start-up from Metz based at Bliiida, behind innovative bluetooth headphones).
One of the many collaborations involved in this innovative process is the Higher School of Arts and Trades and the Metz National Orchestra, which led to the design and development of a new metal percussion instrument: the Veme®.